'America's Got Talent' Season 15: 13-year-old Feng E's Jimi Hendrix-like performance on ukelele blows minds
'America's Got Talent' Season 15 just kicked off with its very first live elimination round on the NBC network on August 11 night. Looking resplendent in a white suit, the show's host Terry Crews strode out on the stage at Universal Studios and declared that the stakes had just got higher. Now only 11 contestants remained, of which only five would survive the live voting round, so it was up to the audience to decide who would make it to the grand finale. Whoever managed to win the competition would walk away with a one million dollar prize and a headlining slot in Las Vegas to boot. There were dancers, singers, magicians, musicians, animals and danger acts coming up, so there was a lot to be excited about.
One person who would be missing out on the action was 'AGT' judge Simon Cowell, who recently got into a serious bike accident and needed to have surgery and a well-deserved rest session. Taking his place was a familiar face on American television, Kelly Clarkson, who incidentally first rose to fame on Cowell's premier singing competition, 'American Idol'. Clarkson was the very first American Idol, and now it looks like things have come full circle since she's taken Simon's spot on the judging chair on 'America's Got Talent'. Clarkson joked that she was getting really used to Simon's chair already, but she also wished him a speedy recovery. Joining Clarkson on the jury panel were all the regular judging stalwarts, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum.
Kicking off the show was Pork Chop Revue, who went through their animal variety show with an assortment of talented trained pigs, who could weave through obstacles and leap over hurdles. However, the final result was underwhelming, and the judges let them know it. Howie Mandel mentioned that it was like watching a lethargic dog doing tricks, and Heidi Klum said that it was "boar-ing." Vergara also unwittingly said that she could not love it, so it's safe to say that Pork Chop Revue won't be bringing home the bacon.
However, one young star who has a definite shot at the grand prize was Feng E, one of the best performers in the entire first half of the show. The 13-year-old from Thailand is a gifted musician and mentioned that he started playing ukelele, thanks to his father. Apparently, while growing up, young Feng had developmental issues with his fingers and was incapable of drawing a straight line at school. So to encourage his dexterity, his dad bought him a ukelele and promised to match his playing time on the instrument with an equal amount of time spent playing with Lego. Thanks to his encouraging father, Feng soon blossomed into a prodigious talent, and now he was on the world stage to display his skills on the ukelele.
Starting off with a lovely harmonic-laden intro, Feng soon segued into a rousing, distortion-filled rendition of 'Smoke on the Water' by Deep Purple. Later on, he brought in some wah-wah effects and launched into a feedback-drenched version of 'Seven Nation Army', finishing off with squeals and howls similar to rock guitar god. Howie commented on how incredible he sounded and even rose to his feet to commend him on his Jimi Hendrix-like performance. While Mandel was blown away, Heidi also remarked on how cool he looked while playing and praised his vibe. Sofia also said that he looked like a star up there and Kelly said that he was insanely gifted and was capable of holding an audience in the palm of his hand.
On social media, fans were saying the same thing, exclaiming that Feng had been incredible. One fan noted that he made the ukelele look cool once again.
Another viewer declared that Feng had been absolutely amazing.
Make sure you vote for your favorite contestant, because voting closes at 7 am ET on August 12 morning. Feng E definitely deserves to go through to the grand finale of 'America's Got Talent'.