America’s Got Talent 2010 – The Portland Auditions

I thought RivkaS was just exaggerating about Portland when he reviewed the Portland America’s Got Talent audtions. He wasn’t. I’ve never seen anything like it. Seriously. Think the crustiest, most insane-looking bunch of people you’ve ever seen, then add two more measures of crazy. They even have a “Keep Portland Weird” campaign.

I wonder what their real estate prices are like?

Magique Bazaar

This illusionist duo promise to do an act that’s very ancient and is only practised by a handful of performers. We wonder if there’s a reason for the rarity of the act? The pair do an elaborate dance where the mask changes colour…until the man falls off the edge of the stage. Lawsuit!

Howie quips that “From now on, when you come out on the stage, I think you should face us so you can see where the edge of the stage is.” Piers doesn’t get the relevance of the act. Oh, the judges are hard on him. Bad start to the day.

The Living Dead Girlz – hot zombie dance troupe?

Oh, bring it on! Five very attractive girls pretending to be zombies? The dancing is as rubbish as you might expect it to be – sexy girls don’t think they have to make the effort with these things as the exposed midriffs will make up for the lack of actual ability. But there’s a funny bit where the five of them converge in the center and seem to be disemboweling somebody or something. Nice touch. But it’s three buzzers for these ladies.

Bloody Maggie

An old lady with a gimp fetish comes on – continuing the horror theme from before. Yes, she has a dead-eyed, zombie-looking man on a leash. The funniest thing about the act is that she’s a social worker. Takes all kinds, I suppose. The judges shut her act down in record time. Sharon, despite being married to Ozzy Osbourne, asks “Who thinks of something like that?” It’s a no for Maggie as well, then.

Vee Bee

The oddly named Vee Bee is a singing trapeze act. Yeah, never saw one of those before. She bombs drastically, and the sound of buzzers is ringing in her upside-down ears.

I won’t even give the untrained dog act, Tiny Talent, their own heading. Just stupid. The judges have a quick moan about the weirdness factor. There..um…doesn’t seem to be any.

Jeremy Vanschoonhoven

This guy is from the town of Talent, Oregon. And he’s a stunt cyclist. There’s a formal name for what he does, but we don’t really care, do we? He starts his act brilliantly by roping in Nick Cannon. Cannon lies on the floor and Jeremy jumps the bike over his body and head a few time. Just to warm up.

He proceeds to go over an assault course on the bike. Falls off once, but comes back pretty strong. Piers explains why he buzzed – “I buzzed you when you fell, because I have a rule with these things – it’s gotta be perfect to work.” Sharon and Howie let him through, but Piers sticks to his ‘no falling off the bike’ rule.

Quickies

Bhangra Empire – We see a lot of Bollywood inspired acts, though these guys call themselves an Indian folk group. The costumes are colourful and the routine is fast and fun. Howie loves it – “It was fun, it was colourful, you made me a fan.”

The Strange Familiar – are a cute looking couple who play music together. Their version of Stand By You by the Pretenders is gorgeous. Sharon tells the girl she has a beautiful tone, and Howie sends them on to Vegas.

Northwest Dance & Acro – do a very gymnastic routine in splotchy coloured costumes, which impresses the judges immensely. They’re off to Vegas too.

Airpocalypse

The return of spandex is nigh! These guys call themselves America’s premier air guitar band! They get stuck right in with a bluegrass number, then please the Osbourne by playing Paranoid. Brilliantly entertaining – they look the part, and their air instruments sound the part!

Sharon says the music choice was sensational. Not biased at all. “Your stage presence is electric!” Howie says it’s a unique form of entertainment and muses that it would be fun to go to a full air guitar concert! Piers just steals their light-up glasses. They’re going to Vegas, baby! I think we found the act we’re going to champion!

