A supermodel, a Spice Girl, a
comic cut-up, and the self-proclaimed King of all Media criss-cross
the country in search of million-dollar talent.
Recaps by Chico Alexander, Lee DiGeorge & Gordon Pepper,
Melanie "Mel B" Brown
FremantleMedia North America
Radio City Music Hall, New
8p ET Tues & Wed, NBC
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(C-Note: some of the acts that you are
about to read involve real danger in front of a live television audience. They were
designed, practiced, and supervised by professionals, taking the
contestants' safety into full account. They are extremely dangerous and
should NEVER be attempted anywhere, by anyone, at any time.)
Another night of talent is upon us. Will we see the
Million Dollar Act this week? Come with me...
Before we get to our rundown, I'd like to share a
conversation had between myself and my co-editor &
accomplice Gordon (who you'll hear more from as the
season goes on)...
G: "I don't know if you're watching AGT, but the Media
Ho Offender button is working overtime."
C: "Where've you been these last two weeks? Nothing BUT
repeat offenders. America has run out of talent. So
they're taking it from other shows."
G: "And other countries."
Admittedly, I was watching "Are You Smarter" and "Hell's
Kitchen", strictly for editorial purposes, I assure you.
I don't usually watch AGT until it becomes available on
the NBC app (usually the next day). So right now I,
along with you, am going to see how accurate Gordon is
(C-Note: for the record, I know Gordon is accurate,
because... well, he usually is. It's just a matter of to
First on stage is DJ Smart, who merges video mapping
with dancing. Hopefully we see what he's thinking of. I
don't know who's doing the mapping behind the scenes,
but they could do an infinitely better job. The real
magic begins when he conjures up a woman toward the end
of the routine. Hopefully it gets better as the season
goes on. But for all we know, this could be his only
shot. It's a very beautiful dance number, but the
effects need to be sweetened a bit. Howie, who is non-plussed
usually by dance acts, is ... plussed? The rest of the
judges feel likewise, as they pass him through.
Paul Zerdin (42; London, UK) is a ventriloquist who used
to do magic before getting into puppets. He's been a big
fan of Sesame Street, which triggered his love of
ventriloquism. His dream is to be the next Terry Fator,
but he's worried about being not funny. I'd worry more
about the puppet upstaging you with his "talk" of the
judges' rudeness. He's actually one of the better
puppeteers to come from this show, though he needs to
work on controlling his controlling hand. It's usually a
good sign when NBC is flashing your Twitter handle on
screen (@PaulZerdin). The judges give him a standing O
and a quartet of yeses.
After a trip to the green room... run on a donut that we
can't say (C-Note: Because 1) GSNN runs on Krispy Kreme,
and 2) said sponsoring donut joint is not paying us), we
get a drag act & a pair of dance acts that've been
elsewhere we're sure and a pair of dancers, one of them
96. Meet Tao Porchon-Lynch & Vard (96, 26). Vard is a
dance teacher, and Tao... will be 97 in August, God
willing. She was born and raise in India, became a model
in France, and was in pictures with Marilyn. Together,
they're ballroom dancers, so let's see what six years of
dancing together gets'em. It starts classy, but as soon
as Pitbull's "Fireball" starts playing, it gets...
dirty. She's... well, we'll say she's very nimble. VERY
nimble. Very easy pass there.
Alondra Santos (13; El Monte, CA) is part of a mariachi
ensemble of all her family members. She loves singing
"to the moon and back". Her family loves karaoke, so
it'll be interesting to see how she does on stage by
herself. She's got quite a set of pipes on her, but it
sounds a little heavy-handed for my liking. I mean, you
don't expect a voice like that from a 13-year-old girl.
I'm sure it'll get a little polish as the competition
goes on, but the judges like it enough to send it to the
Interesting that the judges love her story more than the
Judging by who the producers are talking to in the
holding area, we're going to see a singer next. Ellen &
Terry, aka The Orchids (36, 49; Tulsa) met at karaoke,
and they say it's about to be on and poppin'. Their 90
seconds go to "Girls Just Want to Have Fun". And I just
want to get this over as quickly as possible... Come on,
Howard... come on... There's the fourth buzz. These
Orchids are plucked... but not before the Third Orchid
comes out to join the group. Come now, Nick, you're just
More girls (?) coming next with Scott Heierman (25;
Lexington, KY; pizza delivery boy), who does comedy
about being adopted, being 300 pounds, and being jealous
by people who were not... any of those things. The best
comedy, I've always found, was self-deprecating. This is
the funniest man... in the room tonight. Mel B enjoyed
it. Howie wants to see him in the club (not like that).
