America’s Got Talent – Season 8 Premiere – Live Blog & Discussion

Join me at 9PM EST for the Season 8 premiere of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, which introduces new judges Heidi Klum and Mel B. They replace Sharon Osbourne, who’s probably really mad she quit since this means they were willing to pay twice the salary. Howie Mandel and Howard Stern return, along with host Nick Cannon, whose wife Mariah Carey just officially quit as a judge on American Idol. Heidi, of course, hosts Project Runway, Howie hosted the hidden-camera show Mobbed, and Mel B. was on DWTS. It’s a teeming throng of recycled reality show stars.

Tonight we’ll see two hours of auditions in Los Angeles, New York, and San Antonio.

Yeah, yeah, The Voice, finish up already. We know the Swon Brothers are history.

And. . .we’re off!

Nick opens the show by celebrating our great nation with a rousing performance of Living in America. Because our Constitution ensures the right of every citizen to try out for talent shows.

We have four big Xes at the top of the stage now. How will they break a tie?

First up is David “The Cobra Kid” Weathers from Hollywood, FL. He takes risks, starting with his hairstyle. His act includes a rattlesnake. David will induce the reptile to leap at him and bite a balloon he has just blown up. Seems like the snake is doing all the heavy lifting in this act. He uses a hook to remove the slithery creature from its box, then inflates the balloon menacingly while the cameraman zooms in on the rattle-tail that is quivering like electrified Jello. BAM! Mr. Plisskin snaps at the balloon, which explodes in David’s face. Several slo-mo replays later, Mel loves it, Howie thinks the snake resented being in a box, Howard thinks it was a great show, and Heidi is wearing a low-cut leopard-print dress. Yes from all of them. This seems like a 30-second show in practice. He should try filling the balloon with shaving cream to add some comedy to the act.

David Weathers ~ AGT 2013 San Antonio Auditions by HumanSlinky

Carpenter Marty Brown from Franklin, KY will sing now, his wife’s favorite Dylan song, Make You Feel My Love. Aw, it’s nice. Too bad this guy has a face like a Punch and Judy puppet. Heidi makes his wife come out to prove that they are indeed a younger version of the American Gothic couple. Howard thinks he’s great, as does Mel, and Howie says we learned “don’t judge a book by its cover,” because he himself is often mistaken for Brad Pitt and hasn’t had that problem.

Marty Brown, 47 ~ AGT 2013 San Antonio Auditions by HumanSlinky

If Heidi’s dress were any shorter, it would be a scarf.

Miu from NJ is next. She wears a studded bra and requires subtitles. She’s going to dance, and I am willing to bet not well. She’s barely started convulsing when the buzzers go off one after another.

Miu, 31 ~ AGT 2013 New York Auditions by HumanSlinky

A guy doffs his flannel shirt and hulks out next. It’s unique, you gotta admit. He’s followed by someone in an alien outfit and a pair who do “avant-garde noise music” in strange costumes, kind of like Taylor Swift.

A dance company now, Catapult, from NY. The leader was po’ and pathetic, and everyone in the troupe has sacrificed for The Dance. They do that shadows-behind-a-screen-creating-scenarios thing that some other group does and has been going around on Facebook for a while. Copycatapult, ha ha. Howie is impressed that they formed a dance company “from nothing.” What does he think you need, venture capital and an office at the industrial park?

Catapult ~ AGT 2013 New York Auditions by HumanSlinky

Three kids in newsboy-inspired outfits are going to dance now. They’re from HI. One’s nickname is Hazmat. Their act is a takeoff on Singin’ in the Rain, which might make me angry, but in fact, they’re very smooth and suave and fun. Except for that they remind me I have no upper body strength. They insist they made up this routine last night, but I think that was a clever ruse to seem unusually talented. Strategic move, kids!

Hype, 20-25 ~ AGT 2013 New York Auditions by HumanSlinky

Following them is a well-built guy who does one of those gymnastic acts with straps and twirling, which he claims he never did before. I’m going to go on the show and eat Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls and claim I never did it before, they’ll never guess.

Then a kid does a trick that consists entirely of manipulating his hat so it rolls all over his body. It gets rave reviews and is declared fresh. How does a person even think to perfect that skill in the first place? Then again, someone once thought spinning plates on poles was the pinnacle of dexterity.

