Were it not for some acts with serious potential, this episode may have had the poorest turnout of the season. This episode in New York, only five acts were confirmed passed by the judges.
There may actually have been six, depending on whether the ventriloquist John Pizzi passed or not. Pizzi was never shown being critiqued by the judges, and was in fact only shown performing for about five seconds. Considering how little time was devoted to him, the fair assumption would be that he either was either completely overshadowed in Las Vegas, or did not make it to Las Vegas at all.
The rest of the acts are:
#1: Snap Boogie (dancer)
Snap Boogie appears poised to continue the tradition of solo dancers that started in Season 4 with Hairo Torres and continued in Season 5 with Haspop. Snap Boogie’s dancing was just as unique, just as inventive, and just as entertaining to watch.
Snap may be lacking to his predecessors, however, in terms of professionalism. Snap was indeed talented, but did not necessarily look well prepared. His hat fell off during a flip, for example, and it almost tripped him up after his dance routine took him into the area it landed. Right now, Snap doesn’t look prepared enough to live up to the reputation of Torres and Haspop, but since he has the raw talent, the judges should be expected to give him the chance to prove otherwise.
Chances of performing live: High
Forecasted placement: Semifinalist
#2: Michael Turco (magician)
Turco’s performance was, simply put, rapid-fire shadow boxes. They were all standard run of the mill magic, though he did them all so quickly and so effortlessly, which made for an energetic performance.
Turco’s dilemma is that there have been more magicians than usual at this point in the open calls, the majority of which also performed with nothing but shadow boxes. Even if Turco does not bomb in Vegas (as magicians on AGT are wont to do), the judges may just sweep an entire pile of entrants off of the table for being exactly alike, Turco being one of them.
Chances of performing live: Low
Forecasted placement: Indeterminable
#3: Steven Retchless (“Polefessional”)
By “Polefessional,” he means a male pole dancer.
Right now, Steven Retchless looks a lot like Leonid the Magnificent, only not nearly as talented. There is obviously no accounting for taste among Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel, but that should give you a very good idea of where he will sit with America.
Sharon Osbourne proclaimed her opinion that America will fall in love with this creepy painted pole dancer in stiletto shoes. She has said this several dozen times in the past and has only been right once (with Prince Poppycock) — she needs to get it through her thick skull that what she likes is not what America likes (and if she can’t, she should be fired).
#4: ELEW (pianist)
ELEW had all the makings of a train wreck waiting to happen, namely a comic book-inspired alter ego and a claim to having some kind of mutant power. Fortunately, he played the piano very well and in a very inventive way; by reaching in and handling the wires like one would a guitar. It worked very well.
ELEW is the first act this season that seems almost a definite for the live shows. He has a bizarre personality that can fill in one of the judges’ “camp” requirements, and he is genuinely talented and highly original. America will probably be turned off by his antics and take a pass on him, but he meets all of the judges’ usual requirements for sure.
Chances of performing live: Definite
Forecasted placement: First-round elimination
#5: Landau Murphy Jr. (singer)
America finally got its Susan Boyle moment. Landau Murphy Jr. looked rastafarian, pointed and laughed when he saw Howie Mandel and did a Bobby impersonation, and was advised by Piers Morgan to spit out his gum before singing.
But the voice that came out of him was that of Frank Sinatra. It was one of the most surprising turnarounds in the history of America’s Got Talent.
It would be wonderful to also declare Landau Murphy Jr. a definite for the live shows as well, but if Murphy Jr. is cut in Las Vegas, it would not be the first time the judges have sent home an act that could have had the potential to win it all.
Donald Braswell from Season 3, Rashida Jolley from Season 4 and Carlos Aponte from Season 5, just to name a few.
Landau Murphy Jr. is what America’s Got Talent is all about. But a cautious dose of pessimism may be all that will save the AGT audience from one of the biggest Vegas shockers in the show’s entire six-season history.
Chances of performing live: High
Forecasted placement: Top 5