Tuesday night saw a very packed two-hour audition episode of America’s Got Talent. This time it was an unnecessary second day of auditions in Orlando, with the exception of some great ones. It was also the first time America’s Got Talent visited the Pacific Northwest. The show stopped in Portland, Oregon. One thing they kept saying was how weird Portland was and LA isn’t? Speak for yourselves judges. I must confess they made the talent there seem extremely eclectic. It would not surprise me the show’s producers intentionally went to Portland, Oregon because of a town called Talent. Yes, it really exists as Nick Cannon took us on a little journey. Even though the leftover Orlando auditions were still outright silly there were some incredible acts out of it. The Portland auditions truly impressed me as you’re about to find out.
Orlando Auditions – Day Two:
Since it was a two hour episode I will cover some highlights of the good and the bad, which seemed to favor the latter. Nick Cannon got a real work out as being an assistant for a number of acts including a knife thrower. He drew a silhouette and threw knives at it. One of the knives hit the upper thigh region a bit too close for comfort. Then for the element of surprise he swung the door open and Nick was blindfolded and obviously scared to death, because of the near miss. At the beginning of the show Nick was asked to assist an illusionist with his string trick. He cuts off a piece of string then swallows it and the string came out of his stomach area. Nick was to pull the string. I could not watch this act. It was too creepy. One act definitely worth mentioning was of a gymnast/contortionist who used her thighs to paint an American flag. You actually had to see this one to believe it. The other acts were so pathetically bad they’re not worth writing about.
Simoen Mulder – He is originally fromThe Netherlandsnow living in Orlando with his mother. Simeon is only 16 years old, but his talent literally blew everyone away, especially Piers Morgan. His mother said when they first came to the U.S. one of the first television programs they watched was America’s Got Talent. Now they are on the show. Simoen was in full costume and character as Amadeus as in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He played various pieces of Mozart’s familiar compositions with absolute perfection. It was amazing how he flowed without stopping or messing up. There wasn’t even any sheet music. It was like he was playing some simple pop tunes, but Mozart’s music is anything but simple. If you have seen the film Amadeus you can appreciate his talent all the more.
Harmonik – This group of musicians from Miami had a special story and talent to share to the world. They lost so many loved ones from the earthquake in Haiti. They are all Haitians themselves. The song they performed was Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in exquisite harmony. Everyone inside that theater in Orlando was moved by them.
Portland, Oregon Auditions:
Thankfully we were not inundated with one weird act after another for nearly thirty minutes of the show like it was last week in Orlando with the really bad auditions. One of the first acts had to do with a guy wearing a mask. He said for us to watch his face. I did see his mask change colors, but it was so fast and too subtle for anyone to really notice, especially the judges. What was unforgettable about them was the masked man actually fell off the stage. I have never seen anything like that happen before. A few seasons back they had someone hurt themselves while doing their break dance/acrobatic routine. Thankfully the masked guy was alright afterwards. Another bizarre act was this ghoulish looking woman and her human dog. This was by far the most demeaning act I have ever seen on this show. How dare they put on something like that. One talent in particular was so bad it was absolutely cute. It was a dog act comprising of Chihuahuas. Obviously she did not train them, because they were all running around the stage, backstage, into the audience and the judge’s table.
Jeremy Vanschoonthoven – Once again Nick Cannon was brought in to assist Jeremy with his extraordinary mountain bike routine. Unfortunately Jeremy had a slight fall, but recovered smoothly and quickly. One of the tricks he did with his bike was having his front wheel just inches away from Nick’s face. I must say Nick was extremely brave. The final part of his routine was death-defying. Thankfully he came out of that one clean as a whistle.
Airpocalypse – Talk about a unique act if ever there was one. This is an all air rock band, which means they pretend to have musical instruments and play as if they have one. Supposedly there are air band contests according to Howie Mandel. That is certainly news to me. At first I though this was going to be one of those bad acts. Instead, they ended up being surprisingly good. All of them truly believe they are rock stars jamming on guitars or playing the drums. I liked it when they started getting into their act with an Ozzy Osbourne song. Sharon was certainly flattered by that song choice.
Connor Doran – One thing about America’s Got Talent is you learn something new about a creative talent. That was certainly the case with the Portland auditions. Connor has suffered from epilepsy since he was four years old. His talent has enabled him to release the stress and anxiety his illness brings on. I have never seen anything quite like it. He flew an indoor kite that was in perfect synchronization to the exquisitely beautiful song by Sarah MacLachlan’s Angel. It was by far one of the most moving performances I have seen so far this season.
William Scott Anderson – Recently he served in Afghanistan as a medical evacuation pilot. One thing he loves to do is perform magic. That is certainly what he did. I cannot stress it enough how I love magic acts. William did not let us down. What was different about his act versus other magicians was his machismo way he attempted each magical feat. It’s such a joy to see someone from the military performing on America’s Got Talent.
Sally Cohn – Last but never least was a 75 year old retired school teacher. Her talent was hand whistling, which is something I use to do all day long as a kid. I could really get into her act. Believe me, she was very good. I could never reach those incredible notes like she did so effortlessly. Sally also had a great rapport with the judges. It was so funny when she peddled her book about hand whistling and other events in her life. Howie actually gave her money to buy the book right there and then.
At any rate, the Portland auditions were definitely memorable. They had the most unique talent of any city thus far. Thankfully the Orlando auditions are over and we saw two great gems of talent from that city. Wednesday night is more auditions as well as all of next week. Starting on July 6th will be the Vegas showdown at long last.