America’s Got Talent: Not that Inspiring

This early in the season, there’s a lot of novelty in America’s Got Talent. I try to look at these acts with a critical eye and not simply take pleasure in America’s failure. During the show’s tenure, there has been a lack of success in finding a sustainable “star.” There could be many reasons for this, but AGT  is a talent show with absolutely no parameters. Perhaps, it’s got to come to terms with the fact that America hasn’t been that good. There’s still plenty of audition shows left, but the country has a lot to prove.

Monday’s episode was enjoyable, but not overly impressive. Some acts were good, but I sincerely doubt I saw one with a serious shot at winning the competition. Conversely, some acts were bad, but I don’t think the public will be talking about them or that their performances will spread around YouTube for the sake of hilarity. It was just an hour that did an adequate job of holding my attention.

This episode opened with a singing and dancing troupe called Inspired, which is also a non-profit organization with a focus on the inner-cities. They told the judges they have been referred to as “the urban Glee.”

As cynical as this sounds, it is at this point where the show gets less entertaining. I’m all for sentimentality, but one would expect that at least one act with a troubling or “inspiring” background would not make it to the next round because they just aren’t talented enough. I do not remember a single instance of that happening in any competition show, especially AGT. I suppose, on shows like AGT, everyone needs a good story, but I didn’t appreciate knowing that Inspired would go through before I saw them perform. They inevitably were voted through to Las Vegas. I would tolerate this better if they were a spectacular act, but their rendition of “Lean On Me” wasn’t anything exciting.

The next featured act was The Bikini Bombshells, a dancing act that consisted of hot women who performed in their bathing suits. They had no talent whatsoever. Although  Howie said with tongue-firmly-in-cheek that he loved it, he admitted they were atrocious. After the Bikini Bombshells left, Howie asked Howard in amazement how someone could take the sex appeal out of their look. Howie didn’t know, but he was certain that they did.

Now it’s time for the slow-motion “No” montage! This is a part of the audition show that I imagine offends some of the horrible contestants. In a lot of cases, the name of the act is not mentioned. When thinking about the organization of the show, I realize that this means these acts are bad, but not in an entertaining enough way to be worthy of  the viewers’ attentions. I like to imagine that, in the living rooms of various American homes, people gather their loved ones to watch their utter failures with them expectantly. However, they only get to say, “What about me? I was terrible! Why didn’t I get a whole story?”

Nonetheless, they can’t fit every act that auditioned into the show. I think they picked the right ones to be put into the montage. These were bad, but not quite horrible. It included an act who called himself “the real Scissorhands” as well as an act who members were dressed in spandex with what appear to be a small head in between one of their member’s legs. I’m not really sure what they did. Overall, the producers made the right judgment in deciding what was most worthy of attention.

Another act to get a full story was an all-male clogging group called All That. The judges and crowd loved them. While they were technically skilled dancers, I was not impressed by their choreography. However, Sharon was right to say it was a nice surprise that tattooed, muscular men were also good dancers. I do not think they will make it through to Hollywood, but if they do, they have a lot to prove in Vegas.

This began the “Yes” montage, which can be just as offensive as the “No” montage. These are the acts that, while good, are judged to  still not be able to hold the viewers’ attentions. They also do not usually make it far in Vegas, which makes me question why they even got voted through in the first place since they have so little screen time. Again, the producers made the right call in deciding what to put into the montage as these acts are usually still unimpressive. One act in the montage was a group of shirtless male  interpretive dancers, who I sincerely hope don’t have a shot at winning.

An escape artist named Michael Griffin was also featured. After a lackluster rope-tying job by Howard, he was promptly rejected, despite technically succeeding in his escape. Regardless of his poor set-up, someone who escapes from ropes would never sustain a Vegas show. I am glad he did not make it through. He might have fit better in the montages because I did not find him remotely interesting.

The last act to be featured was a singer named Ulysses. He was entertaining. However,  I was very surprised he made it to Vegas. He sang a version of “Love Boat” that was reminiscent of any guy at a karaoke bar having fun and laughing at himself. The only sensible judge was Howard. He said correctly that Ulysses’s act was not worthy of $1 Million. Since Howie and Sharon were entertained, he was voted through anyway. Of course, he has no shot at winning the competition, but that does not seem to matter this early into it.

As a whole, this episode was somewhat fun, but not nearly captivating enough to completely hold your interest. I sincerely hope that the judges have not found the best talent in Tampa. I also hope there is much better to come because I would be hard-pressed to find anyone who I think will make it to the finals. Let’s see if tonight’s auditionees have more talent.

Posted on May 29, 2012, in NBC, Network Television, Primetime, Reality TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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