|Age (at audition)||19|
|Position Reached||Vegas Round|
Jeffrey Vinokur was born in River Vale, NJ and was unofficially self-diagnosed with a rare condition called “Mad Scientist Syndrome.” He claims this is the reason for his passion for science since birth. Science has always been Vinokur’s passion starting from catching bugs as a kid, to mixing kitchen chemicals during middle school, building robots in high school, studying the production of cellulosic biofuels, and finally doing basic cancer research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jeffrey is so crazy about science he received a Biochemistry textbook for his 18th birthday and an embroidered lab coat for his 19th birthday.
In 2007, Jeffrey found dance when hard times at home lead him to watch YouTube videos and learn a few dance moves to relieve stress. The dancing caught on and Jeffrey began practicing daily in his house, dancing to express himself. Four years later, he has over 14 million YouTube views, the #1 most watched popping tutorials in the world, teaches his own classes, runs a dance crew, performs regularly on the college circuit, released his own instructional DVDs, and gives scholarships to hip hop dancers pursuing college degrees.
Prior to January 2010, Jeffrey was “Scientist by day, and dancer by night” until an airplane ride next to a talkative stranger helped him realize that he could spread his scientific message by combining science & dance into a high energy performance. With that idea in mind, he auditioned for America's Got Talent.. 1
Jeffrey Vinokur's audition was never televised. It is unknown whether or not he was buzzed, but at least two judges voted "Yes," sending Jeffrey to the Vegas Round.
Jeffrey Vinokur was one of the Standby Acts in the Vegas Round. He was sorted into the "Novelty Acts" category. His performance in Episode 512 consisted of igniting Hydrogen balloons and briefly dancing with glow-in-the-dark gloves. His audition was not strong enough for the judges to send him to the Quarterfinals, eliminating him from the competition along with Erin Barylski, Rick Smith Jr., and Eric Koloski.
After the Show
Since the show, Jeffrey appeared monthly on the CBS News in Madison, WI and has also been on FOX and CW News in Saint Louis, CBS News in Milwaukee, the Big Ten Network, and most recently served as a science reporter for UW Communications all while continuing lab research and performing as the Dancing Scientist.
Jeffrey continues to spread his message that science can be cool and fun through his "So You Think You Can Do Science" performance. The show has toured three times with over 120 presentations from San Francisco to Baltimore and is scheduled to be presented at the Smithsonian Discovery Theater in July 2012.
In September 2012 he will be pursuing a Biochemistry PhD at the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) and hopes to become a renowned research professor while continuing to share his passion for science with the public. 2