The Olate Dogs won America’s Got Talent last week and now look ahead to Las Vegas where the family duo and their dogs get set for their very own big show.
Last week on America’s Got Talent, the father and son duo of Richard and Nicholas Olate and their Olate Dogs beat comedian Tom Cotter, painter David Garibaldi and Earth Harp musician William Close to win the $1 million prize and their own act in Las Vegas.
A third generation circus performer, Richard has performed since he was 12, and through hard work and constant struggle, he made it to the United States at the age of 33. His dream is to have his own dog variety show with his son by his side. Now that dream has come true thanks to America’s Got Talent.
Following their AGT victory, The Deadbolt caught up with The Olate Dogs duo to get their thoughts on winning and what’s next for them in Vegas.
THE DEADBOLT: You’ve mentioned before that you didn’t want to audition for the show at first. What made you finally want to do it?
OLATE DOGS: We had found out that they were doing auditions throughout the country and we didn’t think any of them were close to us. We were near the Orlando, Florida area and they were holding auditions in Tampa. Because we’re normally circus performers, that was during our downtime.
The thing is, we’ve done a couple of TV shows and it’s been a little bit of a bother just because of the fact that we have so many dogs and it’s hard to take care of them. That’s what we thought the experience was going to be with America’s Got Talent, so my dad was like, “No, I’d rather not.”
But to our happy surprise, it was not like that at all. The staff at America’s Got Talent is very easy to work with. They helped us a lot. It’s a humbling experience being on the show.
THE DEADBOLT: Can you talk about how you’ll be adapting to your own show and how it will be different than what we saw on TV?
OLATE DOGS: We definitely have different ideas. On America’s Got Talent, you only get 90 seconds. My father does have different acts, not just with a lot of dogs. For example, one dog and it takes up ample time to show what we couldn’t. Because it was only 90 seconds, he wasn’t able to put a lot of that onstage.
We have a lot of new ideas. I think it will change tremendously. We’re not used to having our own show and this is the first time it’s ever happened. We’ll need to adapt a lot but we’ll try to put on the best show that we can.
THE DEADBOLT: How much of a challenge is it for the dogs not to get distracted by a live crowd?
OLATE DOGS: At first, if the dog’s new, it’s a really big challenge. It’s like anything, a dog starts to learn to adapt to the environment. In our final performance, the big white dog was distracted. That’s why he was looking at the people. That was something we didn’t plan on.
In practice, he was kind of hunched down and walking very straight. When it came time for the show, he was standing up straight and looking at the crowd. It was a very big surprise because he doesn’t normally do that.
But that’s a good situation. There are other situations where the dog gets scared and runs offstage. That’s normal and it’s something we need to work on. It’s a work in progress, if you will.
THE DEADBOLT: Has all of this sunk in yet after the win?
OLATE DOGS: Not at all! It’s so weird, because you think it would. We’ve just been driving and driving and so there’s a lot of alone time. It’s good to relax and think about it but it still hasn’t hit us yet. We’re still so shocked by it. It’s just such and amazing event in our lives and I think it’ll take a while for it to sink in.