It’s the FOURTH night of America’s Got Talent auditions in front of judges Howie Mandel, Mel B. Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell. Brand new host Tyra Banks presides over the madness. Join us tonight as we live blog every performance.
Greater Works – Contemporary Gospel Choir – Forty four member gospel choir made up of friends and family. The group consists of “ordinary people” like police officers, teachers and more. Simon claims “I love choirs.” Really? They sing the classic “This Little Light of Mine.” The lead singer is a big voice diva type. We’re literally in church, people. Hootin’, hollering and PRAISING THE LORD. They add some showbizzy touches like a mid performance “mannequin” move. Simon raises his hands in the air. I think he likes it. “That just hit me in every single way…” says Mel. Howie compliments the lead singer, calling her a star. “You took this jew to church.” Heidi calls them the best choir the show has ever had. Simon calls them “fantastic” and the lead singer a “little Aretha.” I bet great choirs like that could be found all over the country, though. – 4 yeses.
Jay Jay Philips – Rock n Roll Keyboard Player – Burn out rock dude who looks like he got lost in the 80’s will sing a song about the chick who broke up with him. Good lord, he’s only 25 years old. He works at a fiberglass factory during the day. He’s a one man band. The keyboard strapped around his neck is programmed with guitar licks, drum parts, the whole bit. He’s not actually singing though. It’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” That was real cheesy and didn’t take much skill. Heidi buzzed because he mimed. “You played the keyboard really really good,” says Mel. Howie calls him “dated and goofy.” Howie says yes, despite reservations. Heidi says no. Simon thinks he’s charming (?) He calls him “original” (WUT) and says yes. Uh, that guy just programmed sounds and vocals into an electronic keyboard and let the thing run. I’m on Team Heidi here. There’s no there there. – 3 yeses one no
A montage of successful acts includes a 10 year old acrobat, a strong man, a dog act and more.
Light Balance – Dance Group – Male troop from Ukraine. It’s a Multimedia act that includes light-up suits and hip hop. They dance to “24K Gold.” Some animated props are part of the act too. Pretty clever outfit. They’ll have to continually outdo themselves to keep Simon happy, though. When the lights come up, the costumes are simple–denim with lights sewn onto them. Howie tells them to be proud. Mel B. calls them “absolutely brilliant.” Simon says “Incredible, creative.” Host Tyra Banks takes the stage to gush about how great the group is. YOU KNOW WHAT’S COMING. Tyra dashes to the judges table to PRESS THE GOLDEN BUZZER. That means the group goes straight to the live shows.
Next, it’s a white boy with a guitar singing an original song who apparently gets through to the next round.
Anthony Penoso – Singer – 58 year old attorney from Jacksonville Florida. He’s always dreamed of having a number one hit record. He’s 25 years older than his wife. Yeesh. They’ve been married for 10 years. OK somebody do the math. The perma tan is unsettling. The song he wrote goes “Young enough…to make me squeeze your body.” EWWWW. He’s terrible. And creepy. Literally off key. The buzzers go off immediately. ALL FOUR BUZZED which means he’s immediately eliminated. Simon asks for another song and it’s even worse. This guy can’t be serious. Go back to lawyering dude. The audience is booing loudly now. – 4 nos
Dancers are next!
Just Jerk Crew – Dance Group – All male troupe is from South Korea. They all teach classes during the day. They only have time to practice their precise synchronization in the dead of night. The leader explains that the group is about to get drafted into the SK army and have no idea what will happen afterward. Basically, the moves are a mixture of hip-hop and martial arts. Although their precision is impressive, this act could get boring pretty quick. Howie calls them the best dance crew he’s seen this season. Mel B loved their energy and precision. Heidi compliments their isolations. Simon says “this is one I’m going to remember – 4 yeses
Celine Tam – Singer – Nine year old started singing when she was 3. The parents love Celine Dion so much, they named their daughter after her. And how about that…the little one can sing. Oh boy. She’s very very cute. But I wish parents would keep their kids off stage until they’re older. Her little sister is named Dion. Hm…. She sings….My Heart Will Go On, of course. We previewed this performance here. She’s got a big clear voice and her intonation is good for such a tiny child. Mom is offstage crying. I wonder if she’s a singer herself, attempting to live through her child’s fame? “That’s obviously not you singing,” teases Simon. “You are incredible.” Heidi says, “You knocked it out of the park,” She blows her a kiss and says, “You’re beautiful too!” Mel B is impressed with her control and confidence. – 4 yeses
In a video bit, the cast drops by a fast food place for lunch and kidnaps a couple of the workers to bring back to the studio. They find them seats!
