There are those on “America’s Got Talent” with dreams of winning the million-dollar prize. There are those who handle poisonous snakes and eat hot peppers in what appears to be some sort of death wish.
And then there’s Tone the Chief Rocka, the last act to take the stage on Tuesday’s season premiere. What was his ambition?
“I want to be a one-hit wonder!” he said.
Not the biggest dream in the world, but as Howard Stern told him before he began, sometimes one hit song is enough to retire on. And a few notes into Tone's original song, “Booty,” it was clear that this act had the best potential for reality TV flash-in-the-pan musical success since the great “Great” Larry Platt debuted “Pants on the Ground” on “American Idol” in 2010.
Howard led the four judges to their feet to dance. Nick Cannon shook his rear end at the camera and cheered. The crowd jumped to their feet. And all four judges passed him on to the next round.
“You struck a chord with the audience. You struck a chord, I bet, with America,” Howard said. “I don’t think you have another hit in you. I think you are a one-hit wonder, and I love it.”
The two new judges, Heidi Klum and Mel B, were equally impressed.
“What can I say? All of our B-double-O-T-I’s, they were all itchy," Heidi said.
(Cue the brief pause as everyone wondered where she was going with that, and how she could spell the word wrong when Tone had just sang it, letter by letter, for 90 seconds.)
“They were all itching to dance,” she clarified.
Mel B. felt the same tingling. “Not only do I have the biggest booty on this panel -- and proud of it -- I love it,” said the former Spice Girl.
That earned Tone a ticket to Las Vegas, gave everyone in the audience an earworm and started the clock ticking on his 15 minutes of fame.
Also notable were a number of acts that weren’t what they seemed.
Special Head looked so annoying that Howard Stern X’d him before he got a chance to finish his routine. The judge wound up having to take that back, as the street performer wound up appearing to levitate his way right to Vegas.
Catapult was the best of the dance acts to take the stage, combining modern movement and illusion to illustrate a diamond caper. They were closely followed by Hype, a trio who said they made up their “Singing in the Rain” routine in a day, which made Howie Mandel question their seriousness, but if that claim is correct they set the bar very high for what might happen with a whole 72 hours of effort.
Ten-year-old Anna Christine looked like a bundle of nerves, but stood out as the early leader among the child acts. Marty Brown looked for all of the world like comic relief with his backstage banter, but turned out to be quite the country crooner. Angela Hoover made the most of her 90 seconds of comedy.
The scariest act of the night was David Weathers, who poked a large rattlesnake until it lunged at him and popped a balloon that he was holding in his mouth. He avoided being bitten for what he said would have been the fourth time, and also moved on.
“I know this is wrong but I want to see you again, so it’s a 'yes,'” Heidi said.
How many men have dreamed of hearing those words from her?
See another batch of hopefuls take the "America's Got Talent" stage next Tuesday at 9 p.m. on NBC.