Eric Liebowitz/NBC(NEW YORK) — America’s Got Talent returned for its landmark 10th season on Tuesday, beginning their search for the country’s best talent in New Jersey.
Tuesday’s showcase included a hypnotist who got judge Howie Mandel, who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, to temporarily get over his phobia, and a stuttering stand-up comic.
Mandel was back behind the judges’ table along with Howard Stern, Heidi Klum and Mel B to offer their opinions and decide which acts would advance. Also back for season 10 was “The Golden Buzzer,” which gives each judge one opportunity to send an act straight to the live show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Earlier in the evening, former AGT judge Piers Morgan revealed he would be appearing on the show later this season. “BREAKING NEWS: America’s Got Talent returns for Season 10 tonight…and I return to the judges’ desk later this summer,” Morgan announced via Twitter.
Here’s a rundown of some of Tuesday’s highlights:
Dancing duo Elin, 7, and Noah, 8, showed off their hip-hop moves to M.C. Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” Howard and Mel thought the act was “cute.” Heidi added “adorable” to the list of comments. When Howie asked if the duo did anything beyond dancing, Noah replied, “Golf.” Mandel, known for his obsessive-compulsive disorder, also noted “U Can’t Touch This” is his “philosophy.” The judges all voted “yes,” moving them on to the next round.
Benton, Arkansas, natives Will Richey, Caleb Conrad and Tyler Davis — sporting a crutch — make up Triple Threat, who met when all three were injured on the high school football team at the same time. Their performance of MTKO’s “Classic” had Mandel noting, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” He went on to call them “a real boy band.” Klum declared they “sing beautifully.” Stern called them “beautifully nerdy.” All four judges voted “yes” to advance them to the next round.
A nerdy puppet named Ira Fenelbaum, who purportedly lives with his mother, Miriam — also a puppet, not onstage for the act, but shown backstage with host Nick Cannon — sang Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful,” dedicating it to Mel B. Howie was moved by the performance and voted “yes” to move the act forward. Howard noted the act provides them with “something we love — romance” and also voted “yes.” Heidi, jealous of the attention Ira paid to Mel, admitted she was a little jealous, but voted “yes” anyway. Surprisingly, Mel B, the object of Ira’s desire, voted “no.” However, with three out of four saying “yes,” the act moved on to the next round.
Hypnotist Chris Jones performed his magic on Mandel — and an audience member, who also appeared to go under. Jones convinced Howie that he was wearing gloves and got the comedian — whose O.C.D. prevents him from engaging in physical contact with people — to shake his hand. Chris then got Mandel to shake Mel B, Heidi and Howard’s hands. Stern, who had originally pressed his buzzer, changed his mind and voted “yes.” Mel B and Heidi added two more. Howie, under hypnosis during the segment, said he didn’t know. Jones moved on to the next round.
Four gymnasts from Germany and the Czech Republic, who call themselves Showproject, performed shirtless a series of flips and balanced on several sets of parallel bars. Mel called the act “spectacular,” noting the guys put on a show. Stern declared them “ready for primetime.” All four judges voted “yes,” and the act advanced to the next round.
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Johnny Shelton performed an original song called “That’s Love,” which he wrote for his son, whom he’d lost to lymph node cancer. Howie noted the song was “moving” and “tugged at his heart.” Heidi said it made her “very emotional.” Mel B thought Shelton had “something special,” pointing out that during the performance she could “hear a pin drop.” Howard called Johnny “a real artist,” adding he was a great songwriter and had an exceptional sound. The judges yelled “yes” in unison, moving the singer to the next round.
Piff the Magic Dragon, a 34-year-old who mixed magic and comedy, had the judges thoroughly entertained. He brought Heidi onstage and had her mark one card from a full deck. Rather than pull out a card that matched hers, Piff pulled out a different card, then changed hers to match his. Howie, who was on his feet after the trick, noted the magician was “hysterical.” Mel B loved his “silly, stupid, ridiculous sense of humor.” Klum gave him a “thumbs up.” Stern called him a “phenomenal act” that would go very far in the competition. Piff received four “yes” votes and moved on to the next round.
Siro-A was a team that mixed precision dancing with high-tech graphics. Stern noted the routine was “seamless.” Mel B. called it “big and exciting.” Mandel declared them an act people will be talking about tomorrow. They received a unanimous “yes” from the judges and moved on to the next round.
The final act of the night, stuttering comedian Drew Lynch, 24, was left with a speech impediment after suffering vocal trauma as a result of getting hit in the throat with a softball four years earlier. His act included bits about working at a fast-food drive-through and as the voice for a GPS. Howard applauded the hopeful. Howie was so moved by the act that he used his “Golden Buzzer,” advancing the young comic straight to the live shows at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.
Some acts that didn’t make the cut included a family of parents and two children who performed “The Humongous Whoopie Cushion of Doom,” which featured one of the kids jumping off a ladder onto a giant whoopee cushion; a knife thrower who failed to get one knife to land in the board behind his assistant; and a dancer dressed as a creepy looking baby.
America’s Got Talent airs again next Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.
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