Thursday, July 13, 2006

America's Got (Very Little) Talent

The last thing I need in my life is another reality show. But I can't help it: the cheesy "America's Got Talent" is so unabashedly low-rent that I love it. The crazy appeal of "The Gong Show," audience members dressed up in costumes as on "Let's Make A Deal," David Hasselhoff, plus Regis speaking in the third person about himself? Wonderful.

Last night was a typical train wreck. I missed the first half hour but got to watch some nice 14 year old girl butcher "At Last" -- she mangled half the lines, you couldn't even hear her part of the time and then she did the mechanical Mariah Carey-like note warbling because she's a kid and doesn't know better. But NONE of the judges mentioned any of this. Only one suggested maybe it wasn't the right song and he was booed. Because she's 14. Then came a very flexible young Russian guy who juggled some balls. He should get a lot of dates but his act was really boring. Some guy did an utterly inexplicable routine with two dogs that was supposed to be funny and then explained away his flop by saying the act needs to be longer so the dogs can develop their characters more fully. (?) Hoopalicious did a really boring bit where she danced around twirling Hula Hoops while vaguely Middle Eastern music played. Brandy the judge waxed on at how it was an art and so beautiful and pure, you'd swear it was Picasso. I just liked how the girl said her dad was a musician and her mom was an activist, the way someone else might say her mom was a grocery store clerk. Is "activist" a job? A harpist came out and tried to rock the house by playing Dylan's "Knocking On Heaven's Door." And it all concluded with two brothers who have a heavy debt to Blues Traveller. The 12 year old wails away on the harp and the 20 year plays guitar and does some bad blues singing. When the one judge said the 12 year old would have to dump his older brother because the kid was a superstar and the older brother was mediocre, the kid burst into tears! Later, when Regis chided the judge for trying to break up a nice family, the kid blurted out, "He ain't breakin' up nuthin'!" Now THAT'S TV. But please don't bring it back in the fall.

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