Hair Metal Pirate Covers Joan Jett + Shreds Keytar for ‘America’s Got Talent’ Audition
Another rocker has infiltrated America’s Got Talent! Ramping up the ridiculousness to 11, rock and roll keyboardist JJ Phillips hit the AGT stage to jam Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You” with some extra solo work to boot.
During the audition stage of America’s Got Talent’s 2017 season, Phillips walked onstage looking like a velveteen pirate with American flag pants and giant ‘80s hair. As for his keyboard, Phillips’ instrument isn’t quite a keytar, but he played it like one. Phillips claimed he could put a unique spin on any popular act, but that was quickly overshadowed by dedicating his performance to a “traumatic heartbreak” he went through — getting dumped by his ex, Amber.
AGT judge Simon Cowell offered about as much sympathy as he could muster up, but the hard-nosed Brit was won over by Phillips’ audition. The musician shredded a solo before Joan Jett’s classic track kicked in, playing his heavily distorted keyboard over the song. Judge Heidi Klum hit her ‘X’ quickly after realizing JJ wasn’t going to sing, but Cowell, Mel B. and Howie Mandel didn’t buzz the keyboardist off at all.
After some deliberation (and a few passive insults fired at JJ) the ‘80s transplant was given the judges’ blessing 3-1 and will move onto the next round of America’s Got Talent. Cowell even called JJ “very charming, very likable and very cool” along with “original.” Even if the keyboardist is eliminated after his next jam, he can sleep easy knowing he’s got the world record for most Simon Cowell compliments in a single sentence.
Watch JJ Phillips rock Joan Jett’s classic track in the clip above.
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