Live blogging the premiere of America’s Got Talent tonight! Just so you know, the premiere continues tomorrow at 8/7 pm, but I’ll be covering the two hour Glee extravaganza. I’ll put up a post and add videos later. We’ll see how new judge, Howard Stern does tonight!
So, what did you guys think? Howard Stern was a veritable quip machine. He thinks fast on his feet, which should help him when the live shows begin. Come to think of it, radio people are a good bet for these live gigs, if only because a good DJ is quick and resourceful. It’s too bad we’ve entered an era where these jobs go to the biggest celebrity rather than to the smartest or the quickest wit. But I digress.
Howard got lots of screentime, and like I knew he would be, was perfectly family friendly. Not only that, but he wasn’t really very mean–more like X Factor era Cowell than the early Idol version. Howard promised to be the tough truth teller on the panel, but he let a couple of questionable acts through, including that horrible, Simply Sergio, and the mediocre crying dance act. So far, Howard is proving to be more of a pushover than he promised.
The chemistry between the panelists is good. So far everyone gets along, but Simon’s not going to like that! Rivalries and feuds will have to develop, or it wouldn’t be a Simon Cowell competition reality show. It will be interesting to see how things develop.
After the typical blah blah, touting brand new judge, Howard Stern, host Nick Cannon introduces the judges. Howie Mandel is first, followed by Sharon Osbourne and saved for last is Howard Stern The crowd is very rowdy. Howard says the executives at NBC are out of their minds for taking a risk on him and that whoever is responsible needs to be fired.
Aoni Jackson – Fontana, CA – 34 – Magician – Howard believes a magician could win AGT. Aoni wants to borrow Nick’s ring, but he pretends he can’t get it off. Aoni ends up with Howie’s ring. Aoni stumbles through his routine. Things are not going well. Howard buzzes him, but then Aoni scoots behind a screen and reappears in a stripper outfit. He rips off his clothes to reveal Howie’s ring hanging from a chain attatched to his nipple. Germ-phobe Howie is completely freaked out: I had hopes for you. And all I saw was a guy with his pants off and a rather small package. 3 nos.
Miss Les – 55 – Bird Lady – She’s covered with birds admitting that they do indeed crap all over her. Howard asks her if she’s a vegetarian. He wants to know if she’d eat her birds if she were starving. The answer is of course no. Bird Lady isn’t a bird act–she sings while covered with birds. She’s a music teacher, by the way, but still a bad singer. Howard buzzes her. He feels bad–he thinks she’s a very sweet woman. Howie loves it. He says he’d see that a million times before a mediocre singer. Howie says yes, Howard says no, Sharon says no. Bye bye bird lady.
Next, a string of terrible, terrible acts. Howard is a quip machine. He’s definitely getting the lion’s share of screen time.
William Close – He’s there with his fiance. He plays an instrument that’s made out of 3,000 feet of string strung all over the auditorium. It’s called a “Earth Harp”. Howard wonders if he makes a living from his “Earth Harp”. William makes money teaching kids how to make instruments. The “Earth Harp” turns out to be very impressive. It’s ethereal in a new-agey sort of way. The crowd goes nuts. The panel gives him a standing ovation. His wife is crying offstage. Sharon: We get to see these gems. There’s no other stage for them but ours. Howie: We want something we haven’t seen. You are amazing. Howard: I’d given up hope. It’s totally original. This is why I’m here. I made my career on originality. I bow to you. 3 yeses.
Elements Dance Cru – 8-12 – Clogging mashed up with different styles of dance. Oh look. It’s a kiddie dance act. They aren’t bad though, and the mixture of dance styles is interesting. Sharon: I loved the concept. The clogging is crisp and precise. Howard: I truly admire your dedication. You’re truly dead on. Howie: Need to focus on the weaker dances, but still very well done. 3 yesses.
Now, a montage of variety acts. A tiny girl does some amazing aerial silks. Her parents allow that? It looks dangerous. All 3 judges put her through. A freestyler raps about the judges. You knew that was coming. Impressive though, because he swears it was off the top of his head. They put him through.
