How did John Glenn High School Dance team prepare for AGT? Michigan troupe consists of Howie Mandel look-alikes

The John Glenn High School Dance team is all set to surprise AGT judge Howie Mandel (Image via Trae Patton/NBC)
The John Glenn High School Dance team is all set to surprise AGT judge Howie Mandel (Image via Trae Patton/NBC)

Howie Mandel is in for a fun surprise on the next episode of America's Got Talent (AGT) Season 17. The John Glenn High School Dance Team is set to stun the judges with their Howie Mandel look-alike appearance on Episode 7 of the competition set to air on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at 8 pm on NBC. The Michigan dance troupe is ready to enthrall viewers with their dancing skills.

The AGT contestants will be among the many participants who will be showcasing their skills to the judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum to potentially move forward to the next round. This season has certainly amped up with respect to the level of skill exhibited by the contestants and the variety of talents coming to the show.

AGT contestants John Glenn High School Dance Team open up on their journey ahead of the episode

The John Glenn High School Dance Team, also known as The John Glenn High School Varsity Pompon, are a school dance crew from Michigan, who will stun the judges with their performance as Howie Mandel look-alikes in the upcoming episode of America's Got Talent (AGT) Season 17.

The team received social media acclaim after one of their videos went viral. The dance crew performed at the Mid American Pompon Hip/Hop & High Kick Championship at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw where the girls dressed like the rapper Putbull - complete with balding heads, sunglasses and suit coats. This routine caught everyone's attention, including the rapper himself.

Not only did the AGT contestants win first place in the Medium High Kick division, it also gained them a new fan in Pitbull, who shared the video on his social media platforms. The rapper said:

"The most good ones! Truly honored. 🔥☄️🌎. Congratulations to the John Glenn Varsity Dance team from Bay City, Michigan on placing first in the MidAmerican Championship High Kick division. Dale!"

Looking at the video, AGT reached out to the official coach of the team, Shelby Putnam, and asked her to send in an audition tape. In March 2022, she heard back from the show stating that the girls were selected for the next round. The coach then gathered the team at the school library under the pretense of handing out pamphlets and shared the good news.

In an interview with Midland Daily News, the coach said:

“We’re used to our environment, our community. To be taken to a completely different environment, to experience that all together was surreal.”

The team includes members Kami Box, Maren Burgeson, Jessica Foss, Madisyn Galan, Brande Gillespie, Myleigh Kocks, Justis Lawson, Emma Niemann, Ava Norton, Makayla Olson, Maddie Rahn, Lilly Rocha and Lauren Zarazua. The girls modified their routine to fit the rules of the competition.

In an effort to win over Howie Mandel, the dance crew made changes to their costume to closely replicate the AGT judge. The girls wore bald caps, white shirts, black jackets and round spectacles.

The team also plans to reportedly launch a watch party to watch their performance at a local movie theater in the presence of friends and family. The crew plans to have a red carpet and the girls will be wearing the outfits from their previous homecoming and prom events.

One of the troupe's contestants, Brande Gillespie, opened up about the performance and revealed that she has been a fan of the competition ever since she was a young girl. She confessed that the notion of having the team perform is "intimidating yet thrilling."

“It really means a lot. I couldn’t have picked a better group to be able to go there with. We don’t treat it like we’re better than others. We cherished the moment together.”

Other contestants set to perform on this week's AGT episode include Ballet After Dark, Chapel Hart, Jack The Whipper, Maytree, Sam Ciere and many more. Viewers will have to tune in to find out who moves forward in the competition.

Tune in to an all-new episode of AGT this Tuesday on NBC.

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Edited by Somava
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