While Crufts is over for another year, one of the furry stars of this year’s annual canine show in the United Kingdom has come out of retirement to audition for the new season of America’s Got Talent.
Fans will remember Falco and his trainer Lukas Pratschker gave one of the most iconic performances at Crufts in March when they performed an incredible routine to the tune of ‘The Greatest Show’ from Hugh Jackman’s The Greatest Showman.
While Lukas said Crufts would be Falco’s last tournament, fans were delighted when the pair appeared as contestants on Simon Cowell’s talent show earlier this week. The nine-year-old Border Collie and his 22-year-old owner entertained judges Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Gabrielle Union and Howie Mandel with canine freestyle.
Canine freestyle is a modern dog sport that mixes obedience training, tricks and dance so a pooch can interact with their trainer. It’s a major part of Crufts and many dog competitions around the world.
Lukas told the judges that he and Flaco first met when he was a child after the family wanted a dog for the home.
“Falco was peeing on my dad’s leg and I thought it was funny,” Lukas told the audience to roars of laughter. “I thought we should take him and it was the start of a great friendship.”
He also explained that he used to have a fear of dogs as a child but that Falco was the first dog to ever win him over.
“Look at his face. How could I not love him?” he asked. “We started to do some tricks with him and trained every day and Falco got better and better. He really knows that he’s a star.”
Lukas said he decided to enter his pet in America’s Got Talent because he wanted to end his career with a bang.
Their performance began with Falco wearing a cowboy hat before he began dancing in unison with Lukas to ‘Footloose’. After doing a series of tricks, Falco jumped on his owner’s back and later tied Lukas up with a prop rope.
The duo got a standing ovation from the audience and all four judges, while the audition has been viewed more than 1.1 million times in less than a week.
We are very happy with all the feedback on our audition from u guys! Thank you very much for all the nice words, it made me cry to read that so many of you can feel this special bond between Falco and me! I’m so happy and over the moon!We started to work on our next routine and I wanted to ask you, what theme we should come up with? Do you have any ideas what we should do? Or do you want to get surprised? 😃 #AGT #lukasandfalco
“That was absolutely awesome,” Gabrielle said. “I have five dogs at home and knowing how much work goes into training dogs to do basic obedience and he’s doing all kinds of tricks … I love you, I love Falco. Great job.”
Howie described the performance as “adorable” while Julianne called it “amazing”.
“He has amazing personality but also importantly, so do you,” Simon added. “Both have got to work. I think this is the best dog act we’ve had this year.”
The judges didn’t give the pair a Golden Buzzer, but they got four yesses and will compete in the next round of the competition.
Viewers at home also praised the performance.
One fan said: “The fact that they grew up together and learned side by side, that’s touching. I’m not even a dog person.”
Another comment read: “Just a boy and his buddy dancing like no one is watching. You can see the love and friendship between them like a firecracker.”
I can’t believe what happened 😳 We‘ve got 4 times YES from @simoncowell, @howiemandel, @juleshough, @gabunion on our audition at @agt! A dream came true ❤️ I hope you‘ll join us on our journey at #AGT and follow us to see all of our adventures! 🤗 #lukasandfalco #americasgottalent #dog #love #dream #doglover
A third added: “My dog would be so jealous if he knew how I felt about this dog.”
Meanwhile, their iconic Crufts performance from earlier this year can be viewed below.