Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Who impressed most in 'America's Got Talent' finals? - USA TODAY

Nick Cannon, looking sharp in his tuxedo, opened America's Got Talent's finals Wednesday night as six acts showcased their best stuff to snag $1 million and a show in Las Vegas.

After judges Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne and Howard Stern did their hellos, the fun got underway in Newark.

Here's how the acts stacked up:

First up: Artist David Garibaldi and his CMYK's. "Creatively, we want to go to a place where no one's gone before," said the artist. "I want to win this incredibly bad."

To The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again, he and his team members each took a large canvas and began throwing paint on it. At the final beat of the song, it was revealed to be a portrait of Einstein and the letters CMYK. Garibaldi was sweating purple paint.

Judge's comments: "This piece of art I would hang in my home," said Howard. "Einstein and I have the same hair. Not the same brain, but the same hair." Sharon said it was "amazing." Howie raved.

No. 2. Comedian Tom Cotter. The comedian got choked up in his taped segment, explaining that his kids mean everything to him. His wife, Kerri, cried, "We're living check to check, literally. So thank god, our prayers really have been answered. â?¦ This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing."

Cotter brought out a "comedy cube" with six topics. Nick rolled it and it came up "Poor Examples."

Cotter began riffing on parenting. "I think we are poor examples for our children sometimesâ?¦ You tuck the kid in at night, what's the last thing we say to kids at night? 'Don't let the bed bugs bite.' No potential for nightmares there!â?¦ Like Beauty and the Beast. The girl falls in love with a yak or a water buffalo â?¦ It was huge and hairy and wrong on many levels. â?¦ Sleeping Beauty. The girl passes out and the guy starts kissing her. That's illegal, ladies and gentlemen. â?¦. Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub? That's a good image for the kids. Why don't we have a picture of them lathering each other up? â?¦ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. One hot chick and seven middle-aged dwarfs. That's an adult film. â?¦ Every day they go off to work and call her a prostitute - 'Hi,ho! Hi, ho!'"

He got a loud standing ovation.

Judge's comments: Said Howard, "More than anyone on this stageâ?¦you always leave me wanting more. You are amazing. You're a terrific comedian. And in my book, a comedian deserves to win America's Got Talent, and it should be you."

No. 3. The Untouchables dance troupe. To Proud Mary, the kid dancers from Miami rocked the stage doing their usual leaping, spinning, twirling and shimmying stunts and tango and salsa steps.

Sharon Osbourne gave them a standing ovation. Little Ruby, 8, speaker for the group, grinned from ear to ear. "We're in the finals! I can't believe it! ... We're the future of America!"

Judge's comments: Sharon mentioned that they were as good as any adult group. "I hear you trash hotel rooms like middle-age rockers," said Howie, a reference to a New York Daily News story that said the "tiny terrors" were making noise and tossing objects out of their Newark hotel windows, prompting complaints from other hotel guests. Howard said it was "perfection."

No. 4. Joe Castillo, sand artist. "Tonight I'm going to do a tribute to the show that has radically changed my life." Starting with a picture of Nick Cannon, he pushed the sand into a portrait of Howie Mandel, which he then morphed into a portrait of Sharon Osbourne and finally into Howard Stern, with his long hair, sunglasses and a beret.

Judge's comment: Howard said he thought Joe had trouble in the beginning, "I thought Nick was Obama!" Howard added that Castillo is "amazing," but wasn't sure his portrait was accurate. "That looks like '80s Howard Stern -- or Dee Snider. Is that really me?"

No. 5. William Close and the Earth Harp Collective. The sexy and passionate musician gave what he called his "biggest performance yet." Wearing a black vest over his blue shirt and sporting his harp gloves, Williams worked his giant strings while surrounded by dancers, musicians and a singer.

Judge's comments: Howie praised all the "beautiful women" in his act, and promised to buy tickets to wherever he ends up. Sharon said, "William Close, you are a visionary." Howard said, "Everything was so unique." He praised every aspect of the act. "You're a contender."

No. 6. Olate Dogs. It's the first dog act ever to make the finals. Richard Olate and his son Nick put on the dog for the final show, including having one of the cute furry creatures drive out in a little car. A small dog did hurdles. A larger dog did hurdles on hind legs only! They closed with a dog doing back flips, followed by a wheelbarrow walk on the judges' table. Sharon snatched one of the dogs up in her arms. "This is pure love on this stage."

Howard said, "Sharon, that dog might be a millionaire. You better watch yourself." He said the act was "phenomenal. I"m going back and forth in my mind between a comedian, a guy with an earth harp and you guys."

We agree with Howard. So who deserves to win it all?

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