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'America's Got Talent': Only the best will survive ...

... or that's the theory anyway.

It's Chris in KS back yet again to recap what happens tonight on America's Got Talent. Tonight's episode is coming to us now from the Palms Resort in sunny and steamy (but not as steamy as the East Coast is right now) Las Vegas, where AGT continues on its path to finding America's next greatest talent. At the start of tonight's episode they show many shots and scenes of the acts being shuttled around Vegas on a double-decker bus, while the judges, during their flight, review video of all of the acts that they will whittle from over 100 to a paltry 48 that will move on to the live portion of the show.

The judges decide to divide all the acts into three categories. Group A (by far the largest group) is the group that the judges feel have the best shot of moving on to the next round and will be given the first chance to move on to the next round. Group B will get a chance to perform after those in A perform for the judges. The judges will take some out of Group B on to the next round, but only after they decide how many will move on from the first group. Piers starts talking to Group C, and tells them that after much deliberation and video review that they will not be performing here today, and that they were so good the first time that are moving directly on to the next round. The acts that are moving on include the belly dancing duo (seriously???), ArcAttack, Fighting Gravity, Strikers All Stars, Future Funk, and five other acts.

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The judges decide to split up the remaining acts into different genres. The first group up is the magicians. William Scott Anderson (the army med-evac helicopter pilot), Michael Grosso (the guy that amazed everyone with his switcheroo act), a magician I only heard referred to as Murray and don’t remember from any of the auditions, and Chipps Coon the miserable-sounding "magician"/comedian all perform for the judges.

The next group up to face the judges are the harmonica players, including Harmonica Pierre and Gee Hee Hee (Asian name I can’t even begin to spell unless they put it on the screen, which they don’t). Both perform for the judges and are both really good, but the judges' deliberation makes you wonder if there’s even a shot of them putting two harmonica players through.

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The acrobatic group is logically following the harmonica players. This group includes the rock climbing acrobats, the rhythmic gymnast girl, a duet that used ropes suspended from the ceiling (with a full-on "wardrobe malfunction" that showed a lot of breast -- for a long time), and a couple that looked like they belong in Cirque du Soleil.

After the commercial break is the danger group. Including the guy that loves to mutilate himself, the woman that swings swords that are on fire, the Strong Man (lifts a bench with six women on it, and has two motorcycles going at full speed with straps attached to them and holding them in place with his arms!), a lumberjack act that I don’t remember seeing before, and the guy that previously danced around the stage with a fire torch and totally did the same act that Michael Grosso performed before with the box on a pedestal and switching places with his assistants.

The next group is the classical singers. This group includes Prince Poppycock, who is coming to us with a less than 100 percent voice and has been fighting a virus, but tells us that the show must go on. The Prince definitely doesn’t sound as good as he did in his first audition. This group also includes Hannibal Means (who sang Hallelujah and was dressed like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) and Carlos Aponte. It’s obvious to all in this household that Carlos was definitely better on that particular day than the other two performers.

Up after yet another commercial break are the dancers. This group includes groups such as the Hot Shots, the girl that played the violin and danced around (why wasn’t she in the musicians group??), Wreckless, and Style Proz Crew.

The female singers group is loaded with talent and includes acts such as April Lane, Debra Romer, Alice Ridely (Gabourey Sidibe’s mom), and 74 year old Mary Ellen (remember I Love Lucy meets Marge Simpson meets Tammy Faye Baker). Mary Ellen (who as Piers puts it) didn’t play a note in tune, performed for about 10 minutes, and had to have Howie come up on stage and put an end to her Phish-like jam session.

The kids are all grouped into one giant group together. They moved so fast through this group that they didn’t even introduce most of the acts, but focused on Connor the indoor kite flyer and 11 year old CJ Dippa.

Next up are the comedian/comedienne’s group, which gets about as much air time as the "wardrobe malfunction" in the rope acrobat’s performance.

The next to last group is the Novelty Acts, which include the woman dressed as Catwoman that paints, the acrobatic rescue dog act, a guy using a blow dart gun setting off mouse traps that throw marshmallows up in the air and doesn’t even catch 1 out of 3, and Sally the hand whistler, and Arthur Nokane the one-man-band.

The last group is the male singers. This group includes 18 year old Taylor Matthews and 30 year old Michael Grim. I thought that Taylor sounded really good, but Piers made some comments about the male singing group as a whole that made you think that he didn’t really like Taylor’s act. Michael tells us that he’s trying to make something of himself to help out his grandparents who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, and seemed to impress the other acts sitting in the audience, but had Piers tell him that he went over the 90-second time limit, which is an offense punishable by elimination (which didn’t seem to come up with Mary Ellen went on for 10 minutes).

And in the last 15 minutes of the show they are going to tell us which acts are going to go through to the next round. (And I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone that has had their name misspelled tonight or their act "renamed" by me, but it’s hard when the show doesn’t put any names on the screen!)

Moving on to the next round include the acts:

The Strong Man, the self-mutilation act, Antonio the firethrower/magician, Chipps Coons, the magician Murray, Prince Poppycock, Hannibal Means, CJ Dippa, another kid singer that they didn’t introduce this episode, the painting Catwoman, Sally the hand whistler, Wreckless, the violin player, Harmonica Pierre, Doogie the Hasidic-looking comedian, Mary Ellen (What????), Debra Romer, Alice Ridely, Taylor Matthews, and Michael Grimm. All total there are 27 acts that are moving on from tonight’s episode.

Not moving on:

The Lumberjack act, twirling sword lady, Michael Grosso (wow, surprised me!), the Army magician, Carlos Aponte (who the wife and I both felt was better than Hannibal Means), Connor the indoor kite flyer and other kid acts that they didn’t show us, the acrobatic dogs, the failed marshmallow eater, Style Proz Crew, the boob act, April Lane, and a few male singers that they never introduced tonight.

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Tonight there were definitely some obvious choices that had to be made as far as cutting down the number of acts. I felt there were some surprises that they kept around (Chipps Coons, Hannibal Means, and Mary Ellen) and a few surprises that were let go (Michael Grosso & Carlos Aponte). Were there any surprises for you?

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Come back tomorrow when we will find out who will be the remaining acts that make it through to the next round!

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