MSU student Steve Price enthralls audiences and judges on "America's Got Talent"
A combination of hot wheels, dominos and marbles which create massive chain reactions landed MSU mechanical engineering sophomore Steve Price on NBC’s 2013 season of “America’s Got Talent.”
“I don’t really have an explanation of how I got started,” Price said. “I kind of just used to play with a ton of toys and stuff — I like to see how things work.”
Price, or “Sprice,” as he is known on the show and his YouTube channel, has been making Rube Goldberg machines, which are machines designed to perform simple tasks in an elaborate fashion, for six years.
His channel on YouTube features a variety of videos ranging from a convenient way to put on glasses to knocking down a set of dominos that make up a Spartan head and the word “engineering” to represent his degree track.
After producers saw a sampling of Price’s work, they offered him an audition to the popular NBC talent show. Following a producer’s audition, Price appeared on the show in Chicago and presented his work before host Nick Cannon along with judges Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, Melanie Brown and Heidi Klum.
Contestants on “America’s Got Talent” have varied from singers to a robotic “Matrix” dancer and even a unicyclist juggling bowls on her head.
Price said he was nervous because this was one of the first times he did a live showing of his machines and it was a huge risk because the slightest error can ruin them.
But Price’s girlfriend Annie Huang, a pre-med and Spanish sophomore, said once Price has an idea, he begins to set it up right away.
“He has everything planned out in his mind — it’s amazing,” Huang said.
Price’s father, Warren Price, said he shares his son’s interest for seeing how things work growing up in the mechanical-type industry. But Warren Price said watching his son perform on national television was unlike anything the family has experienced before.
“Our hearts were pounding so fast, we wanted to make sure the machine worked… they do fall sometimes,” Warren Price said.
However, the risk was worth the reward after the machine wowed both the judges and the audience, advancing Price to Las Vegas for the next round.
“With each round people want to see more complex machines and with that the risk gets even higher,” Steve Price said.