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America's Got Talent Season 4

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Season 04, Episode 01 Audition Show #1

S04 E01

Jun 23, 2009
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Audition Show #1 Jun 23, 2009 "America's Got Talent" returned for a fourth season on Tuesday night, and it was less than 30 seconds into the opening montage before there was a Susan Boyle sighting. New host Nick Cannon, replacing Jerry Springer -- who'd replaced Regis Philbin two years ago -- promised the biggest and baddest season to date, and we got started with a two-hour season premiere. The stakes once again are a $1 million grand prize and a chance to perform in Las Vegas. The unruly crowd was back for the audition round, which started in New York City. A singer and dancer named Ray Schwarz got it all started for the summer season. Poor Ray was doomed from the start, hitting notes that were as wobbly as his dance moves. A montage of bad performances followed, ending on a hot note when a fire dancer's hair went up in flames and stage hands had to run out on stage with extinguishers to put out the blaze. Just like that, we were whisked away to Chicago, where we found Moses Lam, who claimed to have a talent that could only be done by him. He warned viewers not to try it at home. His talent: walking with his feet turned a full 180 degrees. He was sent home. A dance group calling themselves the Footwork Kings came on with an inspiring story about getting out of a bad neighborhood and following their dream. The Chicago crew put on an impressive display of high-speed choreography that brought the crowd to its feet instantly. The judges loved it and put the group through -- the first "yes" vote of the season, 20 minutes in. And what inspiring story on "America's Got Talent" would be complete without R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" playing in the background? The "C'mon Get Happy" soundtrack could only mean one thing -- a family act from Wisconsin named Shine was up next. They butchered "Walking on Sunshine," and David and Piers X'd them quickly, but Sharon held out and let them finish. Another montage of bad acts followed. Peter Peterkin, a Barack Obama impersonator calling himself "The Rock n Roll President." After a funny intro, he launched into James Brown. Peter said he does about 300 impersonations and plays about 15 instruments. The crowd was chanting for him to be sent to the next round in Vegas, and the judges finally relented and put him through. Forty minutes in, two "yes" votes. But the Obama impersonator brought hope with him, kicking off a group of acts that were put through by the judges, including a percussion group, a vocal percussionist and a dance group. Debbie Victor said she had a talent that would blow the judges away, which rarely turns out to be true. She went on stage and said she does animal sounds. It took about two seconds of Debbie's barking dog for Sharon to hit her "X" button. Tony Hoard, a factory worker with an impressive friend, Rory, took the stage and put on an amazing display. Rory is Tony's Australian shepherd, and was trained to catch Frisbees tossed in any manner of ways. The crowd roared its approval and Tony and Rory were on their way to Vegas. The auditions moved on to Seattle -- technically Tacoma, but few people outside the Pacific Northwest would get the distinction. Brad Byers said his dream was to leave his job and perform full-time. His skill: putting things through his nostrils. First, he put a large hook through his left nostril and coiled it through his throat and out of his mouth. Then, he pulled out an electric drill and put it through his nose. Sound bizarre? Then, how about the fact that Piers and The Hoff voted to put him through to Vegas. The acts got even stranger as the Seattle audition wore on, but a trio of sisters were ready to unleash their singing skills. The EriAm Sisters, ages 11 to 15, thrilled the audience with their rendition of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." The Hoff said they were the most talented group of kids he's seen on the show "since the beginning." They're on to Vegas. A tumbling group, an urban choir and a fire act all got green lights. A guy named David Johnson performed an original song about a crush he'd developed while watching "Baywatch" in high school. It was all about his admiration for David Hasselhoff. After "X"-ing him early in the performance, The Hoff gave the guy a "yes," but Sharon said she couldn't stand to hear that song again, but Piers let David through to Vegas. It was an "America's Got Talent" love story when aerialist Bruce and his assistant (and soul mate) Simone took the stage. The act consisted of the soul mates writhing around on each other inside a suspended hoop, a device Nick said he might have to get for his bedroom. The Hoff said no, but Sharon said yes. Piers said yes, and they were going to be hooping it up in Vegas. And it was back to New York, where the NYC Gay Men's Choir got things started on a positive note. Joseph Maracina said his impersonation skills were unmatched. He was right, but probably not in the way he'd hoped. It was a resounding no from the judges. A married acrobatic dance duo calling themselves "Paradizo Dance" stunned the crowd with some moves that involved the wife lifting her husband, who was at least twice her size. Piers asked, flat out, how much they each weighed. Her: 100 pounds. Him: 240. Piers said it was one of the most extraordinary things he'd ever seen in his life. With 10 minutes left and one act remaining and soft piano music playing, it was time for the most heart-warming story of the night -- and this one didn't disappoint. The family group called themselves Voices of Glory -- two brothers ages 16 and 13, and their 9-year-old little sister. The oldest brother explained that their mother was in a head-on collision with a drunk driver and they started singing to her as a group when she slipped into a coma. Their mother made it through and was in the wings of the stage watching her kids wow the crowd with their harmonies on "God Bless America." The audience and the judges rose to their feet in applause and Sharon cried. Piers called them "the pride of America, tonight." Their mother was brought on stage in her wheelchair and Sharon wept as she told their mother how proud she must be of her children. The judges gave a unanimous yes, with Piers calling it one of the most powerful moments the show has ever seen.

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Season 04, Episode 02 Audition Show #2

S04 E02

Jun 24, 2009
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Audition Show #2 Jun 24, 2009 The search for America's greatest new act continued Wednesday night on "America's Got Talent," and the second night of the fourth season started in Seattle. Manuela Horn, a mother of two, said she wanted to show her kids what mommy could do besides washing clothes and taking care of them. Then she walked on stage in a patent leather suit and a whip, saying she was going to dominate us "in a very special way." The singing started very ominously, but kicked into an odd bit of yodeling that the crowd didn't seem too keen on the act but also didn't "boo." The judges let her finish and, somewhat surprisingly put her through to Vegas. A trail of "yes" votes followed, including the Comic Bots, a robot group variety act; Tom Durnin, a retired firefighter turned dancer and magician; and G-Force, an all-girl rock band trio, ages 7 to 11. Rafael Serrano, a 40-year-old bouncer who talked about having to be tough to do his job, wanted to show the world what he could do. When it came time to sing his song, he tore into Donna Summer's "Last Dance." He ended it with an impromptu splits. Sharon said yes, leaving Rafael's fate in the hands of Piers and The Hoff, who both said no. Erik and Rickie, 8-year-old dance partners who'd danced together for four years, impressed the socks off the crowd and the judges on their way to a unanimous "yes" vote and a trip to Las Vegas. Welcome to Miami...: From the northwest corner of the country to the southeast, Miami got a chance to show what it had to offer. Up first was Jennifer Guadix, who rolled a suitcase on stage and declared she was going to do something totally different, she opened the suitcase and inside was contortionist Jessica Guadix. Drew Thomas, a 40-year-old illusionist who'd worked several odd jobs to support his wife and son, said his dream was to perform in front of a packed theater every night. His act thrilled the judges. The Hoff said "finally" there was a magician on the show worthy of a $1 million Vegas act. Sharon called him one of the best illusionists she'd ever seen, and Piers said Drew had a real shot at winning the whole thing. A trio of blond sisters from Poland dressed in white and carrying violins called themselves Alizma turned in a raucous version of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." The judges didn't care much for the singing, but their violin playing was impressive enough to earn them a ticket to Vegas. Janifer James, a 30-year-old dance teacher, did African bohemian dance, was X'd out by the judges before she finished her shaking and shimmying routine. With the sparkling, indigenous costume, The Hoff said he felt like he was being attacked by a rosebush. A string of terrible performers followed. Arcadian Broad, a 13-year-old kid who said he lacked confidence and was bullied in school before he found dance. He wanted to "show everyone that I do have something great inside me to give out." He was an American take on Billy Elliot, really, and the crowd rose to its feet in approval. The judges gave a unanimous yes, and The Hoff shed a bit of a tear as he saw Arcadian running and jumping around the stage afterward.

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Season 04, Episode 03 Auditions in New York

S04 E03

Jun 30, 2009
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Auditions in New York Jun 30, 2009 The "America's Got Talent" auditions headed back to New York City on Tuesday night in search of the country's greatest new act and the eventual winner of the $1 million grand prize. Carol Lugo, a 62-year-old supermarket cashier from Jersey City, N.J., who said dancing was her soul, was ready to prove you're never too old to follow your dream, gave some kind of mish-mash collection of dance moves that sent the crowd into hysterics. The Hoff said she had "amazing talent" and that she was terrific. Piers Morgan was ready to crown Carol the savior of America"s recession. With three "yes" votes, Carol was heading to Vegas. A montage of green lights followed, including a 21-year-old yo-yo spinner named "Yo-Yo Joe," a group of drag-queen dancers called The Diva League and a guy named "Coney Island Chris." Jay Mattioli, a 27-year-old guy who was hanging on to his dream of becoming a famous magician, dazzled the crowd and the judges with some illusions in which he made the microphone stand float and one in which he disappeared in a box. The judges liked his upbeat stage presence. All three judges voted "yes," sending Jay on to Vegas to continue his dream. The auditions jumped to Chicago, where we found a county judge from Detroit named Franklin Sane who rejoiced in the opportunity escape from a stressful courtroom through music. The crowd didn't waste any time turning in their verdict, heckling and booing Franklin shortly after he started singing. Thia Megia, a 14-year-old singer from Tracy, Calif., took on Jennifer Holliday's "I Am Changing." Piers said it was a "big song," but she showed a strong, mature voice that surprised everyone and earned her a standing ovation. Piers said, "Right now, you are the best singer I've seen in the competition." Thia got through with a unanimous vote from the judges. A short guy named Jeffrey kicked off a montage of "Talent"-less contestants whose dreams ended quickly. A group of sisters calling themselves The Fab Five, ages 23 to 35, put on an impressive display of high-energy, choreographed tap dancing that ignited the crowd and the judges. With three "yes" votes, the Fab Five were headed to Vegas. It was the end of the night, which meant it was time for an inspiring story. Kevin Skinner, a singer and acoustic guitarist, said he used to work as a chicken catcher. He made the crowd in Chicago giggle with his country boy shtick, but it went silent as he captivated the audience with his rendition of Garth Brooks' "If Tomorrow Never Comes." Piers, perhaps shooting for that Susan Boyle parallel, said that there's a moment every season when someone comes on stage and appears to be a "total car crash" and wows everyone with his or her voice. He said this was that moment, and called it "one of the most emotional, powerful performances I've seen in a long time." Sharon said she could tell Kevin was a "very genuine man," and The Hoff said "America deserves to see you." They will ... in Las Vegas.

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Season 04, Episode 04 Texas Auditions

S04 E04

Jul 1, 2009
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Texas Auditions Jul 1, 2009 The journey across the country to find the next great act continued Wednesday night on "America's Got Talent." The show ventured deep into the heart of Texas for the first time, landing in Houston to see what the south had to offer this year. Divani, a 29-year-old Russian who now lives in New York, brought her unique voice to the stage with a rendition of Whitney Houston's "Queen of the Night" that sent Piers Morgan reaching for his buzzer. Divani was quickly on her way. Host Nick Cannon said Houston's record turnout didn't make for record talent, kicking off a montage of bad performers that included a guy balancing a running lawn mower on her his chin while Nick tossed produce into its blades. Lake Houston Performing Arts Center, 27-member dance team from Houston, all girls from 8 to 14 years old donning big, puffy, orange wigs, wowed the judges and the crowd with their high-energy group routine. The choreography was impressive, and the judges loved it. The Hoff called them an inspiration to all kids across America, and they got through to Vegas with a unanimous vote. Pam Martin, a widow who came to dance with her dog, Viva, amazed the crowd with the moves her dog was able to do, including standing on her front two feet, jumping onto Pam's back and spinning around in circles. The Hoff called it one of the best dog acts he'd seen. "There's one thing I want to say," Piers said. "Viva ... Las Vegas." It was off to Miami for the second half of the show, to see if the beach town had the talent the show was looking for. Up first was Marti Brill, who was convinced he was the best undiscovered talent in the country. He said the magic world will never be the same. It was a pretty awkward routine that earned buzzer hits from Piers and Sharon, and the crowd booed relentlessly. "The reason they're booing is because you're the most annoying man in Miami," Piers said. A guy named Brandon hit the stage reading what he called poetry about ex-girlfriends. That was a bad sign, and so were the three X's the judges sent his way. A couple more terrible acts followed, including some wrestlers who vaguely threatened to take out Piers after he said they weren't exactly "spring chickens." Joseph Constantine and his wife, an illusionist pair that has fallen on hard times because of the recession, had a compelling story and his act wasn't bad, either. The judges enjoyed it, but The Hoff played tough guy and said he'd seen it a bunch of times before and ultimately said it wasn't worth it. He voted no. Piers, who'd said the show was all about giving ordinary people a chance, voted yes. Sharon, of course, gave the second yes vote that was needed to send Joseph to Vegas. A series of dance acts, which all earned tickets to Vegas, followed. They included a belly dancer named Fuchsia FoXXX, a teenage trio of girls called Circus R Us, and a martial arts dance crew of ripped dudes called The Hurricane Tricksters. A breakdancer named Hairo Torres from Grants Pass, Ore., made the journey across the country to prove he had what it takes to win the million dollars. He vowed to show the judges something they'd never seen before. He did it, impressing the crowd with jumps straight onto his upper back, and displays of double-jointedness that made Nick Cannon utter at one point, "I don't think he's got any bones!" Three yes votes later, Hairo was headed to Las Vegas.

