America’s Got Talent 2010 – The Chicago Auditions

“Howie Mandel hasn’t made a good thing since Little Monsters”. Yes, this is the verbal smackdown given by one Chicago audition to the America’s Got Talent judge. What did he do to deserve such a lashing? Let’s find out!

Zach Carty

Zach starts things off tonight with a disgusting talent. It’s sneezing with his eyes open. He reassures us that his eyeballs won’t fall out, but germaphobe judge Mandel has a minor freak out. He buzzes him before the act’s even started. He walks off the stage and encourages the audience to turn away from him. Howie has a total sense of humour failure.

In the end, he fails to actually sneeze at all. Howie’s right. That snot talent.

Strikers All Stars

An “8 man steppin’ crew from Tallahassee’, these guys look the part. But can they deliver? Oh yes they can – they start off with a tribal kind of thing, then follow with a funky and inventive routine that’s part dancing, part acrobatics. The crowd’s going wild. We need these guys in Vegas!

Howie calls it “Dynamic, energetic and crowd pleasing.” Piers tells them “You’ve got the looks, you’ve got the sex appeal for the girls. You’ve got the whole thing.” Three yeses from the judges. The right decision. Best talent on this show in at least a couple of weeks.

Quick bits

  • Gentlemen of NUCO – a band trying to give a radical reinterpretation of classical music, starting with a banging version of Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone. Three yeses from the judges.
  • NU Covenant – a gospel quartet who more than prove their abilities on a fantastic version of Shout. Sharon Osbourne claims they make her want to go to church. They’re through to Vegas.
  • Naishon Jones – a fantastic dancer in the Usher vein who utterly works the stage. Howie raves about him, while Sharon entices him to take off his shirt. He gets through.

The Spellbinder

Looking like the long lost butch Jackson brother, this guy claims to have opened for Jennifer Hudson in the past. He’s an illusionist from Chicago. He…dances with a tissue. That’s it. The judges buzz him off. Big disappointment, with that groovy costume and red fedora, I was hoping for so much more.

Buzz off!

  • Tom Zemke – your typical under-dressed weirdo who wants to dance on a surfboard in a pair of shorts. He gets all three buzzers as the judges refuse to tolerate this bullshit. I agree.
  • Laura Ernst – pretty lady in a big bubble. Really rubbish. Only worth including for Howie’s “That’s how I roll” gag.
  • Buddy Holly Cheesehead – man with cheese hat sings song about cheese. Oh, and he’s got a kazoo. This is awful.

Carlos Aponte

Carlos is a harmless enough looking guy. Mousey, I’d say. He wants to be famous…like Frank Sinatra. But less dead, presumably.

Wow. Behind that weedy speaking voice is a rich, deep singing voice. We love this kind of thing on Got Talent, don’t we? Wimpy looking guy has the voice of Pavarotti. Seen it before, but on this occasion, I’m impressed. The crowd love him, rightly so.

Howie: “This is my first year on the show and I thought it would be great to be part of one of those unexpected, fantastic moments. This is one of those…” Sharon: “I was not expecting to hear that huge voice coming out of that little body. It was stunning. And you have a really rich beautiful tone in your voice.” Piers: “You don’t look like the normal big, tall opera singer…and then you began to sing.” Three yeses.

Quick bits

  • Polina Volchek – a performance artist who wows the audience with ribbons and hula hoops and an amazing routine. Howie starts an anecdote with “I have been to Hooters…you are like Hooters on steroids”. Three yeses, in case you’re wondering.

John Beatty

John’s a nurse. But he doesn’t look like a nurse. He starts his act by rolling up a frying pan. He proposes to hammer a nail through two boards and a licence plate with his bare hand. He finishes off by lifting his huge stone and…um…bending a nail. Only Piers buzzes him.

Piers: “I don’t think it was that impressive to be honest with you. The frying pan might have been particularly weak. And the ball could’ve been bigger.” Piers tries and fails to unroll the frying pan. John proceeds to show Piers how it’s done. Piers eats his humble pie and gives John the third yes to get him to Vegas!

Debra Romer

Cute little runaway Debra tells how she ran away from her home at a young age and how she started to play music. She’s 21, but she looks a fair bit younger. She seems to suffer a little stage fright at the start, but when she performs she has a gorgeous voice. The audience are on their feet in encouragement. Rapturous applause in the auditorium.

Howie says “You have a lovely voice and a lovely look, and you certainly have talent. But my feeling is that I didn’t sense that you owned your performance.” Piers disagrees: “Where he senses fear, I sense a certain kind of innocence and vulnerability that’s really appealing.” Sharon holds with Howie and tells her to own it more. Howie says no. We’re shocked and saddened. Piers says yes. Sharon voices her concerns about Debra’s ability to handle Vegas, but gives in and votes her through.

Was it the right decision? Yes, it was. Howie’s concerns are well founded, but Debra has the talent, she just needs to work on her confidence and performance.

Good night tonight, some really good talent in the form of Debra Romer, the Strikers All Stars and Polina Volcheck. What did you guys think?

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