What makes America’s Got Talent different than the other talent-seeking reality shows is that the talent is determined by the holder, and can literally be any ability, in any area, for the judges approval. There are no are limits on either end of the scale, and the judges nor the audience ever know what is coming next. Last night’s premiere began with some fun with new judge Howie Mandel, who joked with security about not using passwords as he entered the Los Angeles auditions, saying he wanted to see things he had never seen before, and the initial contenders certainly delivered.
The show opened with youngster dance duo Future Funk, who were so cute to look at as they packed more power into their performance than anyone could imagine from their half-pint statures! With personality plus, they were unanimous votes through to Las Vegas.
Swing Shift Sideshow did a freakish turn on vaudeville with their act, using stapling guns to the chest, giant corkscrew wrenching through the nose, and chomping broken glass. I was in full sync with host Nick Cannon in being repulsed, as was judge Piers Morgan, but Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne had to see more, so the troupe got through to Vegas!
Other notables of the night were dancing contortionists The Ring Masters, an amazing French street performer, martial artists Kung Fu Heroes, described by Ms. Osbourne as “the best ever” for the show in that genre, and a fun, punky-pop group, Dead Off Center, who I know we’ll be seeing more of later. Hannibal Means did an interesting version of Leonard Cohen’s ” Hallelujah” to his own strange keyboard accompaniment, but there’s no doubt he has the voice, but what about an act? A 72-year-old dancer was amazingly gifted, too, but the judges didn’t see a show being built around him, so he at least got to wow a crowd on the big stage!
My heart and my picks were the closers, the New Directions Choir, comprised of formerly homeless veterans from all armed services, who made their ten voices sound as great as a hundred, and whose stories stirred every person watching, reflecting every gender and ethnicity with their message of “No matter where you come from, you can change” as put by their spokesman.
30-year-old Michael from rural Mississippi finished off the night with an already-for-record voice and a story of a better life for his grandparents, who raised him and just survived hurricane Katrina. My prediction is that he will go on and go deep in the competition.
Tonight we’ll see if Dallas has game in this year’s talent arena.
Source: America’s Got Talent broadcast, 1 June 2010.