Back from vacation, finally got a chance to break from Olympics coverage to watch the performances last week.
01. David "The Bullet" Smith, human cannonball. First, I think the performance was filmed before the start of the live show and see no reason why they needed to pretend otherwise, I don't mind if they did that. What he does is really impressive and death-defying, seen this sort of thing a few times in the past live. Liked how he dressed it up with the football theme and all, that was a good way to present it on television. Don't know how he can keep dressing up the same basic stunt, though. Farther, higher, smaller target, land in a tank of sharks?
02. All That! all-male clogging team. Good set, could have benefitted from a few more stunts, suffered from bad lighting at times and the cameramonkeys made it hard to follow.
03. Ulysses, singer. 3 X'es! Honestly, I don't know what the judges had a problem with, I thought it was a nice tribute to Dick Clark, the singing was good and he didn't stumble over the words at all (it is a semi-hard song, "Bandstand Boogie"). Didn't make good use of the piano and could have interacted a bit more with the dancers, but for all that it was still an enjoyable performance.
04. Joe Castillo, light and sand artist. Wonderful, magical performance marred by shifting camera shots making it hard to follow on TV.
05. Sebastien "el Charro del Oro", 10-year-old mariachi singer and mariachi band. Wonderful singing though not his best performance, though he did hit it big, and the band was wonderful. That said, "Besame Mucho" was a bad song choice, the kid doesn't really have the experience, the emotional cajones, for that one.
06. Eric Dittelman, mind reader. Very neat trick pulled off very well, his stage persona still needs honing.
07. William Close, musician. Gee whiz but the earth harp really is a magical magnificent instrument, and I loved the spinning drums, wonderful wonderful set, though the singer was more emotive than lyrical. My only complaint, really, is that with the backing band and the drummers and the stage dressing girls and the singer and all, the name of the act should be changed, William Close and the something or other.
08. Unity in Motion, all-female dance group. Excellent performance, just short of being a knockout, seemed like they were holding back a bit, and it certainly could have been tighter in a few places. Mainly they could have benefitted from a spectacular finish, which the set suffered from lacking.
09. Eric & Olivia, accompanist and singer. Love her singing though she seemed a bit off in spots tonight (nerves maybe) and didn't quite take the song where it could have gone. Don't really know what he brings to the act but at least he doesn't ruin it or get in her way.
10. Lindsey Norton, gymnastic dancer. Very impressive performance, love how her sparkling personality shines through; wish she'd taken it a bit bigger, could have benefitted from a bit faster tempo musical arrangement.
11. Horse, jackazz. At first I thought the superhero theme was a good idea but then these dumdums managed to make even a good idea seem like a bunch of children playing in the empty lot; it seems there is nothing they can do to overcome what a really dumb and worthless act it genuinely happens to be.
12. Olate Dogs, trained animal act. Great act, loved it! There was one minor glitch early, they recovered well and kept going, then the reluctant dog and the chase and the eventual butt-down slide, great innovative theater. I doubt it is possible for an animal act to win in America, but if it can be done this is the act that will do it.