AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicago IL, Northwest Side
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Among the comedians, I'm glad Wendy Liebman and Dan Naturman got through. While I'm not glad that Joe Matarese didn't, I do feel he didn't deserve to; but neither did Darik Santos, and he did. Santos lost me during his audition, where he had one good joke (about the bananas) and then ruined it by repeating it to explain it. That never worked for Jay Leno and it doesn't work for Santos either (and is his first name really spelled "Darik"?).
Still, Liebman was much funnier twenty years ago. Marriage and stepmotherhood were not good for her comedy.
Can't remember which of the magician acts tried the tired old doesn't-fool-anybody gambit of keeping his own hand on the cards or whatever while the celebrity or the audience member says the word "STOP" (an essential staple last season for Collins Key, who depended on it), but oh, is that ever tired. Try that same trick with the other person (unless it's a shill) actually physically pulling the card or fingering the page, and the trick fails.
Ah yes, David and Leeman got through without going to Judgment Week. Really? Their audition consisted of palming the extra name labels and of showing Mandel their cards at an angle where, because of lighting tricks or a polarized layer, wrong letters appeared.
I do not like Mara Justine Platt in the least. First, she auditioned with the most hackneyed song choice possible for a female soloist; heck, it led to Bianca Ryan's win in Season 1 so female singers on AGT since then always think it will work magic. We hear it in an audition many seasons, and surely it is used in who knows how many auditions that don't get onto the air. Yes, it's a great song, and it put a Tony onto Jennifer Holliday's mantel and an Oscar onto Jennifer Hudson's, but it's had its day on AGT. Second, the point of being amazed that an eleven-year-old girl can belt has long passed, and now we'd like to see eleven-year-old singers show additional skills besides belting alone. They cut Grace Ann Gregorio (who is able to remember all three words of her name), and I find her singing far superior to Platt's, despite my preference for Platt's chosen genre over Gregorio's.
Finally, I'm relieved that Stern didn't make Dustin's Dojo into his own Big Barry. When he gave them the Golden Buzzer he said its value was as a slapstick act, but even if you see things that way, the humor's worn thin.