America’s got talent tequila

Hoosier ‘Karate Experts’ Audition for America’s Got Talent

Writer / Tom Britt

It was a Tuesday night after a long Memorial Day weekend and I was watching television, flipping back and forth between America’s Got Talent and a baseball game. Unfortunately, the Dodgers were beating the Reds, so I spent most of my evening watching the “talent show on steroids” premier episode. That’s when a 20-something kid came out and said, “My name is Dustins Dojo and I’m a trained black belt and I learned to be a black belt at Roger Baker’s Taekwondo and Pizza, Pensacola, Florida.”

He took a bow with his silent sidekick who was wearing a ski mask. “This is my friend Terry and I am his sensei,” he added, followed by a roar of laughter from the audience.

Over the course of the next five minutes I witnessed the funniest karate parody I’ve ever seen. Dustins Dojo put on a demonstration featuring the breaking of flimsy wood slats, 60 seconds of full-extension punches, and a face full of salt thrown into his eyes by Terry “when he least expected it.” Comedy genius was rewarded with a golden buzzer save by judge Howard Stern, which allowed them to go to the next round in New York this July.

I rewound the skit, watched it with my wife several times, and posted a link of the clip on my Facebook wall the following morning, noting, “This was the hardest I’ve laughed in a long time.”

Then something magical happened. One of my Facebook friends left a comment that Terry Terry was his wife’s cousin from the Indy area. These guys are locals? I had to meet them.

So we headed west with a carload of people: our trusty videographer Mitch Jacki, and magazine designers and fans Alyssa Sander and Austin Vance. Our rendezvous spot was in Covington, Indiana at the famous Beef House Restaurant in their back parking lot. From there, Dustins Dojo and Terry Terry took us to two of their training locations in Fountain County: The “snake pit” and the “road that leads down to the river.”

On camera, Dustins Dojo talks about their debut on America’s Got Talent (NBC), his fighting inspirations and how they would spend the $1 million should they win the grand prize.

Dustins Dojo, donning his WWE Santino Marella t-shirt, treated us to an on-camera, in-character interview. He told us about his karate inspirations, being bullied in 3rd grade and roundhouse kicking his nemesis in the ear, the ever-presence of attackers and what they would do with the $1 million grand prize should they win America’s Got Talent. “We would build the Roger Baker Taekwondo and Pizza, Pensacola, Florida, Fountain County.”

Off camera, Dustin Britton (Dustins Dojo) and Ed Kent (Terry Terry) talked about their backgrounds and the events that led up to their premier. They met through their church, where Britton is the youth minister. When they heard that America’s Got Talent was doing auditions in Indianapolis, they came up with these two characters and fleshed out the skit on the drive over to the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

“We were in character all day long,” said Britton. “The producers didn’t know what to think of us. At the end of the day, I broke down and laughed when he questioned my ‘world record’ for full extension punches thrown in 60 seconds. The entire room erupted.”

Their act is like watching Napoleon Dynamite trying to understudy Bruce Lee. Dustins Dojo speaks loudly, as if you’ll believe him if he says it with pronounced authority. Terry Terry, whose name is a spoof on local horror movie host Sammy Terry, looks around aimlessly, trying to spot attackers. “Only locals would get the Sammy Terry reference,” Kent said with a laugh.

With their newfound fame, Britton has created a website at DustinsDojo.com where he posts exercise videos, karate demonstrations and merchandise including a “Roger Baker’s Taekwondo and Pizza, Pensacola, Florida” t-shirt. As for America’s Got Talent, the two will be making their second-round appearance sometime in July. Be sure to watch on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. for their New York debut.

  • America’s Got Talent judges put karaoke performer Andy Rowell through to the next round.
  • Fans at home, however, are saying Rowell’s “Tequila” performance totally “ripped off” late comedian Andy Kaufman’s Mighty Mouse bit.

America’s Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Howie Mandel, and Gabrielle Union sent karaoke performer Andy Rowell through to the next round last night. But if it were up to the AGT audience at home, things would have gone differently.

