Tampa Bay’s Not So Hot for America’s Got Talent

Big Barry posing with Howard Stern

America’s Got Talent has gotten a lot of coverage lately after the Tim Poe controversy, but I was just hoping to see some quality or at least memorable acts on Tuesday’s show. After all, it’s what the show should be known for.  Whether it’s showcasing the true idiots of the world or actually finding unique undiscovered talent, the show has failed to do either many times this season. Tuesday was another disappointment.

The second Tampa Bay Episode opened with a Latin dance crew called The Untouchables, which is made up of kids ranging from ages 8-13. It was obvious that the group would make it through, for the simple fact that they’re kids with high energy that can be endearing.  It’s also horribly boring. There is almost never a large dance act that isn’t reasonably coordinated and refined. It is not good for the viewer to know who goes through in advance. It would have been a little better if the performance was great, but it wasn’t. It was average. The show is at its best when it showcases the superior and the atrocious. This was neither.

The  montages, both successful and unsuccessful, also were not anything exciting. Granted, these are the acts deemed unworthy of a viewer’s full attention, but that shouldn’t lend itself to inadequacy and boredom. A singer with an okay voice, a dancing duo,  an illusionist get sent to Las Vegas. A singer with a slightly worse voice and some variety acts whose talents are unclear do not move to the next round. They’re all basically the same. The people voted through will probably not be seen again. The people who were rejected won’t get talked about again. It just seems like an elaborate time filler.

Another act featured was a squirrel that water skis.  Some animal novelty acts can be fun and entertaining. This one certainly wasn’t. As Sharon and Howard agreed, it is nowhere near big enough for a Vegas show. Howie disagreed only out of curiosity to see the act do better in Vegas. It honestly would have been more entertaining to watch the squirrel go too fast around the pool and fall multiple times. That would have been worth a proper and unequivocal rejection. Instead, the squirrel technically succeeded with the act. It just wasn’t good. This act was not good enough to be considered a worthy talent. It was not horrible enough to be considered a hopeless excuse for entertainment. If it does not fit either of those, it isn’t worthy of being aired at all.

A cycling act also got a full story.  These kinds of acts are usually exciting and fun to watch. A viewer doesn’t exactly know what to expect, but they are usually more on the side of fantastic rather than terrible. Unfortunately, this was just adequate. The problem with this act was that other cycling acts in past seasons have been far superior and much more dangerous. Technical skill isn’t enough anymore. It is a variety and a danger act that is supposed to be unique and different. It wasn’t. In fact, it was boring. The featured acts cannot be boring. Especially not the good ones. While the group did deserve to make it to Vegas, it will probably be cut in Hollywood.

The last act to be featured was Big Barry, a self described “70-year old teenager [who] love[s] to sing.”  Much of his interview focused on his 4’10” height and the irony of his nickname, which, based on his self-important presence, he probably came up with himself. I knew this act was going to be terrible. Big Barry only seemed to be enjoying his moments on national television and nothing else. I was so sure he knew that he was a bad singer. I was right. He was terrible.  The audition consisted more of him screaming than attempting to make an actual melody. Howie and Howard were somehow inexplicably entertained. After the song was over, Howie said he would just like to see Howard stand next to Barry. Howard got up on stage and simply asked “Do you want to go to Vegas?” Barry was promptly and unjustly sent to Vegas.

It is at this point that the show had become somewhat of a travesty. Howie was more entertained by Howard and Barry’s height difference. It may be idealistic, but the judgments made on AGT  need to be thought out more responsibly. This season’s other weakness may be a case of terrible luck. With only one audition stop left before Vegas Week and unexceptional talent found,  I’m skeptical that this season will be able to get back on track.

Posted on June 13, 2012, in NBC, Network Television, Primetime, Reality TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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