Look for tape, skates and a guy in a satin dragon suit on network TV this week.
Piff the Magic Dragon of Flamingo Las Vegas’s Bugsy’s Cabaret, Tape Face of House of Tape at Harrah’s, and sibling skating tandem Billy and Emily England of “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace head up the Vegas contingent on the all-star show. Ladder balancer Uzeyer Novruzov of Circus Circus Midway (a finalist in 2010) is also among the Strip acts invited back to the show.
The series has invited 50 acts — five winners apiece from the U.S. and British version of the show and eight others from around the world — to compete for the “AGT” uber-championship. Action actor Terry Crews hosts, with Simon Cowell, Mel B., Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel judging.
“Returning to ‘AGT’ was wonderful,” said Tape Face, legal name Sam Wills, on Sunday. “Competitions are a lot easier when you realize that the only competition is yourself and you have the power to decide what winning is.”
The titlists include the 2018 champ, magician Shin Lim, who is expected to headline at a yet-announced Strip resort by the late spring. Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, who won the 2015 title and headlined later that year at Planet Hollywood; fellow ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer (who was coached by 2007 champ and Mirage headliner Terry Fator); singer Bianca Ryan (2006); and dancer Kenichi Ebina (2013) are among the former champs competing.
Others who have headlined at various times in Las Vegas include opera singer Jackie Evancho (runner-up to Las Vegas’s Michael Grimm in 2010), comics Drew Lynch, Tom Cotter and Vicki Barbolak; singer Susan Boyle (who appeared with Donny & Marie for one show in 2012). Aside from Fator and Grimm (who has been booked regularly at Piazza Lounge at Tuscany Suites), Mat Franco of Linq Hotel is a former “AGT” champ performing in Las Vegas.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.