It looks like Rising Star‘s loss is our gain.
To counter the debut of the risky new must-be-watched-live ABC singing competition, the fifth America’s Got Talent audition show is coming to us on a special night. And “Show Stopping Sunday” is promised to be chock full o’ talent, complete with attempts at breaking two Guinness world records. So let’s get to it.
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Mike Super is not a magician, he’s a mystifier. And when he was a child, a supernatural spirit named Desmond attached to him, thus granting him these special abilities. He pulls Heidi up on stage, hands her a glass pitcher and makes it explode.
Professor Splash dives off a scaffold into a flaming kiddie pool to set the world record for something, but they don’t tell us exactly what. I’m assuming it’s for height, but he might just be the only person to ever jump off a scaffold into a flaming kiddie pool. Congrats, professor. Now get back in the classroom.
Valo and Bobby are a husband-and-wife aerial/strongman act, and she spins around in a metal contraption high above a pole that is balanced on the dude’s forehead. Adorable son, too.
The Mothmen dancers zoom across the stage on wires, Robert Channing speed paints a shimmering portrait of Howard Stern and Jonathan something or other is a pipe balancer who ratchets it up a notch by doing it on a moving swing suspended above the stage. For good measure, he steps through a metal ring while he’s balancing.
After a group of ghoul dancers wows the judges, super polite 11-year-old Jersey girl Mara Justine and her huge voice blow them away. Her rendition of “And I Am Telling You” gets a standing ovation and is mature beyond her years. Front-runner alert.
Juan Carlos is a hair dresser-turned-roller blade dancer dressed in a shiny red catsuit whose back and forth with the judges is better than anything he does on skates. And that’s not saying much. Despite the fact that he’s terrible, Howie and Mel B. successfully sway Heidi into saying yes and sending him through. On a side note, we haven’t heard anything about that Golden Buzzer at the judges’ disposal since the premiere, have we? I wonder if that will come up again?
Contortionist Nina Burri performs to hip-hop music and pulls off moves so extreme I’m surprised her neck didn’t detach from her body. Possibly the best contorting in AGT history, and Howie points out that the only thing the act lacks is bones.
This is immediately followed by an unnamed quartet of totem pole building kid contortionists who pretzel into each other and the cat-costumed Contortion Sisters, both advancing. This concludes the contortion portion of our show. You may now close your mouth and return your face to its pre-creeped out normalcy.
Brothers Dariel and Emil learned how to play the cello from their immigrant grandfather, who came from Russia with just his instrument and the clothes on his back. They rock out to Jimi Hendrix on their electric cellos, and it’s wildly entertaining.
The One Voice Children’s Choir comes from Utah, and they’re more like a cult than a chorus. They do what choirs do, and it’s fine, but I actually find it a little annoying. Howard says it had multiple moments and Heidi loved it, while Mel B. thought it started terrible but ended well. Howie agrees with her (and me), giving them a no. Then Howard gets on his knees and begs Mel B. to give them a chance, and she bows to the pressure of the chanting crowd and sends them through. Meh. Jeez, they didn’t have this much debate about the roller dancer.
Another kid choir sings “Happy,” followed by some adorable kid dancers and an earring-sporting 8-year-old named Grennan James who is forced by his sideshow-owning father to toss knives at dear old dad.
Aaron Evans, a.k.a. the Human Spring, jumps over three oncoming cars racing toward him at top speed. He even gets clipped by the second one, but just keeps going. Unfortunately, he is unable to break the Guinness World Record of 23.28 seconds, finishing in 24.29. Still, it’s pretty crazy to watch, though I doubt they’d show it if the dude got lit up by a Honda.
To close out the night, 74-year-old singer/stutterer/bartender Frank Dmitry takes the stage and does his best Rat Pack impression. Get this guy a gig at a casino!
The Psychic Divas of New York claim to have never gotten a prediction wrong, but apparently the only thing they didn’t see coming was their own elimination. Not sure why they chose to kick off the supposedly best show ever with a stinker like this one. It wasn’t even funny. But I guess it gave them an excuse to talk about Mel B.’s boobs.
Arlo Pelegrin breaks the unofficial world record for spiders placed willingly upon the face by covering his mug with five tarantulas, while arachnophobe Mel B. hides behind Nick Cannon for protection.
Jungle Don fills his mouth with Madagascar giant hissing cockroaches, some weird chick performs with plants and Junior Haha eats cactus. This hopefully concludes the stupid portion of our show.
A bunch of male dancers called the Rock Hard Revue strip down on stage and get Heidi and Mel B. all revved up, prompting Howie to remove his own shirt and join the party. The girls say yes and the guys say no.
And that’s it for show-stopping Sunday. I’m a tiny bit disappointed after all the build up, as 11-year-old singer Mara Justine strikes me as the only real contender of the group. I was also impressed with the husband-and-wife strongman/aerial act, the first contortionist and the pipe balancer, but they would all have to step up their games exponentially. Frank Dmitry could be a wildcard if he polishes himself up a bit, but I’m not so much worried about the advancing roller blade dancer making any waves (other than the ones he offers with his hand).
The stunts were an interesting touch, though the dude jumping into the flaming pool was an incredible waste of time. We don’t even know what record he broke. Car jumping guy, though? That was nuts.
Which performer was your favorite, and do any of them stand out as a potential million-dollar act? And just in case you missed it, it appears this episode will be replayed Tuesday night in the show’s regular time slot. So, you know, good thing we did it tonight.
You can watch America’s Got Talent every Tuesday at 8pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)