'America's Got Talent' Recap: Got the World on a String - Rolling Stone
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‘America’s Got Talent’ Recap: Got the World on a String

Dancers, a magician and a waterskiing squirrel

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Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel on 'America's Got Talent.'

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

We’d figured that after a month of auditions for America’s Got Talent, we’d be on to the competition by now. But alas, the quest to find “talent” continues. Apparently judges Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel, and host Nick Cannon won’t rest until they’ve rounded up every last freakishly fantastic act this fine country has to offer. On Tuesday night the AGT crew returned to Tampa Bay (for the second time this season) for some talent-hunting fun.

The Good (a.k.a “The Real Business”)

The Untouchables, dance team: This Miami-based dance team, whose members range from age eight to 13, may have expert coaching (two of the members’ parents were part of last season’s Top Ten-finishing crew, the Miami All-Stars), but they proved they have major skills all their own. Mixing technical jazz and ballroom dance, not to mention a healthy dose of acrobatics, this extremely cohesive unit was flawless. “It was precise,” Osbourne raved. Stern only offered one bit of advice before seeing them off to Vegas. “Puberty is your enemy!” he said.

American BMX Stunt Team, extreme sport performers: If you’re a fan of ESPN’s X Games, then this is one act that’s right up your alley. This 10-person team of high-flying bike riders and skaters made a ramp their best friend, and excelled despite the cramped audition-stage environment. Stern said he had hoped to see some injuries, but the team’s talent didn’t allow for any such horror-show display. “Truly the best that I’ve seen!” he said following their performance. It was a no-brainer that they were going to Vegas.

The Ehh (a.k.a “Not So Much”)

The Scott Brothers, dancers: These fedora-sporting robotic dancers performed the sort of slow-motion-mimicking act you see dudes doing outside of baseball stadiums every summer. The judges were impressed enough to send the two through to Vegas. But much like their matching outfits, this act was all gimmick, no substance.

Lindsey Norton, acrobatic dancer: This season of AGT, per usual, has featured a slew of dancers. There also has been a healthy dose of acrobats. But this 16-year-old, who could not stop giggling and smiling, incorporated both disciplines into her routine. She was (literally) bending over backwards during her performance. Osbourne said she felt Norton was “serious about her craft,” and the other judges agreed. Norton was sent through to Vegas, but we were left wondering one thing: where was the originality? What we saw was merely a combination of multiple acts rolled into one.

The Bad (a.k.a. “The Bizarro Bunch”)

Puppets On Hand, puppeteers: A dorky-looking trio of puppet handlers, as Stern said, isn’t exactly the most thrilling act on paper. And he was right: these three puppeteers paraded little worm puppets around their own mini-stage. That’s it. Stern said these men needed to quit this profession immediately. He’s onto something.

Big Barry, singer: It’s rare that someone makes it into this category when they’re sent through to Vegas, but such was the case with Big Barry. The man who describes himself as a “70-year-old teenager,” standing under five feet tall, clearly could not sing, evidenced by his screechy rendition of “I’ve Got the World on a String.” Solely for his cuteness factor, the judges loved him. Stern even came on stage and gave him a bear hug. Sadly, we’ll be seeing more of Big Barry.

Air-Sex Expert: This man made out with the air. Enough said.

We Hardly Knew Ya

Taylor Reed, magician: This illusionist made a motorcycle (with a girl on it, no less) appear out of nowhere. He got sent through to Vegas. But we wanted more!

Luanne Bess and Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel: This woman had a squirrel that waterskied. It was amazing. Why they didn’t put her through we may never know. Soul-crushing!

Last episode: The Revolution Continues


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