Successful ~ AGT 2013 New York Auditions by HumanSlinky

The next guy gets asked if he needs a medic standing by. It’s Chuck from the Bronx, with “food challenges,” like I have at Thanksgiving. First he shoves a bunch of raw eggs in this mouth, then he snorts salt, and then he puts lime juice in his eyes. Finally, he strips to giant plaid boxers, eats a hot pepper, and sits in a tub of ice (more of a beverage challenge). I see most of this act any time my dog gets into the garbage. Howard doubts the veracity of the pepper, so Howie eats it and must chug from a jug of milk. At least there are plenty of opportunities for product placement with this guy. Otherwise, all I see is countless Vegas audiences that losing their appetite for the coconut shrimp special.

Chuck From The Bronx, 38 ~ AGT 2013 New York… by HumanSlinky

Now a young girl who relies on her piano when she feels down, whereas most kids just load up on sugar. Her mom has always been there, reports Anna Christine, who is 10, but seems 43 with her all-black outfit and Peggy Noonan hair. Aside from the fact that her voice is disturbingly low and sultry,  a child should NOT sing House of the Rising Sun. Her mother may have been there, but she’s doing the wrong things while she is. Howard calls Anna a superstar, which seems about right since like many superstars, she seems destined to end up a substance abuser.

Anna Christine, 10 ~ AGT 2013 New York Auditions by HumanSlinky

Next comes more music in the form of an orchestra from CT called 3Penny Orchestra and Chorus. Made up of an all-volunteer membership, they sing Call Me Maybe, which I doubt you could pay most people to do. Even with this classical arrangement, it cannot be saved from hopeless insipidness. Heidi’s kids love the song, which must thrill Seal.

3Penny Chorus and Orchestra, 20-86 ~ AGT New… by HumanSlinky

The Pacific Boys Choir then sings California Dreaming. They’re so cute, and everyone loves a boys’ choir. There’s like legislation to that effect or something.

Pacific Boys Choir, 9-14 ~ AGT 2013 Los Angeles… by HumanSlinky

Special Head ruins the mood after that. He’s some Zen type who must align his chakras and get into a meditative state to do his act, which I hope won’t be reciting Khalil Gibran. He’s got a carpet, a big stick, and some musical bowls, and he grunts loudly until the audience starts booing.  THEN HE LEVITATES, in a sitting position, holding onto the upright big stick. Kegel exercises? Fishing line? Really intense flatulence? This is probably our longed-for viral-video moment, until the inevitable killjoys explain how he really did it.

Special Head, 28 ~ AGT 2013 Los Angeles Auditions by HumanSlinky

Angela Hoover of Redondo Beach, CA is a comedian. I always thought Redondo was a funny word. Her sob story is that she had to take time off from performing to take care of her kids. Oh, the humanity. She does impressions of Celine Dion and Drew Barrymore at a kid’s birthday party, and is neither funny nor a convincing impressionist. Somewhere Christopher Hitchens is saying “I told you so.” Mel thrusts her enormous fake breasts forward and champions girl power.

Angela Hoover, 42 ~ AGT 2013 Los Angeles Auditions by HumanSlinky

Next up is Anthony Granger, a.k.a. Tone the Chiefrocca, who is from Somewherewood, CA. He yells that he’ll be singing a song he wrote himself, always an auspicious beginning. When Howard asks what he does, he explains that he shuts the house down, which is hard to fit on a business card.  The song, which requires Tone and his brother to flop around like landed trout, is rap or whatever all the kids are listening to today, most of the content of which consists of the spelling of “booty.” As spelling songs go, it’s no was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name, oh! B-I-N-G-O! But all the  judges love it since they want to appear current, when in fact they understand booty to refer to pirate treasure.

Tone The Chiefrocca, 27 ~ AGT 2013 Los Angeles… by HumanSlinky

That’s it for tonight! Thanks for talking and see you next week.

About E.M. Rosenberg 240 Articles
Favorite 40-volume series issued by Time-Life Music: Sounds of the Seventies. Favorite backsplash material: Subway tile. Favorite screen legend I pretend wasn’t gay: Cary Grant. Favorite issue you should not even get me started about: Venal, bloodsucking insurance industry. Favorite character from the comic strip “Nancy”: Sluggo, or maybe Rollo. Favorite Little Debbie snack: Nutty Bars. Favorite Monkee: Mike.