America’s Got Talent 10 – Live Blog and Recap – Audition 1 (VIDEO)
The season premiere of America’s Got Talent 10! Howard Stern, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel are back, along with host Nick Cannon, for an all-new season of thrilling acts!
Seriously, this could be the craziest season yet, if the promos are any indication. We’ve got death-defying stuntmen, talented singers, body-bending acrobats, mind-blowing magicians, and incredible dancers. It’s going to be a tense show as the prospective finalists audition with the hopes of making it to the performance rounds at Radio City Music Hall in New York City!
But which acts will advance to the next round, and which acts will get the dreaded four Xs?
Keep it locked right here as I’ll be updating with commentary! Rickey will be by later with videos of tonight’s performances!
Let’s get this show on the road!
-A ton of contestants are here. We see them getting prepared to audition, set to “In the Hall of the Mountain King”. After being introduced to the judges, we get Nick Cannon revealing the return of the Golden Buzzer for Season 10. Once the buzzer is used, that act gets sent IMMEDIATELY through to the live shows. Interesting.
ELIN AND NOAH open Season 10!
-Elin is 7, and Noah is 8, and when asked by the interviewers if they’re boyfriend and girlfriend, they both seem absolutely mortified by the implication. I like these two already. Part of it is their outfits, as they seem like total MC Hammer throwbacks, which is something I can always get behind. They have tons of personality and, apparently, confidence. I’ve got high hopes for them. Once onstage, Howard says he has no idea how he’ll be able to say no to them, since they’re so cute.
-Luckily, they’re not just cute. Elin and Noah are actually really talented. They dance to “U Can’t Touch This”, and I’m pretty stunned by how good these two are. They have a very acute sense of rhythm, and it makes for a fun performance.
-Howard loves Elin’s “mean mugging”, and Mel B says her kids can’t do anything like that. Heidi thought they were both adorable, and she couldn’t take her eyes off Elin’s face. Howie says he doesn’t know if the kids do anything else, to which Elin responds that she plays golf. I love these kids. And obviously, they sail through with a yes from all four judges. Nick comes out and dances with the kids, and they actually outdance him! This is terrific.
ELIN AND NOAH advance to the next round!
TRIPLE THREAT is up next!
-Will, Caleb and Tyler are old friends who’ve come together to form a singing group called “triple threat”. Once in front of the judges, they explain that they all met in high school when they were all on the football team’s injured reserves at the same time. Tyler is on a single crutch as a result of a recent surgery, and Mel notes that it looks like he’s still on the injured list. Strangely, this entire pre-performance bit sets up for them to be terrible, from the awkward, “not feelin’ it” looks from the audience, to an earlier bit where a little girl backstage covers her ears while they’re singing. However…
-They sing “Classic” by MKTO, and it’s FABULOUS. Seriously, they have some of the best harmonies of any pop group that’s been on this show, and while their look leaves something to be desired (not from a physical standpoint, but how they dress), these guys are SHOCKINGLY good. Just stunning how good their vocals were.
-Howie says this was proof that you can’t judge a book by its cover, and Heidi agrees about their talent. Howard says they “wave their crutch at perfection,” adding that they’re “beautifully nerdy”. Howie kicks off the voting by giving them a yes, and the other three judges quickly follow suit. If being nerdy is back en vogue, then they could go far. Backstage, the boys can hardly believe they made it.
TRIPLE THREAT advances to the next round!
IRA AND MIRIAM are up next!
-Ira and Miriam are puppets, and there’s no apparent people operating them that we see. But whoever they are, they’re really good at playing this awkward mother/son duo. Particularly Ira, who is a wonderfully nebbish, nervous little character. He says he lives in an apartment with his mother, and has to rub her feet while watching America’s Got Talent. These characters feel so real and lived-in already. I love this.
-He sings “You Are So Beautiful” and changes the lyrics from “to me” to “Mel B”. He actually has a surprisingly good voice. I mean, I’m not sure how seriously we’re supposed to take his singing talents, but I though this was quite nice. And, again, the character feels so rich and nuanced that I can’t help but love it.
-Howie says he’s not the best singer, but Ira moved him. Howard agrees, and says he hopes Ira can win the million and move out of his mother’s apartment. In a wonderful moment, Mel B agrees to kiss him, and plants one on him to the tune of “I’ve Had the Time of My Life”. Heidi remarks that she feels like “chopped liver” over here, but she still gives him a yes. So does Howard. Mel B says no, however, because she hates joy, I guess. But Howie comes through with a third yes to send Ira through to the next round. Howie believes Mel said no because she knows her husband was watching.
IRA AND MIRIAM advance to the next round!
CHRIS JONES is up next!
-Up next is a hypnotist who wants to cure Howie of his germaphobia. But before we start, Chris has to ask for permission to touch Howie. He then warns the audience, saying that if anyone doesn’t want to be hypnotized, they should leave their seats now. A lot of people leave, believe it or not.
