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America's Got Talent 5, September 7: Capitol Gains

by Tyler Sandersfeld -- 09/08/2010
We have reached the not-quite-final round. Ten acts remain, but only four can advance to the true finals. Can Christina & Ali (right) finally impress recapper Tyler? Can Jeremy VanSchoonhoven pull off another top performance after recovering for a week? Can the Capitol building dance the can-can? Yes, you read that correctly.

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Ladies, gentlemen, and Oscar-nominated actors! Welcome to the top ten performance episode of America's Got Talent.

Out of around 19,000 acts to try out for this season, only these ten remain: magician Michael Grasso, singers Christina & Ali, dance crew Studio One Young Beast Society, musician Taylor Mathews, trick biker Jeremy VanSchoonhoven, ballroom dancers Anna & Patryk, blacklight performers Fighting Gravity, singer/performer Prince Poppycock, musician Michael Grimm, and classical singer Jackie Evancho.

To celebrate their places in the competition, the remaining contestants had a dinner earlier in the week with the judges. Howie still can't figure out Grasso's trick from last time, but he does have a food disappearing act to show off. Sharon tells Poppycock he knew who he was when he first auditioned. Howie makes Jackie laugh. Piers asks Anna & Patryk if he could get a cut of their prize money if they won. Anna disappoints their biggest judge fan.

Howie thanks one guy from Fighting Gravity for throwing that ball at Piers. Piers was about to buzz Jeremy last time, but he knew something bigger was coming. Also, Piers says he fell off a Segway. Howie wants Grimm to stay on track, while Sharon advises C&A to enjoy every moment. Even she knows they don't have a prayer.

Piers says this is the strongest lineup of acts ever, so the acts must be absolutely perfect if they want to make it to the final four. I say six of the acts, even if they are perfect, will have trouble beating the big four – Jackie Evancho, Fighting Gravity, Michael Grimm, and Prince Poppycock.

At last, the dance crew Studio One Young Beast Society gets the dreaded first spot. They think of themselves as a small, multiracial family. Julie Johnson, their dance teacher, would be the mother of that family. Julie says these kids are the most dedicated dancers she has worked with. The top ten is putting a lot of pressure on them, so they need to perfect their new wow factor tricks. Also, they've only had two days to put this routine together. Was it enough?

The Orlando dance crew emerge from stasis tubes and start dancing. Other than the unceremoniously cut JabbawockeeZ, the Young Beast Society is the best dance crew ever on this show, and this performance solidifies it. The actual dancing is well-choreographed and the tricks are more impressive than ever. I can't even begin to describe some of these feats. Will this be the act America votes for in droves? Probably not, but it is a performance worthy of the top ten.

Piers says this was quite the start. They get more ambitious every time, and they took a big gamble that paid off. Sharon says their passion shows through their dance. Through all the injuries they have suffer, she believes they were phenomenal. Howie says they nailed it and are the best of the night so far. True by default.

Performing second for the third time in a row is Christina & Ali. Christina says being in the top ten beats going to school. Understandable, but still... They owe everything to their parents, Roger & Janie Christensen, especially Christina's positive outlook on life. The parents are so proud of their girls for overcoming their difficulties. Piers believes these two girls are becoming more like singers than just inspirational girls.

The Idaho sisters pick up the tempo to sing "Love You I Do." I'm not seeing too much improvement in their harmonies. Or their pitch control during their solos. Heck, they can't even dance in sync very well. Again, this is not a good performance, and yet it was their best by a mile. Could they actually steal a spot in the top four now? I would hope not.

Sharon loves these sisters, especially Christina's notes. She says they get better and better, and she really enjoyed the performance this week. Howie also loves these girls as they exude happiness. However, they have to compete with crazy acts with something just nice and enjoyable. Piers thinks the girls have blossomed into natural entertainers, even if they're not great technical singers. Oh, please stop treating these girls with kid gloves.

The stage gets ready for Jeremy VanSchoonhoven next. After suffering the greatest fall ever, he pulled off his big trick without getting to practice again. Jeremy's parents, Jim & Wendy, say Jeremy was a hard worker ever since he was a kid. Jeremy's wife, Melissa, doesn't think America cannot fall in love with Jeremy like she did. Piers says Jeremy will either win or die trying. I doubt either will happen. Howie says there's a lot involved with what Jeremy does, rather than just choosing a song and singing it. Jeremy's performance will be extra risky this time since he still has to recover from the last injuries. Does this mean he doesn't get to practice at all?

The biker from Talent, Oregon, is "Ridin' Solo," starting on the same riser as Nick Cannon. He has one little step back at the beginning, but he makes it look intentional. The tricks this time aren't as "holy wow" as the waterfall trick, but everything is done with more flair than he has ever exhibited. If this doesn't advance, I guarantee a bunch of extreme sports shows will be wanting him.

Howie had no idea how he could top last week's performance, but he did. He doesn't know how he can do something like this without being able to practice in his bedroom. Jeremy does say he got to practice four times, so at least he wasn't going in completely blind. Piers doesn't know what to say to this crowd-pleaser other than he gets better every round. Sharon's stomach is in knots from this sexy man's performance.

Taylor Mathews performs next. He was very nervous in the last round, and Piers noticed it. He was always shy at school, but he found sanctuary in music. His parents, Susan & Randy, say he's no longer shy anymore. Piers doesn't think Taylor is the best singer, but he has the potential to be the best performer in the competition. Taylor will be going back to the guitar for this performance, and he hopes every piece of himself apart from his nerves come forth.

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