There Are Dog Acts… and Then, There Are the Olate Dogs — ‘America’s Got Talent’ 2012 Winners (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on September 14, 2012
American author Mark Twain once noted, “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”
And after winning last night’s million-dollar prize in the finale of “America’s Got Talent,” the astounding Olate Dogs are indeed prosperous.
Who doesn’t love watching backflipping dogs?
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but this doesn’t appear to apply to the Olate Dogs.
The group of pet pooches and their two trainers stormed for victory on America’s Got Talent last night showing off some amazing stunts in the process.
Judges Sharon Osbourne, Howard Stern and Howie Mandel were left shocked as the pups displayed impressive agility to scoop the $1million and grand prize and headlining act in Las Vegas.
In their winning performance one dog was seen arriving on stage in a car before the breathtaking show began.
Viewers were treated to impressive tricks with many of the dogs walking on their hind legs, jumping over objects and one dog walked on his front paws while another dog carried his back legs.
Sharon, who adores dogs and who has a number of her own at home said: ‘It is pure love on stage.’
They’re working like dogs, heh heh…
Olate Dogs, Quarter-finals – America’s Got Talent 2012
Olate Dogs, Semi-finals – America’s Got Talent 2012
A bit of bio on dog trainer Richard Olate and his family, from Circuspedia:
Richard Olate was born in Santiago, Chile, the twenty-first child of a family of twenty-two. His was an extremely poor family, and just to survive yet another day, every member of the family had to chip in. Richard learned the true meaning and value of hard work at the tender age of six—laboring sometimes simply for a loaf of bread or a fish to bring home for supper!
His life changed when, one day, he found a stray puppy in the streets of Santiago. He adopted the dog and, in the little spare time he had, taught him to perform tricks. Richard discovered that he was actually quite good at dog training. He found two other dogs, and started building a small dog act, which his mother, to cash on her son’s unexpected talents, booked in school shows and street fairs. Richard was twelve.
Soon, performing with his dogs became Richard’s main activity: He was beginning to make a better living doing so than with the many odd jobs he had been forced to do in order to survive. His brother José eventually joined in, and together, they found new dogs to expand their act—which finally caught the attention of circus impresarios. Thus Richard and José Olate became professional circus performers.
The Olates performed with various circuses in Chile and in South America until 1989, when they got their first contract with a circus in the United States. They found other opportunities to perform in the U.S., and never turned back. Richard eventually became an American citizen. With his brother, and then with his family, Richard Olate has performed all over the United States; when the Olate Family performed at the Big Apple Circus in 2001 (Big Top Doo-Wop) and 2006 (Grandma Goes To Hollywood), the act consisted of Richard Olate, his wife, Rebecca, his children, Brandalyn and Nicholas, and a troupe of dogs rescued from shelters.
Olate Dogs, The Finals – America’s Got Talent 2012
Winner of America’s Got Talent 2012 Is Revealed… Olate Dogs
NBC compiled some “America’s Got Talent” highlights:
From Los Angeles Times, ‘America’s Got Talent’ finale recap: Olate Dogs takes the win:
Olate Dogs has been crowned the Season 7 winner of “America’s Got Talent,” proving that America really likes its backflipping dogs (as well as those who conga and wheelbarrow their way across the stage), more than its brilliantly funny comedians or visionary music-makers or performing painters, sand storytellers or precocious dancers.
I won’t pretend not to be disappointed that Tom Cotter, the comedian who claimed second place, didn’t take the win. In the finale, riffing alongside Joan Rivers, he proved himself far funnier than the veteran comedienne as he roasted the judges. His jokes were less cutting, but no less sharp — perfectly calibrated, as they’d been, with remarkable consistency, throughout the competition.
Even after it was revealed Cotter hadn’t won the big prize ($1 million and a chance to headline a Las Vegas show, in case you’d forgotten), when others might have wept, he found a way to make us laugh, saying he planned to fall down the stairs and get his own million dollars. See? Funny.
Of course, Cotter won’t have to take drastic measures to turn his time on the show into a win. I’m sure his agent is already fielding lots of calls.
In any event, Olate Dogs was certainly worthy of the win. They were impressive, the backflip-doing dogs. And it was heartwarming to see Sharon Osbourne, a fan of animal acts in general and those performing pooches in particular, march up onstage in her fabulous gown on the last night of her long “America’s Got Talent” run and embrace the furry winners she’d been rooting for all along.
It was a fitting end for Osbourne’s run on the show, and a suitable capper for a season with a particularly varied and robust array of talent.