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‘America’s Got Talent’ wildcap recap: back again?

The Fiddleheads of North Georgia performed in the wild-card round on "America's Got Talent." CREDIT: NBC

The Fiddleheads of North Georgia performed in the wild-card round on "America's Got Talent." CREDIT: NBC

Who do you think should go through? (pick up to 4)

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Most of these acts are pretty good, but there were specific reasons why most didn’t make it into the semifinals in the first place. So I gave most of acts grades in the B-minus to B-plus range.

But the last two, as the producers clearly knew, were slightly better.

So here are the four I think will go through:

Landon Swank, the magician, performed his trick with precision and professionalism. He’s in. The Summerwind Skippers are exceptional and fun. I say they go through, too. People like musicians and there were three acts tonight. The Fiddleheads were the best of the three. I put them in, even if I wasn’t favoring the lone Georgia act. Fourth? Tough call. I think it will be between West Springfield Dance Team and Yellow Design Stunt Team. I bet the judges will pick Yellow Design Stunt Team.

[UPDATE 8/17: I only got two of the final four correct. I really didn't think West Springfield Dance Team would make it through but they did. The Fiddleheads didn't make the cut, a bit of a surprise to me. Glad to see Landon and the Summerwind Skippers make it through. I didn't think Kinetic King had a chance and surprise! He made it through, too. So in the end, I only got 16 out of 24 right, or a 67% barely passing grade.]

1- The Kinetic King (trick designer/Piers pick) – His last effort was one of the biggest disasters in AGT history. It simply did not work at all. This time, he made it more fool proof and it worked. It was a bit dopey and slow to me but it at least worked. And the nerdy professor is a funny goofball. Grade: B

2- Those Funny Little People (novelty dancers/performers/ Howie pick) -This group really has very little discernible “talent” but they are cute and oddly mesmerizing to watch for 90 seconds. And they annoy the heck out of Piers Morgan, which is why Howie brought them back. As Howie said, Piers’ reaction to them is even more entertaining than the group itself. Grade: B+

3- Avery and the Calico Hearts (little girl singing trio/ Sharon pick) – These young ladies are cute but as Piers noted last time around, they really aren’t ready vocally for the big stage. And even as they did a current song in “Dynamite,” the same problem cropped up again though the lead singer didn’t sound like a chipmunk this time. Grade: C-plus

4- Seth Grabel (magician/ Howie pick) – This dude has generally decent charisma and a good look for a magician. His move with the hoop was intriguing for about 10 seconds but this was more show than substance, even with the gimmick of three “mini” judges popping up at the end. Grade: B

5- Shevonee (singer/ Sharon pick) – She is the only one who wasn’t even in the quarterfinals, cut during Vegas. She has the look and personality of a star. Her vocals? Meh. Too bad. Grade: C-plus

6- West Springfield Dance Team (dance/Sharon pick) – They’ve got the “Thriller” feel down pat. So atmospherically, this works well. But their choreography isn’t complex enough to make this more than an okay act. Grade: B-minus

7- J. Chris Newberg (comic/Howie pick) -This time around, instead of novelty songs, he opted for a “roast” of Piers Morgan. He even had the cojones to reference the phone hacking scandal in England, which Morgan has insisted he had no part of. While that joke wasn’t funny and a few were really old, he garnered a few good laughs. Grade: B

8. Yellow Design Stunt Team (stunt bikers/ Sharon pick) – I actually saw these guys live at the Fox Theatre in March. They are pretty darn good at their craft.  This time, they brought a pirate theme. How that ties into bikes? Who knows? The tricks are fun but repetitive to a degree. They dress it up with dancers and costumes and a lot of activity. Grade: B

9- Charles Peachock (juggler/ Piers pick) – The last time he was on, Sharon and Piers didn’t like him. But Piers was a fierce defender. He juggled fire. He then tried swords while balancing two swords on his head. This looked incredibly difficult. Unfortunately, he dropped a sword. Bummer. Grade: B

10 – The Fiddleheads (bluegrass band/ Howie pick) -Georgia’s last hope slipped up during their quarterfinal effort by picking a Michael Jackson song that didn’t really work with the lead singer. This effort to merge contemporary music with bluegrass sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. In this case, I’m actually on the fence. The lead singer Adam Kersh is pretty good but he didn’t add anything new to the record version. And the bluegrass flavorings were just that, flavorings, nothing more. Grade: B

11.  Summerwind Skippers (skip roping team/ Piers pick) – Despite the dork factor of jump roping (Rocky notwithstanding), this Boise, Id. group is hot. I have always liked them and they should have been in the semifinals in the first place. I think they earned it this time for sure with the fire roping. Grade: A-minus

12. Landon Swank (magician/ Piers pick) – This is a classic Houdini underwater trick. We’ve seen it before. It’s still tough and dangerous and he executes it flawlessly. So it depends on your need for novelty. This was not novel. Grade: A-minus

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By Rodney Ho,, AJCRadioTV blog

5 comments Add your comment

Kevin O'Connell

August 17th, 2011
10:25 am

Rodney, the lead singer is Adam Kersh, not Zak McConnell. Zak sings backup and plays mandolin. Just FYI! I know a couple of these guys (Zak & Jake) personally and have watched them develop over the years. These guys are hugely talented musically. I am in agreement with your assessment of their performance last night. B at best. I actually like their rendition of Billy Jean better. I think if they would have moved more closely toward true bluegrass, they would have scored higher. JMO.

Rodney Ho

August 17th, 2011
10:29 am

@Kevin Thanks. I had gone on their website and I guess that’s out of date. They are definitely talented but picking a Bruno Mars song struck me as pandering to the broadest audience possible and not really catering to what is true about bluegrass. It didn’t feel authentic the way their earlier auditions felt.


August 17th, 2011
1:15 pm

Only Landon Swant, cause he’s good and Kinetic King, cause he’s different have a chance in the next round and none will make the Top 3 or 5 or whatever the last show is!

Good taste

August 17th, 2011
2:37 pm

Will this show ever end? They actually make an entire show out of rejects?


August 18th, 2011
12:26 pm

Actually the entire show out of rejects was better than the You Tube show.