The country's top variety program entertained the masses as the "circus" rolled in to St. Louis for the latest installment of "America's Got Talent." Like the world's most famous Big Tops, last night's episode featured great talent, intertwined with freak shows, novelty performances, daring escape artists, amateurish puppet acts, and adorable kid entertainers.
Smashing cans, a drumming "Cougar," and "Little Ozzy"
Let's start with the peculiar people. The auditions included an embarrassingly bad puppet routine, a geriatric chicken man, and a lady who smashed Diet 7-Up containers all over the stage. Howie Mandel said "This chick hit me in the head with her cans!" Cute. Now we know why he earns the big bucks!
Other honorable mentions in the "don't quit your day job category" include a pretty blonde woman who claimed her entire band didn't show, then "dazzled" everyone with her drumming skills. Trust me, Neil Peart is not too worried about losing his Rush gig to this "cougar" anytime soon.
It's "AGT," and Sharon Osbourne is one of the judges, so that meant another Ozzy impersonator. This time around, "Little Ozzy," who was actually vocally stronger than the musical Prince of Darkness, attempted to tug at Ms. Sharon's heart strings by singing "Mama, I'm Coming Home," which ended up being prophetic words for the heavy metal wannabe. Bye-bye, Oz, no Vegas for you!
These kids ROCK!
A few of the strongest performances of the evening came from the younger generation. An extremely skilled and beautiful ensemble of Irish Step Dancers lit up the theater; a wildly passionate, gifted violin player; and a Justin Bieber meets Buddy Holly singer/musician rocked the stage making quite the impression on judges and fans.
The prize for most precious kid of the evening went to a 6-year-old charmer who had a ton of personality, but his singing and dancing needed a bit more work. The child's energy and joy shined through, and his youthful zeal will carry him through to another couple rounds in this competition. With the right training and management, he could enjoy a sweet career in show business.
One of the other highlights was a chilling 26-year-old man dubbed the "world's youngest escape artist," who while tied up in a straight jacket, hanging upside down, managed to break away in under 30 seconds from a fiery Jaws of Death contrapment that looked like it came right off the "Transformers" movie set.
Cut Throat Freaks and Mr. Drama King
If you are into gross-out, creepy acts then Cut Throat Freak Show is for you. The biggest "yikes" moment came from a guy who attached hooks to his eye lids, then lifted a chair, as well as a girl who walked on, and smashed her hands all over, pieces of broken beer bottles.
Finally, credit must be given to the drama king himself, Ron Christopher Porter, Jr., an over-the-top fellow dressed like Elmer Fudd, whose dream was to do movie voice-overs. When panned by the judges, he became hysterical, but those theatrics earned him the honors of dancing and hanging out with Nick Cannon, introducing the upcoming act, and riding in the back of a limo. Not bad. Lesson learned -- if you want a lot of attention, make a fool of yourself on live television. It works every time.