Eighty-nine-year-old dancer Penny Starr Sr. surprised Simon Cowell and the other judges with a stars-and-striptease on “America’s Got Talent.” (Watch the video below.)
In a preview clip shared by Parade on Monday, the self-proclaimed “Living Legend of Burlesque” began her routine innocently enough, festooned in a red, white and blue boa and dancing to “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”
But it quickly became apparent that this act was going to get spicy. “She’s going to take her clothes off,” Cowell proclaimed.
As Starr continued to shed clothing, the persnickety panelist became bug-eyed, and fellow judge Howie Mandel exclaimed, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.”
As for how Cowell ultimately critiqued her, she told Florida Today: “If he would have blown the buzzer on me while I was working, I would have turned around and said, ‘Respect your elders.’ But no, he was nice.”
Starr, whose real name is Janet Gaynor and is from Palm Bay, Florida, told the outlet that she got her start when she ran away with the circus and eventually learned burlesque dancing there. She said she used to have breakfast with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. when she worked at the Flamingo in Las Vegas back in the day.
Looks like “America’s Got Talent” got the message.