I am completely exhausted tonight. I spent all day walking around the city (seriously, all day) and then cooked dinner, and I am now collapsed on the couch awaiting the start of this fair show of ours. I am completely exhausted and I am worried. I am worried that this lineup of Top Ten performers will not be enough to keep me awake for two solid hours. There are just so many singers to get through. And this isn't American Idol, where you can expect the star-spangled pop numbers to keep you going. No, this is going to be a lot of ballads. And, contrary to popular opinion, I am not a crochety 87-year-old. I'm a crotchety 30-year-old, and I don't really like ballads. I like Nuttin' But Stringz. But even their fiery fiddlin' will be hard to sit through when sandwiched between two hours of chanteusing, tears, and whateverthefuck Kaitlyn does. Maybe I should make some coffee.
Live from Los Angeles (with portions pre-recorded) it's America's Got Talent! Oh hold that. It's Jerry sitting in the control room. Actually, on the control panel. He reminds us that there are ten finalists, one winner, and one great nation choosing that winner. I guess the segment is live, because as they cut away we hear someone shout, "Roll tape!" Said tape introduces our Top Ten. There is Paul Salos (Fake Frank) looking really Florida in a heavily-patterned shirt and George Hamilton tan. Kaitlyn claims to really want to make it to the finals. Donald Braswell knows America holds his future in their hands. Jessica Price can just feel Vegas. Joseph Hall wants to be Elvis. Neal E. Boyd manages not to cry. The Wright Kids are cute. Queen Emily also manages not to cry. Nuttin' But Stringz hangs tough. Eli Mattson still has his hat on. There are a lot of gratuitous shots of people singing into microphones. It's like geriatric American Idol. It's going to be a long night.
For real this time: Live from Los Angeles (with portions pre-recorded) it's America's Got Talent! Jerry joins us on stage to remind us of the stakes: a million dollars and a Vegas show. He tells us that the game has changed: the only judge is America. That pesky "judges' choice" is all gone. This is serious. Jerry introduces the (now impotent) judges, and asks Piers how it feels to have his voting balls cut off. Piers warns America to make responsible decisions, because it's not a game anymore. He looks right at Kaitlyn when he says that, and we hear a distant wailing. Sharon tells us what we should be looking for in a contestant. She wants America to really think about their votes, because this winner will be representing America all over the world. Er... really? You really think someone in Niger or Guatemala gives a rat's patoot who wins this ridiculous show? Or is there a world tour that I don't know about, and Neal E. Boyd and Kaitlyn and Donald Braswell will be costumed and singing Queen covers at State Fairs in Uzbekistan? Jerry turns to The Hoff. He asks Mr. The Hoff to delve deep into his experience as a Vegas star to let the kids know what it takes to succeed in old LV. The Hoff tells them to "go for the money" and mutters something about "money players." He must have read some motivational texts for that little gem. Jerry reminds us that the road to this point in the competition was long and hard. The speech was, of course, a segue to another video montage. This tape shows the contestants throughout their "journey" to the Top Ten. Paul Salos is a golden oldie, The Wright Kids are adorable but not cloying, Queen Emily is weepy but not as weepy as Neal E. Boyd, Jessica Price claims to be happy and have a reason to live (it's called Paxil), Kaitlyn lisps a lot, Donald Braswell is kind of boring, Nuttin' But Stringz could win, Eli Mattson has only the one hat, apparently, and Joseph Hall still beat out Baton Boy.