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Season 04, Episode 05 Preliminary Auditions - Night 5

S04 E05

Jul 7, 2009
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Preliminary Auditions - Night 5 Jul 7, 2009 A third week of "America's Got Talent" auditions kicked off with the show's typical, odd approach of having its host inflate the show's viewership numbers, with Nick Cannon saying that 46 million "people" have watched the show since the start of the season. That, of course, adds the audience from show to show, which is likely the same 11 million, or so, people every time. The auditions touched down in Los Angeles, where they were sure to find some talent -- right? "Nasty Nate" Watkins was the first to try out, and he promised charisma and "sex appeal," which was a bad sign from the outset. He said he stays "at home with my mother" for a living. As soon as he started singing Tina Turner's "Simply the Best," the crowd hit him with a chorus of boos, letting him know he wasn't. The Hoff called it "simply the worst." A group of bad acts followed, including a "one-man instrument," a mime (who used a piece of paper as a prop), and the "world's fastest poet." The first batch of contestants were so bad, they had Sharon Osbourne hoping the talent would arrive some time after lunch. Hasselhoff even donned his "Baywatch" lifeguard jacket in hopes of salvaging something positive out of L.A. The next act up was a couple from San Francisco calling themselves "Footworks Fitness," who turned a step aerobics step into a drum. They tapped around on it for a few moments before the judges all buzzed them and voted them off the stage. Yet more bad auditions followed, including a kite flier whose kite wouldn't fly, a bad breakdancing duo, a guy dressed as a monkey, and a rapper who ripped his shirt off. The final audition of the first day in L.A. was Terri Willis , a nurse-turned-singer who appeared to be vying for "America's Got Talent's" version of Susan Boyle ... until she started singing. She was so bad, Piers and Sharon hit their buzzers and walked out to end the first day in L.A. Piers called it "the worst day in the history of 'America's Got Talent.'" The judges arrived the next day, hoping a new sunrise would results in a new batch of talent. The first act of the second day was 17-year-old singer BRI, who was looking for some approval from "rock chick" Sharon. She sang and played on keyboard, "Burnin' Up," by The Jonas Brothers. More than 25 minutes into the one-hour show, Nick declared, "Finally, some talent in Los Angeles." Sharon said it was refreshing that she had her own identity and wasn't mimicking anyone else. With three "yes" votes, she was on her way back to her hometown of Las Vegas -- but for the next round of "America's Got Talent." A dance group of kids, ages 6 to 9, "TJ & The Little Mamas," took the stage to show off their moves. The crowd certainly enjoyed the upbeat change of pace. The judges did, too, and put the little dancers through to Vegas. More talented acts followed, including a fire eater named Miss Germany; aerial performer and violinist Janice Martin; and a "cartoon-style popping act" named The Scott Brothers. Another dance act went through to Vegas before 55-year-old Monsieur Pedicure claiming he had a unique style of dancing, which is rarely a good sign. He put a wig on his toe and tried to make it dance. It didn't work. "You know what?" The Hoff said. "Every time I think the worst act in history is on our show, you are definitely Number 1." Husband and wife duo Mario Ferrera and his wife Jenny came out promising a dangerous act that could possibly kill Mario. With his scantily clad wife at his side, Mario juggled chainsaws that were turned on, firing up the crowd. The Hoff called it sexy and dangerous, and Piers said Mario looked like he was born to perform in Vegas. With the judges' votes done, The Hoff declared, "Sexy and dangerous, you're going to Vegas!" Lawrence Beaman was a bundle of nerves before he took the stage, but he wowed the crowd with his booming, deep, bass voice, singing "Old Man River." Lawrence became emotional as soon as he finished, and the judges immediately called him classy. Piers teased the crowd, saying he wasn't sure how much they liked him, which prompted them to cheer even louder than they'd already been cheering. Three "yeses" sent Lawrence to Vegas.

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Season 04, Episode 06 Auditions in Houston

S04 E06

Jul 8, 2009
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Auditions in Houston Jul 8, 2009 "America's Got Talent" headed south to Houston to see if the talent was as big as the state of Texas. The Hoff made a special, Texas-sized entrance, and away we went. The first act was a trio of cowboys promising to make something big happen. They called themselves "The Texas Tenors," and admitted they put the group together about three months earlier. They got the crowd on its feet and clapping along. The Hoff liked it, and Sharon said they were still a little rough around the edges. Piers said he was worried when he heard they'd only been together for three months, but enjoyed it. They could work out the kinks between audition time and the next round in Las Vegas. Bruce Thomas, a 51-year-old handyman-turned-musician talked about his unique talent and promised the judges would be flabbergasted. They were, but not in a good way. Three buzzer hits sent Bruce on his way, and started a string of bad acts, including an urban burlesque dance group that fell all over the stage, and a guy who had assistants staple dollar bills to his chest and forehead, and hung a 40-pound weight off his nipples. A group calling themselves "Acrodunk" offered up a high-flying slam dunking routine. The judges and crowd loved it, and The Hoff said they were by far the best dunking act the show had seen. Sharon said she could watch them all night. They're next aerial routine would be flying to Las Vegas for the next round of "America's Got Talent." A group of green-lit acts came next, including a belly dancer and a rapper. Eight-year-old Eleisha Miller, who Nick Cannon called a little girl with a big personality, brought her precociousness to the stage and sang and played piano to "Proud Mary." The Hoff said she was cute and funny, but her singing needed a little work. Sharon voted no, but Piers said he didn't care whether the girl would sing or not and voted yes. The Hoff voted yes, and sent little Eleisha on to Vegas. An R&B duo named "Timez 2" said they could be huge. The crowd got up and danced as they served up a rendition of Usher's "Yeah!" The Hoff liked their "raw talent" and energy. Sharon suggested they spend more time on their vocals than their grinding. The Hoff said yes, Piers said no. That left it up to Sharon, who gave them the yes they needed to send them to Vegas. "Grandma Lee," a 75-year-old retired phone operator, took her last shot at her dream at being a comedian. The crowd roared with laughter at her quick wit. Sharon liked it and Piers said she might his favorite contestant of the season, so far. Grandma Lee said she thought Piers was cute, then slipped in "I'd do him." With three yeses, Grandma Lee's dream will last at least another round. Barbara Padilla, a 36-year-old full-time mom who said she never gave up her dream of being a singer, busted out some impressive operatic vocals that brought the crowd and the judges to their feet. Barbara opened up afterward, saying she believed in miracles and was living one as a cancer survivor in remission for five years. Three yes votes later, Barbara can keep living her miracle in Vegas.

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Season 04, Episode 07 Auditions in Florida

S04 E07

Jul 14, 2009
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Auditions in Florida Jul 14, 2009 Another Tuesday night in early summer meant another hour of auditions on "America's Got Talent." The tryouts were back in New York City for at least the third time this season. A 38-year-old government contractor named Jeffrey Widom said his singing made him feel good inside. He came on stage rockin' a government contractor-style suit. He took on Shaggy's "Mr. Boombastic," but the crowd and the judges weren't having any of it and Jeffrey was on his way home. The requisite bad acts montage followed Jeffrey, starting with a run of the mill trickster who pulled items out of his shit and played a recorder with his nose. It also included a terrible opera singer, a contortionist, a standard bouncer turned bad singer. A 9-year-old guitar player named Tallan Noble Latz was ready to wow the judges and said that if he won the million dollars he'd want his mom to work less so he could spend more time with her. He brought the crowd to its collective feet with his bluesy six-stringing and was a clear shoo-in for the next round. This isn't his first run on TV. Tallan made an appearance earlier this year on "Rachael Ray." Tony Ferrante, a 74-year-old retired barber, was chasing his dream of making it big. Wearing a shimmering gold shirt, black pants and patent leather boots, Tony showed off some groovy dance moves that proved to be more of a quick laugh than a million-dollar act. Piers wanted more for a million-dollar talent competition. The Hoff voted yes, leaving it up to Sharon. After a dramatic build up, Sharon voted yes, and Piers' head dropped into his hands before he shook it in disbelief. A group of solid performances came next, including a fast-dancing contortionist, an illusionist and a high-flying African dance group. Kelli Glover, a singer who just missed making the Top 10 during the first season of "American Idol," was back after six years and trying her shot one more time. The Hoff said she was great and was proof that one should never give up. With three yes votes, Kelli was on her way to Vegas. The Bad Girls, a singing and dancing trio from Philadelphia, proved their name right as they were buzzed by all three judges within seconds of when they began singing. Another threesome, a group of brothers named the Platt Brothers, stormed the stage wearing track suits. The variety dance act was part mime, part choreography, part gymnastics, and enough to set the crowd on fire. They got through with three yes votes, but Piers told them to step up their game a bit as they get further into the competition. A singing group of postal workers from Richmond, Va., called themselves Spiritual Harmonizers and took on some Boyz II Men with "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." The crowd loved it. Nick Cannon loved it. The judges loved it, and singled out the lead singer of the group for his strong vocals. Sharon said the reason she loves this show is because it gives everyday people the chance to perform to millions, "and that's you." All three judges voted to move them into the next round.

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Season 04, Episode 08 Seattle Auditions

S04 E08

Jul 15, 2009
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Seattle Auditions Jul 15, 2009 The "America's Got Talent" auditions returned to the Pacific Northwest, claiming to be in Seattle but really taking place "in nearby Tacoma." Without wasting any time, we were introduced to Keg "The Lone Ranger of Rock," who said it was his passion and calling to follow in the footsteps of some of Seattle's rock legends. The crowd showered the stage with boos before the judges even began speaking. He was gone quickly, starting a montage of bad acts, including a bad singer, an "indestructible man" who did dangerous things with knives, and a stripping pink gorilla. Kari Callin, a 43-year-old woman who'd grown up with a cleft pallet, said she'd never had a boyfriend and people didn't believe she was a singer. She told Piers she once auditioned for a singing gig on a cruise ship and was sent away before she even sang. She sang "Somewhere" from the "West Side Story" soundtrack. The crowd and judges rose to their feet during the performance and The Hoff told her to go back to that cruise ship and charge the talent scout $40,000 a night. Sharon said it was one of those moments where the hair stands up on the back of your neck. Piers said he's learned not to judge a book by its cover, and the judges sent her to the next round in Las Vegas. Apparently, Kari was all Seattle had to offer because 20 minutes into the hour, the auditions went back across the country for yet another stop in New York. The first set of auditions were good ones, including a guy doing "fire acrobatics," a singer/guitarist and a group of gymnastics girls. A quintet named Reality didn't get to finish before all three judges buzzed them. Piers called it "one of the uncoolest things I've ever seen." Sharon said the act was something they should "take to an elderly persons' retirement home." It was a no. A hip-hop dance crew, Destined 2-Be, from Indiana said they were looking for a chance to prove themselves after getting shut down in their hometown repeatedly. The judges love their heart and their style, and put them through to the next round. Rashida Jolley, a 29-year-old singer and harpist who wanted to honor her deceased father's memory, sang and played "Killing Me Softly," evening bringing a rhythmic twist to it by drumming the beat on the base of the massive harp. Sharon liked the singing and the harp playing, but said she as a little confused by the combination. Piers said she "made the harp quite sexy." All three judges voted to move her on to the next round. A couple of guys who were college roommates decided to give their music a shot. Their names were Anthony and Matt, but they didn't have a name for their duo. Matt played acoustic guitar and danced while Anthony sang. The Hoff and Sharon praised the tap dancer, especially, and Piers said it was "totally unique -- I've never seen anything quite like that in my life." With three yes votes, they were headed to Vegas. A montage of good dancers followed, including a couple performing an Argentine tango, a father and son performing some interesting acrobatics, and a guy who whipped his wife -- but in an artistically acceptable way. Mia Boostrom, 16, said she was devastated after getting cut during the Las Vegas round on last season's installment of "America's Got Talent." She came back ready to make her mark. She sat at her keyboard and played and sang "Georgia on My Mind." Sharon said it was amazing how far Mia came in a year, remarking on her newfound confidence. Piers said Mia was a much better singing now with more range. The Hoff said she did great, but "it wasn't perfect." Still, he said it got everybody's attention. She made it through to Vegas, but, you know, she's been there before.

