In August 2011, Gabe and I appeared on America’s Got Talent’s YouTube show, having been selected as one of the 12 acts for this live TV show, seen by about 10 million viewers.
(Photo property of NBC.com)
Our act made it to the Quarter-Finals, among the Top 60 out of over 100,000 acts who auditioned for the show during Season 6! While we barely missed moving into the Semi-Finals round, we garnished some incredible PR, and made millions smile!
In February, 2011, I received an email forwarded from a friend, soliciting animal acts for the upcoming season of America’s Got Talent. The email stated they would be holding Open Auditions in Tacoma, but as I checked the dates I realized this was only a few days away! I knew we had just what they were looking for…a unique, creative animal act, and I began to scramble to pull details together to make it happen.
I contacted fellow BCGS club members, Robin & John Neiswender, who lived in the area and also happen to be huge Gabe Fans, asking if they might be willing to host Gabe and I the night before our audition. This way we would avoid having to get up in the wee hours of the night for the nearly 3-hour drive to the audition site! Pieces flew together, and we soon found ourselves standing in line for the auditions–escorted and accompanied by Robin, who had also helped make some fun Gabe Rocks! Fan propaganda to wave in our support!
With Gabe sporting his classic black leather vest and cowboy hat, we lugged our cart full of props and supplies into the line waiting outside the Tacoma Convention Center. The morning was gorgeous and unseasonably warm (not freezing at least!) and the line didn’t seem as opposing as I’d envisioned. Within minutes of queuing up, we were approached by NBC staffers, saying we were requested upstairs for a news brief with the KING 5 camera crew! They had selected us from our pre-registration information…as one of the few animal acts present we sort of stood out in the crowd!
The NBC staff worked like a well-oiled machine, and we were whisked from one room to another, with little down time as they processed the nearly 3000 potential contestants for the show.
Gabe made the news on KING 5
A few days after returning from our open audition, we received an email saying that we had been selected as one of the 100 acts that would perform during the taped show in Seattle, auditioning before the celebrity judges and audience.
Gabe is always very helpful when it comes to packing! With his fetish for boxes, bags and cases, he’s right in the midst of the action, making sure “No Dog is Left Behind” (…namely him)!
“Whad’ya mean Chubby can’t come…there’s plenty of room”!
Life in Hollywood:
Gabe and I were flown to Hollywood, where we were set up in a posh hotel for 10 days in preparation for The Big Day. Our days were spent rehearsing and going over our routine with choreographers, producers and other crew to fine-tune our performance, and a fun video package was put together to intro our act.
A hit among our fellow contestants as well as the studio and hotel staff, Gabe garnished attention everywhere he went! He made sure he got his fill of back scratches and ear rubs, and he sauntered around the studio like he owned the place!
“A little more to the right, Bobby!”
(Photo property of NBC.com)
NBC and CBS staff were wonderful in making sure Our Star wasn’t overheated or uncomfortable, ensuring he would be able to offer the masses his utmost when the cameras started rolling! While temperatures in LA weren’t excessive during our stay, the acres of asphalt absorb the heat, which can be deadly for bulldogs. A special golf cart was secured to shuttle Gabe and I between studios for practices or appointments, and every effort was made to keep him cool and cooperative!
Watch Gabe rock the stage on AGT:
“Let’s ROCK, Gabe!”
Gabe performed his trademark rocking horse trick during the performance. He won the hearts of audience and media alike, as he did an “impression” of Judge Piers Morgan, then went on to express his “opinion” of that Dreaded Buzzer!
Following a standing ovation from Judges Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne–as well as a Buzz from disgruntled Judge Piers Morgan, (who was a tad insulted by a “Bulldog cocking his leg” on him!), we receive our post-performance critique.
(Photo property of NBC)
Gabe and I on stage with host, Nick Cannon during our Judge’s Critique
Although AGT judge Piers Morgan played the part of the antagonist, I really felt he, too, was impressed by our act (you can catch him grinning during Gabe’s “impression” of him!) Just a couple weeks prior to this he had responded in an interview that the one type of act that was under-represented in this season’s show was “Animal Acts’, stating that many animals tend to shut down on stage. Out of the few animal acts performing in earlier episodes, they had a “Parrot who refused to sing” and “a dog who wouldn’t perform”, as well as a horse who wouldn’t do his more difficult tricks. Gabe came on stage with confidence, totally focused on me, and did us proud yet again!
The 12 acts returned to the stage for a second TV appearance on Wednesday as they announced the results of the nationwide voting.