Jake’s Take: The Greatest “AGT” Variety Acts of All-Time

Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Nick Cannon will celebrate the tenth anniversary season of "America's Got Talent" when the show returns on Tuesday. (Photo property of NBC)

Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Nick Cannon will celebrate the tenth anniversary season of “America’s Got Talent” when the show returns on Tuesday. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

AGT is kicking off its tenth anniversary season on Tuesday!

But before Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel hit their buzzers; Jake’s Take is continuing its AGT anniversary celebration.

Last week, I introduced you to the greatest musical acts that have ever graced the America’s Got Talent stage! If you not had the chance to read the article, click here.

Today, I am counting down to the 12 variety acts that made an impact on the show!

 

Grandma Lee AGT

Grandma Lee’s edgy and raunchous material left Season Four viewers in stitches. (Photo property of NBC, FremantleMedia North America & SYCO TV)

13. Grandma Lee (Season Four, 2009)

Season Four’s firecracker kicks off our countdown in style! The septuagenarian comedienne always made audience smile with her crude jokes. Every time, I heard “Cut the Crap!” I knew that Grandma Lee was going to have the audience in stitches.

12. Melissa Villasenor (Season Six, 2011)

One of my favorite impersonators that have ever graced the America’s Got Talent stage is Melissa Villasenor. Not only were her mannerisms of Natalie Portman, Kathy Griffin, Shakira and Christina Aguilera were spot on, but also the vocals were unforgettable and when I closed my eyes I pictured those divas on the AGT stage.

 

Collins Key America's Got Talent

Collins Key successfully spellbound viewers on “America’s Got Talent.” (Photo property of NBC, FremantleMedia North America & SYCO TV

11.Collins Key (Season Eight, 2013)

Collins Key remains one of the most talented teens that had ever appeared on America’s Got Talent. From teleporting a dollar bill into a bag of popcorn to almost smashing Nick Cannon’s expensive watch, Collins’ tricks not only bedazzled the audience, but also inspired his generation to believe in magic.

 

KriStef Brothers America's Got Talent

The KriStef Brothers were Season Eight crowd favorites on “America’s Got Talent.” (Photo property of NBC, FremantleMedia North America & SYCO TV)

10. The KriStef Brothers (Season Eight, 2013)

Longtime friends Kristopher and Stefan introduced America to the art of hand balancing! The Las Vegas-based duo perfectly combined excellent feats of strength and comedy with a little element of danger that ignited the AGT stage in LA and at Radio City Music Hall.

9. David Garibaldi & His CMYK’s (Season Seven, 2012)

During Howard Stern’s first season (and sadly Sharon Osbourne’s last season) of AGT, Avant-garde paint act David Garibaldi and His CMYK’s combined art, dance and music into several outstanding presentations. From painting Ludwig von Beethoven to the Statue of Liberty, they knew how to put on a fantastic show!

8. Recycled Percussion (Season Four, 2009)

If you were living with someone unfamiliar with America’s Got Talent seven years ago and they annoyingly yelled: “Where is all that noise coming from?” The chances are that someone was watching America’s Got Talent: Season Four alums and latest Las Vegas headliner Recycled Percussion! The Manchester, New Hampshire natives created music out of recycled material ranging from an old delivery car to countless garbage cans and buckets, the quartet delivered outstanding performances that brought the crowd to their feet.

7. Taylor Williamson (Season Eight, 2013)

What I loved about Taylor Williamson was his stand-up routine! His awkward material made me smile and banter with the judges (particularly with Heidi) was pure gold. My favorite Taylor moment was when he was forced to mix all of the elements of his previous performances into one epic encore round. Despite losing to someone who will appear later on in this countdown, he still got the girl!

 

Rosie O'Donnell performs with Mat Franco and Howard Stern

Rosie O’Donnell & Howard Stern assisted Mat Franco on a his final trick just moments before he won “America’s Got Talent: Season Nine.” (Photo property of NBC, FremantleMedia North America & SYCO TV)

6. Mat Franco (Season Nine, 2014)

Last season, Mat Franco did what many magicians have been doing since Season One: win America’s Got Talent! So, how did the Rhode Island native beat out thousands for the $1,000,000 prize? Mat won the show with his superb storytelling, Mel B’s iPhone and a human deck of cards. His tricks set the bar for future magicians to perform on the AGT stage.

5. AcroArmy (Season Nine, 2014)

One of the most impeccable acts that had ever appeared on America’s Got Talent is acrobatic troupe AcroArmy! This group was the brainchild of Season One alum Arthur Davis, who gathered 16 of the most gifted acrobats of the Digital Generation and created the most visually appealing and shocking performances that ever been performed on any Got Talent stage.

4. Kenichi Ebina (Season Eight, 2013)

Season Eight Champion Kenichi Ebina remains one of the most technical and creative individuals that had ever won the competition. From his innovating audition that paid homage to The Matrix to taking viewers into a video game, his “danceish” performances have left a huge mark on the competition!

 

Terry Fator and longtime friend Emma Taylor surprised everyone with their audition in the show's sophomore season. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

Terry Fator and longtime friend Emma Taylor surprised everyone with their audition in the show’s sophomore season. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

3. Terry Fator (Season Two, 2007)

It’s hard to believe that Terry Fator auditioned for AGT eight years ago! But as Terry entered the arena, both then judges Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff were ready to write him off. However, everything changed when little Emma Taylor opened her mouth and sang “At Last.” After introducing us to characters like Winston the Impersonating Turtle and Johnny Vegas, Terry won the $1,000,000 prize and is currently charming audiences at the Mirage!

2. Team iLuminate (Season Six, 2011)

When AGT visited the Peach State, viewers were introduced to inventor Miral Kotb who fused her passions of dance and technology in software called iLuminate. As Ms. Kotb operated the system, her team of dancers glowed swiftly across the stage in a spectacular audition that Piers Morgan dubbed: “the single most exciting audition I’ve seen on the show.” As the weeks went on, iLuminate continued to defy expectations and delivered show-stopping performances that accumulated with their final performance on the AGT stage.

 

Fighting Gravity America's Got Talent

With their impeccable tricks and flashy routines, Fighting Gravity remains one of the best acts that has ever appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” (Photo property of NBC, FremantleMedia North America & SYCO TV)

1. Fighting Gravity (Season Five, 2010)

The best variety act that has ever appeared on the AGT stage has to be Fighting Gravity! The Virginia Tech alums stunned the country when they showcased their out-of-this-world routines that involved glowlight and countless tennis balls. This group shook Season Five to its core with their astonishing routines that started with their New York City audition and lead to their successful semifinal performance and unbelievable collaboration with Lionel Richie in the season finale.

I do not own any of the clips that are sprinkled throughout the article; they belong to NBC, FremantleMedia North America & SYCO TV!

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar