"America's Got Talent" continued Tuesday night with its Wild Card show. It's "all about redemption," says judge Howie Mandel, pointing out that the 12 returning acts have a chance to get back into the race for a million bucks.
Ah yes, that's true, my mad-tweeting, bald germaphobe. But it's also about "frustration," because we thought we had seen the last of these acts -- bidding good riddance to some of them forever (Yes, we mean you, Mr. Horse, possessor of the indestructible balls of fury). Instead, we were subjected to him and other true nut jobs again.
Oh, and it's also apparently about the danger as several acts -- desperate to top themselves and others -- risked life and limb as Mandel and fellow judges Howard Stern and Sharon Osbourne gleefully cheered them on. Um, people, maybe it's time to take it down a notch or two before you have a death on your hands.
Here's the rundown of reruns:
-- Spencer Horsman (Brought back by Howard Stern): The escape artist is not dead yet. But he keeps pushing it. Spence is locked up in a metal suit, inside a glass tank of wet cement. Very tense -- and messy. He emerges with a concrete facial. He gets a standing ovation from the judges. "Had you killed yourself, we would have given you the million dollars," says Stern, who apparently gets off on the "real sense of danger."
And the night's theme is established.
-- All That! (Sharon's Osbourne's pick): This group of male clog-dancers
-- Jarrett & Raja (Howie's pick): Remember them? The magician and concert pianist were booed last time out. Hey, but this is about redemption, right? This time they deliver a glitzy new illusion in which the pianist is locked up in a crate marked "Fragile." The crate is hoisted into the air and goes "kablewie." But where's the piano man? In the audience! Whoa. Well done. Howie is beside himself, all aroused -- like he had something to do with the trick. Sharon calls it "spectacular." We call it ... REDEMPTION!
-- Jake Wesley Rogers (Sharon's pick): Oh, not that kid again. The 15-year-old singer should be working in a term paper in high school. Instead, he's singing Lady Gaga's "Edge of Glory." Fun hair. Nice suit. The song? Zzzzzzzzzz. We're starting to question the talent-appraising abilities of our lame-duck judge.
-- Cristin Sandu (Howie's pick): It's hard to explain what this guy does.. He stacks metal cylinders, then climbs up and balances on them. Last time, he fell. This time, he falls again and kicks a cylinder in frustration, even though it really wasn't the cylinder's fault. The judges feel sorry for him and Howard says that, even with the miscue, he's exciting to watch. Please, Howard. Don't encourage the guy.
-- Todd Oliver (Howard's pick): The comical ventriloquist with his feisty dog returns and the pooch is running for president. Lots of election-year humor ensues (and some digs at Joe Biden). It's good for a few laughs and he's got a decent chance of returning. Sharon gives it a "10." We wouldn't go that far, but the mutt does amuse us.
-- The Bandbaz Brothers (Sharon's pick): The nutty guys who balance on each others' heads claim they are putting their lives on the line with a new trick. In fact, they say a relative died doing what they're about to do. (Did NBC know this ahead of time?) We have no idea how to describe it, but let's just call it mouth-to-mouth sword balancing. It takes strength, guts and probably a healthy dose of stupidity. Very nerve-racking. Hey, let's see it again!
-- Sebastien "El Charro de Oro" (Howie's pick): The pint-sized mariachi singer has been practicing five hours day for this moment. He does a zesty version of Sinatra's "New York, New York." He's got good stage presence and he's certainly confident and adorable, but, really, we've seen enough.
-- Horse. (Howard's pick): The aforementioned Mr. Numb Nuts is back. But what more can he do? "Believe it or not, there are a million different ways to get hit in the balls," Horse says. "And I'm not even close to being done yet." That's exactly what scares us. This time, the abuse includes, among other things, golf clubs, metal pipes and mousetraps. We're this close to barfing.
-- Lindsey Norton (Sharon's pick): The energetic dancer/gymnast shows up in a sparkly red outfit and does a lot of acrobatic tumbling. She's good and graceful, but we just spent a lot of time watching Gabby Douglas and others doing something similar. It may not be enough for her to stand out. Besides, it doesn't like she's close to dying.
-- Andrew de Leon (Howie's pick): The Marilyn Mason look-alike with the creepy eyes is back, but can he overcome his jittery nerves? Yes! He belts his way through a Spanish, operatic version of "Unbreak My Heart" that draws a standing ovation from the audience. The "redemption" word is uttered once again. The judges gush. Expect to see more of Andrew.
-- Ben Blaque (Howard's pick): We really did not want to see this risk-taking archery dude again, mainly because he scares the hell out of us. He blindfolds himself and nearly shoots himself in the head. Instead, an innocent apple is impaled. "Good for you. You're a crazy man," Stern says, as we wonder if we really want to be watching "AGT" when someone finally does die.
"This has been the most exciting episode to date," Howie gushes. "It was so different, so dangerous, so scary ..."
Suddenly, we feel like kicking someone in the gonads.