The Flash Just Cast An America's Got Talent Alum For Ideal Role

troy james america's got talent

Even though most of The Flash's explosion-created metahumans have been identified and dealt with, there are still others out there with powers created by other means. (Like Caitlin, for example.) Season 5 will introduce the Golden Age comic book villain Peter "Rag Doll" Merkel, and the producers tapped the absolute perfect person to take on the triple-jointed baddie role: America's Got Talent contestant and mindblowing contortionist Troy James. Not the kind of twist that fans are used to from The Flash, amirite?

Since The Flash will be fleshing out Nora West-Allen's time-bending story whenever Season 5 kicks off, we'll have to wait until Episode 5 to see Troy James in action as Rag Doll. No further details about the role were provided by TV Insider, so it's not clear just yet where Peter Merkel got his abilities, nor how metahuman they are in nature. If he's anything like Troy James, though, he may have just practiced contorting his body a lot.

Rag Doll may not be the most popular or badass comic book villain for The Flash fans to witness in live-action, but he's definitely been around for the long haul. First introduced back in 1942, Rag Doll's claim to fame is being an expert contortionist, with a body that can not only bend at will, but can also withstand a beating. Somewhere along the line in the comics, he picked up the ability to hypnotize people, too, along with some other tricks and tactics.

Though his creation was a fairly routine one, Rag Doll's story got darker as time passed, and his Modern Age iteration hit upon a plot that could very well tie into Season 5. At one point in his later years, Merkel took to senile ranting and started amassing a following with his street-side speeches in Opal City, to the point where he had a legitimate cult that eventually ran rampant throughout the city. Granted, Troy James isn't an old dude in his 60s, but his cult-ish ways could certainly fit in with the main Season 5 big bad, Cicada, who had his own murderous group to lead in the comics. (Can we get King Shark in one of these stories?)

troy james america's got talent

Troy James won over lots of people himself during the most recent season of America's Got Talent, though not with his magic skills or his ability to catch gross things in his mouth. He blew the judges away with his body-bending skills, though he was eliminated in the fourth week of judges cuts. It was a disappointing time for James, certainly, but may be easier to handle now that the spot has landed him a role on one of the most popular superhero TV shows out there.

With a host of new characters heading to the Arrow-verse this year, The Flash will return to The CW for Season 5 on Tuesday, October 9, at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what other exciting shows are coming soon, head to our fall premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.