Chicago was the host for America’s Got Talent for its third week of the Season 8, and brought a collection of acts from both coasts and across the globe to showcase diversity. Unique looks were not enough to thrill the judges, but unique talents certainly did the trick!
No one was sure what a “dance-ish” act really was, not even ever-amicable host, Nick Cannon, nor inquisitive Heidi Klum, but Kenichi Ebina displayed he was able and willing to demonstrate. Looking like a mix of Transformer and Rock’em Sock’em Robot, Ebina invented mechanics in dance never before seen, including almost truly removing his head! The audience came to a roar at his last move, and the panel raved. Howard Stern said the dancer “put The Matrix movie into 90 seconds,” and Mel B called it “off the chain” even if she worried his head was really off. Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel added unanimous approval for the Vegas auditions. Her name may be a little long, but it rolls off the tongue, and Dianna DellaCiappa is another name America will know for weeks to come. The 39-year-old dog rescuer had forsaken her dream of singing for years, feeling that not being “aesthetically pleasing” would always hold her back. She took her moment this week, though, and her whole heart came through every note of “I Am Telling You I Am Not Going,” and it wasn’t lost on the judges. Mel B said she loved that voice, but worried that the singer would lose it from straining so hard. Howard Stern raved that her “emotion came through,” and Howie Mandel declared that Dianna had just sung the song “that will change your life.” Heidi Klum wanted to see more of the “powerful woman with a powerful voice,” too, so Vegas awaits.
The Sprice is undoubtedly a genius kid, creating perfect and precise Rube Goldberg machines in his head all day before placing the materials, but enthusiasm isn’t his forte. Dressed in his long shorts and T-shirt, he announced to the panel that he had spent three days setting up his apparatus in the lobby, and off everyone went. Nick Cannon was chosen to push the first domino, and from there an array of pendulum swung, wheels turned, ball dropped and rolled, more dominoes fell, until a spectacular goal was made. Chants of “Sprice” filled the room, but surprise couldn’t even muster Sheldon excitement. Howie Mandel teased he had to “cut the caffeine,” as Howard raved “I love this.” Heidi Klum said his display was simple “if you have brains,” and Mel B called him “unique and creative.” Just don’t call him Mr. Excitement. Rong Niu calls herself Red Panda, and calls her act Chinese acrobatics. Everyone who watched her calls it phenomenal. While spinning atop her high unicycle, she balances delicate porcelain bowls on her head. The entire audience was on its feet by the time she got to four bowls until her final bunch made the count eight. A Vegas-reverberation took off through the venue, as Howard Stern called her “the best all night,” Howie Mandel screamed “GOAL,” and Heidi Klum said the most remarkable thing was that she did her amazing balancing all while wearing white pumps! Red Panda should plan to stay a while.
In one of those only America’s Got Talent moments, the American Military Wives Choir came to fill two sections of risers, and got applause simply from their introduction. Their moving profile depicting their passion to use their music as therapy for wounded warriors, all as they hold down the home front for their active-duty husbands, was stirring. Their performance was stirring and surprising, as lead vocalists shined through “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and won them ovation. Howard commended them for “lifting the human spirit,” and Heidi said “I felt you,” as she fought back her own tears. Howie Mandel said their performance left him “overjoyed,” as a chorus of applause came to the chorale. It was a finale that seemed fit for the show that melds feeling with fine performance so well.
Next week the show’s time returns to 9 PM ET on NBC.