They didn’t win on “America’s Got Talent,” but they still plan to take the Strip by storm. The zany KriStef Brothers of Las Vegas, who wowed viewers with their humorous and amazing strongman acrobatic act, have been rehearsing all week for the nationwide “AGT” tour that starts Sunday. It arrives at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Oct. 23.
The duo made it all the way to the Final 12. “We’re still happy and have no regrets,” they told me. “We had saved our best for last to perform with a celebrity, but it wasn’t to be.” The winner was Kenichi Ebina, a technical dancer from Japan who will be the headliner for the six stars in Las Vegas, with Tone the Chiefrocca as MC.
“The exposure that this tour is going to build for us is a good thing,” they added. “We’re really so pleased the producers picked us for the tour. When we did the audition, we didn’t think we were going to get anywhere. Everybody thinks we’re just pranksters, jokesters, and don’t take anything seriously. We do, but we expect the worst and plan for the best.
“We were really surprised how well we were perceived with our act. It is really very unusual when you consider head balancing to be such a dramatic, serious Cirque du Soleil art, and we completely screw it over on the other side. I don’t think serious acrobats like us very much.
“Singers get three minutes to sing a song, so we’re actually really lucky. We get to do two five-minute-long acts. Both of these acts have never before been seen. These are acts that we created for this touring show specifically.
“We’ll do some of the same tricks you saw on the TV show, but we like to keep things very fresh and very new. We’ll still be the two crazy dudes, but we’re going to be giving you different characters.
“It’s great to be coming home to Las Vegas now that we’re no longer unknown and anonymous. Our parents are working shows in Las Vegas as wardrobe and stagehands. My dad works for ‘Zumanity,’ and the performers there are, like, ‘Have you seen these guys who are on ‘America’s Got Talent’? They do something different every time and are really funny.’ And my dad’s like, ‘Yeah, those are my kids!’ It’s awesome that the TV show brought us recognition, especially at home.”
There was a very scary moment when one of the KriStef brothers fell and slammed his neck onstage. “It’s fine now,” they told me. “We went to the hospital and the MRI, X-rays and CAT scans showed nothing was broken. The neck was stiff for a while but fine now. When we work like this, we are either going to get hurt or we’re going to get hurt. There’s no other way.
“We’re not striving to become superstars. We enjoy the creation and the writing but striving for television or film. It’s time to fry some bigger fish. We’ve been doing this our whole lives, and we want to branch off to something different. We’re hoping with all this exposure that someone will notice us and pick us up.
“We’ve worked with Kenichi for years in so many shows. He’s a true friend of ours, a real champion. If he would like us to perform along with him in a Las Vegas show, we would be honored. It would be fantastic.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.