This week brought the final auditions for Season 10 of “America’s Got Talent,” and the only one not hot to trot to get to work for the July 8 duties was judge, Howie Mandel, who opted to take the pedi-cab to his unconventional “office,” and ended up being chauffeur to his stepper! Plenty of talent stepped up to the plate to make the most of this pivotal moment, some in song, others in dance, and others in being completely different! Not everyone escaped X’s, not even Nick Cannon, but there was something moving and intriguing for almost everyone!
Daditude are middle-aged, real dads who are determined to prove that they still have moves. Dressed in true dad attire, no costumes for these guys, they did shake it in ways that were not so senior, and one over the crowd and the panel of judges, sans Howard Stern, wasn’t quite as shaken. Mel B said they were “cute, funny, and could still move.” Heidi Klum said that America would fall in love with them, and Howie Mandel also loved the retired dancer shake to their energy, so on they go for now. Nick and Eddie surprised everyone with their duet on Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife,” bringing a touch of the Rat Pack to the venue, and taking all yeses. Xavier Mortimer brought a delightful mix of old-school charm wih magic in his performance, too, sailing through! Howie Mandel told stay-at-home dad, Benton Blount, that his dream of singing was just beginning right now, in a “great moment” on the “America’s Got Talent” stage after his soulful rendition of “Drift Away,” leaving a no-brainer of straight approvals to the next round. Next came a cavalcade of contortionists, who really bent every body part just right to move the judges appropriately, until “hand and face” contortionist, Steve Churchson, came forward, and no move he made could even be seen, much less send the panel to praise. With a sensational medley centered on the yesterday, singer, Ryan Shaw, owned every note and owned his moment to change his future, especially standing out to Howard Stern, who said that he had goose bumps through the entire performance.
No doubt the celestial angels were swaying along to the sound of the Selected of God Choir, who seemed to pour out healing from the first moving breath of their performance, as Howie Mandel noted. Every one of the judges rose to their feet, Howard Stern being the very first, calling them “superior, perfect, and extraordinary,” perhaps sensing their source. Their director, Rev. Callahan, spoke that the moment was special because it “allowed them to express ourselves and faith in music,” and at a time when the nation, and all America, has suffered the inexpressible trauma and tragedy of what transpired in Charleston, what more healing balm than this anointed ensemble to join the nation, and remind everyone watching of the power of unity. No wonder they prompted the entire audience to rise. Love and romance were in full bloom for a series of balancers and gymnastic dancers. The panel was beyond persistent in their insistence that everyone “be a couple,” even Duo Volta, who were a couple no more, as of two months ago. Still, the pair was ultimately polished and perfect in their during routine, featuring even free-hand somersaults while dangling above. The panel unanimously praised the act, but deemed the powerful man as pitifully “stupid” for letting his partner go! Whatever the reason for parting, it shows no impact on the impeccable trust and precision in their every move. Competitive eating is a difficult spectator sport, even for fans of the frenzied munchers, and when Patrick Bertoletti brought forth 120 raw eggs cracked into four pitchers by the willing panel of judges, many already became queasy. With a crowd countdown, he slurped one unscrambled mixture after the other, and stood for the verdict without even a gag, declining the garbage can held by Nick Cannon. Heidi found it all horrendous, but Howard and Howie are ever delighted by the disturbing, so they approved. Mel B became one of the boys, joining in the affirmative vote, so America will have to see whatever Patrick can choke down next. 3 Shades of Blue were just the kind of rock band that Howard Stern wanted to see this season, and the ladies in the audience had no aversion to the looks of the guys, either. Heidi Klum liked what she saw, and heard, and while Mel B had heard better singers do “Feelin’ Good,” it was the whole package of the band that took the performance, and her yes vote. Howie Mandel agreed that the young men “brought everything” and deserved their chance, and Howard said “your time has come.”
It wasn’t the time for Evil Chicken, Septimeus The First, or Latin Sway, who had no swag. The Gem City Jewels couldn’t sing or dance their way out of a paper bag, even with the help of “Sapphire” Nick Cannon! Pretty Big Movement was a different story altogether. They got everyone in the audience and watching anywhere to “get up off of that thing” and move with them to the Godfather of Soul! These girls have personality plus to match their moves and love of pink. Howard gave his yes, Mel B said that she didn’t want them to stop, Heidi described them as a “feel good act,” and Howie Mandel praised that they were “anti-Spanx performers.” Four yeses means that they will have more big moves to come! The pink ladies weren’t the only dancers who dazzled, so did ballet wonder, Aaron Smythe, a pair of exhibition show dancers “on fire,” and the dance troupe, THE MOVE. Who knew that a drag queen dressed in royal blue would do Josh Turner such fine justice and be moving on? Vocal quartet, Vox, were stunners, too, looking like a boy band, but out singing the tenors at the Met! They probably will be staying a while. Passion and intimacy expert, Joanna Kennedy, wanted to stay a while herself, but blowup dolls they even Nick Cannon back away a bit from her kissing lesson, so Howard recruited a lovely audience member, and maybe not so willing volunteer. Things were going better before the panel started playing “push the X’s” whenever things started to get passionate and X-rated. Nick was a truly good sport, but it wasn’t a win for the therapist.
Next week will start the judges’ cuts, with appearances by Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Buble, Marlon Wayans, and Piers Morgan. The tough times are just beginning, but true talent always rises!