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Season 04, Episode 09 First Round Auditions Continue

S04 E09

Jul 21, 2009
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First Round Auditions Continue Jul 21, 2009 The "America's Got Talent" provided a significant piece of information on Tuesday night: Apparently people still use MySpace. The hour consisted of acts that submitted their auditions on the once popular social networking site. Jerry "El Vegas" Katz gave the Internet a bad name by coming out and doing a terrible Elvis impersonation. The Hoff said he wanted to see what was going to happen. "I didn't know what was going to happen," he said. "I still don't know what happened." The first montage of bad auditions followed El Vegas, including a group of jump ropers who kept getting themselves tangled up, a bad singer, a Shakespeare soliloquist, and a flamboyant, bald and glittery man wearing a T-shirt that read "I (Heart) Boys Who Sparkle" who sang The Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha." An 18-year-old singer named Ashley who said she had a fan club on MySpace, which didn't bode well. Piers buzzed her almost immediately, followed closely by a bored-looking Sharon. David let her keep singing long enough to hear Ashley let out some loud shrieks that reminded everyone of Linda Blair, a la "The Exorcist." A group of 1- to 23-year-old college friends calling themselves Ishaara proclaimed their goal of becoming the first Bollywood headlining act in Las Vegas. Their high-energy performance had the crowd from the opening notes. Piers called it "unbelievably exciting to watch" and he called it original and fresh. Three yes votes later, Ishaara was on its way to Vegas. A couple of bald, shirtless men from Poland calling themselves Duo Design promised a physically strenuous act. The crowd loved it when they did some extreme Cirque du Soleil-type contortions, balancing on each other, including a moment when one of them did a one-armed handstand on the other man's head. Piers thought it was too weird and voted no, but The Hoff and Sharon gave them the votes they needed to go to Vegas. Eddie Green, 52, said he started doing his act in a small club, and his venues weren't going to get any bigger anytime soon. His puppet routine consisted of him running around stage with a life-size Tina Turner doll while "Proud Mary" blared in the background. Marcus Terell and the Serenades took the stage looking to pay tribute to "classic feel-good music. They sang "Hit the Road, Jack," while the crowd half-heartedly clapped along. Some of the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Piers told Marcus he was "a star" but that his backup singers were a problem. Piers asked if he was going to fire the singers and Marcus said he wouldn't because they've been friends since middle school. The Hoff and Sharon agreed the Serenades' vocals were subpar, but figured they could work on them. Piers relented and voted yes along with Sharon and David to send the group to the next round. Singer Charles DeWayne Dorsey wanted to entertain people around the world and start his mother's retirement. Sitting at some keyboards, he belted out Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" to the crowd's delight. Sharon said he ticked all the right boxes. The judges all loved it and sent him to the next round. We got a peek at some good acts, including a dance crew, a stand-up comedian, a violin-and-piano-playing duo, and a brother-and-sister singing and guitar act. To end the night, a plus-sized, 19-year-old dancer named Vanessa, calling herself Heavy Vee, said she had the courage and self-esteem to win. All three judges buzzed her and voted no. Host Nick Cannon then decided to take matters into his own hands, saying she came up short because she needed a partner. He went on stage and busted a few moves along with her. Nonetheless, it was a no, but she smiled all the way home.

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Season 04, Episode 10 Auditions in LA

S04 E10

Jul 22, 2009
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Auditions in LA Jul 22, 2009 The "America's Got Talent" auditions hit Los Angeles on Wednesday night and things started quickly with a breakdancing act on roller skates calling themselves Break Sk8. The crowd seemed to love it, but Piers Morgan did not. He said the problem with their routine was the skates. He voted no. Sharon voted yes. The Hoff, who said he needed time to think about it, said, "I'm going to give you guys a break and say yes." That kicked off a montage of green-lit acts, including an a cappella group, a burlesque dance group, percussionists beating on ladders, a flying-fingers, high-energy pianist, a high-flying dance crew, and a big-voiced singer. An 8-year-old singer named Ciana Pelekai with a smile that lit up the room went out on stage ready to wow the judges. She told Piers she would buy her mom and dad and her whole family a new house if she won the million dollars. With that, she launched into a silky-smooth performance of Etta James' "At Last." Piers told him she should start picking a house for her parents. He called her voice "absolutely extraordinary." Sharon said it was "really amazing." The Hoff told her "there's nowhere to go but up." She got through with three yes votes. Choir director Joseph "JoJo" James, 40, vowed to sing like he's never sung in his life, "and the judges will have no other choices but to pick me." That's rarely a good sign. From the first shrieking notes of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," it was clear JoJo was a no-no. The Hoff said it sounded like when you squeeze the air out of a balloon. With three no votes, JoJo was gone. At 25 minutes in, it was time for a montage of bad acts, including a pair of piano playing brothers who pushed each other on and off their bench while playing, an opera singer who sang alongside an electric guitarist, a "comedy circus" duo, and a guy who stuck straws into a potato. The final audition of the process came from a group of friends from Memphis who performed a high-intensity dance routine. The Beale Street Flippers did a series of fast flips around the stage. The crowd and the judges were blown away, and three yes votes met you could soon find Beale Street in Las Vegas. With that, the "America's Got Talent" auditions were finished. The rest of the hour was dedicated to Meredith Vieira's interview with "Britain's Got Talent" sensation Susan Boyle.

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Season 04, Episode 11 Vegas - Night 1

S04 E11

Jul 28, 2009
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Vegas - Night 1 Jul 28, 2009 More than 160 acts were given passes to the Las Vegas round on "America's Got Talent," and Tuesday night we finally got there. The performers landed at the Las Vegas airport, where it was decided that some of them wouldn't even leave the tarmac. Some of the acts would be cut by the judges as soon as they got off the plane. The rest would continue in the running for the final 40 spots in the Hollywood round. The airport hangar setting made for some increased drama as the judges debated during their flight from Los Angeles to Vegas about the futures of some of the contestants. Host Nick Cannon split the hopefuls into four groups and he said the news they'd get from the judges wasn't going to be good for some of them. A private jet carried the three judges from L.A. to Vegas, and a pair of Hummer limos flanked the jet as the judges disembarked -- and how's your carbon footprint feeling today? David Hasselhoff delivered good news to the first group o f performers, which included the high-flying group "Acrodunk." Sharon Osbourne told the second group they'd be going home. It included Kari Callin, the 43-year-old singer from the Seattle auditions who'd grown up with a cleft pallet, and and 9-year-old guitarist Tallan Noble Latz. Piers Morgan built up the drama as he announced the judges' decision to the remaining two groups. As slowly as he could, he finally told them that both groups would remain in the competition. The initial cut removed 25 acts from the process before they even left the airport, and the rest were off to discover the wonder of the Vegas strip. While they were off enjoying themselves, the judges were huddled up making more decisions. Finally, the judges called for a some individual acts. The first was singer/guitarist Keith Johnson and impressionist Pete Peterkin. Piers told an emotional Keith that the judges "concluded there are better singers," and that he would not be moving on to the next round. Peterkin was in. Next up to see the judges was 13-year-old dancer Arcadian Broad. He swung a triumphant fist in the air as The Hoff told him he was moving to the Hollywood round. Other acts joining him (in a montage): Acrodunk; the Platt Brothers (mimes, acrobats and dancers); Recycled Percussion; David Johnson (The David Hasselhoff song guy); singer 14-year-old singer Thia Megia (who sang "I Am Changing"); G Force (the young girl rock band that sang Pink's "So What?"); 8-year-old dance couple Erik & Rickie; a capella group Mosaic; the Texas Tenors; yodeling dominatrix Manuela Horn; and clogging sisters The Fab Five. Anthony Ferrante, a 74-year-old retired barber turned dancer, went to see the judges next. He talked about what a dream come true it would be for him to continue to the next round. He was out. Three dance crews -- Euphoria, Destined 2 Be and BreakSk8 -- were called to the judges' room, where they were told they wouldn't all go through and would have to face each other in a dance-off. They were given the same piece of music and asked to come back later to vie for a spot in the next round. Similarly, a couple of illusionist acts -- Drew Thomas and Joseph Constantine -- were put next to each other. Piers questions whether there was room for two such acts in the Top 40. Piers broke the news to Joseph, who hoped to bounce back financially from this show, that he would not continue to the next round. Drew, on the other hand, was sent through to Hollywood. A capella group "The Spiritual Harmonizers," a group of postal workers who have sung together for 10 years, were told they didn't make it to the next round. A montage of acts who were sent home followed. Breakdancer Hairo Torres was put through torture by Sharon before she finally told him he would be moving through to the next round. Singers Lawrence Beamen (the deep-voiced Southerner who sang "Old Man River") and Kevin Skinner (the chicken farmer and guitarist who sang Garth Brooks' "If Tomorrow Never Comes") were the last two acts to learn their fate. Lawrence was told first that he was through to the next round while viewers waited and wondered what happened with Kevin. The Hoff finally told him he was going through, as well. The Las Vegas round concludes Wednesday.

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Season 04, Episode 12 Vegas - Night 2

S04 E12

Jul 29, 2009
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Vegas - Night 2 Jul 29, 2009 The second day of the Las Vegas round on "America's Got Talent" would determine which acts would make it to Hollywood to compete among the final 40 for the $1 million prize and a chance to have their own act in Vegas. The first act to see the judges was husband-and-wife dancing duo, Paradizo Dance, who were told they made it through to the next round. Up next were Isharra, the Bollywood dance group made of college friends from Berkeley. Another dance group, FootworKINGz, hoped for a spot in the finals. Piers drew out the drama before telling both groups they were going to L.A. High-intensity pianist Jeffrey Ou and harpist Rashida Jolley had become good friends and were up to see the judges together. Sharon strung Rashida along before telling her she wouldn't be going to the next round. Rashida, stunned, still reached over and congratulated Jeffrey with a warm hug. A montage of acts going home followed, including the husband-and-wife whip act from Christopher and Laura Camp; bald-headed balancers Duo Design; father-and-son acrobats The Kalinins; jugglers and acrobats The Flash; contortionist Arthur Gulkarov; and brother-and-sister guitar and singing duo Kara and Corey Britz (although Corey was gone to pursue another opportunity, and Piers said the act wasn't strong enough without him). Precocious 8-year-old singer and keyboardist Eleisha Miller went to see the judges. Piers remembered how funny she was at her audition. She squealed when Piers told her she'd be moving on to the next round. Chainsaw juggling act Mario & Jenny learned they would be going through. The next act was Marcus Terrell and the Serenades, who earned mixed reviews in the first round as Piers suggested Marcus might one day have to ditch his backup singers, but Marcus said they'd go all the way to the end together. It was time to make the choice. Sharon told Marcus "it's the girls that are bringing you down." As Marcus cried, one of his backup singers stepped up and asked if the judges would put him through alone, and the judges said they would. The other backup singers agreed, and sent Marcus through to the next round alone. The three dance acts that the judges had previously challenged to a dance-off were back to show their stuff. U4IA went first, followed by BreakSk8 and Destined 2 Be. In the end, it was BreakSk8 that made it through. Singing sibling trio Voices of Glory got a green light from a giddy David Hasselhoff. More green lights were handed out to opera singer Barbara Padilla; light-bulb eater Chris Allison; Frisbee-catching dog act Rockin' Rory; dancing dog act Pam Martin and Viva; 62-year-old dancer Carol Lugo; singer/keyboardist Charles DeWayne Dorsey; gymnastic dancers Pixie Mystere; dancers African High Flyers; singers EriAm Sisters; singer and tap-dancer Anthony Morigerato and Matt Lucas; and comedian Grandma Lee. Blond triplet violinists Alizma, who played "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," started to bicker a bit before the judges announced their decision -- they were through to the next round. Mia Boostrom, who made it to the Vegas round last season and came back for another shot, pleaded with the judges about how much she'd worked this time around. Kelli Glover, who'd missed the top 10 in the first season of "American Idol," stood next to Mia as they learned their results. Kelli broke down in tears when Piers told her she wouldn't be moving on. She later shouted at the camera, "It's not fair. I can sing better than anybody here." Mia, meanwhile, broke down in tears when the judges told her she was moving on. As the judges flew back to L.A. on their private jet, they received a phone call from executive producer Simon Cowell, who said that after reviewing their choices for the Top 40, "we have a very, very serious problem here." The judges didn't react, and the credits rolled. Guess we'll find out next week.

