Nerves! Nerves! Nerves!
Two huge fan favorites — acts millions of AGT fans thought could win the $1 million prize — all but choked their way out of the running Monday during the first night of Vegas Week callbacks.
Acts were divided up into groups before taking the stage:
DANGER ACTS: All Wheel Sports, American BMX stunt team, New Guard America Drill Team, Cristin Sandu (balance act) and Ben Blaque (crossbow)
FEMALE SINGERS: Mary Joyner, Roxy Doll, Brianna Price, Cecilia Detwiler, Luna and Nikki Jensen.
DANCE ACTS: Funk Beyond Control, All That!, Loyalty Dance Crew and 787 Crew.
NOVELTY ACTS: Horse, All Beef Patty, Joe Castillo (sand artist), Todd Oliver and Irving, Light Wire Theater (light up dancers) and Aurora Light Painters.
CLASSICAL SINGERS: Simply Sergio, Luiz Meneghin and Andrew De Leon.
Then the wheels came off…
Mary Ruth Joyner, the daughter of Olympic greats Al and Florence Griffith Joyner, burst into tears after botching her cover of the Leona Lewis hit “Footprints In The Sand.”
“She blew it,” judge Howard Stern confirmed. Mary most likely won’t make the short list of 48 acts advancing to New York when it is revealed on Wednesday. (Acts are strictly prohibited from performing in public — especially on television — while they are still in the competition. And Mary, 21, has already been invited to sing the National Anthem at an Olympic trials event in Oregon this week.)
Opera singer Andrew De Leon — who looks like Marilyn Manson and sings like Jackie Evancho — is also good as gone after crumbling under the pressure of his second performance. After hitting a sour note that could make your TV screen crack, the 19 year-old make up artist (who has almost no experience performing in public) simply stopped singing.
“(It was) my nerves,” he told the judges.
Andrew is likely a goner — but if he is eliminated, expect to see him later in the season as a “wild card” act. Each judge will be allowed to bring back three acts sometime in late August. Andrew is certainly talented and connected with audiences. He’s exactly the kind of guy producers want to see late in the competition.
So far, Vegas has brought out the worst in many acts: deli worker/singer Lulu forgot the lyrics to her song while a member of the American BMX Stunt Team wiped out trying to perform an aerial stunt.
But at least three acts walked away happy. Animal act Olate Dogs, “Human Cannonball” Dave Smith, Jr. and Earth Harp musician William Close all advanced to the live shows in New Jersey without having to perform.