On Tuesday night, the Iowa native stepped on stage to “sing” the 1958 classic “Tequila” by The Champs. Of course, given that “Tequila” only has one word in it, the whole act was supposed to be taken as a joke. Even though Simon has historically not been kind to karaoke singers, he couldn’t help but crack a smile and give Andy a “yes” vote for the hilarious bit.

The rest of the judges found the whole thing to be amusing as well. Julianne called it “brilliant,” while Gabrielle claimed “it was so wrong, it was right.”

While many people agree with the judging panel, some viewers felt like Andy was ripping off another Andy — famed late comedian Andy Kaufman.

“Tequila guy just ripped off Andy Kaufman’s SNL Mighty Mouse bit,” one fan tweeted. “So dude @goodfriendANDY #TEQUILA just stole Andy Kaufman’s whole bit (and probably his name) and they put him through anyway,” another claimed. Several others expressed that they “couldn’t believe” that the judges “voted through an obvious rip off of an Andy Kaufman bit.”

#AGT Tequila guy just ripped off Andy Kaufman’s SNL Mighty Mouse bit. https://t.co/SMR6IHN7Nh

— LeinTwitt (@LeinTwitt) June 19, 2019

Can’t believe #AGT just voted through an obvious rip off of an Andy Kaufman bit.

— Joseph Stamper (@JW_Stamper) June 19, 2019

Kaufman, who died in 1984, was known for playing his “Foreign Man” character, where he would only sing one line from the Mighty Mouse theme song. While waiting for the lyric, he would stand perfectly still and glance around the room — just like Andy Rowell did with the song “Tequila” last night. The Mighty Mouse act was so iconic, it became a signature scene when Jim Carrey portrayed Andy in the 1999 biographical movie Man on the Moon.

Knowing that Howie does standup comedy, many viewers were surprised that he didn’t draw the connection. “Pretty disappointed that Howie didn’t mention that the guy on #AGT ripped off Andy Kaufman’s most famous bit. He’s a comic,” a fan declared.

Despite so many fans taking issue with Andy’s act, the karaoke singer still made it through and will be back on the show in mid-July when the judge cut episodes begin. Who knows, maybe one of this year’s guest judges — Ellie Kemper, Jay Leno, Brad Paisley or Dwayne Wade — will call it out. We’ll all just have to tune in to find out …

Kayla Keegan News and Entertainment Editor Kayla Keegan covers all things in the entertainment, pop culture, and celebrity space for Good Housekeeping.

The karaoke guy who sang ‘Tequila’ made it to ‘America’s Got Talent’

Everyone’s got a go-to karaoke song, whether it be something as crowd-pleasing as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, or even something as recent as ‘Shallow’.

In fact, a viral video from a few years ago did the rounds of a man singing it at a karaoke bar in the US that was… well, yeah. Take a look.

As you may or may not have clocked, the video was by a comedian named Andy Rowell. The clip went viral across Vine (RIP) and had close to 4 million views on YouTube, all of it with Rowell standing awkwardly and waiting for the song to finish.

Anyway, this week’s edition of ‘America’s Got Talent’ saw Andy Rowell on stage, singing a karaoke act that included – you guessed it – ‘Tequila’. While you might think that this kind of internet comedy wouldn’t go over with the likes of Simon Cowell or Howie Mandel, the reaction was genuinely surprising.

Rowell’s act made it through to the end with no buzzer, and had basically won over the judges – and the crowd – with its nebulous anti-comedy. Or maybe it’s just a good song and people fancied a quick blast of it.

Who knows. Here’s his moment on ‘America’s Got Talent’.

NBC AMERICA’S GOT TALENT — “Judge Cuts 1” Episode 1408 — Pictured: Damiyr

Auditions are over for this season of America’s Got Talent, which means judge cuts began Tuesday, July 16. During the episode, the audience saw successful acts from the audition phase of competition return with the hopes of impressing the judges and making it through to the season 14 live rounds.