Heidi thought it was fabulous. Howard thought it was the
whole package. No pun intended. He.. or she... he...
gets the pass.
Next as we begin hour 2 is Michael John (26; Los
Angeles), a magician who got started almost 20 years
ago. Besides magic, he also loves baseball. He almost
went pro, but he wasn't happy unless he was honing his
magical craft. A lot is riding on the next 90 seconds,
as Mel B joins him on stage for a card trick. She takes
her card, the ace of hearts, and bites down on it.
Michael is going to take the 4 of spades and do the same
thing. If he did this right.... the cards... switch!
Next trick... Mel B hits SM's initials onto his chest.
Now a close-up magician won the whole thing last year,
but that was for lack of better acts. This guy's gonna
have to step it up. He will, but first, the yes from the
panel... and thank you.
Dance acts are getting in by the boatloads. How will
Ouahib Arkoub (30; Algeria), a cab driver, fare? He says
he's energetic and fun to watch.... He says a lot of
things. His hips (or lack thereof) don't lie. Howard
buzzes. He's the only one. What kind of world are we
living in when the voice of reason is Howard Stern? He
dances some more, this time with Howie. Now because the
panel did not buzz him out, they are obligated to judge
the act. They don't. So we're left to surmise that he
doesn't. Because we would've heard otherwise, right?
LA Children's Orchestra is up on stage next. They play a
mean buzzer, but they'd rather hear more beautiful
tones. We get their version of "Eleanor Rigby"... which
is good... for a group of students barely into their
teens. The fact that they're moving in circles... well,
I get that they're supposed to be adding a new
dimension, but it just sounds sloppy. The judges beg to
differ. They're through.
Next, Chicago's Ultimate Tumblers (which we've seen
before.. somewhere), Pitch Slapped (from either "Sing It
On" or "The Sing-Off"), and Rhythmic Circus (which we
haven't seen ... anywhere) get through, but the focus is
really on Heidi being... her sweet little self.
Leroy Patterson (31; Downey, CA) is a self-describe
"pain junkie". And has been since the day he was born.
He likes getting slammed into various things to the
point where he's dislocated his jaw. "Oh, there will be
blood." Thanks for the spoiler, Leroy. He shows us
dedication to his craft by taking his clothes off,
throwing down 5000 thumbtacks... and falling on top of
them. TWICE. Among other things. Heidi's done. And sure
enough, he's bleeding. Yeah, we're gonna need the
Clorox. Mel B & Howie say yes. WHY. Heidi says no. It's
about Howard now... he gives him his third yes. He gets
to the next round, but I'm willing to bet dollars to
doughnuts that he makes it no further.
Vladimir & Vladimir aka Duo Vladimir (Ukraine) are
acrobats named... Vladimir. They've been performing for
7 years. Vladimir has a three-year-old son, while
Vladimir is a new father of a daughter. They say that
this next act is dangerous, and if done incorrectly,
could lead to serious injury. No kidding. Did we mention
that it also involves knives in their mouths and
balancing the tips of said knives?? Because that's
important. They have balance. They have strength. What
they lack is coordination. We've seen acts like this
done before... and better. Still, it'll be interesting
to see if they have anything else in their sheaths (as
opposed to their sleeves, because they're not wearing
shirts). Next stop, next round.
Sharon Irving (29; Chicago)'s grandfather marched with
Dr. King. She's really shy, but her grandfather told her
to step out of the church and into the limelight. She's
going to take us to church with the night's closer...
Hozier's "Take Me To Church". The irony of this song
choice is that it's about religion's rejection of
homosexuality. But Sharon, whose grandmother passed
recently, sells the hell out of this song to the point
that Mel B does something that she says she's never done
(at least didn't do last season)... GOLDEN BUZZER!
@SharonIrving, through to Live Shows!
So to answer the over-arching question... this show is
the epitome of the American dream. We have acts from all
corners of the globe and all turns of the dial, only to
end up here. It'll be interesting to see what recycled
acts we find next week. Or who knows, maybe the act of
the night will be something we've never seen before..
To see tonight's episode in its entirety,
or to apply to be a contestant on the next season, go to