Bostom.com reports that the judges seemed split following her performance. Melanie Brown and Howie Mandel offered "tepid praise." Heidi Krum said the performance kept her on the edge of her seat.
However, Purnell’s greatest supporter at the judges' table was Howard Stern. He praised her performance, saying: "Houdini is your hero; Houdini would be proud of you. I think you did a great job."
The middle-aged escape artist had previously said she was afraid to go on the show because of Stern's reputation. She feared he might belittle her physical appearance. Instead, Stern said she "really deserved a spot in the semifinals."
I'm a big Howard Stern fan. Not sure I've ever heard him talk about Houdini on his radio show, but I'd like to think he's a fan of the very first King of All Media. (By the way, Howard and Houdini score a 100% emotional compatibility on facade.com.)