Alexa and Jorge Navarez – “Home Is Whenever I’m With You” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Fields – Father daughter singing act. Alexa is only 7 years old and very very precocious. She has an answer–usually a little sarcastic-to everything the judges say to her. And it turns out they are a You Tube sensation, essentially. The singing isn’t all that, but father and daughter have a nice chemistry and awesome taste in music. Props to Alexa for her ability to whistle the intro. She needs a sitcom, stat. Howard calls it a touching moment. He votes to send them to Vegas. Howie and Sharon says yes. The auditions move from Los Angeles to St. Louis.
Ben Blague – Cross Bow Sharp Shooting Act – This could be very dangerous, Ben warns. Ben shoots at targets, balloons, pieces of paper, held by your typical woman-in-peril who looks way too relaxed than she should He promises he can escalate the act to even more dangerous stunts, so the panel advances him to the next round. If the cross bow thing doesn’t work out, he could totally be a model. He’s got the “Zoolander” look down pat. Howard: I wish I looked like you. It’s really a remarkable act. It worked for me. Sharon: How would you top the act? He shoots blindfolded. Howie: It was dangerous, it was exciting. 3 yeses.
Light Wire Theater – Like Fighting Gravity and Team Illuminate before them, Light Wire theater melds dance with a light show. This act kicks it up a notch, actually telling an epic story involving prehistoric animals. Unfortunately, these light acts don’t really translate well to television. I’m going to assume that was absolutely incredible in person. The panel gives the act a standing ovation. Sharon: I just love the combination of dance and the world of electronics. Superb. Howard: We are the greatest country in the world we have the most creative people. I applaud your originality Howie believes the act has surpassed every similar act we’ve seen in the past. 3 yesses.
A montage of successful acts wiz by that includes an animal guy who shoves a scorpion into his mouth, a Dude who uses his dog as a ventriloquist puppet and a hip hop dance duet.
Sanjula – Oh no. I can’t stand these acts that involve sticking pins and things into people’s bodies. Gross. He says his extensive knowledge of emergency trauma medicine informs his act. He calls himself a circus sideshow act. Sorry people, I’m not going to be able to watch most of this. Yep. Not looking. Tell me when it’s over.He’s sticking pins in his face. I think. I’m not totally sure, because I can’t look. He gets buzzed. Howard: You remind me of why I don’t like people. It’s a side show, that’s where it’s got to stay. More gross out. Sharon. It’s a no for me. Howie: It’s a no for me too.
Joke performers coming at you: Bad kazoo players are next. Some weirdo drills holes into a fake pumpkin (???), Nick joins a terrible hip hop dancer to trade some moves.
Loyalty Dance Team – They stand up for the folks who are afraid to be themselves. Not a fantastic dance act, but they have a very emotional presentation that moves the room to stand on their feet. They probably won’t make it far, but they have a good backstory. The newest member of the dance team begins crying after their performance, so grateful that the troupe took him in. Sharon: Loves their compassion. Howard: A beautiful emotional performance. You deserve this standing ovation. Howie is also moved. 3 yeses.
Simply Sergio: – “The Girl from Impanema”. He dances and sings like a joke act. After Howard rejects him, he begs to sing again. Howie wants to hear it! And so does the audience. He sings “God Bless America” and hes’ better. Not great, but better. So I guess that’s his schtick. Sing REALLY horribly at first, so that your true vocal seems sensational by comparison, even when it’s not. Hello vibrato! Very operatic. After the audience gives him a standing ovation, the dude begins crying. Howard runs up on stage to hug him. Howie wants to see him again. Sharon and Howard also say yes. After, Sergio and Howard have a celebratory boogie on stage.
A 4 minute Amaxing Spiderman preview is next!
Maurice and Shanice Hayes – Street musicians – “You’ve Got a Friend” – A father daughter act. They both sing pretty well. I wouldn’t call them spectacular. 18 year old Shanice has potential. The audience goes crazy for them, as do the judges. Shanice begins crying. She’s moved by the standing ovation, because she does not have much confidence in herself. Sharon assures her that she has a beautiful voice. Howard thinks the father/daughter relationship is moving and the act spectacular. Perfection. Howie is also inspired by what he sees on stage. First huge moment of America’s Got Talent, he says.