This is my kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of people, too
People who smile at you
As stated in the opening of America’s Got Talent by Nick Cannon this is the final week of auditions. Their next whistle stop was in the largest city in the Heartland, Chicago. Of all the cities America’s Got Talent has visited I’m most familiar with this one. I’m also extremely familiar with the Chicago Theatre where the auditions were held at. I had worked as a volunteer usher there for nearly three years. I got to see many shows, concerts and even a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman. It would have been nice to have ushered this unique taping. Like the lyrics say above it was their kind of town, Chicago, for the three judges. They were impressed with the talent overall. Some said it was their favorite city. Of course there were the unexpected and jaw-dropping moments along with the mind-numbing filler garbage talent that I will be happy never to see those ridiculous acts again once the Vegas rounds begin.
Please Get Off My TV
Why did the first act have to be so gross? He was going to sneeze in the direction of Howie Mandel. Honestly that was his talent. Howie was so furious he buzzed him before his act got started. Howie Mandel is well known for being a fanatical germaphobe. Luckily this guy could not make himself sneeze much to my delight and especially Howie’s. What a waste of time for everybody to see a guy dance on a surf board singing out of tune to a Beach Boys song. The plastic bubble lady was not even entertainingly bad in a good way. She simply was dreadful. There was an illusionist who looked like he just stepped out of a ’70s blaxploitation film looking like Super Fly. All he did was have a dancing handkerchief. It was really bad. I was almost embarrassed for him. The wannabe Buddy Holly Cheesehead was outright stupid. Enough said about these filler-up acts.
Why Couldn’t We See More of These Acts?
Polina Volchek’s superb act combining rhythmic gymnastics with ribbons and hula hoops was nothing sort of amazing. She had the hula hoop going full speed ahead on her toes while in a split arabesque. It was also on her thigh while others hoops were in action on her hips and arms. I loved Gentleman of NUCO who wanted to break the stereotype of classical music. Here they played with the standard classical music instruments: violin, cello, flute, etc. and literally rocked it out. NU Covenant gave new meaning to gospel music singing rock n’ roll oldies like Shout. The judges were ready to go to church after their performance. Naishon did some incredible break dancing that saw him gliding most of the time. It was like watching a vacuum cleaner in motion.
Always Saving the Best for Last
Strykers All-Stars – Wow, this dance group was like watching a hip hop military precision mixed in with some African tribal moves combining it with a contemporary dance style. I loved when they brought the Haitian flag over as a tribute at the end.
Carlos Apponte – I think we have our season’s own version of Susan Boyle. At first I thought he was one of those bad acts that made you think “what’s going on here?” When he said he sounds like Frank Sinatra I thought he must be one of those delusional singers. When he took to the stage he struggled with his broken English. He told the judges he is from Puerto Rico, which the crowd went wild as there are a significant number of Puerto Ricans in Chicago. Carlos sang an operatic aria that was simply out of this world. I kept waiting to see if this was still a joke, but after a while he was for real. He is such a little guy who does not look like most opera singers. The judges gave him a standing ovation, only the second time they’ve done that during the auditions. Everyone was on their feet too inside the Chicago Theatre.
John Beatty, RN – Talk about some nice eye candy and great guns to go with it too. John is a registered nurse in an operating room. Not only is he a nurse, but a very strong man. His talent was certainly unforgettable. One of the first things he did was literally bend and roll up a frying pan. This was a non-stick variation, not a cast-iron skillet. Believe it or not Piers buzzed him, because he looked like he was not impressed. Afterwards, Piers said it looked like the pan was a prop, that the pan was not real. I was ecstatic to see Howie challenge Piers to try and unroll the frying pan if it’s so easy. Of course Piers could not for the life of him undo the pan. Then Howie asked John to please unroll it, which he did with little effort like it was plastic. It was great seeing Piers Morgan brought down a notch or two.
Debra Romer – She is a beautifuland sweetgirl who sang Sarah McLachlan’s Angel. It started out rough as it was apparent Debra was nervous. Once she got into the song the nerves went away. I can certainly understand some of the judge’s trepidation in putting her through to the next round. Piers Morgan loved her innocence and vulnerability. For once I agreed wholeheartedly with Piers. Howie said she did not “own” the performance. However, Sharon was the deciding factor. Her concern was her nerves and not being all that confident yet. Debra assertively told Sharon she can do better and it was a “yes” from Sharon Osbourne.
It was a very fulfilling episode in the Windy City at the Chicago Theatre Tuesday evening. The way the judges said their goodbyes it sounded like that was it for the Chicago auditions. Perhaps we go to another city on Wednesday one last time before Las Vegas? You’ll just have to stay tuned.
America’s Got Talent, NBC
Sam Cahn & Jimmy Van Heusen, “My Kind of Town”, Lyrics Freak
Lara Martin, “‘America’s Got Talent’: Chicago Auditions Recap”, Digital Spy
Sarah Kelber, “‘America’s Got Talent’ recap: Does Chicago have talent?”, The Baltimore Sun