Rebecca Roudman

This is unique – Rebecca plays the cello through a guitar amplifier with a distortion effect. It’s actually pretty good, but when the novelty value wears off, it inspires the judges to buzz her off. Piers worries that when he dies, he’ll be sentenced to an eternity of Rebecca’s cello playing. Resounding nos for Rebecca. Shame, because she was really talented.

Connor Doran – Indoor Kite Guy

Apparently you fly an indoor kite by movement, not wind. Gotta say, he gives an impressive display, and the backing music probably makes it slightly more classy. The judges look rapt, or transfixed or something.

Piers: I was prepared to laugh at that. Then you began to do your thing, and it was one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever watched. Howie: It was one of the most beautiful, unique things I’ve seen live. Sharon: It was very relaxing, very spiritual. It was perfect.

Three yeses. Can I request Flying Without Wings for his next performance?

William Scott Anderson

William promises to amaze us with magic. As he talks about origami, a woman climbs into a large box behind him. He begins folding the box into smaller sizes until it’s impossible there’s a woman in there. And just for completeness, he stabs a few swords into it. He then reassembles the box and the woman reappears. Wow.

Sharon: William, you entertained me. I loved your execution, I loved your style. Piers: Brilliant delivery. Howie: Love the blend of the military and magic. I would build on this. It was a little small to win it, but it’s a great start.

Three yeses for the magic soldier! Lovely guy, I think we all really warmed to him.

Sally Cohn

Sally’s a feisty old lady who claims she’ll knock people off their asses with her performance. She actually gets out a block of wood because one leg’s shorter than the other. Then she licks her hands before hand-whistling. It sounds like the Blackadder theme tune. Howie and Nick, being true patriots put their hands on their hearts. Sharon, being a rude Brit, buzzes her!

Howie: I think that you’re very unique. The only issue I had was the licking. (Howie buys a copy of her book from her! She warns him “Be careful which passages you read, it isn’t entirely a story about hand-whistling…it’s a coming out story.) Sharon: I think that you are a riot. You are an amazing lady, but I’m going to have to say no. Piers: I have the title of your next book – Hand-Whistling In Las Vegas.

What an amazing woman! That was fantastic.

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16 Comments

  1. Jeffrey Scott

    Personally I found this night a disaster. Hand whistler, air guitarists, zombies, ghouls, runaway dog acts, Vee Bee and less than perfect cyclists. Yikes!

    I did like the magic, I have a particular fondness for those acts and the assistants are always great to look at. I agree with Gerard about the Celloist. When I first saw her I told my boys she will be good because a novice doesn’t begin with an instrument like that. It was a bit chaotic and I think the fault was in her musical choice. She should have picked something a little less hectic. But she got passed by for the hand whistler? I call foul!

  2. RivkaS

    Enough of the disappearing and/or sawed in half woman.  Does anybody actually pay to see this stuff?  It is so 1930!  Anybody can walk off the street and be given that box and mirrors and pull that off.  Where is the surprise?  Harry Houdini is rolling over and over again!  Penn & Teller revealed how it is done decades ago. 

  3. RivkaS

    A lot of people of all persuasions and preferences find themselves turned on by lesbians, but the hand whistler…  The only thing she attracts is flies.  As if allowing her onstage wasn’t exploitation enough – they passed Ol’ Butch on through to Vegas where hopefully she can go on to amaze people with her perpetual impression of Loren Green.  I think I threw up a little in my mouth. 

  4. RivkaS

    I just re-read your comment “an amazing woman” and must disagree!  When I wrote amazing before I was being sarcastic.  Amazing?  Amazing or revolting?  Amazing a cab would stop to pick her up!  Amazing that she hasn’t grown facial hair yet!  I fail to see any sort of talent.  People dedicate their lives to build a talent, and this show fails to respect dedication.   

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I don’t quite understand why you dislike Sally so much. What I liked about her was a great attitude, and she was completely unfazed by the huge audience. I loved how she managed to sell Howie her book (wonder if she gave him change?), and it might not have been the best talent in the world, but she was definitely entertaining!