The episode synopsis read “Country music superstar Brad Paisley joins the panel as a guest judge and gets to send an act directly to the live shows with a Golden Buzzer; contestants have one last chance to impress the judges before America votes in the live rounds.” With Paisley joining the judge panel, one lucky act was catapulted right to the live rounds by thoroughly impressing Paisley with their performance.

Here’s what happened on the first night of judge cuts:

Beware of spoilers below, and STOP READING NOW if you do not want to know who made it through during the Judge Cuts 1 episode of America’s Got Talent season 14. This post will be updated live as the episode airs.

With 18 acts performing, and only 7 that could make it through to the live rounds, the pressure was on for the acts to impress the judges and improve on their initial auditions.

Teamwork really does make the dream work. pic.twitter.com/egrtilvLZL

— America’s Got Talent (@AGT) July 17, 2019

The first act of the night was Lucas and his 10-year-old dog Falco, who performed a circus-themed act to “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. The judges and audience loved their act.

Andy Rowell proved less successful the second time performing a comedy act for the judges, especially guest judge Brad Paisley. Jecko delivered a successful card trick, but the judges seemed bothered by his stage presence. The Orange Magician, on the other hand, delivered a quickchange comedy/magic act that left the judges admittedly impressed by his talent.

The party don’t start ‘til @Berywam walks in. 🎶 pic.twitter.com/JW47XniQeE

— America’s Got Talent (@AGT) July 17, 2019

A cappella beatbox quartet Berywam were up next, and the judges made sure to emphasize to viewers at home that there was absolutely no supporting track – every sound made they made themselves by beatboxing, singing and dancing.

Next up was the all-female dance troupe Emerald Belles, and the judges were split about their performance. Julianne Hough said their routine had a bit of a “high school element,” but Gabrielle Union said they got better since their initial audition. Howie Mandel said it wasn’t good enough to win or move on, which Simon Cowell disagreed with and Brad Paisley said “Howie can suck it.”

The Sentimentalists, who made it past round one only after appealing to Simon Cowell’s challenge to do something more to persuade him to “yes” them through, enlisted the help of Brad Paisley to complete their awe-inducing act, which included correctly foreseeing not only the photo Paisley would choose on his photo roll, but the color marbles each judge would pick from a jar.

Mess with @DuoTogni and they’ll incorporate you into their act! pic.twitter.com/K9RpE9nHT7

— America’s Got Talent (@AGT) July 17, 2019

Aerialist partner act Duo Togni delivered an act that involved Loretta hanging by her feet from silks as she spun Daniel around by her teeth. They then invited Howie, who was not impressed by their first audition, to join them on stage, and Loretta finished their act by spinning Howie around by her teeth.

15-year-old singer/songwriter Sophie Pecora gave another heartfelt performance of an original song about overcoming the bullies. Although Simon advised her not to sing about the bullies anymore because they don’t deserve to be talked about, Brad Paisley was extremely moved by her performance and gave her his golden buzzer, sending her into the live rounds and leaving only 6 spots open for the night’s acts.

Acrobat Matthew Richardson told the deeply personal story of losing his father to pancreatic cancer on stage, accompanied by recordings of his father’s voice and his own voice as a child. The ring which is a staple of his act was transformed to look like a dreamcatcher, and Gabrielle pointed out that watch him spin and dance with it was watching him make his own dreams come true. Simon told him that he is one of the acts he believes could headline his own show.

From subway stations to national television, @damiyrmusic has made a name for himself. pic.twitter.com/2XxsHeFpSe

— America’s Got Talent (@AGT) July 17, 2019

Singer/songwriter Damiyr performed a stirring number that started a cappella and showed a ton of emotion, and Simon said his second audition gave him a real good shot at moving forward.

Chris Klåfford performed an original song called “Something Like Me,” which is about people judging him based on his appearance. He received a standing ovation from all five judges, which moved him to tears on stage.

