The World’s Best Season 1 Premiere Recap and Live Blog

How unusual, another talent competition show. The World’s Best, the name that won out over Earth’s Got Talent, is different because it features the Wall of the World, as opposed to the Wall of President Trump. That refers to a assortment of 50 international judges from 38 regions (so actually, not even a third of the world) sitting in “pods” that reach to the ceiling of the massive, purplish-toned set. As each of those judges enters a “yes” vote on an act, their pod will light up. This will create a huge expanse of light in support of the performer or act, and also in support of the local utility company.

There’s a million dollars for the winner, which these days seems like pocket change, but the producers probably blew the bank on all those cool pods. Among the talent from around the globe are ballerinas, singers, magicians, and escape artists. They’re all the best at what they do. For example, I could win by appearing on my couch watching dumb reality shows.

At some point, we’ll hear a male singer, Dimash Kudaibergen, who has a six-octave range. Even better, they’ll feature a dog who can hypnotize humans with a glance. I already have him pegged for the win, because he can mesmerize all the judges to score the most points and probably some Snausages into the bargain. The host is James Corden, with American judges RuPaul, Faith Hill, and Drew Barrymore, all outstanding in their fields of fierceness, country music, and. . . hmmm. . .movies with Adam Sandler?

The producers hope to inspire similar shows in other countries, with their own local hosts and walls of judges who will increase global warming exponentially as they fly to all the international sets.

Ugh, it’s 10:18 and the panel of guys in blazers are still debriefing everyone on the Super Bowl game in breathless tones. An apparently legendary player (I recognize no one in the sports world except those who’ve guest-starred on The Brady Bunch) is carrying the big tacky trophy down an aisle of other players, who touch and kiss it reverentially, like it’s the Torah scroll being borne down the aisle at Shabbos services. All that’s missing is the delicious kiddish meal afterwards. Also, I doubt that’s all Joe Namath’s original hair.

Now it’s 10:33, and the only thing I want to be alive for is the Alexa ad with Harrison Ford and the Boston Terrier.

Finally, here we are with the show. In the preview, I spy singing nuns and a bunch of bald Asian guys painted gold. The judges in their pods gleefully wave their nation’s flags like a gaudy United Nations committee meeting.

We start with act one, a taekwondo group Kukkiwon. They spin and leap and kick ferociously, breaking up a lot of boards and risking splinters in the process. Everyone screams with incredulity. But can they open jars that easily? The Americans are enthusiastic. The act must earn at least 75 points from both sets of judges to make it through. Using a cool touch screen with one of those sliding bars that never let you set the exact number you want to, Ru, Drew, and Faith can award up to 50 points each, while the pod people only have one point to give. The result: Two 48’s and a 50 from the Murika panel for an average of 48 points. The international judges’ numbers slowly build as the golden lights ignite, until they reach 99 points. What? I thought there were only 50 judges? I’m not the best at paying attention, so no golden light for me.

The TNT Boys are three little adorable Filipino boy singers who’ll need that million bucks when their voices change in a few years. I can already tell each voting segment will be tedious, as will Corden’s attempts to engage the acts humorously. Drew appears to be wearing a sequined muumuu, while RuPaul must have a portrait in his attic that’s wearing a boa and chandelier earrings. How do the three angelic kids do? First we must learn about triple oat complex for our dry skin. From the US of A: 49 total points, so the trio of cuties should be able to land enough from the rest of the world. I bet North Korea is not represented. The kiddies get much more than 75, so they move on in the competition.

Next is a sword swallower, The Space Cowboy, who shoves a thing with a microphone in it down his throat. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, warns the chyron quite reasonably, mostly because it sounds really gross. Next he swallows a sword attached to two huge kegs weighing a lot more than I could lift with my arms plus Mike Tyson’s. This seems less like a million-dollar act than a million-dollar hospital bill. Next he shows how he had magnets inserted surgically into his chest so he can swallow more swords than his previous world record–29 on this auspicious occasion. At least it’s a surefire way not to lose your keys. However, we have worldwide agreement that this is disgusting to watch. Scores, please. The red, white, and blue ones are low, just a 32 average. The rest of the civilized world brings it up to a mere 57, sending him home with his collection of sharp objects. I guess he can’t fly with just a carry-on.

Our next act comes from Mongolia, like the barbecue. He’s the Mongolian Cowboy Enkh-Erdene. Through his interpreter, he says that during his first time in the US, he wants to swim on the beach. Today I learned that Mongolia is landlocked. I hope they take him to one without syringes scattered all over the place. The Mongolian Cowboy sings a country song in perfectly twangy English, even better than Tim McGraw, but appearing like a ventriloquist’s doll. The judge from South Africa is gobsmacked by his country stylings. Scores: Grand Ol’ Flag, 48; Expensive Vacation Spots brings it to 97. This confirms that everyone, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity or religion, loves a song about Texas.

Now we have a visit from Japan, a violinist, Manami Ito. She lost an arm, but prevailed over her challenge and plies the bow beautifully with her prosthesis, especially in light of the fact that they’re raining flower petals on her as she plays. Everyone looks tearful and proud. She receives a standing ovation. Here come the scores: Amber Waves of Grain, only a 40 because they don’t know from violin music; but Other Developed Nations give her enough to continue in the competition.

We’re off to Great Britain next to meet an underwater escape artist, Matt Johnson. He wants to understand how his brother feels living with a disease that affects his breathing. Maybe donating to research for a cure would be more productive? He will be chained, shackled, and locked inside a water tank. The last lock, the one that opens the tank, is the tricky part. There are 20 keys, 19 of which don’t go with the lock, so these will all be dumped in the water, and the escape artist must identify the right one with whatever time he has left. Someone get this guy a therapist. The tank is so small, and his hands are outside it! Gevalt! He takes a deep breath and plunges in as an assistant locks the outside. Now all the world’s representatives look anxious and distressed, like in that montage in The Day the Earth Stood Still. The show closes before we learn if he finds the correct final key. Since there were no lawsuits, he must have done it.

See you this Wednesday at 8 PM for the next episode of this bilious claptrap.

About E.M. Rosenberg 216 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.