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America's Got Talent is NBC's new baby for summer '06.. Created by Simon Cowell of American Idol fame, AGT is a talent search show which is similar in format to American Idol and the Gong Show.
I don't normally ever watch network TV, and i'm not really big on reality shows at all, but i have been watching this because i thought it would be somewhat interesting.. turns out to be a poorly executed show that'll probably never recover from it's first season without some major changes (although it has already been renewed for a second season in '07).
Basically it's a talent show where people from all across the u.s. audition with a unique talent.. everything from 9 year old singers to electric violinists, magic acts to rock bands, comedians to jugglers and ventriloquists, they're all here. a panel of 3 judges (david hasselhoff, brandy, and piers morgan) vote on the acts as they perform, and a negative vote from all the judges eliminates the contestant. this was changed after the first few episodes into an "approve or disapprove" system where the judges vote afterwards on a winner, and a majority vote from the American public decides a second winner for the round.
first of all, the judges suck. i know they are set up like "token" judges from Idol, the nice one, the straightforward one, and the in-between one, but regardless of who they are, and not to belittle their specialty (acting, music etc) they don't seem unbiased when judging competitors.. it seems 3 real, normal people could do a better job. they are constantly voting for each other and pressing each other's buttons (literally), arguing over stupid things, and essentially mucking up the entire show. hasselhoff dosen't know if he's coming or going, and will approve just about anyone, brandy usually does a halfway decent job, and piers, while being the "token" sharp tongued, tell it like it is brit, is totally unappreciated in his time.. he might be a little abrasive, but that's his character, and he seems to be the only one that makes sense. the audience dosen't help either, every time someone comes on stage only to be told that they suck, they cry, and then get pushed into the finals anyway, so whats the point? the producers obviously included acts that are extremely un-talented, for shock value and ratings, and while some of them may very well be genuinely talented, there are acts that are better than them, and they can't seem to take someone telling them how it is.. if thats the case they should have stayed at home.
also, people who get voted out are often brought back, and sometimes displace people who really are talented. i'm sure no one wants to see a little girl cry because she came in front of America and got told that she sucked, but does that mean she automatically gets pushed into the finals? and with so many different types of acts, the judges act somewhat obligated to mix up the finals but not including too many of one type of act.. and that's pretty biased. how exactly is this show supposed to work? maybe categories would help.
the acts themselves are almost worth watching the show. there are some people on there who could legitimately become stars, and some who are neat to watch.. but some (that got passed into the later stages of the show) are just horrendous.. rappin granny? n'versity? how did these people even get on the show in the first place? the other thing is that a lot of the people who have been in the finals are actually professionals in the field of their "talent".. believe it or not, rappin' granny has appeared in several movies, and most of the acts do their "talent" for a living. i thought this was going to be normal, everyday people who got a shot at stardom, but apparently not so. also, a few of the bigger acts coordinate their performances with the producers, using props and gags that they otherwise wouldn't have access to, and that somewhat helps them "outshine" the other performers.
bottom line, the show isn't what it wants to be.. and it's its own fault. maybe some format changes will help, but hell, i can get up onstage and cry.. maybe it will win me a million dollars. if these people can't run with the big dogs, they need to accept it and move on.. and the judges and producers need to take an UNBIASED approach, instead of one thats tailor-made for primetime ratings, yet still dosen't deliver.
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