Alright, we’ve given bald-headed germaphobic comedian Howie Mandel some time to settle into his role as America’s Got Talent judge. The latest edition sees us in New York (the concrete jungle where dreams are made up), waiting to see what weird and wonderfuls will grace the stage in an attempt to excite and entertain us.
The lights go out and three men in glowing jumpsuits take the stage, with another guy, a puppetmaster standing above them. There are some weird floating balls as well. They do a fantastic routine where they seem to be suspended in the air and moving around at the same time.
When the house lights come up, their secret is revealed – the three men are surrounded by guys in black who are helping them move. Cleverrrrr! They say their dream is to have a headline show on the Vegas strip. Howie Mandel says: “Not since I watched the Blue Man Group have I seen something this exciting in the sense that it’s unique, it’s something that I haven’t seen before.” Sharon Osbourne: It’s so different, it’s very current, it’s edgy. You say you haven’t danced before, but your timing is absolutely precise. I haven’t got one negative thing to say about it. Three yeses from the judges for Fighting Gravity.
Gino and Tony Antanies
Wise guys, eh? These two very Italian American guys are already funny to listen to. They’re a father and son act. They do a frankly horrible version of All By Myself, which earns a big red X from Piers. This in turn spurs the audience on to support the terrible duo. They’ve just got no respect for the original melody of the song, and no amount of parent/child cuteness can make up for that.
Sharon: “Gino and Tony, you definitely sing with a lot of emotion.” Howie sensibly picks up on the irony that they sang All By Myself as a duet. Piers says no, Sharon votes yes. Howie tactfully tells them that it’s beautiful for a father and son. Not so much for an act. Sensibly, Mario and Luigi are sent home.
Yeah, America’s Got Talent does randoms too. Joe Menchetti is a speed eater who calls himself a speed eater. He reckons he can swallow 5 pizzas within 90 seconds. Sharon – who’s a fan of the gastric band – buzzes first. She must have been offended on some level by this level of binging. The other judges follow suit.
Ginormous Flying V time! Music instructor RC Storm wheels out an enormous oversized Flying V guitar and proceeds to play it onstage. Howie says: “Personally I’m always aware of people who’ve just tuned in. You know what they think? They think that you’re a little person.” Three no’s. Thank you judges.
A lady describing herself as The Next Barbara Streisand hits the stage. Lisa Falzani opens up with an extremely flat rendition of Without You. Three buzzes off from the judges. Piers calls her “The worst singer I’ve heard in my life.” And for once, it’s not empty hyperbole.
Yeah, something was up from the first moment Prince Poppycock stepped in front of the cameras. Did you get that “He’s a weirdo” feeling too? He walks onstage dressed in French fancy dress. It may just be the campest thing I’ve ever seen in a talent competition. It’s not wonderfully musical, but it remains entertaining and fun to watch. His glory note at the end is pretty good though.
Sharon says “You are magnificent. You are a true individual and a true artiste. And bravo.” Piers: “When somebody walks onstage like you calling themselves Prince Poppycock I was expecting it to take a certain route. And instead it took a rather different route.” (Poppycock makes comedy whistling down and up whistles as Piers says this, drawing laughter from everybody). Sharon calls him ‘fabulous’ and wants to take him home in a bag. Howie praises his passion. Guess what? Three yeses.
I can see why his parents didn’t know what to do with him now.
Ah, cute girls in pink bras. Lots of em. Girls and bras. They give a lengthy and unwanted explanation of their unique dance style. Oh shut up! Just dance! Dance for me!
Ah, good titillating fun that ends in a bra coming off the rudest looking of the girls. Sharon thought it was sexy and a “little bit naughty”, while Howie “liked how you ended rather than how you began”. Three yeses.
Jia-Yi He brings the new skill of multiple harmonic playing to America’s Got Talent. Three harmonicas! Chords and everything! Rapturous applause – he’s a harmonica rock star. Three yeses from the judges.
The Danger Committee juggle knives while one guy walking right in their path. They finish off with a tribute to Howie Mandel by blowing up a rubber glove over one of their heads while another guy throws a shuriken at it, bursting the glove. Nail-biting stuff. Howie: “That is something unique that we haven’t seen before.” Three yeses.
Singer and rapper duo On Repeat are next. They attempt to sell Sharon some new windows. Ouch! That was unexpectedly tuneless. I totally got fooled by the boyband look! Then they started sing-rapping and it was awful. Piers buzzes first, followed by Sharon, then Howie. The fluffy blonde one outrageously claims “This show is missing out without me on it. I’m telling you that right now.” Sharon gives him 10 seconds but the audience has already made up their minds. Three no’s from the judges and this ludicrous pantomime ends.
Antonio is a metal-looking flame thrower who’d be a perfect fit for Vegas. He’s got the long hair, the pointed beard…and a cape. Capes rock. Two hot babes enter from each side of the stage. He lights up a pitchfork thing and starts spitting fire everywhere. Then he transforms some bones into a buxom brunette.
Howie calls the act spectacular: “fire is always mesmerising to any audience, blending fire with magic was unique…this is exactly the kind of thing that can work in Las Vegas”. Sharon says “I like it because it’s over the top. Where do I get one of those guns?” Piers compliments him on how polished, slick and entertaining it was. Three yeses.
Raymond The Amish Comic underwhelms the audience with a pathetic routine based on the Amish. Yawn. Karen Morgan is a stay at home mother who attempts a comedy routine and is buzzes pretty much the moment she opens her mouth.
With the buzzes of former comedians still ringing in our ears, Doogie Horner gamely walks out to face the audience. He cracks a few gags, but the audience have made up their minds and they boo the whole way through. He cracks about halfway through and just starts insulting the audience. But individually. He actually kind of manages to win them over in the end. He should at least win a world record for the most heckles dealt with in 90 seconds.
Howie sticks up for Doogie, pointing out that he had the toughest gig of all – a tough crowd at the end of the day. Sharon and Howie put him through, Piers expresses reservations that Doogie isn’t actually that funny. We get to see Doogie outside the venue hi-fiving the audience members.
Did you think he was funny?