-As the act begins, the camera cuts away as Nick explains that they aren’t actually allowed to show him hypnotizing people to the audience at home. In short, the act involves tricking Howie’s mind into thinking everyone is wearing gloves so he’ll shake their hand. It works, and Howie not only shakes Chris’s hand, but he also shakes all of the other judges’ hands once Chris hypnotizes him again using a piece of paper. It’s a great live act, but it doesn’t really play on TV. In fact, it might not even play that well live, considering Howard gets bored and buzzes him. This is an act that we can’t really confirm ourselves the way we can others, because for all anyone knows, Howie is just playing along for TV. Sure, there’s a girl in the audience who falls asleep at Chris’s command, but again, that could just be a plant. And since we, at home, can’t actually watch any of it, for whatever reason, it’s hard to know what, exactly, Chris is doing, or how he’s doing it. All I can really take away from this is that he might be talented, he might be capable of hypnotizing phobias away, and this guy definitely looks like Drake.
-Howard apologizes for buzzing him and gives him a “yes”, and Heidi and Mel B quickly follow suit. Howie has no memory of what happened, but it doesn’t particularly matter, at this point.
CHRIS JONES advances to the next round!
-We follow this up with a brief clip of ADONIS CRASH BOOM, an acrobatic dancer, who successfully advances to the next round as well.
SHOWPROJECT is up next!
-The group consists of two guys from Germany and two from the Czech Republic. Their gymnasts who are looking to elevate their craft in the public arena. Their dream is to get their own show in Las Vegas, but they admit they’re nervous, since this is one of the biggest stages in America. Once onstage, one of the German guys exchanges pleasantries with Heidi in her native German, and Howard “translates” by saying Heidi is rejecting the guy for not being young enough.
-The guys remove their shirts, instantly shocking the crowd with their beefcake qualities, since they look like suburban dads with their shirts on. They have two balance bars set up over a trampoline, and they do some balancing moves, flips, and poses that are so much more complex than I could ever describe here. In the process, they get the first standing ovation of the season, and I really can’t explain why without posting a video.
-The judges are enthusiastic, particularly Heidi, who is the first to say yes. Mel B thinks this is an act that could go all the way. Howie and Howard quickly agree, and this is enough to send them through.
SHOWPROJECT advances to the next round!
-We follow it up with a look at a dance troupe whose name is never put on the screen like the others. Hopefully, I’ll be able to put up a video later so ya’ll can see, because they were really good. Immediately afterwards, we get a clip of a little girl named Sasha, who does a sick acrobatics routine with her father. We then close with an acrobatics group called Extreme Tricking and Tumbling. The flips they do make me dizzy. Seriously, this is hot madness. All three acts advance to the next round, of course.
JOHNNY SHELTON is up next!
-Johnny started playing guitar when he was 6, and says it always gave him chills. He knew since he was little that he wanted to do this for the rest of his life. He’s doing this for his son, who passed away from cancer on his fifth birthday, and he fights tears. Hell, so am I. He says that two months ago, he played for the first time in a long time, and he’s never felt closer to his son.
-He sings an original song called “That’s Love”, and it’s getting really hard to write this through all the goosebumps. I’ve heard better voices, sure, but it’s rare to see 1) this level of songwriting capability, and 2) this level of pure, raw feeling on a talent show like this. Man alive, this is so beautiful, almost to the point that it’s hard to watch. Howie and Heidi give him a standing ovation, but not before the ENTIRE CROWD does. Johnny breaks down in tears.
-Howie says there’s nothing more moving and nothing more heart-tugging that he’s ever seen on this stage. Heidi says the song made her very emotional, noting that as a mother of four children, she can’t even imagine how he feels. She thanks him for sharing this with them all. Mel B says Johnny really does have something special, as you could hear a pin drop in this studio. Howard said it was real and from the heart, saying he’s not only a great songwriter, he’s got an exceptional sound as well. Howie says he can feel Johnny’s son’s energy in this room and among all of them. And they’re all honored to get to say “yes”.
JOHNNY SHELTON advances to the next round!
PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON is up next!
-He’s a magician, but comes across more as a stand-up comic. He introduces himself and says we might know his older brother…Steve. He also hits on Heidi, before blowing her off by saying she doesn’t have a chance, which he does with wonderfully dry delivery. Onto his act…
-He invites Heidi up onstage, where he has her touch a card from a deck, and then has her write her name on the card she picked. His trick is actually pretty amazing, as he’s able to change the suit of the card while retaining Heidi’s name on each card. Basically, he’s transferring her name from one card to another, despite only holding one card at a time, apparently. Howie gives him a standing ovation.
-During Howie’s glowing review, Piff treats himself to a banana, and Heidi offers her a drink. It’s a cute act, but I imagine the personality could get grating after a while. He hits up Howie for $8, which doesn’t work, then tells Mel B to refer to him as “Mr.” Piff. Mel loves him almost as much as Howie does, and Heidi gives him a thumbs up as well. Howard is just as thrilled, saying he’s so glad Piff decided to join them today. He gets a yes, simultaneously, from all four judges. Well, I can’t say he didn’t earn it. It takes real chutzpah to pull off that sort of act.
PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON advances to the next round!
