Eric Buss
courtesy of eric buss

America will decide tonight if Tucson native and longtime comic magician Eric Buss has the chops to compete for a $1 million “America’s Got Talent” grand prize.

Buss, who was among a handful of contestants from YouTube auditions to compete on Tuesday’s show, will learn his fate tonight when the results of the public vote are revealed. the show airs at 8 p.m. on KVOA Channel 4.

For the show, Buss, 37, performed his “Spring Snake Symphony.” It’s a fairly new routine for Buss, who has performed his comedy magic at clubs and on cruise ships for more than 20 years. For about two minutes, he shoots off spring snakes from a series of contraptions he made in sync with Strauss’s “The Blue Danube Waltz.”

“America’s Got Talent” judges Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne and Howard Stern universally panned Buss and the other YouTube contestants. Several of the judges suggested that Buss should take the routine to children’s birthday parties.

Buss said he was discouraged by the judges’ reactions, but called the show a “great life experience, and if you can take the little bit of beating, it’s great exposure.”

After his performance, Bus was greeted by thunderous applause from the audience.

“Three thousand people in that audience told me they liked the act and I’ll take that any day over the three judges,” Buss said in a phone interview from New Jersey, where he will appear on the live results show tonight.

Whoever wins over the audience tonight moves on to the semifinal rounds. The show’s winner takes home $1 million.

Buss returns to Tucson Aug. 25 for the 25th annual Stars of Magic show at the Temple of Music and Art.