AMERICA’S GOT TALENT in Review: Houston Auditions

Part 1 of the Seattle audition may have wrapped with the odd performance of Paper Horn Man, but thankfully the worst of America’s so-called “talent” is yet to come. This time the AGT crew heads off to the Lone Star state to see if Texas’ talent lives up to the old saying that “everything is bigger in Texas.”

Can a little southern charm win over the judges? What about an Asian James Brown impersonator? I suppose there’s only one way to find out.

The Rhinestone Ropers, Wild West Act

Well boy, howdy! The Texas auditions kicked off with an honest to goodness Wild West act full of knife throwin’, gun slingin’, and even the old “try not to kill the person on the spinning table gig.” Yee-haw!

Here’s my take. This wasn’t the best, nor worst, Wild West act I’ve seen. Kudos to cowboy man for not slicing and dicing his good-looking lady partner, but even I think I could have pulled off some decent knife throwing from 4 feet away, too. It’s also hard to ignore the fact their backdrop was enormous, giving him plenty of empty space to aim for. In all honesty, the most impressive part of the act was at the very end, when the lovely lady managed to hit some balloons with a pistol while spinning around in circles on a table.

It’s another instance when the judges were more impressed than they should have been, but I’m with them there’s promise here. They deserve a shot to do something more impressive.

My prediction: I’m thinking these pilgrims don’t have much else to offer and won’t make it past Vegas.

Mona Lisa, Twin Singers

They apparently were good enough to make it to the Vegas audition, but not good enough to warrant more than 8 seconds of airtime.

So were they any good? I don’t know… I only got to listen to one line, but the line I heard wasn’t spectacular.

My prediction: If they were going to make it far, they would have gotten a bit more airtime. Out.

Charles Peachock, Juggler

Fighting Gravity, one of the finalists from season 5, really seems to have inspired a lot of “in the dark” acts this season. Charles Peachock is your typical juggler, and though his juggling skills are good, his light-up juggling clubs and stick man suit took the “same-old” to new heights. Taking off his “head” and juggling that at the end was a great finish.

Can a juggling act ever win AMERICA’S GOT TALENT? I’d venture to say no, but so far Charles is the best juggling act so far, and just a good act period. Thankfully, the judges agreed.

My prediction: Unless there’s a serious mishap in Vegas, there’s a chance we’ll see him in the live shows (assuming he can vary his act a bit).

The Perfect Angels, Dance group

Holy midriff, Batman!

In all honesty, I’d be hard pressed not to vote through an army of hotties in tight outfits regardless if they could dance or not; I’d want to see them for alternate reasons. Fortunately, they were decent dancers, so we all get to have our cake and dream about eating it, too.

My prediction: Additional traffic to this webpage thanks to AMERICA’S GOT TALENT and the following keywords: the perfect angles midriff, the perfect angles hot, the perfect angels AGT sexy, the perfect angels nude, the perfect angels pics, the perfect angels topless

Daniel Joseph Baker, 19 Year Old Singer

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT tends to fall in love with contestants that have a sob-story background, have suffered hard times, are super flamboyant, or are just plain weird. Daniel Jacob Baker qualifies in one or more of those categories.

So what’s a super-gay young man to do in a talent show? Bust out a little Lady Gaga of course!

It wasn’t my cup of tea, and I’d rather listen to the actual Lady Gaga sing over him. However, he seemed to make the crowd happy, and Sharon always falls in love with the ladymen. On to Vegas for him.

My prediction: He’ll make the live shows for sure, but I don’t think his voice is going to carry him through. Ryan Andreas from the L.A. auditions is clearly a better singer, but Daniel’s GLEE inspired personality could give him an edge over raw talent.

Jay Maynard, Tron Guy

There’s no argument that Jay Maynard is ridiculous, but it’s hard not to feel a bit bad for the guy. I’ve never seen the judges rip into a guy like this. Sharon buzzed him right off the bat, then Howie kept telling the guy to start again. So he did, and the audience booed. Then Howie scolded the audience, told him to start over again, then buzzed him 2 seconds later after following instructions. Poor Tron Guy.

