New York City is a melting pot of cultures, colors, and haute couture, so it’s no surprise that this week’s hopefuls for America’s Got Talent didn’t look like average Joe’s, or act like them, either! From beginning to end, and in between, every act was different far beyond the expected. The show’s opener was stunning. Fighting Gravity, a band of science and engineering fraternity brothers, performed a black light combination dance and gymnastics display that was completely original and breathtaking. Howie Mandel compared them to the uniqueness of the Blue Man Group, but I thought they were even better than that! These guys are big-time contenders once the show gets to Vegas.
A father-son duet, Tony and Gino, from where else but New Jersey, brought a great moment of delight as they sang ” All By Myself” mostly to each other! Although a lot longer on love than on talent, it was great to see these two sharing their moment of going from the shower to the stage-lots of fun!
Next came Prince Poppycock, a.k.a. John from Virginia, who declared his love for singing before he took the stage. I envisioned he might be at incarnation of a folksinger from his short bio insert, but he pranced onstage like he was straight from the cast of Amadeus, and performed a brilliant snipet of an aria from The Barber of Seville. Sharon Osbourne joined the audience in giving him a standing ovation, and he was clever enough to give himself his own whistling assessment to complement Piers Morgan’s critique. His performance reminds us that the special kid we all knew in high school who never was a jock, debate team member, or a good fit for glee club still has a perfect niche. He just has to look harder to find it. Prince Poppycock was a delightful surprise, and it will be no surprise to find him down the street at the Metropolitan Opera fairly soon!
Ladies of the Peek-A-Boo Review came on like a cloned bunch of Katy Perry’s, but their show was just the right mix of cute and bawdy, and naturally charmed the judges. The Danger Committee literally drained the breath from their spectators with a daringly dangerous knife-throwing act, and Antonio the fire-shooting magician has an act already so polished and perfected he could go to Vegas tomorrow, and his tearful salute to his departed father only adds to his appeal. There was also a harmonica maestro who takes on four harps at a time, and I already see him making a good living in Branson, MO, if he chooses. On Repeat was a brash young rap/singing duo who thought they had it but didn’t. Turning on a tape recorder would do so many like them a favor. It’s a hard lesson to know what we really sound like, but so much better to know before a judge shreds those dreams.
Comedian Doogie Horner closed the night, and by then, the audience had lost all appetite for gags, and were ready for blood. They heckled the guy so mercilessly he never got to share most of his jokes, but it made no difference, because he raised his game then and there. In the tradition of Lenny Bruce, though not as blue, he learned to dish it right back to the audience. His performance proved that being funny is about so much more than telling jokes. It’s about being yourself, pulling it off, and hanging tough, and Doogie did it all!
Next week, we have the mom of Precious star, Gaborey Sidibe, taking the stage. It could be great!
America’s Got Talent broadcast, June 8, 2010.