America's Got Talent's Male Pole Dancer: Awesome or Awful?

updated 06/23/2011 at 10:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/23/2011 11:15AM



Some might call Steven Retchless a dancer, but the America's Got Talent contestant, who auditioned nearly naked in a pair of hip-hugging silver shorts and body glitter, had a more specific name for his art form.

"I'm a pole-fessional," he told judges Sharon Osbourne, Piers Morgan and Howie Mandel on Wednesday night's episode, which highlighted the show's auditions in New York City.

Retchless, 24, rocked his poll-dancing routine to Katy Perry's "E.T.," twisting and twirling – in black stilettos! – to the praise of Osbourne, who gave his performance a standing ovation.



Having earning Mandel's vote as well, Retchless was given the green light to go to Las Vegas for the next round of competition.

"Talent is talent," host Nick Cannon said. "It doesn't matter if you got on high heels or not."

But with Morgan casting the only no vote – "We've all got bodies like that, but the decent thing is to hide them with clothes," he joked – not everyone was head-over-heels for the high-heeled pole-fessional.

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