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AGT Recap: Auditions, Night 2

The second night of auditions on Season 10 of "America's Got Talent" showcased a lot of dancers of various levels, as well as a funny magician and some other notable acts.


• The show kicked off with an interesting tracking shot, showing all the judges coming in and then going backstage to meet the first act, DM Nation, a group of 14 female hip-hop dancers dressed all in black with black baseball hats. They opened with some precise moves and some impressive lifts. Their best move was when some of them got on the floor, and they all moved in a circle seamlessly, a move that didn't even look human. One of the tightest group dance acts ever on this show! Howie Mandel liked that he saw moves he'd never seen before and called them fantastic. Heidi Klum gave them two thumbs up. Howard Stern called them fun to watch and liked that they used their whole bodies. Mel B. called them off the chain. Four yeses, in unison.
• Next was a magician, Wayne Hoffman, who's also a new dad and had put something special together just for the show. He was going to put firecrackers in his mouth and... lighting them? Host Nick Cannon told him, "That doesn't sound intelligence." No, not really. Onstage, he revealed that two of the explosives are duds and one was real, and he was going to try to figure out which was which. He then called Howie up to verify that he his metal blindfold was solid. Ge turned his back and asked Howie to mix them up. He took a guess that Howie, being left-handed, had left one of the duds on the far left and had a stagehand put it in his mouth and light it. The firecracker burned out. He then told the stagehands to put one in the far box and the other in his mouth, lighting both. The one in his mouth burned out, and the one in the both exploded with some sparks and smoke. Howard said that he generated excitement. Heidi said she was entertained. Mel B. thought it was brilliant. Howie said he was very scared and then relieved, "And I thought I did a terrific job, too." Again, four yeses.
• A duo called the CraigLewis Band had performed together for 10 years, "especially places that give us food." They were actually really good with their version of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." I didn't see it coming since they seemed so down-to-earth, just like guys I see in my neighborhood every day, with their faded jean jackets, white T-shirts and baggy khaki pants. Both of them had some serious pipes. Howie said hearing the passion and the power, he could not believe they've just been working for food. "You deserve a million-dollar buffet." Heidi predicted they would go far in the competition. Howard called it a great audition. Mel B. thought they were smart to both take solos and thought they were strong out of the gate. They were through with four yeses.
• Stevie Starr, who calls himself a professional regurgitator, had trained himself to swallow items and bring them back up. He started with coins, all numbered. At the audience suggestion, he brought back three and then one and two. Then he swallowed a light bulb in order to bring back coin four and finally the lightbulb itself. Finally, he swallowed and then brought back up sugar, chased with a glass of water, and the sugar wasn't even wet. Mel B. called it unbelievable and said she wanted to see more. Howie said he'd left them all wanting more. Heidi called him her favorite act this far (really?). Howard loved it. He called it great presentation: "You really wowed us." He also got unanimous yeses.
• Then was a high-production-value filmed segment highlighting the dance moves of a variety of different dancers, finishing with an accordion player playing the music that had underscored the segment.
• Ronnie Alampour, Ronnie the Dancer, says he's famous in Vancouver's clubs and has 50,000 fans, he says. He showed up in a silver shirt and black pants. Almost immediately after he started, he got X'ed by one of the judges, followed by three more X's, forcing him to stop in the middle of a split. He then did a push-up with just two fingers. Howard joked that he's going to buy an outfit like that but didn't add much criticism. Heidi thought he was good but not for this show. Howie imagined he was the sort of person you'd see in a hotel lobby at 3 in the morning. Mel B. thought it was good to just have fun. The judges all gave him a no. Nick suggested that he dance with him then, and he imitated some of Ronnie's moves, dancing with him. As a comedy act, it worked a lot better, except that Ronnie wasn't going for comedy, I'm afraid.
• Benjamin Yonattan, 14, is a dancer (with a very proud mother) who has to wear special glasses to help expand his field of vision, since he has only a four degree field of view. He also uses a white cane to get around. He performed a contemporary dance performance. He had great form and balance, along with gracefulness and strength. The crowd went wild, especially for his more daring moves, such as a series of cartwheels. The judges gave him a standing ovation. Mel B. called him unstoppable and his dancing beautiful. Howie called dance a visual art and said that he was creating a beautiful image for everyone else. Heidi liked that he can still do what he loves to do and said he has talent and deserves to be here. Howard called it a top-notch performance and praised his bravery. No surprise, it was four yeses.
• Next, 87-year-old singer, Shirley Claire, who had been a showgirl in her youth, was flirting with everyone backstage, including Nick. Tonight, she was planning to sing, although she was wearing a gray jumpsuit with bling at the neck. In response to questioning from Howard, she said that she'd been married four times. She sang a fast tune that I didn't recognize ("I'm Going to Live Until I Die") with lots of posing. Mel B. praised her glamor, style and personality. Howie called her witty and better than people a quarter her age. "I want to see a lot more of you." Heidi was excited that she tried out. "I think you are a huge inspiration." She also called her super witty. Four yeses. Shirley claimed she needed Nick to help her walk out, but I think she just wanted to take his arm again. Of course, she took the opportunity to also give him a kiss offstage.
• Next came a montage of acts speaking about Heidi, intercut with shots of her dancing and interacting with fellow judges. This led into a group called Treadmill Dance Crew and a group of hip-hop roller skaters, Roll Skate Crew. We saw an abbreviated version of their act. They got praise from the judges and made it through. Back to Heidi dancing in a fringe dress. Then there was a magician, Xakary the Magician, who wanted to saw Heidi in half, and she didn't know about it. Um... how is that going to work, exactly? He had her sit in a box and then lie down, with her head sticking out. Her legs stuck out the other end. Somehow, he managed to do the illusion. Howard was impressed, and all the judges agreed, voting yes.
• Alicia Michilli, wearing a red mid-calf skirt and demure white lacy top, with the kind of short hair that I remember from the '80s, really looked like a throwback, down to the matte red lipstick. She had a lot more soul than I would have expected as she sang "I'd Rather Be Blind." Howard called it beautiful, while Heidi said it gave her chills. Mel B. said it wasn't pitch perfect but "I could feel your soul." She also loved her tone (while cautioning her to watch the high notes). Howie agreed it wasn't perfection but "sometimes soul is not about perfection. It's about the reality of what you're feeling."
• After a montage of weird acts that everybody hated but Howie, we saw a guy named Youngblood who drank milk by inhaling it through his nose (I guess) and then squired it out his eye. Howard laughed but still buzzed it, as did Heidi. Howie called it fantastic, and in the sidelines, Nick held up a cookie and asked, "Got milk?" Howie told him he ought to try target practice. Both Howie and Mel B. actually said yes. Heidi said no, and Howard did, too.
• Derek Hughes, a magician with two young boys, said he was going to catch a ping-pong ball on his nose. He "caught" it the second time, and it stuck. All right. So then he launches into a comedy routine of sorts. He had great patter, including removing his watch and saying, "I'm removing this so you don't get confused when I say 'watch.'" And he pulled the final card from his... backside. Mel B. called him naught and said she liked it. Howie and Heidi both agreed he was funny. Howard called him unforgettable. Four yeses.
• Freckled Sky was a dance duo who work with a director who is the visionary behind their performances. They danced in water with a video background of raindrops that they interacted with, including steps that had images projected on them, as well. We've seen acts like this before, but it was very creative and well done. Howard called them absolutely different. He asked them to bring out their director, Val, whom he called a genius. No surprise, it was four yeses one more time.

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