Host Terry Crews parachuted into “America's Got Talent” for his June 11 gig. His unexpected arrival was just the beginning of an evening of the unexpected for Week 3 of Season 14’s auditions. The surprise started right out of the gate with petite sprite, Marina Mazepa, starting off with a dainty dance in ballet before taking contortions to a whole new level. She twisted her head and limbs in ways that defy physics and physicality.

Simon Cowell assessed that her routine was “crazier” than the prop moves in “The Exorcist.” “What just happened!” Julianne Hough exclaimed, borrowing Mel B's beloved expression.

This would only be the first shocker for the evening.

A toast to surprise

Australian magician, Dom Chambers proceeded to produce more stupefying feats, bringing out full glasses of beer from an empty paper bag. He proved that there were no hiding places in his coat or the simple T-shirt, and he ended up treating all the judges to a drink.

Howie Mandel insisted that he was drinking the beer brought out of Dom’s shoe, but since the magician drank that beverage himself, it’s hardly likely. He will be around to provide more magical libation in weeks to come on “America's Got Talent.”

Carmen Carter isn't the first singer to share a story of singing backup to support her family instead of rightly being a headliner on her own. The 55-year-old also shares something in common with others who have come to “America's Got Talent” after being told that their body, not their talent, wasn't fit for success.

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She tore into the INXS classic, “Never Tear Us Apart,” and sensed nearly instant approval. Gabrielle Union was up and lifting her fist in full support. Howie Mandel affirmed that Carmen was beautiful and urged “don't change anything.” Simon Cowell reminded that no one ever buys a song because of a singer’s looks or age, but instead, because of the power of the voice. Ms. Carter will be singing for weeks to come.

Numerous kid talents wowed the judges and the crowd. Edson and Leon are on the other end of the age spectrum, but the sheer strength and precision of their balancing act, not to mention flexibility, is something to behold. The partners received solid standing ovations and left the panel inspired. Simon Cowell assured the Brazilian performers that “America's Got Talent” was “created for you.”

Hits and missing again

Some AGT faithful may remember the ecologically-minded but not so talented Sethward from last season.

He was costumed as a caterpillar in that offering, but neither his message nor his performance captured a positive consensus from the judges.

This year, the artist tried twice to earn approval. First, he portrayed a giraffe trying to stretch his neck. Following the same dismal failure, the performer met with more approval as a playful walrus. Still, Sethward failed to reach the talent threshold, so it was sayonara after Julianne Hough’s no vote.

Best wishes that he recovers from the battle he fought falling all over the stage, and finally, falling off altogether.

Charlotte Summers seems set to be Season 14’s version of Courtney Hadwin. The slight teenager of 13 was all passion as she poured out her bluesy “I Put a Spell on You.” Just like with Hadwin, Howie Mandel was completely enamored, praising Summers as “beautiful, sassy, and you blew the roof off.” Julianne Hough praised that the barely-teen was completely believable as a woman “whose man done you wrong and the rent’s due.” Simon encouraged that next time, Charlotte should “let go” even more.

For Kevin Schwartz, just to be on the stage took a mammoth effort in overcoming fear. Schwartz has suffered from anxiety since his early youth and was diagnosed with agoraphobia, a fear of crowds or public places, that became so disabling that he stayed confined to his apartment. He was challenged to take small steps in overcoming his fears by a therapist, and a nearby comedy club lured him into the public for open mic nights. The comedian found acceptance there and learned that he was funny, too.

The “America's Got Talent” stage strikes fear in almost any performer, but for Schwartz, this was a Mount Everest moment.

His nerves were apparent, but soon his deadpan, Steven Wright-style humor caught on with the judges and the crowd, topped with ovations. Simon Cowell praised that the overcoming moment actually meant “about 4000 yeses” were moving the brave funnyman forward.

A big message to bullies

The singer, MacKenzie, had the best support system he could wish for in his wife, Denise. The spouse told her husband to “shine like a star” because he already was one.

He sang on the farm to cows as a child, and like many talented artists, took a regular job to make ends meet while hoping for this “America's Got Talent” opportunity. He seized the moment for all he was worth, singing “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Prince. It was clear that MacKenzie's version was a pure love song to his wife, and the emotion poured in every verse. The audience was standing by the second verse, and the close had the singer in tears.

“You sang that song like it had never been done by anyone before,” Howie Mandel praised.

Gabrielle Union called Denise to the stage. Beyond the couple’s sweet kiss, Simon Cowell agreed this was “a big moment.”

Yunyan Retriever wasn't the least bit inhibited by the judges or the “America's Got Talent” stage, she came out covered by her sweatsuit, but had no trouble exposing her belly and more as she did her wrist-flicking dance routine. She contested being X’ed by the panel, but did get a very meaningful, and lengthily hug from Simon and dance training from Julianne. She surely has the stuff to stand up to detractors.

Ventriloquist puppeteer, Michael Paul really pulled one over on the AGT followers in his profile. The performer had everyone thinking that is routine would involve a very dangerous, and living, bird of prey. When the cage covering was removed, a colorful plastic puppet was revealed, and a raunchy and riotous routine ensued, including several plops of pretend bird droppings. “You weren’t my jam,” Gabrielle Union told Paul, “but now you're my jelly, my jam, my apple butter.” This unexpected partnership may stay for plenty more weeks.

Tyler Butler Figueroa came to the stage with his violin, his bow, and an incredibly brave story. The 11-year-old has battled leukemia for years, and rather than finding shelter in friends, the student was bullied and battered by rumors that cancer was contagious. He was scoffed for being bald from treatment. He was drawn to his instrument by a flyer announcing free classes. He found that he could play anything, now “the boy who plays violin” instead of the “boy who has cancer.”

Tyler trounced into his version of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” with conquering flourish.

Julianne Hough was sending hearts from her seat, but Simon Cowell wanted to say something to the bullies, on behalf Tyler, who proclaimed being “very proud of myself,” before saying that he was in remission for nearly 4 years. Simon firmly smashed his golden buzzer, giving Tyler and his mother this triumph, and assuring that “the ones getting bullied are better than the ones bullying them.”

Those defeating days should be far behind this talented young man from now on.

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