America’s Got Talent returned last week with an exciting, talent-packed episode that had judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff traveling to New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles to audition Americans and see who has the most entertaining act. The auditions varied from incredible, like opera singing insurance salesman Neil, to dreadful, like a pair of Romanian twin “singers” with smoker’s voices and very little in the way of musical ability.
This week the judges will travel to several more cities and sit through even more amazing, adorable, absurd and awful auditions to determine who will get sent to the Vegas callbacks. There, the contestants will audition again in hopes of moving on to the finals where they will have a chance to win the $1 million prize and a $1.5 million contract to perform on the Las Vegas strip.
We start off in Los Angeles. Weren’t we just here? I suppose there was just so much talent in L.A. that they couldn’t fit it all in last week. First up is a 55-year-old part-time nanny named Victoria, who is dressed up as a fairy. She tells us that she had no say in the matter that she is a singing fairy, that it just happened one day. That happened to me several years ago and I can tell you, it’s an affliction that is hard to live with. Always having to wear fake wings and weave flowers in my hair and warble Disney songs, it was a whole big thing. My thoughts go out to Victoria.
Victoria sings “When You Wish Upon A Star” and is immediately buzzed by Piers, booed by the audience, and then buzzed by David. They totally harshed her hippie buzz. She’s given a no.
Daniel, an 18-year-old high school student, sings and is horrific. He is booed while David Hasselhoff howls like a dog through Daniel’s high notes. He is given a no, as is a guy with a weird guitar / violin thing and a woman who gyrates on stage, wearing one of those fake glasses with a nose attached while her elderly mother plays keyboard behind her.
26-year-old drifter Eli Mattson traveled over 2000 miles to audition for America’s Got Talent. He steps behind a keyboard and plays while singing “Walking in Memphis,” and he has a fantastic, soulful voice. The audience members leap to their feet as he hits a climactic part of the song and Sharon seems choked up. When he finishes the audience chants “Vegas, Vegas” and the judges unanimously give him a yes.
Cassie is a 27-year-old tattooed, purple-haired bartender who goes by the stage name of Miss Pussykatt. She describes her act as “grinding” — meaning she takes some sort of power tool and shaves it across metal plates on her chest and crotch to the beat of a song from Pulp Fiction. She loves shooting sparks between her legs, Miss Pussykatt does. The audience and judges — especially Piers and David — eat it up. She is sent on to Vegas.
Hurricane Katrina survivors Lil Countrie and Page 1ne share a sad story and then do a hip hop tumbling / breakdancing routine that involves sliding around on their heads and doing endless backflips. It’s all very impressive and the audience cheers accordingly. They are given yeses from all three judges.
I suppose we’re repeating last week all over again, because now the auditions have gone back to New York. The first auditioner is limo driver Michael, who describes himself as an extreme percussionist with an act called Drumtazia. His giant drum set is equipped with a smoke machine, and he haphazardly bangs away on cymbals and drums until all three judges buzz him.
Next up is a family boy band called Next II None, or N2N to short. Of course. They perform N’Snync’s “Bye Bye Bye” and dance. Between this and last night’s Nashville Star, N’Sync is getting so much play it’s like it’s 1999 all over again. Though Sharon Osbourne has a little bit of criticism about the singing, the judges loved them and N2N is sent on to Vegas.
A Russian bar trio head on stage next with a four-inch wide, incredibly long bar that the two guys put on their shoulders while their female gymnastic partner balances atop. They toss her in the air where does flips. It’s death defying, the tricks they do, and despite some close calls, the gymnast sticks all of her landings. The whole act was exciting, and this Russian bar trio is on to Vegas.
Hilariously, the next auditioner is an Ozzy Osbourne impersonator that goes by the name of The Ozzman, who admits that he is a big fan of Sharon. His impersonation is not good at all and he is buzzed by the judges — well, David and Sharon, the latter hitting Piers’s buzzer for him. Sharon tells the impersonator he’s not good at all and then proceeds to beat on Piers when he jokingly tells The Ozzman that he is better looking than the real Ozzy.
The Taubl Family are a giant family orchestra who seem straight-laced and clean-cut, like they belong in a play from early last century. They perform a piece from The Sound of Music and Piers buzzes them, though the other two judges and the audience seem to like them just fine. The Taubls finish off by harmonizing vocally with one another and sound pretty good. They are so wholesome, I’m sure they’d fit in right in with other Vegas acts. The judges give them a yes, even Piers, and they’re on to the next round.
The DC Cowboys Dance Company is a group of muscled guys in sleeveless flannel shirts, tight jeans and tan cowboy hats. They describe themselves as Brokeback meets Broadway and do a routine that’s half line dancing, half Coyote Ugly, to “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.” The audience cheers and the judges found them entertaining, so they are on to Vegas.
Once again we’re in Chicago. This really is a retread of last week. 39-year-old Kevin “Big K” Taylor is a speed brick breaker, and he’s auditioning first. He will be breaking 1000 burning bricks, which is just nuts. He breaks through all the bricks in record time, even lighting himself on fire at one point but brushing it off like it was no big deal. David and Piers found him amazing, but Sharon is afraid for his health and says no. He is on to Vegas anyway.
Chellina Black-Harris is a 38-year-old vocalist who survived cervical cancer with the support of her husband. She has a big gospel voice that gets the audience on its feet. Piers isn’t necessarily sold on her greatness, but Sharon and David love her and she is through to the next round.
Johnny Olshavsky is a magician who attempts to do a routine and appears to mess it up so bad that Piers repeatedly screams for him to leave the stage after all three judges buzz him. Dan the Magic Man is only marginally more successful while still getting a no. Other magicians try and also fail miserably to the sounds of buzzing and jeers.
Just when it seems no magician will make it through in Chicago, husband and wife illusionists the Pendragons perform a standard switching places trick, but do it well enough that they impress the judges. Three yeses for them.
After a montage of unsuccessful celebrity impersonators / tribute acts — including a Rod Stewart, a Cyndi Lauper, a George W. Bush, an Elton John and a Dionne Warwick — out comes a young Elvis impersonator clad all in black leather that is so good looking, Sharon just wants to sit and stare. He is 23-year-old Joseph Hall and actually does a good job singing and performing “Hound Dog” just like Elvis. The audience even screams as though he’s the real Elvis. Joseph is on his way to Vegas, where I think he’ll feel right at home.
Next week: the judges go to Dallas and Atlanta for more crazy, fun auditions.
– , BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Photo courtesy of NBC)