Penny Starr Sr., who is 89 years old and is a dancer, stunned Simon Cowell and the other judges on “America’s Got Talent” with a stars-and-striptease performance.
This senior stripper does not wear any of those embarrassing “granny panties.” The performance that 89-year-old Penny Starr, whose true name is Janet Gaynor, did on “America’s Got Talent” was one that the judges will never forget.
After 17 seasons, the talent showcase has a tendency to become a little similar; however, this season had a first: an old burlesque dancer.
Starr may be seen in a clip from Tuesday’s episode wearing a white frilly mermaid gown, long white gloves, and a red, white, and blue feathered boa.
The clip was taken from the episode’s teaser. Starr performs a dance around the stage to the song “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and as judge Simon Cowell notices her, she tosses her feathered boa to the side.
The notoriously tough judge says to Sofia Vergara, who is sitting next to him in the courtroom, “She’s going to take her clothes off.”
Starr does not stop moving around the room as the audience participates in the upbeat song by clapping along. As the camera pans back to Cowell, she takes her time and moves her hand carefully toward the front zipper of the garment.
As Starr verified Cowell’s suspicions, the normally ice-cold judge, pictured here with wide-open eyes and a look of utter disbelief on his face.
As a confetti cannon blasts streamers onto the platform, the dancer, who is 89 years old, gently unzips herself to reveal a white mesh bustier and long skirt that match. She then takes off both of these garments quickly.
Starr commented to Florida Today that “even Simon” along with the other judges “were amazing.” I was prepared for him,” she said. If he had rung the bell on me while I was working, I would have turned around and yelled at him to “respect your elders.”
However, he was a decent person,” she stated. She related the story of how she picked up dancing when she was dismissed from her role as a trapeze performer in the circus and decided to run away to join it.
She eventually participated in a dance performance alongside a young elephant, after which the wife of the carnival owner instructed her in burlesque dancing.
She used her talents to finally make it to the Flamingo in Las Vegas, where she ate breakfast with Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra.
She is known as the “living legend of burlesque.” The city of Las Vegas has inducted her into its Hall of Fame.