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iApprove: Queen Emily. And other people.

October 2, 2008

Now that America’s Got Talent has reached its end for this year, I thought I’d give a shout-out to some of my favorite contestants.  In fact, since I’m not a judge on the show, I think I’ll sit down right now and let out some of the opinions I’ve been keeping bottled up about the contestants, based on different categories.  (Note that these aren’t necessarily the best contestants; they’re just the ones that stood out the most in my mind, for whatever reason.  My personal favorites.)

I’ll start with my Favorite Top 5 contestant: “Queen Emily” David.

I loved this woman from the very first.  Her rendition of “Chain of Fools” in her audition was breathtaking, and every performance (except perhaps Vegas, which was a little dodgy) has been equally impressive.  She is, without a doubt, my favorite singer in the competition — and I don’t even like her genre.  But she has a wonderful, powerful, voice, and beautiful energy, and she’s just gorgeous.  I don’t think any of the contestants could top that.

Now, my favorite Top 10 contestant: Joseph Hall.

Yet again, I find myself in the awkward position of praising something I normally don’t care for.  To elaborate, I am referring to Elvis.  I find his face irritating, his clothes tacky, and his singing obnoxious.

So why would I like an Elvis impersonator?

For one thing, Joseph is much sexier (a very important factor) than Elvis.  His face is better-looking, and his figure is more slender, so he looks much better in the wardrobe.  His dance moves are incredibly spot-on, and his singing is a little less “out there” than Elvis’, which I appreciate.  He’s fun to watch, fun to listen to, and oh-so-gorgeous.

Favorite Top 20 contestant: The Wright Kids.

When I saw these kids in the Top 40, singing Daydream Believer, I thought to myself, “Meh.  They’re not that good.”  Why, I wondered, had the judges let them through?  (Aside, of course, from the fact that they’re cute.)  Well, when they came back in the Top 20 and performed “Rockin’ Robin”, I knew why.  They were awesome.  They sounded great, they looked great, their lead singer was a perfect little showman, and they twirled the bass.  No, let me rephrase that: the six-year-old twirled the bass, which was several inches taller than him.  The Wright Kids totally stole my heart, and they did it in a lovable retro manner.

My favorite Top 40 contestant, plus the Most Engaging contestant, my Favorite overall contestant, and tied for Favorite Audition: Jonathan Burkin.

This man is made of awesome.  Every time he comes on stage with the flaming batons and the sparkly shirts and the dance moves and the FIRE and the JUGGLING and the HOLY COW HE JUST FLIPPED ACROSS THE STAGE AND CAUGHT THE THING…  I’ll keep it short: when this man performs, I do not breathe.  Every ion of my brain is occupied watching him move.  He takes my breath away, and he keeps it.  He probably needs it.  Moves like that need a lot of oxygen.

Anyway, on to my Favorite Audition: This is a tough category.  Jonathan Burkin has already tied for it, but he’s going to have to share the limelight.  And the lucky duck to share the position is Randy Hanson.

Let’s face it, the Myspace auditions were lame. There were a few decent ones – Daniel Jens and Holly Stone, for example – but they were, for the most part, pretty darn bad.

Then came Randy Hanson.

Yes, he was crazy.  He was ugly, and a bad singer, and an Ozzy Osbourne impressionist, for crying out loud.  But it was a darned good impression, the crowd went ballistic, and when Sharon asked him to remove his pants… well, it was an absolutely unforgettable audition.

Now for some other categories, starting with Favorite Crossdresser: Shequida.

This guy was just nuts.  But it was a funny nuts, and a well-sung one.  His singing range is incredible — I don’t know anyone else who can do both the male and female parts of the song he did.  Plus he’s a darned pretty woman.

Favorite Crazy Act: That nerd stripper guy.

You frighten me, but I love you so.  I have to agree with Piers; this guy didn’t have the package needed for his act (a nerd striptease).  But it was humorous, and he is a reasonably attractive fellow otherwise.  He just needs to… refine his style, if you know what I mean.  He was both disturbing and entertaining at the same time (kind of like Leonid the Magnificent).  And that is something that every season of America’s Got Talent needs to have.

Finally, the Most Talented Act: Nuttin’ But Stringz.

Are they rapping violinists?  Or violining rappers?  Probably the former, but I’m not inclined to care.  What they are is awesome.  Their music is incredible, they’re fun to watch, and they’re the only act to have solely performed their own compositions throughout the competition.  If I have one complaint with these guys, it’s their wardrobe, but that’s it.  I will definitely be purchasing their CD (which, by the way, can be obtained through their website for the price of $14.95.  I approve of this, too).

And that pretty much wraps it up.  Sure, I’ve got an opinion for every act I’ve ever seen, but these are my personal favorites (in some cases, favorite torture sessions, but I’m a masochist too).  Congratulations to the Top 5, and I look forward to seeing the best (and worst) of America’s talent again next year.

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