Bonavega, a 31-year-old entertainer from Toledo, Ohio, was such a standout during Tuesday’s second episode of “America’s Got Talent” that it’s no surprise to see his audition video already going viral. Usually the end-of-episode performance is dedicated to the night’s Golden Buzzer, but in this case producers chose Bonavega as the act to close out the show, and for good reason: he’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. (Instead, Sofia Vergara‘s Golden Buzzer was shown earlier in the evening.) If you haven’t seen it already, watch Bonavega’s audition video above.
Years ago, this mullet advocate in a ballerina dress and flame makeup knew that if he wanted to succeed, he’d have to move out of Ohio. So Bonavega “packed up” his car and moved to Hollywood, where his “creative expression” was fully realized. “When I’m Bonavega on stage, I feel like the freest form of myself,” he told the camera.
For his audition, the performer decided to take a risk by singing an original song he wrote to tell “the story of [his] life.” When the “AGT” judges — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia — tried to ask him questions, he interrupted, “Let’s rock and roll. Hit it, baby.” Even though Heidi initially admitted she was “scared,” she completely fell under Bonavega’s spell when he started performing.
Bonavega ran around the stage like a true rock star, at one point even jumping on the judges’ table and prancing around in his skimpy silver dress. The climax of the performance was when he started playing his electric guitar. “Oh my God, he’s actually playing!” shouted host Terry Crews. Obviously all four panelists gave him “yes” votes, which means this eccentric superstar-to-be will next be seen in the Judge Cuts.
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “With rock makeup across his face and a costume reveal to a skim silver tassel onesie, Bonavega shocked the judges with the clarity of his rock voice and the confidence that propelled him to dance across their dais. He then wowed them with his skills on the electric guitar before receiving resounding cheers from Heidi and the audience. Howie admitted that he thought he’d be a joke, but said he’s actually the ‘biggest surprise’ of the season. As the judges’ support became clear, Bonavega promised to keep upping the ante.”