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Season 04, Episode 13 Episode #4.13

S04 E13

Aug 4, 2009
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Episode #4.13 Aug 4, 2009 The judges picked the final 40 contestants last week for "America's Got Talent," but the episode ended with an ominous phone call from executive producer Simon Cowell, who said, "We have a very serious problem here." He sent them a list of the acts he thought they should reconsider. Host Nick Cannon might have given something away in the intro, when he declared that 12 acts would perform Tuesday night. Twelve doesn't go into 40 in any even way. Could we be looking at 48 finalists? "For the first time ever in 'America's Got Talent' history, eight acts have been given the ultimate second chance," Cannon said after Simon's full message was revealed. The Diva League and Lake Houston Dance were the two wild cards given another chance. They would compete with singer Thia Megia; the Platt Brothers; dancer Arcadian Broad; AcroDunk; comedian Grandma Lee; singers Mosaic; dancers BreakSk8; Drew Thomas Magic; yodeling dominatrix Manuela Horn; and singer Kevin Skinner. The 12 acts on Tuesday would perform for five spots in the next round, and it started with BreakSk8. BreakSk8: The roller-skating dance crew pulled out all the stops, with props and extra dancers for their quarterfinal performance. With a bit of a tribute to the King of Pop, they performed to Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," and included some his signature moves -- including a moonwalk on roller skates. Piers said there was a reason Michael didn't dance on skates, "it slows it all down. It's too slow." Sharon thought they were great and asked them to bring "longer, faster," and whatever Piers wanted next time. The Hoff said he wanted to see "more radical skating." Thia Megia: The 14-year-old singer dreamt about the chance she now had in front of her and Piers wanted her to try to step out on her own rather than trying to imitate more famous people. Thia sang Miley Cyrus' "The Climb." It actually made Miley sound good. Sharon said Thia "did not disappoint." The Hoff called her "a shooting star" and said she "nailed it." No comments from Piers? After the spiel about the phone numbers, Nick went back to Piers, who called it "brilliant." Really? The Platt Brothers: The acrobatic dancing brothers had to answer the question of whether they were good enough to sustain a full Vegas show. They certainly left nothing out of bounds, running through a seemingly haphazard mix of dance moves. The Hoff liked the humor and physicality. He suggested they throw the lip-synching out of the act. Piers said, "I don't know what your act is" and called it "unfocused." Sharon agreed, understanding they were "trying to cram it all in" and told them to slow it down and pace it better. The Diva League: The drag queen crew promised something "dark and creepy." The dark lighting didn't help, and Piers buzzed them shortly into the routine. Piers said, "a bunch of lipsticky old drag queens who can't dance is not what America needs right now." Sharon said she loved them and told them to "go for it -- fabulous." The Hoff agreed with Sharon and called it "very entertaining, and I think you guys could sustain a show in Las Vegas." Manuela Horn: The yodeling dominatrix looked remarkably different without her black wig. She decided to bring her two worlds together -- her mom world and her naughty side. She gave her own twist to the Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha," changing the words and the meaning to something about moms. The Hoff and Sharon buzzed her about halfway through. Piers finally did, too, giving us the first trifecta of the quarterfinals. The judges said she changed too much from the character that they put through in Las Vegas. She told Nick she was "devastated." Grandma Lee: The 75-year-old comedian cracked some more jokes about dating at her age before pulling out British-flag boxers and telling Piers she found them in her room that morning. Then she pulled out a patent leather Speedo and told The Hoff she found it in her limo. The Hoff said she was heading to Vegas. Piers praised her wit and stage presence. Sharon told Grandma Lee she was "so naughty," but she loved her very much. Mosaic: The a capella group talked about having tried to make it in Las Vegas. The Hoff said before their performance that they had a lot to prove because they were "good, not great." They dressed in their best newsboy outfits and performed Stevie Wonder's "Superstition," coupled with "I Wish." The Hoff said it started off light, but it got better and better until they "kicked it in at the end." Piers said it was "nearly very good." Sharon agreed it was haphazard at the beginning, but was "smokin'" at the end. AcroDunk: AcroDunk wondered where they'd go after their first audition, but created a routine specifically for this round. Piers gave a warning before the performance that he'd buzz them for one mistake. They didn't get buzzed. With a flurry of flips and a guy walking sideways on a brick wall and big finale, the group nailed it and sent the crowd into a frenzy. Sharon said they proved that they could sustain their act for a 90-minute performance. The Hoff said he didn't think in their wildest dreams they could do better, but they "were awesome." Piers questioned whether they got the last dunk in, but called it "one of the most extraordinary acts I've ever seen on a live show on 'America's Got Talent.'" Arcadian Broad: The 13-year-old dancer vowed to take the chance he'd been given, and talked about adding a new element to his act and he wasn't sure how people were going to take it. He started out playing the piano, showing some fancy fingerwork before slamming the cover down over the keys and surging into a dance routine to the music of "Footloose." The Hoff said "all those kids who teased you at school are watching you now." He told Arcadian "might even win this competition." Piers agreed, but said he never wanted to see Arcadian playing piano again. He said he nearly buzzed him early on. Sharon said, "I love you so much." She said it was nice to see that he wasn't one note, but she agreed the piano playing was a bit too long. Drew Thomas Magic: The magician said he was taking a huge chance by trying something that's never been done before -- and even he hadn't done it before. He first put three ladies into a crate, then Drew had himself packed into a crate. Three masked workers blowtorched the girls' crate and Drew's crate shut before, suddenly, Drew's crate exploded and exposed that no one was inside. Then the workers revealed themselves to be the girls who'd been locked into the crate, and their crate opened to revealed three dudes inside wearing just their boxers. Drew, meanwhile, jumped up from behind the judges' table, shocking The Hoff and Sharon. Piers told him he enjoyed it, but told Drew to step up his wardrobe if he wanted to be the next David Blaine or David Copperfield. Sharon said it was fantastic, and agreed with Piers about the clothing. "Look like a star," she said. The Hoff said he could win the whole thing. Kevin Skinner: The country singer said he'd never been out of Kentucky and was soaking up Hollywood. He again went with Garth Brooks -- or, at least, Brooks' version of Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love." The crowd enjoyed it and the judges applauded. Sharon loved that Kevin was such an honest man and she liked his new haircut (without a ball cap). The Hoff said every time Kevin sings, he gets a little choked up. Piers said Kevin gave "the performance of the night." Lake Houston Dance: The young dancing group that was memorable for its big orange wigs in the first audition got a second chance to impress and promised to dance their hearts out. It turned into a pajama dance party when they started grooving to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." The Hoff said he was glad they were back on the show and the judges made the biggest mistake of their lives voting them off in the first place. Piers said he didn't think it was as good as the audition. Sharon loved the song choice, but suggested there were just too many of them to focus on.

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Season 04, Episode 14 Episode #4.14

S04 E14

Aug 5, 2009
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Episode #4.14 Aug 5, 2009 The first 12 quarterfinalists on "America's Got Talent" offered up their best on Tuesday, and Wednesday was the night to see which of them made it to the Top 20. First, a little housekeeping. Judge Piers Morgan doubted on Tuesday night that Acrodunk, the high-flying group of trampoline-jumping slam dunkers, missed their final dunk on Tuesday. He stood by his claim Wednesday before host Nick Cannon went to the replay and proved, without a doubt, that the final dunk was nailed just like all the other before it. Piers apologized. Dunking the competition: To add to the dunking crew's elation, they were the first act to learn they were moving into the Top 20. Acrodunk came to the stage alongside BreakSk8, the roller-skating dance group, which was eliminated. Be our guest: Season 2 "Talent" winner Terry Fator, who signed what the show keeps calling a $100 million contract to perform in Las Vegas, popped by to perform a couple of songs with his dummies and thank the show and Simon Cowell for giving him his start. Later, Nick's wife Mariah Carey visited to perform her latest single, "Obsessed." Nick said, "I don't care what anybody says, that song is about me, because I am obsessed with this beautiful girl right here!" Hubby's new broadcast platform continued to push Carey's new album, with Nick even telling viewers to go to nbc.com to buy it. More results: Nick called three more acts to the stage: Lake Houston Dance, Drew Thomas Magic, and yodeler Manuela Horn. Only one of the three acts would make it to the Top 20. Nick announced that the first of the three acts to be eliminated was Lake Houston Dance. That left Manuela Horn and Drew Thomas Magic to vie for the Top 20 spot. The act advancing to the next round was Drew Thomas Magic. Next up were singer Kevin Skinner and a capella group Mosaic. There didn't seem to be much drama at the announcement of the fact that country crooner Kevin Skinner was the next semifinalist. With just two semifinals spots remaining for the final five acts to share, Nick called The Platt Brothers, The Diva League, and Grandma Lee to the stage. Just one of them would land a spot in the Top 20. The Platt Brothers were the first to be eliminated, leaving Grandma Lee and The Diva League. The next semifinalist was Grandma Lee, who teared up a little after her name was called and said, "This means everything to me." The final two acts were 13-year-old dancer Arcadian Broad and 14-year-old singer Thia Megia. The judges were the ones who got to decide between the two acts. Piers said he wasn't quite convinced with Arcadian's performance, and he voted for Thia. Sharon said they were "both fantastic," and she gave her vote to Arcadian. That left the tie-breaker up to David Hasselhoff. He said, "this show is about talent and diversity," but whoever loses can go on and do well. He told Thia she would "go a long way," but his choice was Arcadian.

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Season 04, Episode 15 Episode #4.15

S04 E15

Aug 11, 2009
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Episode #4.15 Aug 11, 2009 When does it become wrong to just stop and look? How is it normal to avoid seeing each other all day and then desperately seek validation on social media? I hope exploring this is funny and helpful!

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Season 04, Episode 16 Episode #4.16

S04 E16

Aug 12, 2009
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Episode #4.16 Aug 12, 2009 With the second batch of 12 quarterfinalists having performed on Tuesday, the "America's Got Talent" results show on Wednesday would provide good news for five contestants and seven will learn their journey has ended. Last night's highlights: Piers criticized a dog act and made a little girl cry. To the results: Host Nick Cannon called the first two acts to the stage: clogging sisters The Fab Five and Memphis' high-flying street act The Beale Street Flippers. The act moving to the semifinals was The Fab Five. Be our guests: Electro-hip-hoppers LMFAO paid a visit to perform their party single "I'm in Miami Trick," with modified lyrics to account for the fact that they were actually in L.A. Later, Penn & Teller put their own sick twist on the "saw a woman in half" trick. Back to the results: The second set of acts to center stage were sibling singers Voices of Glory, and 9-year-old singer and dancer Eleisha Miller, and 63-year-old dancer Carol Loo (formerly Carol Lugo). The next act to go home was Carol Loo. The one spot left between Eleisha Miller and Voices of Glory went to the family act Voices of Glory, and Eleisha almost seemed to be the most excited person about the result. Eleisha jumped up and down and hugged her friends in Voices of Glory and said she was "good with it." The Texas Tenors and Pete Peterkin were the next two acts called to center stage. The spot went to The Texas Tenors, leaving Pete Peterkin out of the competition. Piers congratulated the trio on their move to the semifinals, but gave one piece of advice: "Less cheese, please." Nick called three acts to the stage next: SQ Entertainment, Alizma and Paradizo Dance. The next act to go home was Alizma. With one spot left between husband-and-wife dancers Paradizo Dance and SQ Entertainment, it went to Paradizo Dance. Frisbee tossing and catching dog act Tony Hoard & Rory, along with singer and pianist Charles DeWayne were the fifth and sixth vote getters, meaning the judges would decide which of them would move on. Sharon said she needed more time when Nick asked for her decision first. The Hoff stepped in and said he didn't know if Charles could rank with the best singers in the competition. Piers said he couldn't believe that, and added that "if Charles DeWayne doesn't go through tonight, it will be the biggest scandal in the history of 'America's Got Talent.'" Sharon then hemmed and hawed a little more, telling Charles he's "a great young talent," and said what Tony does is quite unique and what's great about the show is it's a forum for all sorts of great entertainment. "It's going to have to be Tony," Sharon said. Piers looked particularly agitated, shaking his head while Tony & Rory celebrated their victory.

