Day 2 of the "America's Got Talent" auditions from Austin, Texas, brought more surprises, teaching viewers not to judge a book by its cover. Before the show aired, however, news surfaced that one noteworthy San Antonio contestant may have lied about his military record.
The Aurora Light Painters illuminate the Austin stage.
At first glance, the Aurora Light Painters appeared to be an eccentric bunch, in particular a young lady dressed in a mermaid costume. Yet, this ensemble used a fusion of music and computer technology to create artwork in the air. The aforementioned mermaid costume was more than just for show, it seems, because the fluorescent colors worked brilliantly on the computer canvas.
"This is a very unusual art form, but it is spectacular to see it on the big screen," Sharon Osbourne said.
This high point was followed, in rapid succession, by a series of dreadful acts that had all three judges scratching their heads in confusion. "America's Got Talent" gives less-than-talented contestants a few moments in the national spotlight, but the Austin crop of failures was a colossal waste of time and energy.
The Doppelganger Circus Sideshow, for example, consisted of a young woman holding an apple in her mouth while her Goth boyfriend carved the letter 'H' into the skin of the fruit. This act earned three 'No' votes as the young lady walked away with a locked jaw, the result of holding the apple in her teeth.
Eric and Olivia: Unrequited love on stage?
There may be more lurking below the surface with Eric and Olivia, two University of Texas students. The duo, who met in the dorms, claim to only share a love of music, but Eric's body language betrays deeper feelings for his attractive duet partner.
"Olivia, I can't help but notice that you are a very beautiful woman. I am sure Eric is your boyfriend," Howard Stern inquired. "Eric, let me get this straight if I am reading the tea leaves correctly. Are you in love with her?"
"She's beautiful and talented, but we are just friends," an uncomfortable Eric declared.
Stern, however, would not let it drop. "Who decided that you were just friends? She did, right?"
With wishes from Stern that they become a "million dollar act and finally become a couple," Eric and Olivia launched into a winning rendition of "Moves Like Jagger."
Andrew De Leon is the real deal.
Kudos to the producers of "America's Got Talent" for bringing Andrew De Leon to the stage. Once again, it was all too easy to judge this young man based on his outward appearance. Yet, when he opened his mouth, De Leon revealed a beautiful operatic singing voice that, to borrow a line from Piers Morgan, was the biggest wake-up call on the season thus far.
Even his family wasn't aware of his gift. De Leon's parents were in the audience that night and, after his triumphant performance, the young singer shared a warm moment with his dad backstage.
Timothy Michael Poe: America got defrauded?
After watching Timothy Michael Poe perform on Monday night's edition of "America's Got Talent," most of us were ready to name the talented musician the next great American hero. Wounded combat vet makes good on national television, becomes a role model for young people everywhere.
What a difference a day makes.
During his audition, Poe mentioned his 14 years of military service. While serving in Afghanistan, Poe said, he sustained a brain injury from a rocket-propelled grenade. Singing, he continued to say, helped with his stutter.
There's no denying that Poe has a beautiful, rich singing voice. According to the New York Daily News, however, the Minnesota National Guard is questioning Poe's claims of injuries while serving in Afghanistan. Military records indicate that Poe served in Afghanistan for about a month, but there are no records of him sustaining an injury from a grenade.
Poe has true talent, and this revelation is more than heartbreaking. The soldier has ability, and there was no need to deceive, if that is truly what happened here.