Wednesday’s acts from Portland carried out in the tradition of the dubious and the dreadful as America’s Got Talent tarried another day in the great Northwest. Soriah was upstaged in his supposed talents for Tuban throat singing by judge Piers Morgan, verifying it wasn’t such an elite gift, after all. He was followed by acrobats that couldn’t, a pink-haired singer of unknown lyrics, and a needle swallower, acts that so dismayed the judges that they retreated to their dressing rooms, left audiences shaking their heads.
Spirits got a needed boost when tap-dancing siblings Hot Shots brought some unbridled joy matched by precision, making them an easy pass to Vegas. Climbing wall dancers Ascendance floored the entire theater with their powerful yet delicate athleticism and grace. Piers Morgan gushed with praise for the couple, saying “Just at the moment when I think I’ve seen everything on this show, something like you’ve just done happens.” Howie Mandel was equally marveled, and I certainly expect more wows from these two yet to come! Tween dance troupe RNG weren’t the best ever, but their charm and desire proved impossible to refuse. Singer Paul Safy, Jr. hearkened back to the unforgettable ballads and tones of Tony Bennett with I Left my Heart in San Francisco, and two bright-wigged trapeze girls swung their way to the Strip, also.
Ryan Compton’s shrill singing almost annihilated my television speakers along with the entire leasing audience within 100 miles, and his robotic dance to follow couldn’t muster a single yes vote. Teenager Kent Jenkins played the PVC instrument he made with his dad, and it was as different as he was enthusiastic, and a pleasure to see. Watch maker Pierre Irbano garnered as much clout from the charm he brought from his Brussels homeland as he did from his “Flight of the Bumblebee” on harmonica. He’s got tough competition already waiting for him in Vegas!
Ali and Christina, two sisters out of four siblings, all with cystic fibrosis, came to the stage with everything they had, every breath their lungs could hold, and every dream their hearts ever carried. As their voices joined for “The Climb”, reaching for those highest ranges, everyone could feel the sacrifice and hope in every breath. Every breath is a gift for these gifted, incredible young ladies who may not see a 30-something birthday. They were never given hope to sing, but their voices sang the embodiment of hope itself, and reminded everyone that every breath, every moment is a gift to be celebrated by every one of us! These sisters will live in this moment for meaning far deeper than a show in Las Vegas. Encore, encore, sweet sisters!
America’s Got Talent telecast, June 23, 2010.