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Season 04, Episode 17 Episode #4.17

S04 E17

Aug 18, 2009
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Episode #4.17 Aug 18, 2009 The third batch of 12 quarterfinalists squared off Tuesday night on "America's Got Talent." So far, 10 semifinalists have been chosen, and this week would result in another five getting their semifinal tickets punched. Host Nick Cannon first addressed last week's controversial decision in which David Hasselhoff and Sharon Osbourne picked a Frisbee-catching dog act over soulful singer Charles DeWayne, who Piers Morgan preferred. Sharon defended her choice, saying the show is about variety and that a singer in this show has to be "brilliant" because "Talent" is more than a singing show. FootworKINGz: The Chicago-based dance crew came out with glow-in-the-dark sneakers on that highlighted just how perfectly synced they were with one another. Piers said he couldn't decide if they were "one of the best" dance acts the show's had, or "the best." Sharon loved it all. Hasselhoff said it was "Hoff the charts" and wondered how they would top it next week. Nick noted that one of the dancers hurt himself in the previous night's rehearsal, but he appeared to be fine for the live performance. Marcus Terrell (and the Serenades?): Singer Marcus Terrell was told in the previous round of the competition that his backup singers were keeping him from moving on into the quarterfinals. The judges had given him the green light alone, but Marcus went and found three new backup singers, including one that showed up two nights earlier. Sharon said Marcus was "fabulous," and said Marcus was the kind of different and special singer the competition needed. The Hoff said they were right to have Marcus fire his other backup singers and said they could go on to "Vegas and more." Piers said it was big pressure for Marcus on a night when he could either sink or swim, and "boy, did you swim." Pixie Mystere: Gymnastics and contortion specialists Pixie Mystere lit up the stage with their high-energy choreography and flips and big finish that included one of the young girls flipping over another. The Hoff asked them "how do you feel about going to school in Las Vegas?" Piers said he was disappointed he hadn't hit his buzzer once through three acts. He said he enjoyed that the girls came back and gave a strong routine. Sharon said "Pixie power" is magic. She said they delivered a "total package." Jay Mattioli: One of the acts that was originally cut, magician Jay Mattioli received a second chance at the quarterfinals and said he wanted to make the most of it. Piers buzzed Jay just over halfway through, and Sharon gave a second buzzer a second before Jay made a fluffy dog appear inside a box. Piers said he'd seen it all before, "it's what we call end of the pier stuff in Britain." Sharon agreed, saying "it's the same old, same old that we've seen forever." The Hoff said he wasn't sure if it was big enough for Vegas, but "good job." Bri: Keyboardist and singer Bri, 17, said she dreamed of being in a big show in her hometown of Las Vegas. This was her chance. Sitting at a grand piano, she started a slowed down version of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" before picking up the tempo halfway in and giving a big, running finish. Sharon said it was brave of Bri to take on such a song and make it her own, and she succeeded. The Hoff liked that she made it her own and said "it all worked for me." Piers said not much excites him these days, but her act excited him. He said her unique style was on par with some of today's bigger pop acts and "you have got exactly the right package for the right time." U4IA Dance Crew: Another second-chance act, the U4IA Dance Crew vowed to bring something bigger and different for the quarterfinals. The Hoff said he loved it, "I don't know why." Piers called out one of the dancers and said she was scary "in a great way." He said they were the first wild-card act that he was really pleased to have seen. He added that the dancing this season has been "unbelievable." Sharon said she loved the routine, but she wasn't sure if they were the best dancers, "technically," that she's seen. Dave Johnson: Loan officer turned "David Hasselhoff song guy" from the audition round Dave Johnson took a chance to bring something different to the stage. Dave said this was his second time performing in front of more than 20 people, and it didn't last long. Piers and Sharon buzzed him not too long into his ode to "The Golden Girls," and The Hoff followed a little later to kill Dave's performance. "I guess the judges don't like 'The Golden Girls,'" Nick Cannon said. Piers said he didn't get it, "it just wasn't funny." Sharon said "it's just not my thing." The Hoff said "it's just not going to make it to the next round." Hairo Torres: Breakdancer and contortionist Hairo Torres wanted to prove that a single dancer could sustain an entire show. he knew that in order to achieve that he had to prove he could do things other people couldn't. Sharon said he was unique, but she still didn't know if he could go and do it on his own. The Hoff said Hairo was "the weirdest dancer" he'd ever seen. Piers agree, "you are a bit strange," but "you are also very entertaining and the crowd loved you tonight." Piers told him to think about the choreography and how he would adjust it for a 90-minute show in Las Vegas. G-Force: The three sisters wanted to show the world they "could be the girl version of The Jonas Brothers." Just over halfway into their rendition of Katy Perry's "Hot n Cold," Piers buzzed them. "What type of ogre buzzes three little girls?" Nick wondered. The Hoff said they were always his favorite from the beginning. He admitted they "were off a little bit on the vocals," but they have a major career ahead of them. Piers said he loved them, the guitar playing and the drumming, and agreed that the singing was way off. Sharon also agreed, saying their audition was better than this performance. Jeffrey Ou: The teenage pianist said he was going to come alive on stage, and he did. After opening his performance with some classical piano, he jumped into "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," but it included a bit of a technical problem because the sound went out on his piano. The Hoff said he couldn't really comment on the piano because he couldn't hear it, but he noted that Jeffrey didn't need the dancers he used. Piers said he thought it was good that Jeffrey took himself out of his comfort zone. Nick explained that one of Jeffrey's dancers actually kicked the cable out of his piano. Sharon said she preferred Jeffrey's "Mad Professor" vibe from earlier in the competition. Mario & Jenny: The daredevil fire act cranked up the heat with a dramatic and dangerous routine that included guitars and more ablaze. Sharon said she loved it. The Hoff said "every time you come, you come to play." He said they were even better Tuesday night than they'd been before. Piers said it was a very tough night to vote and called it "as near to a Vegas act as we've seen." Lawrence Beamen: The deep-voiced singer who wowed the judges in the audition round came back to prove it was no fluke. Sharon said Lawrence's voice was "smooth like velvet." The Hoff said he felt sorry for everyone else in the competition because if Lawrence kept singing like that he could win the competition. Piers said Lawrence was the best of the night and called him "a rare talent" and "the new Barry White." He said Lawrence was "the nearest thing to a guaranteed, nailed-down star we have produced on this show for a very long time."

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Season 04, Episode 18 Episode #4.18

S04 E18

Aug 19, 2009
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Episode #4.18 Aug 19, 2009 For the third time this season, five acts Wednesday on "America's Got Talent" moved into the semifinals. First, a recap of the previous night's action: Piers Morgan made another little girl cry, a triple-buzzed contestant (Dave Johnson) called the judges old and Piers thought they discovered the next Barry White. To the results: Host Nick Cannon quickly called out the first two contestants to the middle of the stage. The first two: Singer-keyboardist Bri and pianist Jeffrey Ou. The judges loved Bri, but Jeffrey suffered from technical issues that stopped his piano from being heard halfway through his performance. After America's vote, the act moving into the semifinals was Jeffrey Ou. The judges looked shocked at the result as Bri went over to give Jeffrey a big hug. Sharon, whose hand was over her mouth, said, "There have been very few times in my life when I have been lost for words. I'm lost for words." Be our guests: "High School Musical" star turned pop singer Ashley Tisdale stopped by to perform her new song "It's Alright, It's OK." Later in the show, "American Idol" veteran rocker Daughtry hit the stage to perform the new single "No Surprise." Back to the results: Nick next called magician Jay Mattioli, questionably humorous singer Dave Johnson, and deep-voiced singer Lawrence Beamen. The first of the three to be eliminated was Dave Johnson. That meant it was down to Jay Mattioli and judges' favorite Lawrence Beamen. The act moving into the semifinals was Lawrence Beamen. Up next were singer Marcus Terrell & the (New) Serenades and daredevil duo Mario & Jenny. The act moving a step closer to the million-dollar prize was Mario & Jenny. The next acts called to the stage were U4IA Dance Crew, little girl rockers G-Force and breakdancer/contortionist Hairo Torres. Only one of them would go through to the next round. The first act to be eliminated from the group was G-Force. The act moving into the next round was Hairo Torres. With just two acts left, the judges would have to decide between dance groups Pixie Mystere and FootworKINGz. Sharon said she loved the Pixies, but "you're still children, you're not even teenagers yet." She said they had more opportunities to come in their lives, but today belonged to FootworKINGz. Piers said he was debating between one of the best young dance groups against one of the best adult dance groups he's seen. He said he had to go with the act he believed genuinely had the best chance of winning, "and that, I believe, is the FootworKINGz." Two votes was enough to send FootworKINGz to the semifinals, but The Hoff agreed that he would also have voted for them to give them the unanimous nod.

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Season 04, Episode 19 Episode #4.19

