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5 People Who Have Been Exposed For Auditioning with Stolen Acts

Corey Cesare

Corey Cesare

Tape face Stolen ActsNBC/Instagram

Everyone loves to sit down and watch new acts when auditions come around. We all love to watch never before seen talents, laugh at new jokes, and take in the new season. A lot of auditions completely “wow” the audience, but in some cases, these acts were stolen. Here are some acts who have been exposed for auditioning with someone else’s talent and things get super heated.


5. The Brazilian Tape Face

I’m sure you all know who I’m talking about when I reference, Tape Face. His terrifyingly-funny act is enough to keep everyone entertained. His talent is so bizarre that I would’ve never imagined someone trying to steal it. But they did.

On July 16, Sam Wills, Tape Face, posted a photo to his Instagram. The photo was of someone who looked just like his act. But, the obvious difference is that this imposter painted white on his face along with the Tape Face makeup.

“It’s the people who go on TV shows doing my act that I find annoying. #plagiarism #tapeface,” wrote Wills on Instagram.


But, it wasn’t just his familiar face that was stolen from Wills. The entire AGT act was stolen. The demeanor of how he walked on stage, his facial makeup and even his exact routine was stolen by this imposter. It was quite terrifying that this imposter put in both the time and effort to recreate Wills’s act to perfection.


4. Shim Lim’s Magic Imposter

This imposter’s motives confuse me even more than most. This imposter stole an act from an America’s Got Talent winner, Shim Lim. I guess it worked out well for him too, since he ended up winning Italia’s Got Talent with this act.

Stefano Bronzato won Italia’s Got Talent back in May after stealing Shim Lim’s act. The set up in their on-stage tables initially gave away that this act was stolen. But, once he managed to take the writing off of a playing card, and have it tattooed on his body, it was very evident the act was stolen.


This exact routine was seen in Shim Lim’s 2018 America’s Got Talent audition. This act was so clearly stolen from AGT, I really don’t know how people didn’t realize it sooner.

3. Lioz Shem Tov’s Imposter Who Got Called out On Social Media

Lioz Shem Tov has been on so many talent shows. He’s basically television’s favorite telekinetic act at this point. In each of his auditions he astounded judges with his mysterious performance.

Shem Tov knows just how special his performances are when he called out an imposter on Instagram. He kept it short and simple, only captioning the video with one word, “Copycat.”

In Shem Tov’s America’s Got Talent audition, he’s seen pulling the tape out of a tape measure, then making it rush back into the container, with his mind. In his act, you can tell that he’s rehearsed it enough to make it believable.

His imposter on the other hand? His act was nowhere near as believable as the original. The stolen AGT act seemed like it wasn’t really rehearsed. He really said “let me copy off of your homework, I’ll change a few of the answers.”

Even worse, this isn’t the first time that someone has stolen this act.

2. Paul Zerdin and His Masked Ventriloquist Act

Paul Zerdin auditioned for, and won the tenth season of America’s Got Talent in 2015. It has since come out that his act in the semi-finals was stolen from ventriloquist and stand-up comedian, Ronn Lucas.

When looking closely at Zerdin’s AGT act, it’s so obvious that this gag had been stolen. In his act, he has Howie Mandel accompany him on stage, he puts a mask on Mandel that has a moving mouth and basically has him talk in a weird voice.

It was really to watch, until news broke that it had been done before. In 2006, Lucas did almost the same act in Las Vegas. The similarity between the two are the masks and type of comedy.

Although it seems like Zerdin has been exposed for stealing, he actually fought the claims by saying that he had been using the common comedy prop since 1997.

“What bothers me is that he won by stealing other people’s acts, including my own, and that he takes credit for the originality,” said Lucas. “That’s what bothers me the most.”

Zerdin did not get back to the publication about the situation. But, it’s safe to say after the evidence, Zerdin has definitely been exposed for his wrong doings.

1. Jordan Paris And His Complicated Humor

In 2011, Jordan Paris auditioned for Australia’s Got Talent. He got an unanimous yes into the next round. But then, it came out that those jokes weren’t actually his. None of the jokes used in his act were original, all were stolen word for word from both Geoff Keith and Lee Mack. Paris claimed that he had heard of Mack before, but never intended to steal his jokes.

Instead of backing down from embarrassment, he came back to the stage with original humor. Original humor based around the fact that he stole other people’s jokes. They all were pretty flat. The audience barely laughed. When he could tell his performance was going badly, he started to sing. His singing wasn’t horrible, but it made everyone uncomfortable.

One of the Australian judges said: “My god man. I would say scrap everything that everyone said and stick to ripping off other people’s stuff because your stuff sucks a**. It is not good.”

These imposter acts really tried to bring their all to the stage, but fell short because it wasn’t their talent. This just goes to show, no matter the act, no matter how bizarre, someone is going to call you out for stealing an act. Skip the embarrassment and figure out your talent before auditioning for the show!

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About the Author

Corey Cesare
Corey Cesare is a content writer and YouTube host at talent recap. With a love of all things pop culture and an unhealthy obsession with reality television (specifically Catfish The TV show), she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Cinema/Screen Studies from the State University of New York at Oswego in 2021. Corey left her Rochester, NY roots to join the team in New York City. In her spare time, she enjoys shooting astro, nature, and portrait photography and coming up with movie ideas that she hopes to make into a film someday.

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