My prediction: I don’t think this guy has any clue how bad they ripped on him. Maybe someone, somewhere, will actually get to see his full act.

Sandou Trio Russian Bar – “Performers”

I didn’t have high expectations for the Russian bar performer, but I have to admit – her act was pretty neat. In short, two guys launch her up in the air on what I can only describe as a flexible balance beam, then she has to land on it after doing a series of flips and twists. And she did… several times… perfectly.


My prediction: This trick alone would take her past Vegas and into the live shows, but it will get stale eventually. I hope she’s got more up her sleeve, but I have a gut feeling this is her coolest trick.

Dani Shay – Singer, Bieber Hater

Dani made one hell of an entrance, who initially fooled the crowd into thinking the actual Justin Bieber walked on stage. After Howie quipped that she looked like the Bieb she replied, “Justin Bieber looks like me.”

For her act, she took a classic Bieber tune and creatively changed the lyrics into a humorous song about how people confuse her with the teen pop star. It was funny, meaning the judges put her through, but this act doesn’t have any steam unless she can write some creative songs about other people.

My prediction: I like Dani’s style and love song spoofs, so I’m hoping she’s not a one trick pony with Bieber hair.

LD Dance Company – Dancers

They only showed about 10 seconds of their act, mostly comprised of hip and booty shaking. They were apparently good enough to put through to Vegas (not that anyone could tell after a few seconds of airtime), but I’d guess this act isn’t a judge favorite.

My prediction: They’ll get sent home on the first cut.

Tanner Edwards – 6 year old dancer

Here’s a recipe for success: cute kid, hip look, little boy charm, and a little bit of dancing skills. It was enough to get the thumbs up from all three judges, and he won additional brownie points from Nick (who is apparently his favorite performer).

Unfortunately, I think it’s his cuteness that got him through; good for a 6 year old doesn’t mean good enough to win a talent competition.

My prediction: I’d say he’ll get to the live shows, but once America starts voting I don’t think he’ll make it very far. I could be wrong though; they did give him a full five minutes of airtime.

Darren Taylor – Professor of Splash, 50

What this guy does is (supposedly) dangerous. In short, Darren Taylor (Professor Splash) dives into a wading pool filled with 12 inches of water from extreme heights. In this case, it was 26 feet.

I have to admit I’m a bit perplexed by this act. At first I was really impressed by what I saw, but when I watched it a second time and really thought about it, the less I started to think this act was “all that.” From a scientific perspective, Darren belly flops (not high dives) into the pool. Given the surface tension of the water compared to his total surface area, 12 inches is a fairly good amount of water to slow the impact (and there are ways to increase the surface tension of water further for a bit more stopping power). The real element of danger is that he HAS to land horizontal, hitting the water at an angle it would spell bad news. That’s kind of cool, even if not nearly as impressive.

What’s not cool, however, is that his pool wasn’t sitting on the floor. The pool was sitting on a large plastic tarp (understandable given the studio setting), but the pool wasn’t level with the surrounding floor. What if this guy had something underneath to soften the impact, like a spring/air mattress or large piece foam? Where’s the danger or excitement in that?  I’d jump into a pool from 30 feet if it had a safety net.

Next time I want to see the pool on the hard floor; at least then I’ll be somewhat impressed. Then by his next jump from an extra foot higher, I’ll simply be bored.

My prediction: If he gets pass Vegas, I’d be shocked, but he’ll never get enough votes to make it far in the live shows. This act just simply doesn’t have any variety to it, and there’s only so high he can jump from before he moves from high diver to suicide jumper.

That wraps up part 1 of Houston (and no, the Asian James Brown impersonator didn’t make it).  Next up: Minneapolis, then back to Seattle, Atlanta, and Day 1 of New York. Stay tuned!

Missed an audition? Catch up on Season 6 of AMERICA’S GOT TALENT in our previous posts.

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