September 17, 2008 07:12 PM by DA Southern
America’s Got Talent screams towards this seasons exciting conclusion but first we have to get the Top 10 down to the Top 5 and it all begins tonight. If there was ever at time where the nerves were left backstage, this would be the night as if ever a bad performance would be your downfall, this would be it. Welcome to the final push on America’s Got Talent.
Jerry Springer excitedly told us how crucial the competition was for the Top 10 and that it was now or never for our contestants and what was at stake with the million dollar prize waiting for the winner. The judges, Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff, were greeted by Jerry and each was quick to discuss the crucial aspect for a great performance this evening. “The Hoff” summed it up the best when he said that the acts had to go for the money tonight as they each had to realize how close the money was at this point.
Each of the contestants were seen telling how important it was to be in the finals and to win it all and what it would do for their lives, although once they get to the Top 5 it would be easy to see several of them not even having to win the Vegas prize to succeed.
Our Top 10 excursion started tonight with Jerry’s exclamation of “Heroes” week as all of the acts were dedicating their acts to a hero of theirs. Paul Salos, our Sinatra crooner, said his hero was, of course, Frank Sinatra, and was dedicating her performance to his wife. Piers managed to get a buzz off on poor Paul after he started singing, which threw him for a moment, but he regained his composer to get to the end. Piers said that he has done Sinatra proud but that he was not a million dollar act at this point. Sharon said it was up to the American public and The Hoff added that “He nailed it,” the song “New York, New York” that is.
Our young Kaitlyn Maher, whose hero was her dad because it made him smile when she sang, began on the stairs and singing a Michael Jackson song, “I’ll be there.” She was shaky at best, but at least she remembered all of the words. Piers said he wouldn’t criticize her because she wouldn’t understand him if he did, but that she probably doesn’t deserve to be on a Vegas stage. Sharon said she looked good in red, whatever that meant, and David said that he was happy to have been on the journey with her, which was code for “America, uhh, she is done.”
America’s favorite, Donald Braswell, said that his hero was his wife and told us about his accident and how it almost ended his career, but how his wife encouraged him. The Hoff was concerned that Donald hadn’t connected with the audience yet, but I guess he forgot that America voted him back. Donald was in great voice tonight as he sang a Josh Groban song and only really had one note that seemed off. Piers said that there were a lot of great singers in the competition but was not sure if he could compare in the end. Sharon said he looked sexy and sang great and David added that he would definitely buy his album if he had one.
Jerry said the next act was recently working on a factory assembly line prior to becoming a Top 10 favorite. Jessica Price talked about her hero, her mom, who she called “Her angel.” Jessica was always told to follow her dreams and she dedicated her song to her tonight by Sara McLaughlin, “In The Arms of An Angel.” Jessica looked more confident than she has been, sang superbly, and managed not to get buzzed by Piers, probably because she looked like an angel as well. Piers said that for the first time he felt the emotion from her and Sharon called her performance, “Just perfect.” The Hoff added that he felt that she channeled all of the pain and heartache she felt into the song and could win it all.
Joseph Hall, Elvis Man, was back to once again see if he could spread his charisma enough to get into the Top 5 as he talked about how he idolized Elvis and how he listened to him on road trips with his dad. Sharon was not sure of his conviction and if he actually belonged and wondered if he could give it all to get to the top. Joseph, in traditional Elvis white, actually got his mojo back as he truly channeled Elvis and seemed to have the voice and the moves all going in the right direction. Piers said his singing was terrible, but said that he was “Incredibly entertaining.” Sharon said that she couldn’t hear the whole song because of the screaming but said he was getting more confident each week. David said he was on his game and had everyone in the room screaming, including the girl he was dating.
Neal E. Boyd’s chance encounter in a school encounter with a teacher, his choir director, who encouraged him to sing in the choir. Neal said he was taking a popular song, “All By Myself,” and putting his own spin on it as he dedicated his performance to his choir director. Neal’s song seemed to start a little slow and not as strong as he has been in the past, but he seemed to have full voice a s he got to the middle of the song. Piers thought his song a big risk and said that he was like watching a volcano, but should stick to opera. Sharon said that she didn’t like the song for him, but he could sing anything. David agreed with Piers and Sharon and said that Neal was easily the front-runner in the competition.
Queen Emily was next to strut her royalty across the stage as she proclaimed her grandmother as her hero and the one who encouraged her to sing. The Queen, who was influenced by Billie Holiday, chose a Holiday song to sing for America and one that Jennifer Hudson sang in “Dream Girls.” The Queen was tremendous voice and sang with as much passion as Hudson in the movie and it would be a shock if she wasn’t headed to the Top 5. Piers and the rest of the judges were on their feet and Piers said she was something special. Sharon said she had the perfect combination of talent and charisma and The Hoff said she “Hit it out of the park tonight.”
Nuttin But Stringz, who Jerry said had torn up the rule book when it came to violins, proclaimed that their hero was their mom who raised them right and wanted to dedicate this song to her and that the song tonight was a big risk. A gaggle of drummers started their performance, which didn’t seem to fit the mold they had been known for. The boys sounded almost Celtic tonight in their playing and, as usual, hit a home run with their performance showing that they could play a diverse selection in a Vegas show. Piers said it was a brave song, one of their own, and said he would definitely pay to see them in Vegas. Sharon said it was a show stopper and they were so versatile. David said Sharon said it all and that every time they came out they were so fresh.
The final act of the night, Eli Matson, who said his biggest hero was Elton John. After seeing him in concert he realized that he wanted to perform like him and would perform an Elton song tonight to make America love him enough to be in the finals. Eli sang “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” and played like a seasoned pro who had been on stage forever. Piers said that he did a great job tonight and could call him up to sit in for him. Sharon said that Elton was watching tonight and would be proud and David said that he was worried after hearing the other acts but said that he brought it and was truly a money player tonight.
It will be tough for America to choose five as there are at least six who deserve to be in the finals. Tomorrow night we will learn who the Top 5 will be and hopefully we will not be disappointed by America’s picks.
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Photos Courtesy of NBC