Reality check: Young pianist fails to get enough votes on 'America's Got Talent'


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Everyone loved Adrian Romoff. Problem was, not enough of the “America” in “America’s Got Talent” loved him quite enough.

Adrian, 9, made a surprising exit from NBC’s “AGT” Wednesday. Despite great vocal support from all four judges and the huge crowd at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, he didn’t get enough votes from the home audience.

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“I don’t think you realize how entertaining you are,” judge Mel B said.

With a nod of his head, Adrian said, matter-of-factly, “I do.”

“Will you be the next Steve Jobs, will you be the next Ben Franklin, or will you waste it all and become a strip club owner? We don’t know,” said judge Howard Stern.

Adrian, who lived in Pittsburgh for the first six years of his young life, was a cross between Liberace and W.C. Fields for Tuesday’s performance show. Sitting at an illuminated turquoise grand piano and bookending Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” with “Chopsticks,” he played with grand flourishes and lost his eyeglasses in the process.

“You know what you are? You are ’Boy-Toven,’” said judge Heidi Klum.

He appeared to be a shoo-in to reach the semifinals.

Mike Super’s performance was a more somber affair. As in previous appearances, he called upon his boyhood spirit friend, “Desmond,” to help. Sitting Mel B on a chair and bringing out what looked like a voodoo doll, Mr. Super finished the act by literally shocking her.

Clearly angered, she said “That really hurt ... no, I am not OK. I don’t get paid enough for this.”

Although the other judges were effusive in their praise (“Amazing, truly amazing,” Howie Mandel said), they were the ones who had to decide between dancers AcroArmy and Mr. Super at the end of the results show. They chose AcroArmy.

Five of the 12 acts performing this week advanced to the semifinals.

’Masters of Illusion’

West Mifflin native and Duquesne University graduate Michael Grandinetti was scheduled to make a return appearance Aug. 15 on The CW’s “Masters of Illusion.” Mr. Grandinetti, who is now based in Los Angeles, was on a previous episode of the summer run show, doing small magic.

He collected three rings from women in the audience, set them on fire and voila, they showed up a minute later baked into a loaf of bread. For his next trick — which closed Friday’s show — he went for something splashier. The “Mid-Air Escape” involves the illusionist cuffed at his hands and feet to a platform 30 feet above a concrete floor. He has 60 seconds to escape before dropping. 

’Broken Skull Challenge’

A game of “Possession” was Ashley Graff’s downfall. Ms. Graff, an Ohio Township resident and health care benefits analyst, competed earlier this week on “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge” (CMT, Sundays). Going up against CrossFit enthusiast Morgan Farris of San Diego, Ms. Graff was immersed in a head-to-head challenge to wrest away a thick band of rope.

Although Ms. Graff gave it a good, dusty try, she came away literally empty-handed.

’Farm Kings’

A new season of “Farm Kings” featuring Butler County’s King Family and its growing enterprise of produce stands, bakeries, floral arrangements, raising livestock and, of course, marketing, debuted last night on Great American Country.

’Ninja Warrior’

The national finals of “American Ninja Warrior” air Aug. 18 (NBC, Mondays). The show was filmed a while back in Las Vegas; Pittsburgh is represented by University of Pittsburgh professor Joel Brady.

’Food Fighters’

Forest Hills native Elise Wims had to “wing” it during her Aug. 12 appearance on NBC’s “Food Fighters” (Tuesdays). She was one of five celeb chefs who went up against home chef/IT specialist/food blogger Nick Evans of Denver. He challenged her to make a better version of chicken wings with dipping sauce.

Each had 15 minutes. He used a recipe that included buttermilk, habanero peppers and apricot preserves. She made a lemon herb chicken, adding cayenne pepper and Parmesan cheese. No dipping sauce.

A blind taste test gave the win to Ms. Wims, by 3-2 vote. But Mr. Evans eventually swept the last three challenges against other chefs and took home $70,000.

’Face Off’

Syfy’s “Face Off” will present a “Judge Match” Sept. 2. For years, viewers have watched as Ve Neill, Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page assessed the movie makeup of so many contestants, and now it’s time for them to pick up the paints.

Each will be joined by two former contestants to create human chess pieces, with the winner’s charity of choice receiving a donation.

Maria Sciullo: msciullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.


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