Men with Pans – Naked Pan Dancers – Okay. They wear chef hats and NOTHING ELSE while they perform a “fan dance” with pans. OMG. The buzzers go off immediately. I hate to admit this…but this is pretty amusing in a trainwreck sort of way. Howie, of course, is laughing his ass off. “I’m kind of traumatized” says Tyra. They return to stage wearing bathrobes. Oh Mel didn’t like it but Heidi loved it. Simon says no. Mel B is the deciding vote…C’MON MEL SAY YES. The audience is clearly on the pan guys side. Mel gives in and says yes. 3 yeses one no
Godfathers – Acrobats – Next, we see some acrobats. Dressed in suits! They make a human ladder with a dude on top balancing with one hand, and Mel totally freaks out. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing!” says Mel. “It was scary, you could have died.” – 4 yeses
DeNiro Guy – Impersonator – He looks just like Robert De Niro, but he does a bunch of impressions. The audience is booing him! His impressions are actually pretty terrible. Only Di Niro is halfway believable, and that’s only because of the resemblance. He does a “wise guys nursery rhymes” bit that’s both horrible, and kind of racist. Simon buzzes him. Oy this is terrible. The audience is not on his side. Everyone but Howie buzzed – 3 nos Howie says yes, because….why not?
Tom London – Magician – He’s been obsessed with magic since 3 years of age. His dad was a programmer, so Tom was also drawn to technology. He asks the audience to hold up their iPhone. And they all begin to blink with colors, as if Tom were controlling their phones. Simon picks audience members to come up on stage to assist. The bit involves calculating numbers based on questions about how many records Simon, Mel sold etc. Tom was able to predict and remember numbers in a very clever way. All four judges are really impressed – 4 yeses
Next, a montage of buzzed acts. CLOWNS UGH. Simon calls clowns a growing menace “We have to stop them.”
Bello Nock – Comic Daredevil – A dude with a corn-like blond hair-do calls himself a “clown.” Seven generations of his family have been entertainers. He’s 47 years old AND a grandfather. He’s also a “comic daredevil.” He climbs up a very high pole and sits on top. Performing daredevil feats include swaying back and forth as the pole bends. He hangs off the top upside down. There’s something really old fashioned about this act. Simon doesn’t look amused. The crowd goes crazy. Howie calls him the “high wire Kid n Play.” Mel thought it was a little cheesy. Heidi thought it was both dangerous and entertaining. Simon calls the act immature. He says no. After promising Simon that he was willing to be shot out of a cannon over a helicopter, Simon changes his vote to yes. He had three yeses though – 4 yeses.
Darcy Callus – A young man is singing “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys over a montage of dads. Why didn’t this dude get his own segment? That was lovely. His father flew all the way in from Australia for his audition. “Without my Dad I’d be nothing,” he says. 4 yeses
Evie Clair – She just wants to put a smile on her Dad’s face. She’s 13. She lives in a small town in Arizona. Her dad works at one of five prisons in the area. She starts crying as she describes her dad’s stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis. Tonight, she’s there to sing for him. The family is backstage, and are also crying. She performs “Arms” by Christina Perri, a song she sings for her father when he’s had a bad day. Simon asks her to settle a bit before she sings “Now this is the time I want you to sing the best vocal you’ve ever ever done,” Simon instructs. NO PRESSURE. She’s basically Grace Vanderwaal Part 2, but without the original songs. Standing O! More tears! Howie offers encouraging words. Mel and Heidi think she’s special. Simon calls her performance “stunning” and one that he’ll remember. 4 yeses