America's Got Talent

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Final Five with a Flourish

Jerry informs us that the next act has an "exceptional voice," which is so sneaky, because it could be any of the four remaining competitors. Oh Jerry, you tease when we have no time to tease! We're on a schedule here! Donald Braswell's well-coiffed head fills the screen and we know he is next. His hair is looking very exceptional tonight--soft, but aerodynamic. His dreams are becoming a reality. He is so close to his dream. He is going to fight. He is going to win. He is going to sing Josh Groban. Again. I'm going to go slam my head in my front door for the next five minutes. The Donald starts to sing before the stage is even lit. Ol' Smokey is cranking, and the stage is clouded with smog. He's looking dapper and there's a choir onstage offering backing vocals. He is meh. Better than me, but still meh. "You Raise Me Up" may have brought fame and fortune to Josh Groban, but coming on the tails of Nuttin' But Stringz's dynamic performance it sounds incredibly old, dated, and schmaltzy. Sharon mysteriously gets to start the judging. She thinks he was nice. Very nice. But his voice is nicer than his personality (ouch!) and he belongs in musical theater (double ouch!). She congratulates him on getting this far in the competition. The Hoff totally disagrees. He thinks The Donald brought it tonight. He is ready to go to church. Donald Braswell found his niche bringing the wicked back to the fold. Piers finally gets his two cents. He thought the last note was awful (agreed), but that The Donald brought a great story to the show, and whatever happens The Donald has lived a dream he never thought he would live again. Piers thanks him for proving the judges wrong and America right. Jerry reminds us how to vote. The Donald and his divine hair bid farewell.

Next to grace the stage is Neal E. Boyd. We are reminded that he is an insurance salesman, that he came from nothing, that he cries a lot, and that he performed a risky song last week to sluggish applause and criticism from the judges. Not mentioned? His mother. Mamma Mia! Neal E. Boyd is bringing the opera this week. He is standing on a raised dais in centerstage wearing a tuxedo (and his backwards hat). He has a mini-orchestra backing him and an invisible children's choir who pipe in at the appropriate time. He really is much better when performing opera. The judges look entranced. Especially The Hoff, who is sitting up straight and looking mesmerized. When the song ends, Neal E. Boyd whips off his hat and claps for the orchestra. He has a perfectly nice full head of hair, so there really is no justification for the hat. This time The Hoff starts off the judging, so Sharon and The Hoff's agents must have demanded some sort of round-robin thing, since Piers talks so damn long and hogs up all the air time. The Hoff tells Neal E. Boyd that he is honored to have been on this journey with him. Didn't he use that same line last week with Queen Emily? Get some new material, Hoff. And it's not the freaking Razor's Edge. It's a so-called reality show. The Hoff tells Neal E. Boyd that he is what this show is all about. Which he has told about twelve people during this "journey." He is honored (some more, apparently) to be on this journey with him. Piers is feeling strange and uncomfortable because he has to agree with The Hoff on national live television. Awkward! Sharon claims to have heard that song so many times on so many different occasions, but never more beautifully. I know it's urbane and highly refined and the realm of society elites, but why does everyone have to love opera if they want to appear cultured? Sharon is married to Ozzy Freakin' Osbourne. Do we really have to believe that she goes to a lot of opera performances? Neal E. Boyd cries as we head to commercials.

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America's Got Talent




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