The America’s Got Talent judges have seen some pretty weird acts over the years. Often, when someone comes out in a wacky costume or calls themselves a silly name, they don’t make it past the audition.
However, weird isn’t always bad. Occasionally, an unusual act will come out and surprise everyone with their talent. Not only have many of these performers received “yes” votes from the judges, but some have made it even farther in the competition.
1. Tape Face
This mime act took everyone by surprise in Season 11. With tape over his mouth, he performed funny bits with props like oven mitts, a toothbrush, and Play-Doh. The unusual act took him all the way to the Finals, and earned him a spot in AGT: The Champions earlier this year.
2. Piff the Magic Dragon
You might not expect a magician in a dragon costume to be good, but Piff proved everyone wrong in Season 10. His combination of comedy and card magic made the audience laugh and earned him a place in the Finals. He even returned for AGT: The Champions.
3. The Professional Regurgitator
A guy who swallows things and then coughs them back up might not sound like something people would want to keep watching from week to week. But Stevie Starr actually finished Season 10 in fourth place and returned for Champions. In his many performances, he swallowed everything from coins to lightbulbs.
4. Prince Poppycock
Someone named Prince Poppycock, who dresses like he’s from 18th century France? Surely he didn’t make it past his audition, right? Wrong! Poppycock’s operatic performances got him to fourth place in Season 5, and then a spot on Champions. “I was expecting it to take a certain route,” judge Piers Morgan admitted, but he was proven wrong.
5. Puddles Pity Party
Have you ever seen a clown sing so beautifully? This Season 12 contestant wowed the judges with his audition performance of Sia’s “Chandelier.” Puddles made it all the way to the Quarterfinals, where he was buzzed by Simon Cowell during his performance of “Royals.” He was eliminated, but we’ll always remember him.
6. Sacred Riana
Who could forget this creepy act from Season 13? Riana stayed in character even off the stage, and her horror-inspired magic act terrified and mystified the judges. She was eliminated in the Quarterfinals, but is going to have her very own movie this year.
7. Bobby Badfingers
All the way back in Season 1, this guy made it to the Semifinals by snapping his fingers. Of course, it was snapping like you’ve probably never witnessed before, plus some very entertaining dance moves to go along with it. Who’d have thunk it?
That’s right, a singing puppet made it to the Semifinals of Season 10 on America’s Got Talent. Not a ventriloquist, mind you — an actual puppet. Ira and his mother (spoiler alert) were puppeteered by cast members of Broadway’s Avenue Q. Although Mel B initially voted “no” and Howard Stern later buzzed him, the people clearly loved Ira.
9. Leonid the Magnificent
Leonid is a real Renaissance man who refused to give up. He made it to the Semifinals of Season 1, then returned for Season 2 and Season 6. His act is hard to pin down, featuring everything from sword balancing to hula hooping — all while wearing fabulous costumes, of course.
10. The Singing Trump
You might not expect a singing Donald Trump impersonator to make it very far in the competition. In fact, when Jeff Trachta first walked out in his Trump costume in Season 12, the audience booed and Mel B buzzed him. But after he performed a couple of Bruno Mars songs, the crowd cheered. He made it to the Quarterfinals.