-Back from break, with Howard talking about rumors of a beef between he and Nick Cannon. In order to prove there’s no beef, he has Nick undergo a lie detector test. It’s an amusing segment. We learn Nick has passed wind in front of the other judges, and also that he enjoys looking at himself nude in the mirror. Meanwhile, Howard doesn’t like Heidi’s accent, but does like Mel B’s. Ultimately, Howard is revealed to be Nick’s favorite judge, and that’s it for the segment, which was far more amusing than I’m probably making it sound.
-We get a montage of rejections, with a family getting our first four-buzzer elimination of the season for their act, which involves falling into a giant whoopie cushion. Another group involves tight-rope walking while throwing knives. They’re good, but they don’t get through. Then we get a guy in an adult baby costume who dances…and is quickly buzzed by all four judges. It’s absolutely horrifying to look at. Seriously. His diaper then falls off, as he accuses Howie of being his daddy. This borders on surreal.
SIRO-A is up next!
-This group gets no pre-performance package, we just launch right into it. And it’s probably better that way, because this is an outstanding, mind-blowing act.
-They dance against video screens that feature color-coded replicas of them, creating a mind-bending puzzle of a performance. Part of the difficulty in recapping a show like this is in finding the words to describe an act like SIRO-A, where I’m not sure the words necessarily exist. This was just a killer dance performance that’s right up there with the best of Kenichi Ebina. It’s mixed media dancing at its finest.
-Howard said this was among the best mixed media performing he’s ever seen, and Mel B agrees, noting how brilliant it was that they doubled themselves using the video screens. Howie loved it, and asks what SIRO-A want to accomplish as a group, and their leader says they want to be famous all over the world. Howie believes they can make that happen right here on this stage. All four judges give them a yes and send them through.
SIRO-A advances to the next round!
SAMANTHA HESS is up next!
-Samantha is a 31-year-old woman who is a “professional cuddler”. She apparently sets up a retail space in which people can come out and get cuddled, since it’s like a miracle drug that helps overall wellness. How this translates into an act people would want to watch is beyond me. When she comes onstage, she explains the start of the profession, saying it started after her divorce. Her husband wouldn’t cuddle, so she ended it. Howard nominates Nick to be the cuddled one in this act, and we get underway…
-Samantha starts by teaching Nick some moves. They do “The Cleaopatra”, which basically involves her laying back on the couch and Nick leaning his back into hers. We then have Nick being taught how to spoon someone, basically. Howard has had enough, and buzzes the act, angering Nick. Samantha then teaches him “Mother of Pearl”, which involves him laying across her lap like a baby. Howard decides he wants in on this, and gets on top of Nick. The other three judges follow up onstage, and before long, it’s a Jenga tower of human bodies, with Nick at the base of it all. #CuddleParty (No, really, that was the hashtag onscreen)
-Mel B says yes for reasons that escape me. Howard says no, but feels Nick at least got the hug he badly needed. Heidi and Howie also say yes, and yeah, I just don’t get this. At all.
SAMANTHA HESS advances to the next round!
DREW LYNCH closes the show!
-Our last act of the night is a comedian with a speech impediment. As a result of a sports injury four years ago, he has a stutter. Basically, during a softball game, he got hit in the throat, which damaged his vocal chords. He explains how his girlfriend encouraged him to do comedy to help him cope. He fights tears as he explains that the person he was before would never have given the time of day to the person he is now, admitting that he was a jerk. He feels it’s his responsibility to prove to others that you can turn anything around. Onstage, he struggles not to cry when he notes how his girlfriend took three jobs to support his comedy.
-I was surprised by how little the stuttering hurt his act. He says the stutter makes the drive-thru a nightmare, and he doesn’t know why he works there. He then makes a joke about people using his voice as the sound for a GPS. It’s a pretty brilliant gag, actually, as he overplays the stutter while pretending to sound like a Garmin, sending Howie into hysterics. He gives Drew a standing ovation, but it’s not over yet. Drew closes with a great joke about being told by an audience member that he couldn’t make fun of people with disabilities just because he has one. His response. “Did I stutter?” The crowd loves it, chanting “PUT HIM THROUGH!”
-Howard applauds him for getting the crowd on his side, while Mel B thinks it’s inspiring that he took his situation and turned it into a positive. Howie says he knows how Drew is here to make people laugh, but he can’t explain how emotional Drew has made him. He says that comedy comes from a dark place, but says what made Drew special was how he found the light at the end of that darkness. Howie says he’s never had the chance to do this for an act, but he loved Drew so much that he feels he must.
HOWIE HITS THE GOLDEN BUZZER! DREW LYNCH ADVANCES DIRECTLY TO THE LIVE SHOWS
-Drew breaks down as golden confetti rains down on him. His girlfriend is just as emtoional. Howie truly believes Drew is worth the million dollars, and he wants to see him at Radio City Music Hall. Backstage, Drew asks his girlfriend if he has confetti in his hair. When she says he doesn’t, he says he feels it’s in his heart. Oh, that is just PRECIOUS.
-And that’s a wrap! What did you think of tonight’s show? Did the right acts go through? Sound off in the comments! Until next time, thank you for reading!