'America's Got Talent' Recap: The Revolution Continues - Rolling Stone
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‘America’s Got Talent’ Recap: The Revolution Continues

A Gothic opera singer, a mindreader and a bad case of lockjaw

sharon osbournesharon osbourne

Sharon Osbourne on 'America's Got Talent'

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

With Monday night’s teaser claiming Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent would include the “most dangerous act ever performed on the show,” tuning in was a no-brainer. Naturally we were excited to see what day two of the Austin auditions would bring. Off we go.

The Good (a.k.a. “The Real Business”)

Eric Dittelman, mind reader: The best part about this young man from Westboro, Massachusetts, who claims to be able to read minds, is not that he appears to actually read minds. And don’t get us wrong: the fact that he was miraculously able to decipher what all three judges drew on a piece of paper was impressive. Much more amazing was how far he was willing to go to prove his authenticity. Dittelman duct-taped his eyes shut, looping the adhesive around his head several times to prove his point. “I’m shocked and stunned,” Sharon Osbourne said after he correctly guessed her drawing of a pair of spectacles. Stern said he couldn’t wait to see more. Neither can we!

Andrew de Leon, opera singer: Reality talent competitions have become so formulaic that viewers have lost much of the surprise element. Take this Gothic-looking young man, for example. With his jet-black hair and creepy, bug-eyed contact lenses, who would have ever guessed de Leon had the voice of a beautiful hummingbird? Thanks to said talent-competition formula, the fact that he really did have an incredible voice wasn’t all that shocking. De Leon, a self-proclaimed “outcast,” wowed us (and the judges) with his flawless falsetto, which was made even more remarkable after he revealed he had never before sung in front of people. “I’m definitely in love with you,” Osbourne proclaimed.

Eric and Olivia, musical duo: Whenever a male and female duet perform, it’s common for the judges to inquire whether they’re a couple. This time was no exception: Stern chided Eric, a twentysomething who met Olivia in the University of Texas dorms where they both live, for not making her more than just his singing partner. But the duo had more to offer than just a cute backstory: they unleashed a jazzy, lounge-style version of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” that saw Olivia, a Lana Del Rey doppelgänger, crooning like a young Ella Fitzgerald. Eric’s backing acoustic guitar didn’t add much, but Olivia has enough vocal chops to give this duo a real shot in the competition.

The Eh (a.k.a. “Not So Much”)

Aurora Light Painters, visual artists: This crew, led by a dude who looks as if he’s a member of Hari Krishna, used reflected light to paint pictures, which they then interacted with on a gigantic projection screen. The judges found it mesmerizing and proclaimed they had never seen anything like it. They were promptly put through to Vegas. We hadn’t seen anything like it either . . . for a reason. It was boring and bizarre. Plus, it didn’t help their cause that they used Owl City’s “Fireflies” as their background music.

Nikki Jensen, singer/guitarist: This Norah Jones-mimicking, coffeehouse-style singer had a charming look and decent enough vocals to get her through to the next round. But Jensen is another example of an act that would never even make it to the judges on a more talent-laden competition like American Idol or The Voice.

The Just Plain Bad (a.k.a. “The Bizarro Bunch”)

Doppelgänger Circus Sideshow, freakshow act: This Detroit couple, whom we learned met at a Goth club, were the aforementioned “dangerous act.” And boy, did they ever disappoint. The act essentially involved the man using a chainsaw to carve the letter “H” onto an apple that the girl held in her mouth. It was far from exciting, or even that dangerous, when compared to other acts on the show. What did made this act slightly bearable to watch was its unintentional humor: the girl suddenly got a case of lockjaw after holding the apple in her mouth for too long. Classic!

Tubby, entertainer: We’re not sure if this overweight man’s act can be called a strip tease, considering he disrobed immediately and began gyrating his blubbery stomach. It was weird and awesome all at once. But as far as talent goes? Tubby is just tubby.

Jada, girl group: A word of advice to future contestants: if you think you are a talented girl group, watch these four tone-deaf girls from Boston who sang an ungodly rendition of Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World,” and then judge yourself against them. If you’re worse, get as far away from any sort of audition process as possible.

We Hardly Knew Ya

Josh Vinyard, dancer: This breakdancing b-boy had crazy dance skills and executed the worm far more easily than should be humanly possible. We need to see more of this talented man.

Man singing into shoe: There’s something inherently charming about a man wearing flouncy purple pants who stands on his head and sings into a shoe. No more information or footage was provided. But oh, how we wanted more.

Last episode: Go Big or Go Home


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