Dancers stretch. Musicians tune their instruments. Drag queens reapply lipstick. The familiar rhythm of Queen’s power anthem “We Will Rock You” blasts through the auditorium. And Nick Cannon arrives on stage in a pastel pink suit. Welcome to America’s Got Talent.
“Audition 3” was full of energy, spotlighting gravity-defying tumblers, incredibly gifted children, and enough shirtless men to create an “AGT Men of Season 10” Pinterest board. Ironically, the one guy I wanted to be shirtless kept his abs safely hidden behind his Henley. Call me Michael!
Here’s a rundown of all the contestants, including those who were fully clothed.
Freelusion Dance Company
DJ Smart tells the judges that he is going to use movement to design things in space. He invites us to join him in his imagination. Howard rolls his eyes and plants his feet firmly in reality. When the lights go down, DJ stands on the stage in nothing but tiny little flesh-colored shorts. He begins to move gracefully across the stage, dancing with bursts of light. He’s strong, controlled, and clearly trained. At one point, it looks like he’s flying. Suddenly, he conjures the outline of a woman, and an actual woman appears on stage in the same space. The audience goes nuts. So do the judges. Three cheers for that dude in all black who effortlessly lifted DJ Smart mid-dance! The entire team is going to the next round.
While Heidi tries to convince Mel B. that the word ventriloquist is hard to say, Paul informs the viewing audience that he too wants to win America’s Got Talent just like Terry Fator from season 2. That guy just signed a $100 million dollar contract in Vegas. Surely he needs an opening act, right? Paul presents his sidekick Sam, who chastises the judges for staring. Sam also invites the ladies to join him in his suitcase later. Sam is cute, but Paul is cuter. Plus, his lips never move. It’s a yes from every single judge.
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Vard
Tao is a 96-year-old who was born in India, marched with Gandhi, and was friends with Marilyn Monroe when Tao modeled in Hollywood. She ditches her fur coat and grabs her partner Vard, who just happens to be 70 years younger. I feel that “cougar” does not do this relationship justice. Perhaps Tao is a saber-toothed tiger? Vard flings Tao around in her glittery fringe dress. She has no problem using his butt as bongo drums. Osteoporosis be damned! Tao wins the judges and the crowd. She’s going through.
Alondra is 13 years old and she brought an entire entourage with her as moral support. She admits to the judges that she is extremely shy. Then she proceeds to bring the house down in Spanish. This girl can sing. She becomes emotionally overwhelmed by the outpour of enthusiasm from the audience. I thought for sure Nick would wander out onto the stage to offer her a comforting hug or his silk pocket square. No such luck. Alondra soaks up the accolades while bawling into her neckerchief. Finally Nick sends the family out to rescue the poor child as all judges vote yes. I am compelled to search my apartment for my Rosetta Stone Spanish CDs.
Ellen and Terry
Sweet Ellen and Terry are the best karaoke singers in Oklahoma. They totally rock the stage. And by “rock” I mean they crash and burn miserably while attempting to sing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” All four judges push their buttons. Nick saunters out on stage, willing the judges to let the ladies finish the song. Apparently men in lavender suits just wanna have fun too.
Scott is a pizza boy from Kentucky. He rocks a set of hot pink eyebrows, a stylish beard, a bleach blond wig that would make Lady GaGa jealous, and a leopard spandex dress hot off the rack from Forever 21. He owns his look, kills at his audition, and charms his way into the heart of all four judges. The audience loves him too. Scott will go far if he doesn’t choke under the pressure or pass out from wearing Spanx for several hours in a row.
NEXT: Hello Michael the magician [pagebreak]
Michael is the hot guy who kept his shirt on. #Annoying. He invites Mel B. up on stage and asks her to sign her name on a playing card. At first Mel B. is too mesmerized by his physique to pay attention. #Truth. Finally she autographs the ace of hearts, folds it into fourths, and places it between her teeth. Michael does the same, signing his name to a second card. He puts the card in his mouth, gets up close and personal with Mel, and then backs away. #Tease. He instructs Mel B. to look at her card. She’s shocked to find his card in her mouth and her card in his mouth. Then he asks her to think of her first kiss as she punches him in the chest. After the pectoral punch from heaven, she tells the audience that the initials of her first kiss were SM. Michael pulls down his shirt (#yay) to reveal SM on his skin. Cue the audience going crazy. Michael cries harder than the mariachi girl when he learns that he is moving to the next round. Talented, hot, and emotional! Here’s hoping he makes his shirt disappear!
Dancer from Algeria
I believe Quahib was attempting Bollywood, but I can’t be sure. I thought it was rude that Howie was essentially pulling focus the entire performance by mimicking Quahib’s dance moves. Howard saves the day by punching his “X” button. Sorry Quahib. But you did rock the hell out of those Hammer pants. Consider it a victory my friend.
Los Angeles Children’s Orchestra
Susan is the orchestra conductor. She is an amazing woman who uses nothing but a bullhorn to wrangle a brood of children through the audition process. This lady deserves a million dollars for that feat alone. Her kids not only bless the audience with the music of their stringed instruments, but the piece included choreography as well. Some danced. A few did the splits. And one darling little boy winked at the audience because he knew he was so freaking cute. Of course the judges voted yes.
Leroy was another shirtless performer. Although his body isn’t quite as refined as DJ Smart or (probably) Michael’s, he owns the moment. He also pours out a bucket of 5,000 thumbtacks and then slams his body into the pile of tiny daggers. Heidi slaps her red button and covers her eyes. Howard laughs hysterically. Mel B. keeps asking, “Why?” as Leroy’s leg oozes blood. For some reason, Leroy is voted through to the next round. I can’t wait to see him jump out of a moving vehicle or chop his own finger off.
Meet Vladimir and Vladamir from the Ukraine. They are hand balancers, acrobats, and knife wielders—a winning combination. They are also shirtless. The bottom Vlad is extremely strong. Once they both put knives in their mouths, and then balance knife-to-knife without any hands, I was sold. The top Vlad didn’t fall! Blood was not shed! Take that Thumbtack Leroy! The Vlads receive a unanimous “YES” from the judges.
I was impressed with Sharon’s chartreuse pants and black leather jacket long before she opened her mouth to sing. Her acoustic version of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” was really good, but I’m not sure it was golden buzzer worthy. There must have been some sort of electric energy or vibe that the viewing audience missed out on. I’m eager to see her again since she has the official Mel B. endorsement.
Which act did you enjoy? Do you wish we could have seen more of the Chicago Ultimate Tumblers or the a capella group Pitch Slapped? Can a mariachi singer win this talent show? Or will it go to someone who bleeds for fun? I still think Susan deserves something significant just for being there. Someone give her a few of Heidi’s donuts. Or a Valium.