What do you get when you mix dancing, contortionism and puppetry? It can only be “AGT’s” marionette dancer Noah Epps. This 11-year-old boy from Ashburn, Virginia took the stage during Tuesday’s fourth episode of “America’s Got Talent” Season 15 and blew the roof off the theater with his amazing skills. The judges — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Howie Mandel — gave him four “yes” votes, advancing him to the next round, but not before they heard his personal story about being told by bullies that he wasn’t good enough. Now Noah is sounding off in a new NBC interview (watch above) about what brought him to the reality TV stage.
“A couple years ago I saw these kids, they were dance battling,” Noah declares. “I tried to get in, but they told me I couldn’t dance and I was no good at it. Here I am now, proving ’em wrong.” As Simon said later in the episode, there is a no tolerance policy for bullies at “America’s Got Talent,” particularly when it comes to kids, and Noah is the perfect example of people overcoming adversity.
Noah goes on to say, “I got all these thoughts in my head: Am I gonna lose? Am I gonna get some buzzers? Am I gonna freak out when I get them?” He then smiles and adds, “But it all worked out in the end, so I’m just happy.”
Prior to Noah’s performance, there was a rift at the judges’ table as Howie and Heidi disagreed about whether a single dancer could “command” a stage as well as a dance group. Heidi proclaimed simply, “It depends on how good they are.” After the routine, Howie came around and admitted he was “wrong” to discount Noah so quickly. “I’m trying to put it in terms that you can understand: what you just did was lit,” Howie told him.
As for Simon, he noted how Noah “told a story” through his marionette dancing. “I have a feeling about you,” he began. “You’ve got fire in your eyes. You’ve got that determination. I love that. You may be one to watch, Noah.” Fans will next see this contestant in the Judge Cuts round.
If Noah goes on to win “America’s Got Talent” Season 15, he’d be only the second dancer to prevail after Kenichi Ebina in Season 8. (See the “AGT” winners list.) Like Noah, Kenichi was an experimental dancer whose wild moves often shocked the crowd and left them speechless.