For fans, the past four months of America's Got Talent have seemed to fly by, particularly when there are only six acts vying for that final vote, $1 million, and a new career beginning at the Palazzo in the Venetian hotel on the Las Vegas strip on September 26. For the performers, and the judges on the panel, however, the months of hard work come down to one more 90-second shot. This seventh season has put variety at the forefront. Which act would make the most lasting impression and move America to the most votes?
Taking the stage like painting Power Rangers, David Garibaldi and His CMYKs rocked again to the familiar chords of The Who and "We Don't Get Fooled Again," the artists still fooled the judges until the very end, presenting Albert Einstein as their honored subject, Garibaldi saying the genius represented creativity and the limitless future of the mind. Howie Mandel raved that he loved how their presentation was always "so different," and offered congratulations to Garibaldi's real-life reproduction in another child on the way. Howard Stern called Garibaldi a "super talent," but said he was fooled because he and Einstein shared the same hair, as Sharon Osbourne quipped she and the subject had the same mustache! She said the wait for the reveal was "well worth it."
Tom Cotter rolled his comedic dice again, literally, to decide his routine, and morphed a poor role models topic into a romp through the wrongness of children's nursery rhymes and stories. By Cotter's past standards, the laughs came a little slower, but they did come, and the judges gave a unified ovation, Howard Stern saying that he proved that a comic could get to the top and it "should be you" to Tom. Howie Mandel said his completely off-the-cuff routine just demonstrated again how Cotter "clawed your way to the top again," as Sharon simply thanked Tom for being there, and remarked she would love to see him with a drink in his hand and doing his routine. The comic did take it off, perhaps for Sharon, letting his pectorals do his pleas for votes!
The Untouchables went retro with their Tina Turner tribute to "Proud Mary," complete with sparkling fringe, shaking hips, and even a little swim from the young star, Ruby, whose tears of joy can never be contained. Sharon Osbourne stood in ovation, but Howie Mandel said he was not as moved by this American rock 'n roll routine as the troupe's past performances, as Howard Stern complimented that their "level of perfection" was still remarkable. Ruby was simply thrilled to relish the moment, saying that "we are the future" to America and the audience.
Joe Castillo still was the master in his sand painting, but instead of his moving universal themes of mankind and nature, he chose to make portraits of the America's Got Talent crew that brought him to America's attention, including host Nick Cannon, who Howie Mandel said resembled President Obama, as Howard Stern quipped that Sharon looked Asian and he couldn't decide whether his image was more himself in the 80s or Dee Snyder. Mandel said it was still moving to see "the plight of the judges," and Stern called Castillo a "true artist." Sharon said she loved his talent, but had hoped for "something more spiritual" for his close.
Judges' favorite, William Close, and his Earth Harp Collective, went for a kind of new age patriotism in his performance of "America the Beautiful," this time replacing singers with dancers and eclectic props in a "symphony" performance. The panel and the audience rose in appreciation, and clearly approved of the replacements, Howie Mandel saying he loved the addition of "more women," and Howard Stern naming Close a "smart showman," going for more spectacle instead of the singers drowning him out. Sharon called the musician a "visionary" saying this was only his beginning, and that his act was a "whole experience" that could move any audience.
The Olate Dogs were the perfect closers for the night, as the precious pooches drove right onto the stage and into hearts again, as Bella drove their "car-poodle." Beyond the Conga line, the back flipping, and the rolls that have come to be beloved favorites in only a few weeks, these pups and their devoted trainers put so many tricks together, it's hard to see them all. They sent special love to Sharon, sending their latest little star right to her arms with a lick, and she got in a little sting, perhaps at NBC executives, saying dogs are "never deceptive," while Howie Mandel kept his praise pure, saying the pups could take the title. Howard Stern said his call was between Tom Cotter, William Close, and the dogs who upstaged him before the credits! More remarkable than the incredible training display is the genuine affection between the trainers and these super intelligent dogs. Win or not, the experience of this competition will be life-changing for the humans, but still mean love for the canines.
The vote results for the title are tomorrow, as Season 7 will reveal the tally for the winner!