‘America’s Got Talent’ recap: Things get rolling in Vegas on Day 2

The Vegas round of “America’s Got Talent"kicked into higher gear on Tuesday, with a second night of call-back performances that weren’t bad and, finally, some verdicts as to who would advance to the live shows in New York and who would be sent home.

Speaking of which, the episode saw the elimination of Tim Poe, the country singer-soldier who showed up to auditions with a stutter that he said he’d developed in Afghanistan after being injured in an incident that, turns out, may never have occurred. But whether he would have advanced because of his battle tale, we’ll never know, because the Vegas rounds were taped before the controversy arose. He was ousted based solely on his musical merits. As judge Howie Mandel said, “I don’t know that he holds up to other singers on this show at all.” Eventually, judge Sharon Osbourne broke the news: “The fact is, you won’t be coming to New York.” So long, soldier.

First up on Tuesday’s show, though, were the magicians. Youth carried the day, with mind reader Eric Dittelman and escape artist Spencer Horsman making it through -- and justifiably so. Dittelman had Osbourne write the name of her first crush on a piece of paper -- not husband Ozzy, he warned, as that would be too easy -- and fold it up. Then he revealed the name he’d “locked in” on: Robin. “I’m very frightened,” Osbourne said. “How did you do that, reading my mind? That’s private business!” After Dittelman left the stage, Osbourne had a big reveal of her own: Robin didn’t actually exist. She’d made him up! You’d think Dittelman could have read that on her mind, too, but still, it’s unclear how he arrived at the name Osbourne had written down. Mirrored glasses? Some pen-and-paper texture trick?


Horsman, for his part, locked himself (using multiple locks) in a small, Plexiglas box, in which he was submerged in water, and picked his way out in 1 minute, 25 seconds. With his father overseeing operations, Horsman noted that, if anything went wrong with the act, he’d be in his “own watery grave.” Noted a fellow magician: “You want to eliminate competition, but not like this.” Ultimately, though, despite one possibly planned fumble with a tool, Horsman emerged just as the clock struck zero.

Two singing duos also made it through: College non-sweethearts Eric and Olivia distressed Howard Stern with their lack of romantic interest in each other but impressed him with their music. “I believe they could be a headlining act,” he told the other two judges.

Father/daughter act Maurice and Shanice Hayes also moved on, mostly on the strength of her voice, since he mucked up some of the lyrics. The judges seemed to agree that Shanice would be better as a solo act. “If she had her own television show, she’d bring out her dad for one song,” Stern contended. Mandel concurred: “She’s one of the best singers in this whole competition.”

As for comedians, two audition favorites -- Jacob Williams, with his dry, geeky-guy delivery, and Tom Cotter, with his perfectly paced laugh lines -- again distinguished themselves and moved on. (Sample Cotter joke: His girlfriend always used to complain about him invading her privacy. “She didn’t actually say it, but she used to write it in her diary all the time.”) While other comedians choked, one particularly painfully, Williams and Cotter got the last laugh.

On a stage crowded with mediocrity, three kid acts stood out. Sebastien El Charro De Oro, who declared, “My whole life is about mariachi,” prompted Stern to gush, “That kid just puts a smile on my face.” Osbourne agreed: “He’s magic.”

Fourteen-year-old singer and pianist Edon reminded Osbourne of “a young Billy Joel.” Miami All-Stars’ offspring the Untouchables also made it through. Of course they did.

Other singers? Advancing were theme-song singer Ulysses, who may have proved himself to Stern with a swingin’ “Secret Agent Man,” Jake Wesley Rogers, and recovering addict and new father Tim Hockenberry, of whom Stern said, “I know he’s Joe Cocker-esque, but I love him.”

Also advancing:
787 Crew
All Beef Patty
All That
All Wheel Sports
American BMX Stunt Team
Aurora Light Painters
Ben Blaque
Cristin Sandu
Horse, the King of the Nut Shots
Joe Caastillo
Lightwire Theater
Nikki Jensen
Todd Oliver

And of course the three we learned about Monday:
Olate Dogs
William Close
David “The Bullet” Smith

With 28 slots filled, 20 remain. We’ll presumably find out Wednesday night who will fill those.

What do you think of the judges’ selections so far?


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