Israeli contortionist’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ appearance goes viral


Rebecca Salzhauer, The Forward

Israeli contortionist Roman Kricheli is going viral after squeezing himself into a ten-inch cube on “America’s Got Talent.” A YouTube video of his audition has garnered more than 350,000 views.

Kricheli, who has been performing his “yoga show” for over 35 years, was costumed in silky white pants and a cropped red vest and accompanied by his son and assistant, Daniel, in a matching outfit.

As Kricheli began his routine, judge Simon Cowell winced and hit his buzzer, the show’s signal that a judge no longer wants to see the performance.

Then, Daniel rolled a tiny, clear box onto the stage on a table. To the judges’ shock, Kricheli climbed in, limb by limb. “That can’t be healthy,” said Sofia Vergara, another one of the judges.

Daniel then closed the door of the box, leaving Kricheli inside for nearly a minute. Red faced, Kricheli emerged to applause and invited his daughter to the stage.

“My dad, his biggest dream was to perform on AGT, and we are so excited to be here with him,” she said.

Kricheli’s performance impressed the judges enough to propel him to the next round of the competition. Even Cowell, who was initially disinterested, changed his mind. “I may have buzzed a little bit too early, so I’ll take my buzzer back,” Cowell said. “Begone buzzer.”

“It’s funny and wonderful,” said judge Howie Mandel. “I loved that you made it a family business.”

This story originally appeared on The Forward. Re-published with permission.