"America's Got Talent" is three weeks into their nationwide search for the next million dollar act and the show has decided to hit up St. Louis.
A puppeteer named Tom Bonham is first up. His act is underwhelming to say the least. He really just moves some puppets around on a table. It almost seems like new judge Howard Stern is going to give him a "yes" because he feels sorry for him.
"He's been working his whole life," says Howard. But he gives him a "no" along with Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel, and Tom does not make it to the next round in Las Vegas.
A string of schlubs follow Tom, including a girl who only crushes unopened soda cans in her hands and the second dancing man dressed as a chicken this season.
Isaac Brown, a 6-year-old singer and dancer, is up next. As soon as he gets on stage he asks what the judge's names are. When he hears them, he says that Howie's and Howard's names sound the same.
"Can you believe that two people... named their kid Howard?" says Howard.
"No, if that's what your parents want you to be named, that's what you gotta be named," says Isaac. This kid is as wise as he is adorable.
Isaac sings and dances to the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." He's perfect. I just want to pick him up and hug him.
When he finishes, Howie makes a comment about having true talent and Isaac jumps in and says, "All that matters is [that] you're coming from your heart."
"I'd like to kiss you," says Sharon. Me too, girl. Isaac is the first of the night to make it to Vegas.
Spencer Horsman, of Illusions in Federal Hill, a man who claims to be the world's youngest escape artist, is next. He scares me before he even goes onstage. He gets host Nick Cannon to strap him into a straight jacket backstage and we see that he has already set up a metal contraption in front of the audience.
It looks like a huge bat made of knives, especially since the whole thing is suspended from the rafters by ropes. Spencer hangs upside down from it and has to free himself before a fire burns the ropes and makes the contraption clamp shut, piercing him.
It's pretty suspenseful, and Spencer somehow manages to escape and not get impaled. He gets three "yeses" even though Howard is apprehensive, saying that he wasn't sure the metal contraption would have killed Spencer had he failed to unstrap himself.
Later, Little Ozzy takes the stage. He's exactly what you're picturing: a little person who impersonates Ozzy Osbourne. Sharon is surprised and can't even look at him when he comes onstage, but she actually tears up when he sings "Mama, I'm Coming Home." She says she hasn't seen the real Ozzy in a little while and hearing that song makes her "miss him even more."
"It's a no from me, but thank you so much," Sharon says to Little Ozzy. He doesn't make to Vegas.
Next up is a guy named Ron who does a great movie trailer announcer voice. The judges like him but don't think he can hold a Las Vegas by just doing voice-overs, so it's a "no." Ron asks if he could host the show instead, so the judges shrug and tell him he can hang out and help Nick Cannon announce the show for a while. Ron is ecstatic.
The last act of the evening is Curtis Cutts Bey begins to impersonate Rick James. A few seconds into his song, all three judges buzz him out almost simultaneously. Nick Cannon feels bad, so he grabs Ron and they go onstage to dance with Curtis a little.
Nick and Ron actually look good dancing together because they're a similar height and build, and Nick does a good job copying Ron's flamboyant moves. By the end of the songs, they're best friends; they leave the auditorium, arms around each other's shoulders and drive off in the same SUV. If this friendship keeps up, it might be my new favorite bromance.
Some more people going to Vegas: a really sharp children's dance company; a hip-hop violinist; a teenaged acoustic guitarist/singer; and a freak show group made of a sword swallower, a glass walker and a guy who lifts things with his eyelids.