S04 E19

Aug 25, 2009
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Episode #4.19 Aug 25, 2009 The final set of 12 quarterfinalists on "America's Got Talent" took to the stage on Tuesday in the hopes of winning the nation's vote and moving into the Top 20 acts with a shot at winning $1 million and a show in Las Vegas. Ishaara: the modern-day Bollywood dance group from Berkeley said they practiced in a parking garage because they had no studio in which to rehearse. They turned in a high energy routine that had the crowd and the judges jumping for joy. Piers called it a "wonderful way to start the show." He said they had a freshness about them that he loved. Sharon said dance groups have to be different and that they stood apart "from every other dance act that we've had so far on this show." The Hoff maintained his streak of adding "Hoff" or "Watch" to everything, calling the group "Bollywatch." He then called them the best dance act of the season. Barbara Padilla: The opera singer who overcame cancer to make it to the audition had her chance to shine on the big stage. She said she wanted to be a good example to her daughter, who was adopted because Barbara's cancer treatment left her unable to conceive. She brought the crowd and the judges to their feet with a strong and lengthy final note on her operatic number. Sharon said "it was so perfect -- everything from the performance to the way you look." She called Barbara a star. The Hoff said there is a saying, "You are exactly where you are supposed to be in life," and then repeated it three times. Piers simply said, "Look at you." He went on to explain that she is virtually the reason the show exists, having comes from her background and making it to the quarterfinals. He then said he didn't see anyone beating her this night. Pam Martin's Top Dogs: Dog trainer Pam Martin faced a big challenge. Piers, who was already upset that one dog act made it into the semifinals, said he would show no mercy with the buzzer. Pam made it through the routine with another dog, Spy -- the brother of Biba, the dog with whom she auditioned. The Hoff said Pam definitely had a place in Vegas. Piers said he was sure he was going to buzz her and he didn't because Spy didn't make a single mistake. Sharon loved it all and said, I've got 16 dogs at home. The only thing my dogs can do -- pee on my silk curtains." African High Flyers: The Kenyan group of aerial acrobats said they used to work for tips. Now, they were promising to bring some special for the quarterfinals in order to make it to the next round. Just past halfway through, Piers buzzed them for no clear reason. He quickly explained that earlier he thought he could listen to Barbara Padilla sing for an hour, "quite happily." He said she "raised the bar so high that everybody comes after her has got to be at that level." Sharon agreed, saying the group had great energy and enthusiasm, but doubted whether they added enough to the act to move on. The Hoff said, "I don't know what they were watching, but I loved you." Mia Boostrom: The teenage singer was looking to prove she deserved a shot despite having felt in the past that she was passed over because she doesn't possess a classically desirable figure. She gave her rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Sharon said, "Who knew?" She said it was a huge song and Mia delivered. The Hoff was impressed at what Mia had become since failing to make it beyond the Las Vegas round on the show last season. Piers said it was lovely to see her again and he loved a fighter and a comeback story. But he said he thought she missed some notes. "It was a good performance," but said he didn't rate her above Kevin Skinner, Lawrence Beamen or Barbara Padilla. Mia's response: "We're all different." Erik and Rickie: The pint-sized ballroom dancers started dancing when they were 4 and they were now 8 and 9. "Erik is my best friend that's not a girl and we do not want to be boyfriend and girlfriend," Rickie explained. The little dancers offered up a paso doble that might have made Len Goodman proud. The Hoff and Sharon stood up in applause. David said they were an inspiration for all the kids in America. He added that he loved the choreography and the attitude. Piers asked if Erik had secret practice behind Rickie's back, because she was better than him in the first audition, "but tonight, you were the man." He went on to say the act was "one of the most charming we've ever seen." Sharon said Erik was "a true matador," and acknowledged that there's ballroom fever around the world and she hoped those dance fans would vote. Coney Island Chris: The trickster who goes by the name "Coney Island Chris" became known as the guy who ate a light bulb in the audition round. He said he prepared an act that was shocking -- saying he was risking everything, including his life, to drop jaws this time. In a definite bit of "don't try this at home" entertainment, he spilled gasoline all over the place and played with fire while trying to crack jokes. Piers and Sharon both buzzed him fairly quickly, but it took The Hoff a little longer. He gave the third "X" after Chris lit his butt cheek on fire. Piers said Chris committed the cardinal sin -- he wasn't funny, "and it was horrifically bad." Sharon said "you could hear a pin drop" when the act was finished. The Hoff said he was hoping Chris would set himself on fire. Matt & Anthony: The quirky acoustic-guitar-and-tap-dancing duo set out to take their college dorm room hijinks to Vegas. With backup dancers, smoke and a moving set on which they climbed and tapped, Matt & Anthony impressed the crowd. Piers wasn't so impressed, buzzing them about halfway through. Sharon said she loved the two guys, but there was something she didn't quite get about the combination. The Hoff said the combination works and called it exciting. "It was just a little bit off in some places," but he thought they did very well. Piers said Sharon and The Hoff were struggling to say what he was the only one was brave enough to say: "You're a great dancer, you're not a very good singer," talking to Matt, then Anthony. He said the singing was dragging down the dancing. The crowd booed. The Lollipop Girls: After first being eliminated, The Lollipop Girls were amazed to be able to return and perform for America. Piers said he thought The Hoff would go into a great depression if the group didn't make it to the next round. One of the girls said it was "all about the tease" this time around. The classic burlesque routine remained within the FCC's limits, despite Nick Cannon's suggestion that they were "throwing (their) drawers all over the place." The Hoff said they were terrific and said "Las Vegas needs an act like this." Piers said, "I could watch that for a long time." He said he wasn't sure about them before, but now he's certain. Sharon applauded them, saying, "It's so much fun, what you do." She noted the Pussycat Dolls had been in Vegas for a long time, and followed with "Vegas for you." Drew Stevyns: Another act who got a second chance at the quarterfinals, Drew Stevyns said he needed the competition and it could be the break he was waiting for his whole life. Piers went into the act wondering whether Drew had the vocal chops to keep up with the rest of the singers in the competition. He gave a decent rendition of The Fray's "How to Save a Life." Piers said he didn't think Drew was the best singer in the competition, but what he saw was "desire and hunger," which is what he really liked. Sharon loved Drew's song choice, saying it fit his voice. She said Drew surprised her and she was glad they brought him back. She also said she hoped people would vote for him. The Hoff said he was impressed and noted that when he heard the performance during rehearsals he thought it was the guest act of the week, not just another contestant. Recycled Percussion: The group of drummers known for hitting plastic buckets, as Sharon put it, had to bring something bigger in the quarterfinals if they wanted to make it to the next stage. They vowed to "blow the roof off this place." With flames and sparks flying all over, they wowed the crowd with a version of "Ballroom Blitz." Sharon said they listened to the advice the judges gave them and applauded them for that. She was amazed at how far they'd come since the first audition. The Hoff, who stood in ovation, said he just wanted to go bang on things and said they "came back awesome tonight." Piers said he could not believe what he was watching. "Every single part of that was 20 times better than your audition," he said, "and now we've got to ask ourselves one thing: Can a load of trash win 'America's Got Talent'? I think it can." The Eriam Sisters: The singing trio of siblings brought a bigger routine to the stage. For the first, they were using background dancers and other added elements to their show. They gave a harmonized version of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" that was reminiscent of Destiny's Child. The Hoff said their talent really lies in their voices. "The dancing's OK, but the singing really knocks me out." Piers said he liked the dancing, calling it "cheeky." Piers said they were the future and called them the next Destiny's Child. Sharon said she didn't think the other judges realized how hard it is to sing and dance at the same time. She said she hoped people would vote for them.

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Season 04, Episode 20 Episode #4.20

S04 E20

Aug 26, 2009
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Episode #4.20 Aug 26, 2009 The Top 20 was finalized Wednesday night on "America's Got Talent," as the last of the quarterfinalists learned whether they would be advancing to the semifinals and continue on the path toward the $1 million grand prize. Tuesday's highlights: A guy lit his butt on fire, Piers said an opera singer changed the game and Sharon said her 16 dogs pee on her silk curtains. To the results: Host Nick Cannon first called singer Drew Stevyns and The Eriam Sisters to the stage. Drew, the dark horse who won over the judges on Tuesday, was put through to the semifinals. Nick went over to The Eriam Sisters for their reaction and they were gracious, calling the experience "unbelievable" and wishing everyone else in the competition good luck. "You're so nice, America loves you guys," Nick said. "And, you know what? America loves you guys so much, guess what? You're going through, too!" The new host pulled of the bait and switch so well, even Piers Morgan smiled and gave him credit for the "mean trick." After a behind-the-scenes package about the making of a performance show, Nick asked the Africa High Flyers, Pam Martin's Top Dogs and Coney Island Chris to the stage. Was there a chance none of these acts would continue? "America has voted," Nick said, giving a dramatic pause before finishing, "you all are out." Nick called Recycled Percussion, Matt & Anthony, and Ishaara to the stage. He told them only one would go through before announcing that the next act out of the competition was Matt & Anthony. That brought it down to Recycled Percussion and Bollywood dancers Ishaara. The third spot in the semifinals went to Recycled Percussion. Be our guest: Country superstar Reba McEntire paid a visit to the "Talent" stage to perform her new song, "Consider Me Gone." Her new album, "Keep On Loving You," hit No. 1 on the charts Wednesday, Nick said. Back to the results: Nick brought the Lollipop Girls, Mia Boostrom, Barbara Padilla and Erik & Rickie to the stage. The four acts vied for just two remaining spots in the semifinals. The next act to go home was The Lollipop Girls. Nick then let one more act into the semifinals, announcing that Barbara Padilla was moving on. Mia Boostrom and Erik & Rickie stood across the stage from each other. Having places fifth and sixth in the voting, the judges would decide who was moving on and who was going home. The Hoff was the first judge to speak. He said Erik & Rickie were incredible dancers, but they were really, really young. He then said that Mia was great, but there were better singers in the competition. "For this competition, alone," The Hoff said, "my choice tonight is ... Erik & Rickie." Sharon said Erik & Rickie brought something special to the stage, but she said she knew how badly Mia wanted it. Her vote went to Mia. Piers said, "If you're asked me last night, I would've said Erik & Rickie." He said he wasn't very impressed with Mia's performance, but then after watching on TV later, he was "a bit more impressed" than he was when he heard it live. Piers said Erik & Rickie were "very charming" and there were some great dance acts in the competition. After saying he knew how much it meant to Mia, who came back after being booted last season, he chose Erik & Rickie. The Top 20: After weeks of auditions, the Las Vegas round and four weeks of quarterfinals, here is a look at the Top 20 semifinalists in the fourth season of "America's Got Talent": The first 10 will perform next week in the first round of the semifinals: Acrodunk, high-flying dunking crew Arcadian Broad, teenage dancer Drew Thomas Magic, magic group Fab Five, clogging sisters Grandma Lee, comedian Kevin Skinner, country crooner Paradizo Dance, odd-sized, husband-and-wife dance act The Voices of Glory, sibling singing act The Texas Tenors, singers Tony Hoard & Rory, Frisbee-catching dog act And the remaining 10 will perform the following week: Barbara Padilla, opera singer Drew Stevyns, singer/guitarist Eriam Sisters, young sister singing act Erik & Rickie, 8- and 9-year-old ballroom dancers FootworKINGz, dance crew Hairo Torres, breakdancer/contortionist Jeffrey Ou, pianist Lawrence Beamen, deep-voiced singer Mario & Jenny, daredevil juggling act Recycled Percussion, drumming group

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Season 04, Episode 21 Episode #4.21

