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Could ‘America’s Got Talent’ performers really make it on the Strip?

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David Saxe, producer of V - The Ultimate Variety Show and Vegas! The Show.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

America has voted and the results are in. Seventeen acts remain. The list includes three singers, two comedians, four dance acts, and a whole bunch of “variety” artists. There’s a BMX group (All Wheel Sports), a sand painter (Joe Castillo) a black art/neon wire troupe (Lightwire Theater) and a contortionist (Turf). They’re all competing for the same prize: A million dollars and “the chance to headline a show in Las Vegas.”

But could any of America’s Got Talent’s variety acts truly succeed as Vegas headliners? I asked the man who’d know best: Strip producer David Saxe.

“Have you seen the Skating Aratas?” Saxe said. “They’ve got the best act ever. But they couldn’t do their own show. Acts like All Wheel Sports or Lightwire Theater—they’re too specialized. If you’re going to do a whole show, you have to talk. They might be right for theme parks, though. Like Disney.”

According to Saxe, “What makes for good TV and what makes for a good live show—it’s night and day. Bianca Ryan, the girl who won the first season—we put her in V, but that didn’t work.”

Saxe is surely right. Though, he admits being mistaken at least once: “Before AGT, Terry Fator tried to get into V several times. He kept calling. I thought he was just another ventriloquist act, so I said no. Guess I was wrong on that one.”

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Rick Lax

Rick wrote the books Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas and Lawyer ...

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