NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” visited Tampa, Florida, Monday night for a round of auditions that included a brass band, an escape artist and a TV theme singer.
Judges Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern decided which acts would go home and which would advance to the next round in Las Vegas. Contestants are competing for a $1 million grand prize and a chance to headline a show in Las Vegas.
Here’s a rundown of some of the show’s highlights:
– The youth group Inspire the Fire is not just a vocal choir that dances. They also help connect young people with their talents in the hope they will lead inspirational lives. They’ve been dubbed the “Urban Glee.” They performed the Bill Withers song “Lean on Me.” Sharon compared it to a Broadway production with an urban edge. Howard said “I hate Glee but I love you.” They advanced to Las Vegas.
– In the past, members of the clogging troupe All That! would compete against each other. Now, the seven-member troupe performs together in hopes of bringing their tap-dancing skills to Vegas. Sharon loved that they were “tattooed and burly men,” while Howard declared they were onto something, for sure. They advanced.
– A man who calls himself America’s Escape Hero invited Howard onstage. Howard was asked to tie the man to a chair with ropes while host Nick Cannon stood by to time his escape. The man escaped quite quickly but America’s Escape Hero’s act was deemed too “lame” by the judges, and he did not advance.
– A local Tampa act, The Distinguished Men of Brass, are all formerly-unemployed men who have turned their musical skills into a choreographed brass band. Wearing matching black suits and ties, they exuberantly marched around the stage and played trumpets, trombones, tubas and drums. Howie called them “fun,” and Sharon said she “absolutely adored” them. They earned a place in the next round of the contest.
– Wearing his “good luck sweater,” 49-year-old Ulysses, a lover of classic TV shows, sang the theme to The Love Boat with his rich and silky voice. He received an “X” from Howard, but after being goaded into singing other TV themes on-the-spot, including “The Adams Family,” Ulysses got two positive votes from Sharon and Howie. He advanced to the Las Vegas rounds.
Other acts advancing included a young magician, a contemporary dance group and a hula hoop acrobat. Going home were the scantily-clad NC Bikini Babes, who looked good in bathing suits, but were terrible dancers.
NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” airs again on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.