'America's Got Talent' recap: Quarterfinals, Night 1 results

The cast of Cirque Du Soleil's Zarkana.
The cast of Cirque Du Soleil's Zarkana. (Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Tuesday night's hour-long -- you read that right -- results show kicks off with host Nick Cannon announcing that Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana and will.i.am will perform later in the evening. Because a results show wouldn't be a results show without extraneous performances.

Then Nick calls Michael Nejad (instrument maker and music "genius"), Shanice and Maurice Hayes (father-daughter street singers) and Nikki Jensen (unique-sounding Australian singer) to the stage.


This group is a no-brainer. Last night, the crowd boo-ed Michael within the first few seconds of his performance and while Nikki sounded good, she looked as dead as grilled shrimp on the barbie.

When Nick announces the results of the America's votes, there are no surprises. Shanice and Maurice make it through to the next round while the other two acts don't.


After the break, there are shots of Nick and the 12 contestants from last night having some contrived fun in a lounge and promoting Orville Reddenbaucher's popcorn.  As I'm not at the movies and as I don't enjoy food getting stuff between my teeth, it does not make me want to buy popcorn.

Then it's time for Zarkana. Wow. I take back anything bad I ever said about this show because the producers did an awesome job booking these guys. The cast members of Zarkana are amazing. They're so good, I can't decide where on my TV to look because in every corner of the stage, there's something incredible and gravity-defying going on. I wish the judges would critique them because I can't imagine even Howard Stern would have anything negative to say.

Zarkana ends way too soon, then Nick calls The Scott Brothers (body-popping brothers), Lil Starr (amazing 6-year-old dancer) and 787 Crew (Puerto Rican dance crew) onstage. This group is a toughie. I have no idea who's going through...

It's The Scott Brothers! And the crowd goes wild! Excellent choice, America, if I do say so myself.

The next three acts to join Nick onstage are David Garibaldi and His CMYK's (painters/dancers), magicians Jarrett and Raja and American BMX Stunt Team. Before Nick takes 7 minutes to announce the results, I can already tell you David and His CMYK's are moving on to the next round. Jarrett and Raja were boo-ed last night and I think everyone's tired of small-scale BMX stunts by now. Thank you, Six Flags.

Yep, no shocker here -- the dancing painters (or painting dancers?) are voted through.

"America's knows how to vote," says Howard in response. "You could take this whole thing, I'm not kidding."

Then it's time for the contestants from last night to happily drink some Snapple on a double-decker tour bus in NYC. After a group toast, we cut back to the stage and will.i.am and his ever-present sunglasses perform. He sounds great, as always; he gets a standing ovation from the judges when he finishes.

The last group of contestants tonights consists of 14-year-old singer Edon, ventriloquist Todd Oliver and The Distinguished Men of Brass (marching band). Two of these acts will move on, so Nick announces the one definitely going home first -- I know it's going to be Todd Oliver. But no! It's The Distinguished Men of Brass. Well, that's disappointing. I really liked those distinguished men. And their brass.

Then suddenly, America's votes don't matter; from between Edon and Todd, the judges get to choose who advances to the next round.

Even though the judges seem to lean toward Todd at times, saying his act is a great idea but has poor written material, Edon gets all three votes and is through the next stage.

Nick announces that next week, 12 more acts will perform for our votes and will be weeded down to just 4. And that wraps up tonight's hour-long show, which I still think could have been accomplished in fifteen minutes.

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