'America's Got Talent': Howie Mandel Crowns William Close The Winner

Wed, July 25, 2012 12:54am EST by 6 Comments
America's Got Talent William Close

Howie thinks he found a winner in William, the larger-than-life musician. But which acts are giving him a run for his money?

The July 24 episode of America’s Got Talent found the final 12 acts taking to the stage hoping to prove to America that they were worth voting for to send through to the semifinals. (For the record, most were “painfully entertaining.”) Horse demonstrated his superhuman powers, while Eric Dittelman used his mind-reading powers to take a jab at Howie Mandel. Other acts, like Lindsay Norton, delivered stellar dance moves, while Sebastien “El Charro de Oro” supplied the charm.

Here’s a rundown of how everyone fared this week:

David “The Bullet” Smith — Human Cannonball

He’s attempting to go the distance, further and higher than ever before. He takes the audience outside (in a pre-taped performance) for a death-defying stunt as he is shot from an over-sized cannon down the length of a football field for a 40-yard field goal. Is he successful? Sure. Is it entertaining? Not in the slightest.

All That! – Male Clogging Group

You would never imagine that a group of hunky men would be cloggers (or even tap dancers, for that matter). Decked out in crisp multi-color button-ups, they tapped their hearts out to Ram Jam’s “Black Betty” and earned themselves a roaring applause from the studio audience. That certainly was quite entertaining. Sharon advised them to take on a Magic Mike kind of performance with leather and no shirts. (Yes, I approve of this.)

Ulysses – Singer/Impersonator

He spiced things up tonight with some female dancers as he performed the American Bandstand theme song. Within the first 30 seconds, both Sharon and Howard pushed their big red X’s. It was like he took a trip back to the 1950’s, but instead of being entertaining, it came off like a cruise ship act. Not worth $1 million.

Joe Castillo – Sand Story Artist

He started his routine with a sand painting of the world and slowly created various animal portraits — including a lion and an elephant. He quickly segued into an artsy take on a peering human eye with a tear. He sculpted, crafted, and touched the panel’s hearts with a special message about conservation.

Sebastien “El Charro de Oro” – Young mariachi singer — “Kiss Me, Kiss Me Much”

He wants to bring mariachi to the forefront of the American mainstream. “Just because I haven’t been in love, doesn’t mean I can’t sing about love,” he said in his pre-performance package. He took the stage with a full mariachi band behind him and crooned his way in the panel’s hearts…again. (Yup. This kid has charm and oodles of talent, to boot.)

Eric Dittelman – Magician/Comedian/Mind Reader

With his own version of Deal or No Deal, he targeted Howie in his routine. He also involved Howard and Sharon as he eliminated rows and cases, until it came down to Howie picking the #4 silver case. “America will be talking about Dittleman tomorrow morning,” Sharon commented. (How does he do that?)

William Close – World’s Largest Stringed Instrument

With a giant harp constructed on the stage, he plucked a delicately stirring song that was accompanied by raucous drums and vocals. The ethereal atmosphere combine with true artistic talent to garner him a standing ovation from the panel and the audience. (Kudos!) “We’re done. You won the whole competition,” Howie critiqued.

Unity In Motion – Contortion Troupe

Despite the pressures of the competition, the troupe of seven girl contortionists delivered a smooth performance set to music from Requiem for a Dream. Their routine was swift, and their execution was like gulping a tall glass of filtered water. (They deserve a spot in the semifinals.)

Eric and Olivia – Acoustic Duo — “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz

They took an acoustic twist on a well-known pop song. Her quirky vocal tone brought a freshness to a cool performance that could have very well fell dead in the pan otherwise. However, the judges were just not into the arrangement and delivery, saying the duo made a big mistake tonight.

Lindsey Norton – Solo Dancer — Cirque du Soleil Theme

Donning a bedazzled body suit, she flitted, floated and flipped across the stage. Her moves were similar to an Olympic floor exercise, as Howie pointed out. “It was original, but it was not,” he commented. She also used mirrors to enhance the performance and add an air of beauty. (Bravo.)

Horse – Daredevil

He envisions his talent as a super power, he commented in his pre-performance package.   Wearing a red, white and blue colored costume, he was man-handled across the stage performing various ball-busting stunts. “He’s painfully entertaining,” said Sharon.

Olate Dogs – New York, NY (Performing Dogs)

Six cute and fluffy canines balanced on moving metal wheels, slide down a slide, and tossed across the red carpet. Is there anything cuter? It was certainly enough to get the judges to their feet.

And that’s a wrap! Tomorrow night, three acts will be voted through by America with one act being selected by the panel.

Jason’s Predictions: Olate Dogs, Lindsay Norton, William Close, Sebastien “El Charro de Oro”

HollywoodLifers, what was YOUR favorite act of the night? Do you agree with Howie that William Close has already won the competition? Leave your thoughts in the comments.