For two weeks in a row, America’s Got Talent judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff sat through auditions in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago in hopes of finding the best talent in America. Last week they found an impressive Young Elvis impersonator and an even more impressive Russian Bar Trio, amongst several others. What other show would feature such wildly different and yet talented acts?
This week the judges are finally moving on to new cities as America’s Got Talent moves the auditions down south to Dallas, TX and Atlanta, GA. More acts will try out in these down home locations, and while many will be completely off the wall and fail miserably, many more will prove they have a unique talent and be sent on to the Las Vegas callbacks. $1 million and a show on the Vegas strip is on the line — who will rise to the top?
After a riff on the TV show Dallas that introduces the judges, it’s time for more auditions. Will we start with an old person who isn’t at all talented like we did the last two weeks? Corky Duke is a 41-year-old line dancer, so that’s a partial yes, since I can’t call someone old who is in the same age group as, like, Brad Pitt. Predictably, Corky isn’t nearly as good as he thinks he is. I’d totally kick his butt in a line dancing street battle. Corky is buzzed away for his inability to do a convincing kick-ball-change.
Getting the Texas clichés out of the way, there’s a bluegrass trio, a cowboy on a horse, a tap dancing lady in a blue frilly dress and . . . a person flinging hula hoops around? That totally doesn’t fit this segment’s theme, America’s Got Talent editors. Anyway, the clichés and their cowboy hats are all wrangled off stage as “Achy Breaky Heart” plays on the soundtrack.
Holly Hardin is 19-years-old and basically a Kellie Pickler clone. She’s blond and ditzy and, what do you know, sings country music. She sings “These Boots Are Made For Walking” and though I think she sounds fine, Sharon doesn’t dig her chili and Hasselhoff thinks she’s more suited for a sitcom than singing. After singing a little Dolly Parton and begging for a chance, all three judges vote her through to Vegas.
Acrobats Duo Genesis impress the judges with their balancing, half-naked feats, as does 11-year-old piano player Lewis Warren Jr. With his piano playing, that is, not with half-naked feats. The Shaolin Warriors come out next and do some awesome kung fu hustle action that involves balancing a guy on spears.
Dance troupe Beyond Belief come out dressed like futuristic savages with red streaks in their hair and midriffs bared. To some club dance music, the 22 of them dance a big number that’s big on being fierce. Piers hates their crazy outfits and makeup, but despite this they’re sent on to Vegas.
Ornery pot-bellied pig Smithfield is supposedly a painter. After mooning the camera for a short time, the pig then proceeds to drag several paintbrushes across a canvas. He is sadly not through, nor are the next several pet acts, including a couple of dogs and a monkey. A dog that does do well is Tucker, owned by Paul West. They do a routine with Frisbees and flipping to a rap song that impresses the judges enough to go to Vegas.
71-year-old Air Force veteran Paul Salos is a Frank Sinatra vocal stylist who says he studied Sinatra for nine years before attempting to ape him, and has been singing in his voice steadily for forty years. He sounds so remarkably like the real thing while singing “Fly Me to the Moon” that he gets Hasselhoff and Sharon dancing with one another. He is unanimously through to the callbacks.
Dallas done — for now — we’re once again back in Chicago. Just like last week and the week before. The editing of these auditions is all out of sync, it’s like I’m watching Memento or something.
Brother and sister salsa dancers Junior and Emily come out in beaded turquoise outfits and do a fast, impressive routine that would put many of the dancers on So You Think You Can Dance to shame. The judges loved their twirling and send them through.
Supremely young married couple Zane and Stephanie are made of rainbows and puppies and the color yellow. They sing “Unchained Melody” and are so perky and bad that they could be a sketch on Saturday Night Live. They are given angry, loud boos from the audience and are then sent on their way by the judges.
George the Giant is seven feet and three inches tall. His talent involves stringing a clear straw around an audience volunteer, then into his nose and out his mouth. He then proceeds to drink milk through the straw before ripping off his shirt. On his chest he has attached firecrackers that he then lights. Talk about talent. Piers found the act disturbing, but votes him through anyway. Sharon gives a no, but the Hoff gives a yes and George is on to Vegas.
24-year-old Jessica Price’s father walked out on her family and she got through it with music. She sings “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt and does a great job. She even gets a standing ovation from the audience. The judges all love her and she’s on to Vegas. I kind of hope her dad watches this and gives her a call.
As promised last week, we’re on to Hasselhoff’s hometown of Atlanta. Super skinny and tall 18-year-old Alistair McQueen is the first to go on dressed like a British nerd. To a thumping stripper beat, he proceeds to throw off his tweed until he is in naught but a pair of leopard print briefs. Sadly he keeps the giant glasses on. After Piers tells McQueen that he’s severely lacking equipment and Hoff tells him to eat, he’s sent away.
What follows is a montage of people stripping, pole dancing , and women flapping around flaming tassels. All rather poorly. Thankfully, Busty Heart is here to show those wannabe sexually provocative acts what for by using her obscenely large chest to smash objects. Despite her unique talent, she too is sent away.
The Southern Belles are a quartet of girls who have been dancing together for ten years. They do a high energy clogging routine to Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” that gets the Atlanta audience, Sharon and the Hoff cheering on their feet. With high praise from the judges, the Belles are on their way to Vegas.
Dan Meyer has a mullet and leather pants and will be swallowing swords. He does so while the judges cringe, even swallowing several swords at once. He manages to not die even though the Hoff buzzes and startles him — not because David hated it, but because he was scared to watch. Sharon and Piers thought he was great and Dan goes through.
Nine-year-old David Militello is an autistic singer who seems much younger than he is. His voice and precocious manner reminds me of Raven Symone when she was on The Cosby Show. It’s eerie almost. He sings “Ben.” The performance is amazingly good and his mother’s tears of pride are heartbreaking, but would you really expect an autistic child to have an act on the Vegas strip? I mean, really. He goes on to Vegas, where I hope he isn’t eaten alive.
Next week: We’ll probably still be in these audition cities and we’re promised even more amazing talent than ever before. More amazing than the woman with the can-crushing chest? Now how can they top that?
– , BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Photo courtesy of NBC)