  5. RivkaS

    The dance troupe, Studio One – One Beast Society was very good, and the two guys that lifted themselves up off of the floor without hands – were amazing!  They did it in perfect synchronization.  Not only was the performance as a whole solid, but inventive.  Originality is the key to success in the entertainment business. 

    Face it – as much as you marvel over the hand whistler – if she was on the floor and had to get up – WITH HANDS – she probably would have difficulty and have to call “Life Alert”.  Her time came and went decades ago.  Time to give someone else a shot.  They are not going to let Sally out of the Las Vegas airport hangar – once they get another look at what she’s got to offer the entertainment industry.  I don’t know why they toy with these people’s dreams.  It would have been kinder to tell her the truth from the onset, and I doubt she would have been surprised or felt rejected. 

  6. RivkaS

    I still say the implanted string was nasty, but when asked “who do you aspire to be” – he said “Me.”  I still say it is not magic, but more like a bloodier Tony Robbins. 

  7. RivkaS

    He missed a key, but only one and the tempo moved right along.  I thought he was good but didn’t look or act 16.  If I saw him driving in this country – I’d make a citizen’s arrest.  Did you see his mother walk into junk in the stage entrance?  Why do they keep so much crap piled all over the stage entrance?  It seems as though the cleaning contract is up for grabs. 

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I noticed the backstage area too – but then I suppose it depends on the venue how clear they keep the backstage. On the other hand, for such a slick production on the stage-side, you’d think they could fashion a few panels to cover that all up. Maybe it’s the thrill of being in the production and the glimpse behind the workings of the show?

      As for Amadeus…great talent. Might have been more special if he’d performed on a real piano, because the keyboard made him look like a hobbyist. I was impressed, but the costume gimmick – well, Simon Cowell would have went to town on him for something as cheesy as that.

  8. RivkaS

    He was very good, but the picture he drew of his first victim seemed almost racist in design.  Nick was a better assistant than I would be. 

  9. RivkaS

    The contortionist could contort.  Was it fun to watch?  Not especially; however, he was still more talented and more exciting than Sally Cohn.  The swinging pelvis might come in handy at times. 

  10. Dr. JR
    The title of this site is ironic, due to the fact you must believe that what you see on these reality shows is actual reality.  Due to your comment on Tiny Talent, I thought I would give you the truth. AGT did not show the actual act, due to the host chasing our dogs off the tall stage.  What they showed was us frantically trying to get our dogs loaded up in order to rush three of them to the emergency vet.  Of course you do not see Nick Cannon, the host, or the dogs at the moment of tragedy, because that would be bad press for them.  In fact, some of the audience left, due to the horror that ensued.  You can view the actual act, which we put together in an hour, as per producers request, on the links provided below. 
      So next time you believe anything on television…know that reality is not reality. 
     Thank you kindly,
     Tiny Talent 
    1. Gerard McGarry

      Whoa, whoa, whoa! Don’t shout at me, Dr. JR! I didn’t edit the show, I’m just commenting on what I saw. What I saw was a load of dogs going nuts on a stage. Chaos.

      If you feel you got burned by the America’s Got Talent production, OK I can understand that. But viewers can only go on what they saw. It doesn’t make us stupid, it just shows one possible point of view.

  11. Jeffrey Scott

    Wow, talk about shooting the messenger.

    Gerards right, we can only report on what we’ve seen. If the producers choose to edit something out of their show, how is that the fault of anyone watching?

    That’s like sending hate mail to a website reporting on a favourite singing on American Idol after it’s found out the signer is a wanted felon. How could anyone be at fault for something that isn’t known?

    You are right in one respect Dr. JR, Any reality show isn’t 100% Probably why Mark Burnett likes to describe his shows as ‘Unscripted Drama’. Also you are partially at fault for the same thing. I fail to believe you have given us the whole story as well. Why did Nick do what he did? Was he completely at fault? Was there other factors, were the dogs properly trained. I guess that bit was edited out of your statement. I suppose Gerard is at fault for that also.

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