S04 E21

Sep 1, 2009
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Episode #4.21 Sep 1, 2009 After several weeks of auditions and quarterfinal performances for America's votes, the semifinals arrived Tuesday night on "America's Got Talent." The final 20 acts would perform, 10 at a time, over the next two weeks to try stay in the running for the show's $1 million grand prize and a show in Las Vegas. Judge Piers Morgan called it "the biggest night of their lives" and said he wanted "to see how far they've come" and "are they worth $1 million?" Sharon Osbourne said she wanted to see personalities, noting, "we know they've got talent, that's why they're here. But I want to see more of them, get a sense of what they're about." David Hasselhoff said he was "Hoff-static," to which the crowd reacted with silence. After a behind-the-scenes look at the pressure-filled preparations for the semis, it was time to get to the performances. Acrodunk: The high-flying dunkers were "risking it all" to make it to the finals, with an act that was going to include jumping through a loop that was set aflame and dunking into a hoop that was also on fire. They nailed it, bringing the crowd to their feet. Piers called it "absolutely unbelievable." "That has to be one of the most thrilling, exciting, dynamic, dangerous, entertaining things I've ever seen on this show. Amazing." Sharon praised them for adding different elements and said, "You make the Harlem Globetrotters look like..." before stopping herself and saying, "forget it; it's all about Acrodunk." The Hoff said "dreams do come true and you guys are on your way." The Texas Tenors: The singing trio from Houston has only been together for a few months, but excited the crowd with their rendition of "Unchained Melody." Taking The Hoff's advice, they went with a ballad. Did it work? Sharon singled out the blond guy named Marcus and said it was amazing, but then she praised the whole group. The Hoff said he could see that billboard in Las Vegas with a picture of the three cowboys. Then he called them a front-runner to win the whole competition. Piers chided them for coming back with "the cheesiest pop song ever written" and singing it "in the cheesiest possible way," immediately after he told them to be less cheesy. But then he called it "brilliant." Paradizo Dance: The husband-and-wife dancing duo that has dazzled the crowd and the judges with their unlikely lifts and acrobatics tried to prove that their act was worth $1 million. Sharon enjoyed their more light-hearted approach, which she called "cute," before saying she preferred their more romantic side. The Hoff agreed, but said he really hoped America would vote them back. Piers said he was a bit disappointed that they didn't include more of "impossible," which is their signature move of the small wife lifting her burly husband. Drew Thomas Magic: The illusionist who floored the judges with his quarterfinal performance opened up about having spent the summer with his daughter because of a shared-custody agreement with her mother. He said he put everything he had into his next act, which he said would feature more personality. Set to the tune of a sappy song, it incorporate his daughter through a storyline about how he missed her. Piers, who buzzed Drew, said he "hated it." He thought the music was too slow and the performance put him to sleep. He also criticized Drew for repeating the trick with his assistants disappearing, which made Piers think Drew was "a one-trick pony." Piers' words made his daughter, Olivia, cry. Sharon told Drew it was fabulous. The Hoff praised Drew for bringing his daughter into it and said a Vegas show needs a change of pace like this performance. Tony Hoard & Rory: The Frisbee-catching dog slipped into the semifinals thanks to Sharon's vote. Piers was still upset that the act made it, saying in the preview piece that "these two should not be in the semifinals." Tony said he lost his factory job of 24 years because he used up all of his vacation time to be on the show. Despite Piers' extreme objection, the act made it through without dropping a Frisbee and without getting buzzed. Sharon said "Rory delivered tonight" and had some choice words for the guy who laid Tony off and said "the karma truck will be parked outside his house." The Hoff said Tony "really stepped it up and made it Vegas-worthy." Piers smiled and noted that he didn't buzz Tony. "The dog went back to what it did in the first place, which was not drop any Frisbees." Piers also said it was "miles better" than the last performance. The Voices of Glory: The singing trio of siblings who perform in honor of their mother, who was seriously injured in a drunk-driving accident. The two older brothers opened up the number so that their little sister could make a grand entrance on "Anytime You Need a Friend." The Hoff said the group just brings the world together. Piers said he really liked what they stand for, "it's a very impressive thing to see in young people." He said they've got talent, but again pointed out that the little sister was the star. Sharon said, "the next time I see you guys, it will be in the final." The Fab Five: The five adult sisters from Utah who pulled their act back together after moving apart and starting their own families. They got emotional when talking about the fact that their father would be in the audience for the first time. They turned in another mesmerizing performance with intense and fast-paced footwork. Piers said it's easy to forget how extremely difficult their type of performance is, but he would have liked to have seen a bit of a change of pace. Sharon said she loved that they keep delivering the high energy. The Hoff said they were "better every time." Grandma Lee: The acerbic comedian opened up about living on her own since her husband died, and the fact that he'd only had the chance to see her perform once. She revisited some familiar territory with jokes about hooking up with Piers and The Hoff. Sharon said she loved Grandma Lee and that she hoped America got it. The Hoff said, "Most comedians who come on this stage are just not funny," and said Grandma Lee was funny, regardless of age. Piers said Grandma Lee's deceased husband would be proud of her and that she deserves to be in the finals. Arcadian Broad: The 14-year-old dancing phenom decided to take a chance by bringing a partner into the routine. He took on a basketball theme with a group of dancers behind him and the partner showing up about halfway through. The Hoff loved the presentation. Piers said there was no doubt Arcadian was a very talented young man. He said he wondered whether Arcadian was good enough to get into the final given the high standard that had been set. "The answer to that question is 'No, you're not.'" He said the show had come to another level. Arcadian jumped in to defend himself, taking a bit of a shot at the producers, saying they gave him the music from "High School Musical," which he did not want to do. Piers said the routine wasn't the issue, but Arcadian just didn't have the chops to keep up with the competition. Sharon defended the boy, saying "it is a tough competition, but you're doing a great job." Host Nick Cannon mentioned, almost in passing to clearly addressing Arcadian's quip about the producers, "the acts do have a final say on what they do and they perform" before calling out Arcadian's phone numbers. Kevin Skinner: The country singer Piers called the man to beat in the competition was overcome with emotion when talking about the support he was receiving back home. He said he was going to perform his father's favorite song. "I really wish he could be here to see me do it, but he's not well enough to travel," Kevin said. "But he'll be watching from home, and I know he'll be proud." He captivated the crowd with his version of Willie Nelson's "Always On My Mind." The crowd roared and Piers gave a standing ovation. Piers said he nearly had tears in his eyes. "After that, you are my favorite to win this whole competition," Piers said. Sharon told Kevin to smile, "because you'll be coming back." The Hoff said Kevin had come a long way in the course of the competition.

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Season 04, Episode 22 Episode #4.22

S04 E22

Sep 2, 2009
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Episode #4.22 Sep 2, 2009 The first performances from the semifinals were done Tuesday night, which meant Wednesday was when the results would be announced, letting viewers know the first four acts that would return for the final and compete for the $1 million grand prize on "America's Got Talent." Highlights from Tuesday night: Piers Morgan made another little girl cry, and she wasn't even a contestant (it was magician Drew Thomas' daughter); David Hasselhoff pictured three cowboy singers on a billboard in Las Vegas; Piers was nice to a dog and gave a 75-year-old woman permission to get in his shorts anytime. To the results: Host Nick Cannon first asked dancer Arcadian Broad, The Texas Tenors, and Drew Thomas Magic to come to center stage. The first of the threesome to go home was Drew Thomas Magic. That left Arcadian Broad and The Texas Tenors waiting to see which of them would get a spot in the finals. It was The Texas Tenors. The Hoff said, "America made the right choice!" Be our guests: The Muppets visited, with Kermit and Miss Piggy offering up a bit of "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart." The Hoff took the stage later, to remind folks outside of Germany that he's also a singer. He performed a cabaret-style rendition of "Feelin' Good." Back to the results: Next to center stage were Grandma Lee, Tony Hoard & Rory, and Paradizo Dance. The first to go home was Paradizo Dance, and with the crowd chanting "Grandma Lee! Grandma Lee!" the 75-year-old comedian's dream of winning the whole thing was kept alive. With two spots left in the finals, Nick brought the remaining four acts to the stage: singer Kevin Skinner, high-flying dunkers Acrodunk, singers Voices of Glory, and the clogging sisters The Fab Five. The first of the four acts to get a spot in the finals was Kevin Skinner. The next act to go home was -- insert long, dramatic pause here -- Acrodunk. Piers shook his head as the result was announced. That left The Fab Five and The Voices of Glory in the middle of the stage, and the decision on which act would continue rested in the hands of the judges. Sharon was asked to speak first. She said Voices of Glory has contributed "so much" to the show and haven't even shown their best yet. The Fab Five, she said, were also terrific. Then, she refused to give an answer and passed it over to The Hoff. He asked both of the groups not to look at him and he struggled to say anything before passing it to Piers. Piers hemmed and hawed himself, suggesting they might just send both acts home -- which any keen viewer should've known meant they were going to send them both into the finals. And that's exactly what they did.

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Season 04, Episode 23 Episode #4.23

S04 E23

Sep 8, 2009
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Episode #4.23 Sep 8, 2009 The second batch of semifinalists took to the "America's Got Talent" on Tuesday to prove to the judges and to America that they have what it takes to remain in the running for the show's $1 million grand prize. Judge Piers Morgan defended the judges' decision last week to take five semifinalists into the finals instead of just four. He said all five acts deserved to advance to the next round, and that's why the judges made the twist. The Hoff promised he wouldn't use the word "Hoff" anymore, but then said he was "Hoff-ully excited" and that when the finals come around next week, the show will be "Hoff and running." Recycled Percussion: the garbage-can bashing drummers who floored the judges with their quarterfinal performance set out to prove it wasn't a fluke. They wanted to show the judges something they hadn't seen before, and came out beating on an old van and anything else they could find. Piers said there were moments where he couldn't tell whether they were "incredibly talented or just completely mad." He called it inventive and said it was full of showmanship and entertainment. Sharon agreed, and pointed out that one of them was "very ripped." The Hoff said it was a great act and that every week they came back with something different. Lawrence Beamen: The man the judges have called a new Barry White had another chance to prove himself. He opened up about being raised in an extremely strict "religious group," and that he left at age 16. He gave his deep-voiced rendition of Alicia Keys' "Fallin'." Sharon said she loved his voice, but she could have done without some of the "vocal acrobatics." The Hoff said he loved the choice. Piers noted that he loves Lawrence, but he didn't really like that performance. Piers said he still saw Lawrence as the new Barry White, and that seeing him as Alicia Keys didn't quite work. Erik & Rickie: Pre-adolescent ballroom dancers Erik and Rickie said they were working "extra, super duper hard" on their semifinal routine in an effort to keep their million-dollar dream alive. Playing a couple of toy-store dolls that came to life, they danced to Michael Jackson's "Black or White." Piers buzzed them just over halfway through, but they held it together to the end. The Hoff spoke first and said the little pair could have their own Disneyland. He said they could do Vegas. Piers, who was booed, said his buzz wasn't personal. He just didn't like putting their style of dance to pop music. He said it was like having "deep-fried custard," because it was two things that are good on their own, but didn't work together. Sharon said she liked it and said it's common for ballroom dance to be done to current, popular music. Jeffrey Ou: The mad teenage pianist who suffered from technical difficulties in the quarterfinals made it through nonetheless. He knew the semifinal performance was his chance to prove to America that he deserved to be there. Jeffrey hit the stage sporting a wild, vertical hairdo. A light show moved in time to his fast keystrokes on the piano. It didn't take Piers long to buzz Jeffrey. Piers was booed and said the performance was a bit like Jeffrey's hair, "completely out of control." Sharon thought Jeffrey looked fantastic, but said "the playing was pretty out there." The Hoff said he didn't know what Hungarian Rhapsody was, after Jeffrey said that was the name of the piece he played. "It sounded more like beef stroganoff to me," Hoff said. Hairo Torres: Breakdancer and contortionist Hairo Torres said his hero was his mom. She said she was so proud of her son, who was living his dream of dancing, which was a dream she shared as a teenager. Hairo suffered a back injury in his final rehearsal, but his routine was filled with his patented, back-breaking moves. Sharon noted that Hairo added a lot of new steps and said she hoped America would vote to bring him back. The Hoff said the guy next to him was "laughing hysterically," and that it was because his dancing was entertaining. Piers said he realized the reason he liked Hairo was because Hairo dances just like Piers does. The EriAm Sisters: The singing sibling trio struggling with song choice for this week's performance, but were confident in their choice. They settled on David Archuleta's "When You Believe," which gave them a chance to work out some harmonies. Did it work? Piers said it was a "very shaky start" and said they were very flat at first. He said they then got their confidence and it became a really good performance. Sharon agreed that in the beginning they were trying to be three lead vocalists instead of working as a unit, but it "definitely came through in the end." The Hoff added that the sisters' spirit was great and they just make him smile when they're on stage. Mario & Jenny: The daredevil, husband-and-wife juggling act of Mario and Jenny said they hoped this was their time to shine. Mario said he came from a long line of performers and Jenny was a dancer who was tired of constant rejection. The routine was a bit of a mess, with Mario doing an aggressive tap dance and banging on some drums while Jenny worked a pole dance. Piers said it didn't work for him and "I thought you blew it, big time." He said he loved the illusion and danger of their act in the past. Sharon said it showed they weren't one-dimensional, which would work in Vegas. The Hoff said there was "a lot going on" and he thought it was entertaining. He disagreed with Piers, saying they were ready for Vegas and they could hold a show together. Drew Stevyns: The singer-guitarist who slipped through the quarterfinal round said he'd always wanted to play music rather than follow a more traditional career to please his family. He gave a rocked-up rendition of Wham's "Careless Whisper," in the style of the band Seether, which released a version of the song earlier this year. Sharon said Drew made the song his own, even though she didn't like it. She said she hoped America would vote him in. The Hoff said he admired Drew and compared him to Daughtry, saying that kind of music turns him on. Piers said it was a "massive gamble" to do "Careless Whisper," and he thought it paid off. FootworKINGz: The street dance crew from Chicago wanted to show the voters of America that they made the right decision in keeping the dancers around. They showed off their quick footwork to a Power Rangers theme song. Piers buzzed them before too long, and Sharon followed shortly afterward. The Hoff told the crew they'd come a long way, but some of the lasers and other antics got in the way. Piers called the performance "career suicide," saying they were the best dance crew he'd seen in years, but they went with a Power Rangers theme and were joke fighting -- moving too far away from what was at their heart. Sharon said they do the same dance moves in difference costumes. "You've got to stop doing that Russian Cossack move -- we've seen it," she said. Barbara Padilla: Cancer survivor and opera singer said she'd received messages from cancer survivors and became emotional when talking about how she gave some of them a reason to fight. She entranced the crowd with an engaging performance of "Ave Maria," and the judges responded with a standing ovation, along with the audience. Piers said, "Wow. Wow, wow, wow." He said "the whole of America is going to remember where they were when they heard you sing that song," and added that "tonight, a superstar was born on this show." Sharon said it doesn't matter was one's musical tastes are, because music goes beyond language. "I bow down to you," Sharon said, literally standing and bowing. The Hoff said, "They say that God has a plan for all of us," and continued to say that God had a plan for Barbara. He said she gave "a blessed performance tonight."

