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IN DEPTH: Howard Stern Shows Soft Side On 'America's Got Talent'

IN DEPTH: Howard Stern Shows Soft Side On 'America's Got Talent'

05/16/2012

The second night of the season premiere of America’s Got Talent was an event that included some surprisingly bizarre actions, twists and turns. If America’s indeed got talent, then Howard Stern’s got a soft side. At least, that's what viewers saw on Tuesday night as the harshest critic wasn’t the radio rebel, but instead was the creator of the 90’s children show, Bobby’s World. Howie Mandel was a bit more critical than the previous night; usually being the odd man out of the judge’s panel. Nevertheless, the second night hailing from San Francisco served as a solid continuation from the previous one.

It was another night filled with breathtaking performances that were original, mind-blowing and truly amazing. The first performance of the night kicked off another great show as David Garibaldi and the CMYK’s took the stage. The Sacramento-based group put on a dance routine that had them moving dramatically to the rock version of a classic Beethoven tune, while painting a portrait of an unknown individual. The act turned out to be surprisingly good and well received by the judges and audiences as it combined two different styles of art into one original act.

This season was introduced to its first balancing performance as seventeen year old Cristian Sandu showed his amazing leg strength as he stoof on top of round metal objects. It was well-received by Howard and Sharon due to it’s boldness. However; Howie disagreed as he perceived it to be “too slow” for his liking. Next came a group known as the ‘Lisa Clark Dancers’ that performed hip-hop moves to the tune of Mozart. Howard and Sharon approve it, yet once again it was Howie who left unimpressed.

Other impressive acts during the night included a man dressed up like a janitor that used his broom like a flute, a 50-year-old white guy from Binghamton, NY, who happens to have a singing voice like Ray Charles, and a comedy act by impressionist Dave Burlagh that included imitations of celebrities such as Nicholas Cage, Jack Black, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

For all the great acts, there were two performers who stole everyone’s hearts as they made the night more emotional. The first of the two was performed by Luis Meneghan, 50, a registered nurse from Utah who regularly sings opera to his co-workers and patients for fun. What made his performance so well done was how strong, powerful and on-key he was. Though it may be somewhat harsh to say; in respectful terms, Luis is wasting his time being a nurse when he should be spending it at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. As Luis gets voted to go to Vegas, he’s also on the receiving end of optimistic statements and words of encouragement that lead to his wife and daughter to cry tears of joy.

The final performance was without any surprise the best of the night as street dancer Alonzo Jones, better known as “Turf,” performed a jaw-dropping dance routine to the Black Eyed Peas hit “BOOM BOOM-POW.” From beginning to the end, Turf’s body movement looked absolutely unreal that it’s almost painfully good with the way his body parts twisted. His moves were so in tune with the beat that it’s almost as if the song was controlling him. Turf would eventually break down in tears as he was described by Stern to be a “true original.” Howie Mandel stated his performance to be “magic,” especially after Turf explains his humble beginnings from being homeless for nearly two years to making it on the big stage. When you hear stories of these talented performers coming from a struggling background, it makes you want to root for them even more.

Of course, the second night wouldn’t feel so complete without the puzzling and even bizarre acts that were displayed during the San Francisco auditions. The first of the several came from a 57-year-old man dressed up in a bird suit who called himself Mr. Special. Although there was nothing particularly “special” about his act, which consisted of a laughable performance of the triangle and professing his love for Sharon Osbourne, perhaps his best talent was making a complete fool out of himself. Another strange performance was done by singer Kim McAffrey. Despite looking like she was about to be very good, it turned out to be the complete opposite as she received boos and X’s from the judges panel. She stated after her performance that sings regularly in the shower; perhaps she should just stick to doing that from now on. By far the most bizarre performance of the night was done a by rather large man nicknamed “Kotten Kandy,” who sported a Vegas showgirl outfit that was probably a few sizes too small. Along on a raspy voice, ‘Kotten Kandy’ received a not-so-sweet reaction from the judges and audience.

As the show takes their auditions next week into New York, fans can only expect things to get even crazier.

—SIGMUND SICANGO

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