I thought RivkaS was just exaggerating about Portland when he reviewed the Portland America’s Got Talent audtions. He wasn’t. I’ve never seen anything like it. Seriously. Think the crustiest, most insane-looking bunch of people you’ve ever seen, then add two more measures of crazy. They even have a “Keep Portland Weird” campaign.
I wonder what their real estate prices are like?
This illusionist duo promise to do an act that’s very ancient and is only practised by a handful of performers. We wonder if there’s a reason for the rarity of the act? The pair do an elaborate dance where the mask changes colour…until the man falls off the edge of the stage. Lawsuit!
Howie quips that “From now on, when you come out on the stage, I think you should face us so you can see where the edge of the stage is.” Piers doesn’t get the relevance of the act. Oh, the judges are hard on him. Bad start to the day.
The Living Dead Girlz – hot zombie dance troupe?
Oh, bring it on! Five very attractive girls pretending to be zombies? The dancing is as rubbish as you might expect it to be – sexy girls don’t think they have to make the effort with these things as the exposed midriffs will make up for the lack of actual ability. But there’s a funny bit where the five of them converge in the center and seem to be disemboweling somebody or something. Nice touch. But it’s three buzzers for these ladies.
An old lady with a gimp fetish comes on – continuing the horror theme from before. Yes, she has a dead-eyed, zombie-looking man on a leash. The funniest thing about the act is that she’s a social worker. Takes all kinds, I suppose. The judges shut her act down in record time. Sharon, despite being married to Ozzy Osbourne, asks “Who thinks of something like that?” It’s a no for Maggie as well, then.
The oddly named Vee Bee is a singing trapeze act. Yeah, never saw one of those before. She bombs drastically, and the sound of buzzers is ringing in her upside-down ears.
I won’t even give the untrained dog act, Tiny Talent, their own heading. Just stupid. The judges have a quick moan about the weirdness factor. There..um…doesn’t seem to be any.
This guy is from the town of Talent, Oregon. And he’s a stunt cyclist. There’s a formal name for what he does, but we don’t really care, do we? He starts his act brilliantly by roping in Nick Cannon. Cannon lies on the floor and Jeremy jumps the bike over his body and head a few time. Just to warm up.
He proceeds to go over an assault course on the bike. Falls off once, but comes back pretty strong. Piers explains why he buzzed – “I buzzed you when you fell, because I have a rule with these things – it’s gotta be perfect to work.” Sharon and Howie let him through, but Piers sticks to his ‘no falling off the bike’ rule.
Bhangra Empire – We see a lot of Bollywood inspired acts, though these guys call themselves an Indian folk group. The costumes are colourful and the routine is fast and fun. Howie loves it – “It was fun, it was colourful, you made me a fan.”
The Strange Familiar – are a cute looking couple who play music together. Their version of Stand By You by the Pretenders is gorgeous. Sharon tells the girl she has a beautiful tone, and Howie sends them on to Vegas.
Northwest Dance & Acro – do a very gymnastic routine in splotchy coloured costumes, which impresses the judges immensely. They’re off to Vegas too.
The return of spandex is nigh! These guys call themselves America’s premier air guitar band! They get stuck right in with a bluegrass number, then please the Osbourne by playing Paranoid. Brilliantly entertaining – they look the part, and their air instruments sound the part!
Sharon says the music choice was sensational. Not biased at all. “Your stage presence is electric!” Howie says it’s a unique form of entertainment and muses that it would be fun to go to a full air guitar concert! Piers just steals their light-up glasses. They’re going to Vegas, baby! I think we found the act we’re going to champion!
This is unique – Rebecca plays the cello through a guitar amplifier with a distortion effect. It’s actually pretty good, but when the novelty value wears off, it inspires the judges to buzz her off. Piers worries that when he dies, he’ll be sentenced to an eternity of Rebecca’s cello playing. Resounding nos for Rebecca. Shame, because she was really talented.
Connor Doran – Indoor Kite Guy
Apparently you fly an indoor kite by movement, not wind. Gotta say, he gives an impressive display, and the backing music probably makes it slightly more classy. The judges look rapt, or transfixed or something.
Piers: I was prepared to laugh at that. Then you began to do your thing, and it was one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever watched. Howie: It was one of the most beautiful, unique things I’ve seen live. Sharon: It was very relaxing, very spiritual. It was perfect.
Three yeses. Can I request Flying Without Wings for his next performance?
William Scott Anderson
William promises to amaze us with magic. As he talks about origami, a woman climbs into a large box behind him. He begins folding the box into smaller sizes until it’s impossible there’s a woman in there. And just for completeness, he stabs a few swords into it. He then reassembles the box and the woman reappears. Wow.
Sharon: William, you entertained me. I loved your execution, I loved your style. Piers: Brilliant delivery. Howie: Love the blend of the military and magic. I would build on this. It was a little small to win it, but it’s a great start.
Three yeses for the magic soldier! Lovely guy, I think we all really warmed to him.
Sally’s a feisty old lady who claims she’ll knock people off their asses with her performance. She actually gets out a block of wood because one leg’s shorter than the other. Then she licks her hands before hand-whistling. It sounds like the Blackadder theme tune. Howie and Nick, being true patriots put their hands on their hearts. Sharon, being a rude Brit, buzzes her!
Howie: I think that you’re very unique. The only issue I had was the licking. (Howie buys a copy of her book from her! She warns him “Be careful which passages you read, it isn’t entirely a story about hand-whistling…it’s a coming out story.) Sharon: I think that you are a riot. You are an amazing lady, but I’m going to have to say no. Piers: I have the title of your next book – Hand-Whistling In Las Vegas.
What an amazing woman! That was fantastic.