TV Watch America's Got Talent
Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. went from washing cars in West Virginia to singing classic jazz tunes in front of millions of America's Got Talent viewers. His hard work, combined with the positive response from the show's judges and audience make him confident he will definitely walk away with the prizes of $1 million and his own headlining show in Las Vegas.
"I'm the one to beat," Murphy told PEOPLE on Friday at an L.A. press day for the show. "The only thing that's missing in Vegas is the rat pack. That's it. Right now you've got Michael Bublé, Harry Connick, Jr., and then you have Landau Eugene, Jr. Put one more guy with us and you've got the whole rat pack."
But his desire to land big bucks and Sin City fame isn't entirely for selfish purposes.
As the semi-finals continued on America's Got Talent Tuesday, aerialists Gymkana had a close call with a ring of fire.
Just moments before the gymnasts completed their high-flying act, a member's flip through a flaming hoop went awry when a foot caught. The burning hoop tumbled down on another member of Gymkana. Luckily, the performers appeared to come out unscathed.
But with or without the scary blunder, the act didn't sit well with the judges. Piers Morgan expressed his "sympathy" for the dangerous mistake but even before the mishap, he had buzzed the acrobats, calling their stunts repetitive.
Piers Morgan declared Tuesday's semi-final round of competition on America's Got Talent the best on the show to date.
Morgan and the other judges, Sharon Osbourn and Howie Mandel, heaped their praise on musical group Poplyfe, who performed "Come Together" by the Beatles, putting their own soulful, rock 'n' roll twist on the well known song.
"You blew me away," Mandel said. "You guys are already stars."
Osbourne said she felt she was "looking at a winner," and Morgan agreed, telling Poplyfe they're sure to be a "huge band in this country."
America has voted, and the contestants going on to the semi-finals of this season's America's Got Talent have been selected.
But according to judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel, some contestants were wrongly eliminated from the competition. And thanks to Tuesday's wildcard round, each judge picked four favorites to vie for a second shot at the semi-finals.
The Kinetic King – who failed miserably last week – redeemed himself with a unique demonstration of the domino effect, using cans, plastic cups, balloons and metal trash cans. Watch a clip above.
Last week, the musical acts hit a high note on America's Got Talent. This week, it was all about the dancers – both serious and silly – that earned the judges' stamps of approval.
Zuma Zuma, the second act of the evening, made hardheaded Piers Morgan a newfound fan of pole dancing.
"That is exactly the kind I enjoy," Morgan told the Kenya-bred men's group, who courageously jumped and flipped from pole to pole. "[This performance was] exuberant, vibrant. If you're having fun, so is the audience."
Fellow judge Sharon Osbourne admired the group's "great speed and enthusiasm," while Howie Mandel praised their performance for being "dangerous" and "exciting."
Three acts later, Sam B. took the stage. The stout male – clad in a bright gold sparkly jacket – didn't do much more than wiggle, jump and sandwich himself in between a handful of women. But for some reason, that performance, which took place in front of a neon, '80s-themed backdrop, was enough to win over the fans and (most of) the judges. (Watch a clip.)
After last week's disappointing acts on America's Got Talent, the judges seemed much more pleased with Tuesday night's performances.
Most of the acts – which included an extreme jump-rope team, a yo-yo act, and a couple who hooked wires to themselves and swung household objects from them – seemed to give their all this week. But it was the musical performances that won the judges over most.
Among the standouts: Poplyfe's rendition of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." Howie Mandel called the six-member group the "best act" of the night "so far." Sharon Osbourne called the performance "fantastic," and said, "You've got everything going for you." Even Piers Morgan complimented the group.
Tuesday night's taping of America's Got Talent brought out an eclectic group of acts, but among the variety – including a magician, comedian, juggler and female singer-songwriter whose appearance resembled Justin Bieber – only a small portion stood out for the right reasons.
Judge Piers Morgan, who used his buzzer four times during the night, seemed unimpressed with the majority of acts altogether. Although there were three acts that received negative feedback from all three judges, one in particular came off as especially disappointing.
Following a knife-slinging, gun-shooting audition in June that had the judges and the audience's jaws dropping, the cowboy-cowgirl duo Rhinestone Ropers came back with an anticlimactic performance that involved a lasso and their horse Lucky Joe.
"It's lovely and nice and it wasn't exciting," judge Sharon Osbourne said. "[It was] more like a kid's birthday party."
Although Piers Morgan put his buzzer to good use and even compared one of Tuesday's America's Got Talent acts to what "hell is like," the tough judge softened when it came to adorable Anna Graceman, 11, who performed Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."
"You sang it beautifully," Morgan said after Graceman received a standing ovation and the loudest applause of the night. Fellow judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel also had nothing but praise for the talented young Canadian.
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.
He's got talent – and now a new bride.
Terry Fator, 45, who won the second season of America's Got Talent and stars in his own Las Vegas show, married his girlfriend Taylor Makakoa, 21, PEOPLE has learned.
They wed Wednesday afternoon at Las Vegas's Lily Of The Valley Chapel before their families. Makakoa, a model and actress, also stars as Fator's stagehand in his Las Vegas show at The Mirage.