The search for America’s next greatest talent continues in New York.
First up is The Flyte Cru, who I guess you could call basketball stunts-men. They use trampolines to do all sorts of somersaults as they shoot hoops. Their act is pretty entertaining, but I feel like I’ve seen it before, so I’m not very impressed.
Judge Howie Mandel thinks the same thing and gives them a “no.” New judge Howard Stern has been surprisingly kind this season; he continues that streak and says he wants to see Flyte Cru move on to next round. A “yes” from Sharon Osbourne puts the Cru through to Las Vegas.
A 7-year-old named Mir Money takes the stage later. He’s just about the cutest little rapper I've ever seen. Howie asks him who his favorite rapper is and Mir Money says “myself.” Aww!
He begins to rap and Howard hits his buzzer a few seconds into his song. Sharon hits hers too and Mir Money starts to cry onstage. I’m heartbroken and confused. C’mon, guys! Mir Money was doing the best a 7-year-old could do. At least let him finish the song.
Upon seeing Mir Money cry, Howard is visibly upset and guilty. He goes onstage to give Mir Money a hug and tell him he’s better than any rapper who has been on the Howard Stern show.
“This job is too hard, I don’t really want to do it anymore,” Howard says when Mir Money leaves. “I’m shaking. This isn’t for me ... Radio is for me. I can’t do this.”
Up next, we meet The Olate Dogs. I’m pretty much freaking out in a good way during their entire act. These six dogs do a conga line, somersaults, back flips, jump roping and more. It’s so amazing and adorable I can’t stand it.
The judges agree the act was spectacular but for some reason there’s a power struggle over which judges “owns” the stage and the judges’ desk. “Oh, it’s your stage?” Howard says to Sharon. “I’m the judge America listens to.”
Needless to say, The Olate Dogs make it Vegas without a problem.
A man called Horse is next. This guy has balls. With the helps of three friends, he gets hit in his “special region” with planks of wood, concrete blocks and poles. Nick Cannon even joins the fun and gives Horse two swift kicks. It’s just good, cringe-worthy fun.
“[This is] an act I can get behind,” says Howard. “I’m a fan of ‘The Three Stooges.’”
Next we see a string of bands take the stage. First, a messy, preteen band, and then a really strange gothic-style band. Both are booed off the stage promptly.
I have hope for the third band, Wordspit, The Illest, because the producers of the show gave them a long introduction and some back-story. I was right — these guys are awesome. By the end of their song, I’m ready to buy their first single.
Howie describes their sound as a mix of Jay-Z and Pink Floyd. “It was the best of the best mixed together,” he says. “It all came together... and was one of the most glorious moments this season.” Three “yeses” all the way.
Next we meet a 77-year-old named Burton Crane, who looks like a skinny version of Colonel Sanders but claims to be the grandfather of rap. I already hate him. And so do the judges when he begins to rap.
But then something strange happens. Burton hits the chorus of his song and suddenly the entire auditorium is cheering for him and singing along. Either his chorus, which comprises of the words “What you gonna do?” repeated over and over again, has hypnotic powers or is just really catchy.
The judges seem to be converted. Even Howard says he thinks that song could be a hit single. I’m not so sure about that, but stranger things have happened.
More people moving on the Vegas: Max, an aerial gymnast who could pose for romance novel covers; the New York Irish Dance company, who does the most awesome river dancing I’ve ever seen; and Jason, a master child pianist.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun