Pop Culture

Meet the top 10 ‘Got Talent’ finalists

Took them long enough! Fully two and a half months after the very first of this season’s Hoffisms and our introduction to a little group called The Voices of Glory, we’ve arrived — FINALLY; MERCIFULLY — at the hallowed finals of this never-ending talent competition. The top 10 has been named!

Like I suggested in yesterday’s recap, the five chosen to advance from this second crop of semifinalists were a fairly predictable bunch: Hairo Torres, Recycled Percussion, Barbara Padilla and Lawrence Beamen were a lock from at least the quarterfinals, and proved that America isn’t always making poor decisions. And Drew Stevyns, someone whose Daughtry-style rock I figured couldn’t match up with EriAm’s age and mass appeal, was a welcome choice to round out the group. Welcome to the finals, guys.

So rudely preempted by President Obama’s address to Congress, our favorite infuriating show got started a little late last night. Luckily the results came almost immediately as FootworKINGz and Hairo Torres were called to center stage. Part of me hoped that America would see fit to grant the former another chance after a less-than-dynamite routine, but no such mercy existed for the foot workers (that sounds dirty) from Chicago — they were the first to go home. Hairo Torres, the guy I’d like to see win it all, nabbed the sixth finals slot.

You could only feel bad for Jeffrey Ou and Erik & Rickie, simultaneously eliminated in typically ham-handed style by Nick. They were both promising acts to begin with, but a lack of range — and some questionable routine choices — ultimately proved their undoing. Now they get to go back to school and contract swine flu.

Another no-brainer in the next match-up as Nick called forward Mario & Jenny and Recycled Percussion, the latter walking away with the nod. It’s unfortunate that Mario & Jenny couldn’t pull it together in their last performance — the “entertainment” genre they work in is one that’s sorely missing from a show that’s become all too singing-crazy, and seeing them light even bigger s--- on fire in the finals would have been fun. Of course, fellow purveyors of Vegas-style entertainment, Recycled Percussion, didn’t help the cause by doing so well. They’ll no doubt go far into the finals.

NOTE: Auditions for the next season of “America’s Got Talent,” we’re told, will start in October. This show will never end.

With three spots left to divvy up, four contestants were brought out on stage: Lawrence Beamen, Drew Stevyns, Barbara Padilla and EriAm. Two of those spots were obviously going to Padilla and Beamen, and (mostly) deservedly so. Piers’ claim that “the whole of America is going to remember where they were when they heard you sing” remark is more than a bit hyperbolic, and the producers’ obvious positioning of Lawrence is more than a little annoying, but still — both remain in the top tier of “AGT” chops. Left to ponder their fate a little longer, or at least until Ice-T showed up for the latest “SVU” rerun, were singers Stevyns and EriAm. No judges’ pick. No “spontaneous” decision to accept both. Just raw tallies, the show’s (many?) voters deciding who would advance. In the end…they chose Drew Stevyns. Fine by me, it was time for bed anyway.

So there you have it — five new performers to add to the season 4 top 10. The full list (with linked semifinal performance videos) here:

How do you feel about this selection, guys? Are you as unnerved as I am to realize that 6 of the 10 finalists (nearly 2/3 of what we’ll see on Monday) are singers? Excited to see your favorite act in the finals? Or just so, so ready to spend a long winter away from the Orville Redenbacher lounge? Express yourself in the comments section, and don’t forget to tune in on MONDAY of next week (not Tuesday) for the finals. See you then!

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