'America's Got Talent': With a name like Prince Poppycock...

A fraternity’s black-light dance number. A guy who calls himself “Prince Poppycock” and sings “Figaro.” A man playing four harmonicas at once. Fine, America’s Got Talent, sometimes you wow me with weirdness. Other times, though, you over-praise a dude who sprays fire out of a pitchfork.

Fighting Gravity’s unique performance was really cool, but it relied heavily on the camera being far away — one brief shot got a little too close, at which point the illusion was sort of ruined. Honestly, I was most impressed by crazy harmonica dude, whose performance was that right combination of stupid human trick and actual entertaining skill.

Who did you love last night, PopWatchers? Did you find Antonio Restivo’s fire act more interesting than I did? Are you tired of the judges asking everyone what their dream is, and everyone answering “having a show in Vegas”?

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  • amanda

    Although a dumb name, Prince Poppycock was awesome!

    • Diane

      OH Poppycock!!!! Its a fantastic name

    • JohnNSac

      Loved Poppycock! Scour the internet enough and you’ll find a more R-rated version of his performance. Maybe he’ll do that version for the Finals if he gets that far ;)

  • VCI

    Fighting Gravity was cool, I kept wondering how they were doing it and wish someone turned the light on so i could see the trick.

    Fire guy was okay, as good as anyone else the judges sent to vegas.

    My favorite act is still last week 5 and 9 year old break dancers (too cute for words) I’ll feed into the gimmick till the end.

  • Bridc

    I hated the fire guy! What is so talented about a blowtorch? Well, except NOT setting the whole place on fire I guess…

    • Al

      I agree. There was nothing exciting aqbout the trick and the rest was just shooting fire out of a stick. I liked the comedian at the end.

    • Kat

      The only cool thing was when he “grabbed” the fire on his pitchfork and moved it to someone else’s torch, and his fingers were still on fire. And I guess the magic trick at the end with the lady in the box was okay too, but it didn’t seem like a coherent and consistently impressive act.

  • Craig

    Doogie Horner was the best thing about last night’s show. Sadly, he won’t make it far, but I haven’t laughed that hard at stand-up in a long time.

  • Deb

    I don’t understand why Antonio Restivo stated he is a “street vendor”. He has been in Vegas. I saw him in Bite at the Stratosphere in January of 2008 ( of which he was WONDERFUL) and I understand he also headlined his own show Ignite at the Greek Isles. So he hardly is a “newbie” to the Vegas shows.

  • Liz

    I really liked fighting gravity. I would fly to vegas to see their show

  • Tyler

    I’m very excited for Fighting Gravity and Prince Poppycock. Gravity is so different from what I’ve seen, and Poppycock is more than your boring normal singers that win every year. It’s time for an act that can actually work in Vegas to win.

  • Doug

    Most of the acts showcased last night are good one-offs but could they sustain a 90-minute show with their parlour tricks? AGT needs to mount its own Vegas show, featuring the top 12-15 acts from the season. A stage version of the show, really. I’d go.

  • David

    I’m very thankful for Nick Cannon. Without cutting to him in the middle of every performance, I’d never know when I was supposed to be amazed.

  • Lori Love

    Well its refreshing to see that the judges recognize talent when they see it! I too thought Antonio Restivo was Hot, Hot, Hot and did an absolutely fabulous job in his 90sec time slot. He was a street vendor for 8 years traveling across country selling metaphysical merchandise and teaching many, myself included, how to first respect and then at last PLAY with FIRE! Go get’em Antonio you HOTTY!!

  • Chris

    I side with Deb…Antonio HAS been around..he was Lord Vampire in BITE at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas from 2007 to 2009, and in 2009 had his own show at the Greek Isles casino. Great act, but something is fishy..he isn’t a starving New York street vendor.

  • kitty

    This was actually a better show. A liked the fire guy, also gravity. Poppycock was entertaining. Not good enough for a legitimate opera, but absolutely perfect for Vegas.

  • Jim

    When he came on and I saw his costume I thought he was a clown or going to some other act that I would not be interested in, then he opened his mouth to sing…all I can say is WOW!!! Wonderful, beautiful, fantastic, inspiring all I have is good things to say. If you did not hear him sing you missed a treat.

    • kitty

      Jim – just for reference, listen to how real opera singers sing this aria. I bet you wouldn’t be as WOWed then… Listen to this for example (video starts a few seconds before the aria): http:/www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ1nAAVjimA It’s also subtitled, so you’d see the words.

      • Stacey

        I agree there is a big difference Kitty. Including tons of classical training.

      • James

        But still, he was amazing for being a store clerk and not having that type of training.

      • kitty

        Stacey – but to really sing in opera, no needs training. Remember John was wearing a microphone; there are no microphones in opera. Huge difference. Also standards of vocal perfection in opera are very high. His was a very entertaining version, a pop arrangement with a funny dress (not really related to the story), but while having a great voice for pop/musicals, it’s not good enough for opera. I looked him up and he did have private voice lessons for some time, so he wasn’t completely untrained. His would be a fantastic Vegas act, which I think what he wants; not mainstream opera. But it’s important to appreciate the difference.

      • Jesse

        No offense, Kitty, but it seems excessively pedantic to insist on the ‘difference’ being appreciated… it just to me feels almost like a downer moment. I watched the YouTube video, and frankly, can see that perhaps Poppycock chose to tone it down. As you mentioned it was a pop arrangement – and I thought the forced translation of “one at at time for heaven’s sake” was brilliant. Further, I’m gonna call you out on “no training to sing opera.” I was engaged to an opera singer for 7 years, who was understudying in New York. The amount of extra training and classes she had to take even as a more ‘established’ singer is ridiculous. There is a level of money and training in opera, and to somehow pretend there isn’t when making a point is unfair to all beginning opera singers.

      • Nicey

        With all due respect the goal is to entertain.

        Classical opera struggles to bring in enough ticket sales to maintain itself, and that video shows exactly why. It hasn’t changed much over the years.

        It’s all a bit clinical. I’m sure opera enthusiasts prefer that, but if I was putting my money down, I’d bet on the over the top, camp, modern version working in Vegas over the classical version any day.

        I’d pay to see Poppycock any day of the week, I may even fly in to see his Sunday performance in Texas this weekend. The same wouldn’t be said about your preferred version.

        Maybe the problem is calling him an opera singer, maybe we should settle on ‘modern/classic vocal entertainer’?

      • kitty

        Yes Nicey, the only problem I have is with the label “opera singer” attached. Pop/crossover entertainer would be fine. But opera requires tremendous amount of talent, training, work, and more importantly artistry, so the term “opera singer” should really be reserved only for people who actually sing in opera. I did agree Prince Poppycock is talented and entertaining and excellent for a Vegas show. As to people not going to opera or preferring pop to classical version – I think a lot more people would actually prefer opera if they were exposed to it, the past success of frankly rather mediocre “opera singers” (who didn’t have Prince Poppycock’s entertainment value) on thse shows demonstrates how much imact somewhat “operatic” sounding voices and classical music have on public today.

      • kitty

        @Jesse – “no training” was a typo. I meant “one needs training”.

  • Debbie

    Loved Prince Poppycock!!!

  • Rose

    I was watching a documentary on the Gay Youth Talent Show. And John Quale was one of the main performers. I had wondered about him after watching it, because he talked about never giving up his dream and now it’s so ironic seeing him only a few days later on America’s Got Talent.
    I hope he goes far, he seemed to have a lot of passion when he talked about performing on the documentary and he is quite unique.

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