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Season 04, Episode 24 Episode #4.24

S04 E24

Sep 9, 2009
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Episode #4.24 Sep 9, 2009 As the last set of finalists on "America's Got Talent" were announced on Wednesday, host Nick Cannon noted that the precedent set by the judges last week -- in which they did away with the judges' choice and sent the fourth and fifth top semifinalists through to the next round -- would continue for a second consecutive week. That meant the finals would be a made up of a Top 10, rather than the originally planned Top 8. Highlights from Tuesday: Piers said he didn't like Lawrence Beamen's audition, and he buzzed 8- and 9-year-old kids. He also made fun of a teenage boy's hair and praised a guy for singing a Wham song. He also told his once-favorite dance crew that they committed "career suicide," and the judges gave a standing ovation to an opera singer. To the results: Nick first called FootworKINGz and break dancer and contortionist Hairo Torres to center stage. The act moving on to the finals for a shot at $1 million was Hairo Torres. Behind-the-scenes with the judges: For the first time in the show's history, the judges' interactions during the commercial break last week was shown as they debated their historic move to get rid of the judges' choice and send The Voices of Glory and The Fab Five to the finals. It was interesting. Back to the results: The next two acts called to center stage were Erik & Rickie and Jeffrey Ou. After a dramatic commercial break, we learned that both acts were out. Up next were Recycled Percussion and Mario & Jenny. The act moving into the next round was Recycled Percussion. Be our guest: The cast of "Jersey Boys" paid a visit to perform a medley of songs by the Four Seasons. Back to the results: Four acts and three spots in the finals remained. Nick asked Lawrence Beamen, Drew Stevyns, The EriAm Sisters and Barbara Padilla to come to center stage. The first act moving into the finals was Barbara Padilla. She was shocked and Piers said that after watching her performance again, he thought it was "the single greatest performance I think we've ever had on 'America's Got Talent.'" Lawrence Beamen and Drew Stevyns took the last two spots in the final, leaving the EriAm Sisters out in the cold and completing the Top 10, which will square off next week for one last shot at the $1 million.

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Season 04, Episode 25 Episode #4.25

S04 E25

Sep 14, 2009
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Episode #4.25 Sep 14, 2009 "It began three months ago," host Nick Cannon announced Monday night as the "America's Got Talent" finale week kicked off with the Top 10 acts performing for the nation's vote. Six singing acts, including Kevin Skinner, The Texas Tenors, The Voices of Glory, Drew Stevyns, Lawrence Beamen and Barbara Padilla, were set to face off with comedian Grandma Lee, trash can beaters Recycled Percussion, and dancers The Fab Five and Hairo Torres. One thing's for certain, the judges should have buzzed Nick on his wardrobe choice that included a jacket woven like a basket. But The Hoff was rocking a pink shirt and tie combo, so who's to judge? Judge Piers Morgan said he didn't think there was a clear favorite and that he was excited to see how it turned out on "the biggest talent show in the world." Sharon Osbourne said the performers should "just think about that million dollars," because it would make her sing, dance and tell jokes better. The Voices of Glory: The young and talented trio that performed all season in honor of their mother, who was critically injured in a drunk driving accident, decided to try a different approach. The little sister of the group, who has earned the best reviews of the bunch all season, took the lead while her brothers harmonized behind her. The judges and the crowd jumped to their feet. Piers said he'd waited the whole time for something to click and it did. Sharon agreed that "everything was perfectly in sync, it all came together." The Hoff, classin' it up as usual, said, "You not only brought your mom out of a coma, you brought Piers out of a coma." He said they "hit it out of the park. Hat trick. Slam dunk." Hairo Torres: Breakdancer and contortionist Hairo Torres talked about the emotions of being in the final, but also about the pressure of coming up with something big for the final. After using backup dancers after his first audition, Hairo did away with them symbolically and literally at the start of his routine, showing himself as a solo dancer. Sharon said he "took a really big risk" in giving such an emotional performance "and I think you did the right thing." The Hoff said Hairo "tied it all together" well. Piers said he absolutely loved Hairo as a person, but "I don't think that worked." He said it lost a lot of the fun that he loved about Hairo's performances. Lawrence Beamen: The big-voiced singer said he never imagined performing the way he has on the show. He said he was definitely feeling the pressure heading into the finals, wondering about whether he'd make the wrong decision on song choice and how he sang it. He went to Barry White, with "You're My First, My Last, My Everything." Piers once called him a new Barry White, but was his move too literal? The Hoff said he was glad to be part of Lawrence's journey and said he was leaving the show "a star." Piers said, "That is why I wanted you to sing Barry White." But he said Lawrence's rendition didn't quite have the "love" that Barry's did. Barbara Padilla: Barbara's montage recounted her cancer fight and she talked about how it gave her more than it took away. She went back to "O Mio Babbino Caro," the song she sang in her first audition, because of the door that it opened for her. She captivated the audience again. Piers said viewers at home were thinking, "She's one of us and she's living our dream, and they're all going, 'Way to go, Barbara. Way to go.'" Sharon said she couldn't believe Barbara's journey from the audition to the finale. The Hoff said Barbara was "so beautiful, you command the stage, you command our attention and our respect." He told her, "Forget Vegas, you're going to play bigger halls." The Fab Five: The five sisters from Utah who have since moved to different parts of the country talked about how they'd wanted all their lives to share a big stage. Piers said in their preview tape that he wanted to see something unique that showed a different kind of range. They said they were doing something they hadn't done since they were kids. Sharon said it was beautifully choreographed and said "you girls belong in Vegas." Hoff wondered if the girls ever stopped smiling, but then said he couldn't stop smiling watching them. Piers said it was incredible that the sisters still seemed to be best of friends. "When you dance together, it's like you're one, dancing, and it's amazing infectious." The Texas Tenors: The trio got emotional when talking about their experience and with the blond one talking about his father who'd passed away and wanted his son to pursue his dream of singing. They were prepared to go all out, Vegas-style, with a performance of "My Way." The Hoff said they had "a lot of guts" coming out and doing a Frank Sinatra song. He said they took a chance, then he said they did it their way (about three times). Piers said, again, it was cheesy and said "Vegas is cheesy, in many parts, and I think it's fabulous cheese." Sharon agreed it was "triple cheese," but she called their vocals perfect. Drew Stevyns: The dark horse singer-guitarist said it was tough to stand out among the several thousand performers earlier in the competition. He talked about going through a difficult breakup and that the response has been "amazing and overwhelming -- especially the female response." He sang The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You." Piers said that as he watched Drew, he felt "very proud of the show." He said Drew gave the best performance he'd given. "This could be a night when a wild card goes the whole way," he said. Sharon said that, as a manager, if she was looking for a young guy to be a rock singer, she'd pick Drew. Grandma Lee: The 75-year-old comedian said she wouldn't have imagined in a million years that she would have made it to the finals. She said she was always a bit of a scoundrel. She shared the story of when her father died and her mother couldn't cope, so she was sent to a girls' home, which she said she loved. She vowed to pushing the grandma limits Monday night. She came out donning a pregnant belly and said, "We'll discuss this later, Mr. Morgan." Sharon said Grandma Lee got her early with a Ryan Seacrest joke and she "couldn't stop laughing." The Hoff said every time Grandma Lee came out, she was "funnier and funnier." Piers said he wanted a paternity test, "because if you win the million dollars, I want my slice of the pie." Kevin Skinner: The country singer opened up a bit about his family and said that where he comes from, it's not always easy to support your family. "Not to say I'm not proud of where I come from, either," he said. It's made him who he is, but the opportunity to change his life made him feel good. He stepped out of the country realm with Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." The Hoff mocked Kevin's accent and suggested Kevin could win it. Piers said it wasn't perfect and said he could benefit from some training, but his heart was what the show is about. Piers suggested Kevin's victory would be the best way for America to come out of the recession. Sharon said Kevin didn't have to have the greatest voice because he's unique. Recycled Percussion: The group said they have a lot of creative ideas and they were looking forward to unleashing them. The were fueled by the fact that they had gotten the judges and America to believe in them throughout the competition. Piers called their performance "an absolutely brilliant way to end a brilliant show" and added that he would put them in Vegas tomorrow. Sharon said they were so creative to come up with such different ideas and agreed that they "really do belong in Vegas." The Hoff said they were insane and made him want to drum in the shower. This is the point at which it would be best to fully explain their performance, but a comment like that should be allowed to stand on its own.

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Season 04, Episode 26 Finale

S04 E26

Sep 16, 2009
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Finale Sep 16, 2009 After four months of auditions and eliminations, it was time Wednesday night to finally name a $1 million grand prize winner on "America's Got Talent" -- after two hours of filler and hype. Would it be the chicken-catching country crooner, the dancing moms of Utah, the sharp-tongued elderly comedian, the opera-singing sensation known as Barbara Padilla, or one of the other six final acts? Before that, though, host Nick Cannon ran through the list of guest performers for the evening, which included Leona Lewis, Rascal Flatts, Shakira and "Britain's Got Talent" phenom Susan Boyle, making her first televised singing appearance in the United States. Judge Piers Morgan said he normally works it down to one or two acts that could win, but this time he said it was tough to call and that any one of "eight or nine acts" could win it. In a bizarre bit of packaging, the entire top 10 participated in a performance of "Don't Leave Me This Way," which included a surprise appearance by Thelma Houston. Kevin Skinner couldn't seem to keep up with the lyrics or the dance moves, but Drew Stevyns Lawrence Beamen, the Fab Five and Recycled Percussion helped keep it all moving as it turned out to be kind of an interesting bit of entertainment. Leona Lewis, a product of Simon Cowell's other British singing show, "The X Factor," performed her new single, "Happy." Just when it didn't seem like the night could get much worse, an "Auditions All Stars" performance included some of the mildly amusing rejects from the audition process, and ended with Piers Morgan and Grandma Lee in a tux and wedding dress (I'll let you guess who was wearing which) appearing inside a magic box. Another performance, this time by Cirque du Soleil, filled a few more minutes before we even got to the top of the first hour. It was 54 minutes into the two-hour saga before we got to some results. Nick asked two acts at a time to come to center stage. One would be in the top five, the other would discover their dream was over. First up were opera singer Barbara Padilla and breakdancer Hairo Torres. Barbara was in, Hairo was out, but he left with a smile on his face. Lawrence Beamen and The Voices of Glory came up next. The next spot in the top five went to The Voices of Glory. The Texas Tenors and the Fab Five were the next called to the stage. The next act continuing into the top five was The Texas Tenors. Next came Kevin Skinner and Drew Stevyns, who oddly mimed putting a gun to his head when his name was called along with Kevin's. The fourth spot in the top five went to Kevin Skinner. That meant the final spot in the top five came down to Grandma Lee and Recycled Percussion. The trash can beaters took it, knocking Grandma Lee out of the competition. After looking at the five castoffs, Piers said that four of them could have probably won any past season of the show, which led him to the annual hyperbolic conclusion that "this is the greatest season we've ever had." After another year-in-review style montage, Shakira dropped by to perform her new song, "She Wolf." With 40 minutes left in the two-hour ordeal, the top five became the top two. Nick announced that the act finishing in fifth place after America's vote was The Voices of Glory. Sharon told the trio this was "just the beginning" for them and that we'd be seeing a whole lot more of them. Finishing fourth were The Texas Tenors. The Hoff told the trio they were well on their way and asked them to let him buy a ticket to their show. The act finishing in third place was Recycled Percussion, leaving Barbara Padilla and Kevin Skinner to vie for the $1 million prize. Piers said "you could not have two more different acts,' with a classical singer versus a country singer and said he couldn't call it. Before we found out the winner, Rascal Flatts came out to perform their song, "Summer Nights." Kevin and Barbara were each moved to tears during montages that recalled their journeys on the show. After a performance from Susan Boyle, we'd finally get to see who won. An extended intro reminded Americans about Susan Boyle's wild ride from a surprising audition on "Britain's Got Talent" a few months ago, to finishing in second place on that show, breaking down and checking into a clinic to deal with the pressure, and rising back to fame with a new album and a new single. She performed her cover of the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses." "Now, the long wait is over," Nick said, introducing the final two acts, Kevin Skinner and Barbara Padilla. And the winner of "America's Got Talent" was Kevin Skinner. The unemployed chicken catcher who captured the hearts and votes of America was the winner of the $1 million grand prize and headlining show in Las Vegas.

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