In spite of plane delays and missing luggage which caused the Missoudi Brothers to get to the theater an hour before they were scheduled to perform, they delivered a performance that proved their strength and dedicated training. After they finished their act, they invited their dad on stage to join them for one last 4-person stunt. The judges were impressed by how well they rose to the occasion in the face of unexpected obstacles.

The spirit of Africa is alive and well with @ChoirAfrica as they sing this @shakira anthem. pic.twitter.com/KBTYmIz53L

— America’s Got Talent (@AGT) July 17, 2019

The last performance of the night was the Ndlovu Youth Choir, who performed an energetic and technical cover of “This Is Africa” by Shakira.

When it came time for the judges to choose their 8 acts to move forward in the competition, the Emerald Belles, the Missoudi Brothers, Berywam, Lucas and Falco, Ndlovu Youth Choir, and Chris Kläfford made it through, joining golden buzzer recipient Sophie Pecora.

Judge Cuts continue next week for season 14 of America’s Got Talent, Tuesday at 8/7c on NBC.

File this under things you thought you’d never see. Simon Cowell, who infamously hates karaoke singing, just put through such an act on “America’s Got Talent” during Tuesday’s audition episode. The catch? The singer in question was actually a karaoke comedian named Andy Rowell, who made the bold decision to sing along to The Champs‘ “Tequila,” which infamously only has one lyric.

At first the audience and judges (Simon, Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough) seemed put off when Andy just stood there, waiting for the instrumental to end. But by the halfway mark everyone was fully on-board his awkward comedy routine and he ended up making it to the next stage of the competition. Watch the “AGT” performance video above and read the judges’ comments below.

Simon: “I’d like to hear the whole album actually. It was so stupid I loved it.”

Julianne: “I have props to you because I feel like it’s actually hard to be doing that, to get that kind of reaction. So I actually think it’s brilliant. Well done.”

Gabrielle: “It’s so wrong it’s right. I want to see what the next song is.”

Howie: “Song choice is always important on this. Not only the song choice but your exuberance and your excitement — I love you.”

In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “Despite knowing that Simon does not like karaoke (at all!), Andy Rowell took the stage with his karaoke machine. As it turns out , Andy wasn’t actually going to sing–instead it was a bit of a comedy/spoof act because he chose the song ‘Tequila’ that only has the word ‘tequila’ uttered three times. In their critiques, Simon said ‘it was stupid loved it’ and Gabrielle said it was ‘so wrong it’s right.’ Apparently they were taken enough by the act and wanted to see what song he’d choose next so it was a clean sweep of YES to send him through to the next round.”

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The AGT judges got a kick out of Andy Rowell’s silly karaoke act on this week’s show. All four voted “yes” to send him to the next round, but many fans are against the decision. Did Andy steal a famous comedy bit or was he paying tribute to a comedy legend?

Fans are saying Andy’s bit ripped off another, more famous Andy — the late comedian Andy Kaufman. Several viewers tweeted about the similarity, and wondered why none of the judges seemed to notice.

Andy Rowell’s “Tequila” Act

Andy’s karaoke act involved him singing along to “Tequila” by the Champs. During the instrumental parts (aka most of the song), he stood there awkwardly, only to chime in every so often to halfheartedly declare “Tequila!” According to Billboard, the bit originally went viral on Instagram, thanks to a video of Andy doing it at a bar.

The act even had Simon Cowell laughing. “It was so stupid, I loved it,” he said. Julianne Hough, meanwhile, called it “brilliant.” As Howie Mandel said, “I want to see more.”

Andy Kaufman’s “Mighty Mouse” Bit

When playing his character Foreign Man, comedian Andy Kaufman performed a bit in which he would play the theme song to “Mighty Mouse” and only lip sync along to one line (“Here I come to save the day”), while standing awkwardly for the rest of the song.

Kaufman even performed the bit on Saturday Night Live, and actor Jim Carrey recreated it in the 1999 biopic Man on the Moon. Check out a comparison video above.

