‘America’s Got Talent’ 2011: Las Vegas round begins cuts toward Top 48 — NBC aired a double-feature of America’s Got Talent Tuesday night. It was also the first night of the Las Vegas round, where dozens of acts passed through from the open auditions were put into categories and asked to perform again for the Hollywood round and the Top 48. The round was taped at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, a 7,000-seat venue. However, the only audience to speak of in the theater were the three judges. Who got through?
Ten acts were automatically sent through to the live Hollywood round shows without having to perform in Vegas first. These 10 were: The Silhouettes; Squonk Opera; Professor Splash; Rhinestone Ropers; Lys Agnes; the Fearless Flores Family; Melissa Villasenor; Captain and Maybelle; Team iLuminate; and Miami All-Stars.
That left 38 spots open for the live shows. Judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandel let the contestants know that they were on one of two lists — the “judges’ favorites” list that would perform first. These acts were considered by the judges to have the highest chance of making it through to Hollywood. The second list was the “stand-by” list, who would perform the next day. The judges announced that if an act in either group was considered by them to be sub-standard, they could decide to send the act home right then and there. Spots remaining open after the favorites round would be filled from the stand-by round.
The Danger category went first followed by the Vocal Groups. 4Play, a singing group of four women, went off tune toward the end of their performance and were immediately sent home. The Acrobats category pit two pole dancers against one another. Steven Retchless performed a more athletic and less sensual routine this time than in his open audition. His competitor, Soleil, gave a performance that did not satisfy her as much as her first routine. Still, she defended her skills when asked by Howie Mandel how she compared with Mr. Retchless. She said she had more grace, and he had more strength.
The Magic acts did not impress the judges as much this time around, and the Animal acts didn’t seem in the mood to perform. The Classical Singers brought out the pressure between those who were classically trained for years and those who had less experience. Cindy Chang, 42, who was called another potential Susan Boyle last week, sang too “warbly” for the judges this time and was sent right home.
The Dance group acts suffered injuries, and the Comedian category had the roughest time performing for just three people in a venue that can hold 7,000.
In the end, the judges announced the following contestants are going to Hollywood: singing twins act Mona Lisa, magician Scott Alexander; comedians Geechy Guy and J. Chris Newberg; dance group Fatally Unique; bands PopLyfe and Fiddleheads; daredevils the Yellow Designs Stunt Team; Frank Miles; Charles Peachock; parrot Echo; and Funny Little People. Also to be seen again on AGT are: Kinetic King; Stephen Retchless; street dancer Snap Boogie; Justin Bieber-lookalike and singer/songwriter, Dani Shay; singer Dezmond Meeks; and Sinatra-like singer, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr..
Wednesday night, NBC will broadcast the stand-by auditions from Las Vegas on America’s Got Talent. The show begins at 9:00 p.m. ET.