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Terry Fator, of season two, is the male contestant to win the competition. Not only that, he is the first non-singing act to win. Olate Dogs, Kenichi Ebina, and Mat Franco were the next three non-singing acts to win through seasons seven to nine. See more »
Based on the fact that "American Idol" judge (and media mogul) Simon Cowell was behind this show, I watched its premiere episode. I was absolutely flabbergasted by the unprofessional behaviour of one of its judges, Piers Morgan. He kept pressing other judges' elimination buzzers for them, and was so quick to judge that he instantly misjudged a ventriloquist and had to change his vote to avoid looking foolish; the ventriloquist turned out to be terrific. On "American Idol", you may agree or disagree with the judges, but it's clear that they bring their own professional standards with them to the judging process, and apply them consistently. On "America's Got Talent", David Hasselhoff clearly withholds his vote (he's third in the rotation) for a time when an act is bombing,, so as to prolong whatever unintentional comedy is going on. Piers Morgan has Simon Cowell's flamboyantly sharp tongue without having established any credibility with audiences (I mean, who IS this guy, anyway?), and his reaching for other judges' buzzers is the most shameless exhibition of ego I've ever witnessed on entertainment television. Oddly enough, it's Brandy who reveals the chops, the consistency, and the empathy to make a good judge, though she's the youngest of the three. Regis Philbin emcees, and why NBC is paying that kind of money for a job that a lot of lesser lights could do just as well is beyond me; Philbin's presence adds nothing to the show's entertainment value.
The talent is fine- at least the good acts are- and the idea is fine. But the execution is awful, with Piers Morgan's antics so off-putting I'm not sure if I'll watch again. If NBC wants this show to last, I suggest they get Morgan under control, and impose time standards during auditions, requiring judges to give every contestant some guaranteed minimum of time, to avoid another misfire such as the one that occurred with the ventriloquist. The main thing is to get the judges looking more impartial and professional; once the voting and elimination processes begin, the home audience is not going to take kindly to things that appear to skew a contestant's chances.
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