Last night’s show started with a dance intro that was either a throwback Third Reich political protest or a Tyce “Jazz Hands” Diorio Charlie Chaplin routine. The jury’s still out. In the meantime, the remaining 16 hopefuls danced their hearts out for guest judge Christina Applegate who accompanied Sir Nigel Lythgoe and Wailin’ Mary Murphy at the executioners’ table. Hip-hop-babysitters George and Tiffany took us on a frothy pop-locking teletubby trip. Sir Nigel requested more hip than hop in future routines of this caliber but made light of its entertainment value. Ms. Applegate requested more sip from “soupier” performance sop during the routine’s slower moments.
We all were almost at risk of not actually seeing the anxiety-filled night of AGT results thanks to Mr. “Mc-Nick” Cannon whose plaid-crazed pants were more of a visual assault than fashion statement. Mc-Nick managed to successfully clash with anything and everything within 12 feet of his costume catastrophe. When Ulysses with his own lollipop attire joined Mc-Nick on stage, it was an all-out war of the wardrobes. Luckily, America’s votes stopped the optical madness by sending Ulysses home along with David “The Bullet” Smith. The dynamite “Olate Dogs” crawled away with the win!
David “The Bullet” Smith launched the last of the AGT quarterfinals this week, and it proved to be an explosive start, indeed, for the remaining bunch. David’s post-propulsion rant took up more time than did his actual act in which he expelled himself via human cannon 40 yards through the air outside the AGT showtime headquarters. But at least “The Bullet” was still alive to tell the tale.
With the non-waiver trading deadline six days away contending teams are making deals to help them get into the post season. The Pittsburgh Pirates obtained Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros for three minor league prospects. This trade will give the Pirates three solid starters in their rotation. Rodriguez was 7-9 with a 3.79 ERA with Houston this season. Pittsburgh trails Cincinnati by 21/2 games in the National League Central Division but are tied for the first slot in the wild card race with Atlanta.
The Penn State football program was hit hard by the NCAA this morning. The NCAA leveled a 60 million dollar fine; scholarship reductions of 10 immediately and 20 over the next four seasons, a four year bowl ban, and the program must vacate all victories from 1998 to 2011. What will really cripple the program are the scholarship reductions. Penn State will have 75 scholarship players this season and that number will fall to 65 after this coming season. The allowable limit for Division One teams is 85 scholarship players. Because of the bowl penalties Penn State players can transfer to another BCS level team and be eligible to play immediately.
Once again, the SYTYCD divas and dudes go head-to-head for top-twirl honors. Adam Shankman joined “Sir” Nigel and squealing Mary at the judge’s lounge, and the night began with a demonic performance that likely cursed a few acts that followed. Lindsey and Cole performed a mediocre performance that was less thrilling than actually getting your teeth pulled. Lindsey popped her lady stuff so hard that her props went flying across the stage. But Nigel wasn’t catchin’ the bait that Lindsey was trying to throw his way.
The Dwight Howard saga took another strange twist on Thursday. It was rumored that Howard was willing to sign a contract extension with the Los Angles Lakers then later in the day word comes that he is going to test free agent market at the end of 2012-2013 season. The latest proposed trade involving Howard was Howard going to the Lakers, current Laker center Andrew Bynum to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao to Orlando along with a package of future first round picks. Many fans thought the new collective bargaining agreement between the players and the owners would prevent this type of situation. It seems like nothing has changed. You still have players forcing teams to do their bidding and they are still getting paid big money.
AGT judge Howie Mandel dished out some tough love to most of last night’s contenders. Howie confessed that many of them were his faves, but they failed to rise to the occasion. Last night, all twelve quarterfinalists tried to stuff themselves into the four remaining spots, but America had the final say. Quirky comedian Jacob Williams beat out juggle-fail Mike Price and junkyard enthusiast Cristin Sandu for the first spot of the night. Nick Cannon assessed Jacob’s victory “pimp stroll” before moving on to a taste of some AGT behind-the-scenes action.
The next bunch up for America’s votes hit the stage during a night filled with high and low moments; but in the end, America got their cell phone minutes’ worth. The Miami twirling-tot sensation “The Untouchables” wowed everyone with their glittery performance that confirmed for Howard why the three judges unanimously put the group through. Their synchronistic moves made Sharon feel good all over.
With joey Votto going on the disabled list for at least a month the Cincinnati Reds will have to make some big decisions as the non-waiver trading deadline approaches. Votto was hitting .342 and had a National League leading .465 on base percentage. Cincinnati has struggled at times during season scoring runs and losing Votto will leave a big hole in their lineup. Second baseman Brandon Phillips is the only other regular hitting above .275.