What AGT Fans Are Saying

The similarities between the two bits may have slipped past some viewers, but others took to Twitter to express their disappointment. One fan simply replied to Julianne Hough’s tweet with a GIF of Kaufman performing the bit. Another wrote, “I weep for the future.”

pic.twitter.com/H0a4RG8LTs

— Chuck #3.0 (@TNMOONCHILD) June 19, 2019

So dude @goodfriendANDY #TEQUILA just stole Andy Kaufman’s whole bit (and probably his name) and they put him through anyway??? #AGT

— Tyrone Maclin (@TyroneMaclin) June 19, 2019

This ‘Tequila’ motherfucker on AGT just ripped off Andy Kaufman’s ‘Mighty Mouse’ routine to rousing applause. They called it brilliant. I weep for the future.

— Big Orange Satan (@bigorangesatan) June 19, 2019

Can’t believe #AGT just voted through an obvious rip off of an Andy Kaufman bit.

— Joseph Stamper (@JW_Stamper) June 19, 2019

Some fans were especially shocked that even judge Howie Mandel didn’t seem to notice the similarity with Kaufman’s bit. He’s a comedian, after all, and is certainly old enough to be familiar with the legendary comic. In fact, he said in a 2010 interview that he embraced “silly” acts which are similar to “a Tiny Tim, or an Andy Kaufman, or a Professor Irwin Corey.”

First of all, I know I’m lame for watching #AGT. That being said, how could @howiemandel just sit there and let dude just rip off Andy Kaufman. And then get a standing ovation and 4 yesses

— Rick Matthews (@_RickMatthews) June 19, 2019

@howiemandel You seriously gonna act like you didn’t recognize Andy Kaufman’s act when dude did ‘Tequila?’ You disgrace Andy’s name and all comedians that came before and after you. Disloyal.

— Big Orange Satan (@bigorangesatan) June 19, 2019

What Do You Think?

The question then becomes, given that his act was so similar to a legendary performance by Kaufman, whether he was really “stealing”. Perhaps his intention was more to pay homage to the late comedian’s most famous bit. That certainly would put a different spin on the whole thing. Of course, that begs the question of what Andy Rowell will do next. Will it be another Andy Kaufman bit? Will he wrestle women? Speak with a foreign accent? Do an Elvis impersonation? Those were also famous Andy Kaufman bits.

So what do you think? Did Andy Rowell really rip off Andy Kaufman with his act? Is it okay for comedians to put their own twist on a famous bit? Should the judges have voted him through to the next round? Let us know in the comments.

Andy Rowell
Information
Age (at audition) 24
Sex Male
Act Karaoke Singer
Seasons 14
Position Reached Judge Cuts

Andy Rowell was a karaoke singer act from Season 14 of America’s Got Talent. He was eliminated in the Judge Cuts.

Background

Andy Rowell is a Chicago-based writer and comedian. He works at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar as a box office associate and occasional graphic designer.

Audition

Andy Rowell’s audition in Episode 1404 consisted of performing karaoke to The Champs’ “Tequila.” Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, and Simon Cowell all voted “yes,” sending Andy to the Judge Cuts.

Judge Cuts

Andy Rowell’s Judge Cuts performance in Episode 1407 consisted of performing karaoke to DJ Snake & Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What.” Andy’s performance was not strong enough for the judges to advance to the Quarterfinals, eliminating him from the competition along with Jecko and The Orange Magician.

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Eliminated

v • d • e Season 14 Judge Cuts

2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14

Week 1
Moved On
Eliminated Andy Rowell • Damiyr • Dakota & Nadia • Duo Togni • Dylan Gilmer • Jecko • Kevin Schwartz • Loki Alohikea • Matthew Richardson • The Orange Magician • The Sentimentalists
Week 2
Moved On Alex Dowis • Bir Khalsa • Dom Chambers • GFORCE • Robert Finley • Ryan Niemiller • V.Unbeatable (GB)
Eliminated
Week 3
Moved On Carmen Carter • Gonzo • Greg Morton • Light Balance Kids (GB) • MacKenzie • Marcin Patrzalek • Nick & Lindsay
Eliminated
Week 4

Moved On

Wild Card