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Americas Got Talent surprisingly lets the incredible Acro-Dunk go back to Houston.

America's Got Talent surprisingly lets the incredible Acro-Dunk go back to Houston.

America’s Got Talent people — What were you thinking? You sent Acro-Dunk home??

Acro-Dunk kicked ass every millisecond they were onstage. Just incredible stuff.

Not that Voices of Glory wasn’t excellent — they’re amazing. And the Fab Five was alright. They were good.

But nobody’s been anything — AN-Y-THING — like Acro-Dunk, least of all in their semi-finals performance. Which culminated in an astounding multiple-flip-through-a-flaming-hoop dunk.

Oh, did I mention that the basketball hoop was on fire? So there was that, too.

Holy cannoli, spiccoli.

Now two of my favorite acts — that Indian dance group, who were stunning, and Acro-Dunk — are gone.

In my mind it’s down to Grandma Lee and Kevin Skinner. Either one would make a great story. The 75-year-old standup comic and the Louisiana ex-chicken catcher.

You couldn’t write this stuff.

I’m pissed about Acro-Dunk, though. Especially considering how it went down. The final three were Acro-Dunk, The Voices of Glory and The Fab Five, and then AD was sent home leaving the judges to select one of the remaining two.

They decided to throw the rules out and send both of them through. Cool, cool, good for both of them, but WHAT ABOUT THE BEST ACT OF THE WHOLE SHOW?

(In case I was unclear before, that would be Acro-Dunk)

I’ll never watch the show again. Not until it’s on next week. Those bastards.

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I have to admit it.

I didn’t want to like it.

But America’s Got Talent drew me in.

Maybe it’s the Hoff, so cartoonish and predictable, but so in on the joke that it doesn’t matter. The other day, because they were in Texas, Hasselhoff came out — in slow motion, mind you — dressed to the nines in a cowboy outfit. Spurs and everything.

His judging is often suspect. Not that it matters, since Sharon and Piers are much more no-nonsense. But say someone goes up and is only moderately good. If that someone is an attractive girl, the Hoff is sold. This is more so if it’s a group of cute girls or twins/ triplets.

The contestants have frequent and highly entertaining failures, too. Recently a man came out dressed in what looked to be ninja gear, including the hood. He looked to be a very unlikely ninja, though, with the ninja outfit not at all concealing his out of shape body. He goes out, announces that he’s just discovered his talent recently and says that that talent is dancing. TOE DANCING. He lays on the floor and sticks his right big toe through this box to provide it with a stage and put a little afro wig on it. The ‘dancing was’ his toe wiggling, I shit you not. He had two problems besides the obvious. First, — and I never expected I would ever write this sentence — the wig kept falling off of his toe. This led directly to the second problem, which was his constantly sitting up to fix the wig and obstructing everyone’s view of his toe.

He was rendered into a man in black pajamas sitting onstage with his back to the audience fidgeting with his toe. I guess that’s not really much of a drop from being a man in black pajamas laying flat on the floor and wiggling his be-wigged toe, which was his intention, so perhaps it was a wash.

Host Nick Cannon is great fun as well, commenting hilariously at times and being totally down-to-earh and cool. Host-y without being too host-y.

But as entertaining stuff like that is, I think the thing that really makes America’s Got Talent fun is the awesomeness of moments like this.

With that, I propose the America’s Got Talent Drinking Game. Drink whenever you hear the following:

• “You are what this show is ALL ABOUT!”

• “You’re an INSPIRATION.” (including variants)

• “You’re the BEST ACT WE’VE SEEN!” (including variants)

• “You SCHOCKED us!”

What else? Add to this to make this the best America’s Got Talent drinking game EVER!!

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Kates haircut, for the 100,000,000th time

Kate's haircut, for the 100,000,000th time

Did anyone see this coming? I mean, really??

Seriously, isn’t this like announcing that the first day of Summer is here? Everyone knew this was coming — so no surprise there — and it’s already happened anyway.

I don’t even pay attention one iota to this crap, and I feel like I already knew this. Same with the girlfriend. I got home from rehearsal last night, she told me the ‘news,’ and a brief discussion of the newsworthiness unfolded.

Even forgetting about the moldiness of the news, this is seriously a story worth this coverage, eclipsing Iranian election protests and the North Korean nuclear standoff and the Styx visit to the White House?

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Yesterday’s Cavett clip re-picqued my interest in scanning the interwebs for more interesting Dick Cavett Clips, and in my search I was surprised to discover that he has been blogging at the New York Times website for a few years now, often interspercing clips from his shows throughout.

Cavett was apparently both a junior champion gymnas  and a magician in his youth (talk back too well rounded), and I discovered in that NYT blog a great column and accompaning clip of the late great italian Magician Slydini (who I too had never heard of).

What is interesting about Slydini (besides a clearly kick ass name) is that he did not generally allow his magic to be filmed as he felt it hurt the power and majesty of his tricks.  But for Cavett, a sympathetic fellow magician, he made an exception.  And thank goodness he did.  What follows are some of the simplest yet most amazing (not to mention poetic examples of sleight of hand) tricks I’ve ever seen.   In particular, I was impressed by the coin tricks in the second clip, where his slight of hand is so amazing he literally makes the coins vanish before our eyes.

and this was shot by PBS in 1977, so no CGI here:

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On film critic Glenn Kenny’s filmblog this morning is a link to a clip from the old Dick Cavett show in which the non-professional actor stars of the then current Antonini film Zabriskie Point are, well, attempted to be interviewed by not just Cavett, but by fellow guests Mel Brooks and Rex Reed as well.

Antonini is, of course, the old Italian director who, long before Seinfeld, made films that appeared to be about nothing (most famously, Blow Up, which I think most folks these days know from seeing the poster, posted to the right, in college dorm rooms and post-college apartments).

The only Antonini film I’ve seen is Blow Up, and truth be told I need to see it again.  The most that I can tell happened are these things:  Jane Birkin (muse of Serge Gainsbourg, mother of Charlotte Gainsbourg) was (from what I’ve read) the first to show full frontal nudity in an english language, non-blue film; and in a non-sequitur of a scene in a swinging London night club, a Yardbirds live performance climaxes with Jeff Beck tossing his guitar into the audience, and the audience tearing it apart.  Or did Jeff tear it apart first?  Like I said, I need to see it again.

Not to blather on too long, since the point of this post is the Dick Cavett clip, but at the time of the release of  Zabriskie Point – just released on DVD last week – it was apparently the apex of Antonini’s international fame.  The couple interviewed actually do NOT endorse the film, and Reed asks a question about Antonini’s supposed comment about actors deserving to be treated as cattle (which Kenny points out is actually a quote Hitchcock made).

Anyhow the clip is interesting on many levels, not the least of which is being from the age before PR mavens and star handlers tightly choreographed almost all guest appearances, forcing us to these days only be able to count on Mike Tyson, Joaquin Phoenix, and Crispin Glover for those awkward, unpredictable (and usually the best) talk show appearances:

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We’ve all heard so much about that Kate woman with all those kids and her new haircut. But no one is talking about where she got the idea for it.

Mel Tormé rocked Kate's hairstyle back in the late '80s.

Mel Tormé rocked Kate's hairstyle back in the late '80s.

Yeah, that’s right. You heard it here first.

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One of the really fun things about Remy is how much he loves to get partner Don Orsillo, the Sox play-by-play guy since 2001, completely lost in laughter. He’ll see that Don is starting to lose it, and he just pushes him over the edge if he can.

Check this clip out. And listen close at the beginning of the clip — you can hear Don trying to hold it together right from the beginning. Awesome!

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