Many people dream of appearing on T.V., but for one Mt. Hebron graduate, that dream has come true. Class of 2010 graduate Eddie Yacynych hopped his way onto the NBC program “America’s Got Talent” with his jump roping team, Flight Crew Jump Rope.
Flight Crew auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” this spring, receiving four “yes” votes from celebrity judges Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, Mel B. and Heidi Klum. Yacynych, however, did not audition with the group. He was asked to join them midway through the show because one of the original members had to withdraw from the competition for work duties at home.
Yacynych began jumping with Flight Crew Jump Rope at the start of the “Live Shows,” where all the contestants had to perform their acts on a live broadcast in front of a studio audience. Yacynych had the opportunity to perform twice on national television.
Yacynych said, “Performing on AGT was one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve always loved performing, and to add huge sets, lights, costumes, and the crowd at Radio City Music Hall was an overwhelming experience and a dream come true.”
Flight Crew progressed through the competition to the Quarterfinals, but they did not receive enough votes to move on to the next round. Judge Heidi Klum used her “Wild Card” to bring them back for a second chance during the Semifinals. Unfortunately, they did not receive enough “yes” votes and were eliminated.
Even though “America’s Got Talent” is meant to be a reality show, it may not be as realistic as you think. The audience was captivated by everything in front of them: the music, the fog and the changing lights.
“It was really staged, and it was kind of weird to see behind the stage,” senior Janette Yacynych said when asked what it was like to watch her brother on the show.
The other 48 acts that made it through the auditions included dancers, musicians, comedians, magicians, acrobats and even a contortionist. The ages of the contestants ranged from a four-year-old singer to a 49-year-old rollerblade dancer.
One of the acts that made it on the show was the Bad Boys of Ballet, another group that came from Maryland. Like Flight Crew, the Bad Boys of Ballet made it to the Quarterfinals and were eliminated, only to be brought back by judge Mel B. They were unfortunately eliminated yet again, receiving the same fate as Yacynych’s team.
The official winner of the season was 25-year-old magician, Mat Franco. Like Yacynych, Franco is also very passionate about his act, describing it on his own webpage as a part of his lifestyle.
Yacynych began jump roping at the age of five and later joined “Kangaroo Kids,” a precision jump team focused on teaching kids physical fitness and good will. Yacynych was committed to perfecting the routines and practiced all the time in order to prepare for the live shows, praying he would not mess up and embarrass himself.
“He would just jump rope in the driveway,” laughed sophomore Michael Yacynych, Eddie’s younger brother.
Although Yacynych’s time on “America’s Got Talent” has come to an end, his love for jump roping has not.
“Hopefully Flight Crew and the sport of jump rope gets noticed after ‘AGT,’” said Yacynych. “Not many people know about jump rope, so we want to bring attention to how creative it is.”
He also hopes that viewers of the show might be inspired to try jump rope as a fun way to stay fit and be active.
Yacynych is now a part of “Cirque Dreams,” an American cirque company founded in 1993 that has branched out and toured worldwide, and will be touring with them later this year. He has also recently been accepted into physical therapy school and will be performing with Flight Crew during some NBA halftime shows.
“I am happy we got to showcase jump rope on the national stage and am extremely grateful for all the support I received from students and staff at Mt. Hebron,” said Yacynych.
He is currently back in Maryland coaching jump rope at “Kangaroo Kids,” passing his dreams on to the jumpers of the future.