America's Got Talent is a revival of 70's variety shows, andcontinues in Simon Cowell's cruel tradition of highlighting brain-hurting auditions that become internet memes and proving the stupidity of it's audience as the best talent NEVER EVER wins.
In 2006, bouyed by the inexplicable success of American Idol, Simon Cowell created America's Got Talent for NBC, based on his childhood love of variety shows. Oh wait, sorry, my bad, the success of AI was inexplicable, I forgot, Americans are morons. This also explains how Will Farrel is still getting paid to make movies
The first year of AGT was judged by this charming trio.
The reasonably attractive middle-aged gentleman on the left is Irish-born British talkshow host Piers Morgan, referred to erroneously by many people as "Simon Cowell Light" because like Cowell, he is frequently insultingly blunt to auditioners and contestants, but not as God-I-Want-To-Fucking-Punch-You so. This is an erronious nickname because Morgan is far more honest and intelligentr than Cowell, and actually singles out contestants that actually suck. The only time he insults good talent is when they fuck up, and he honestly tells them so. The other judges every year are jealkous of his concise wit and infallible eye for talent, and will frequently vote though ridiculously shitty acts solely to piss Piers off.
The young lady in the middle of the first picture was R&B singer Brandy, famous for starring in the now defunct UPN's first horrible sitcom and for beating up slightly less talented rival singer Monica on the set of the video for their duet. She was fired after only one season for being completely useless, offering judging critique even less ninsightful than Paula Abdul.
I have no idea who the guy on the right in the top picture is, but he seems somehow familiar.
As merntioned above, the judges who are not Piewrs Morgan, no matter who they are from year to year, will frequently outvote him and pass on really talented acts letting people who have no business getting so much as 15 SECONDS of fame through to the first round. Every year has at least one or two criminally insane judging decisions.
The best video of Tallen Latz' 2009 audition I could find, (that was actuall decent video instead of some fucking idiot posting a video of his tv screen recorded on a celphone cam) has embedding disabled, so look him up on Youtube. Go ahead I'll wait.
That kid was sent home during the Vegas "thin the herd" round. 2009's winner? A chicken catcher doing a mildly passable Garth Brooks impression. The main reason this abomination of justice happened is because of the chronically drunk David Hasselhoff, and because of Brandy's replacement.
Yes that's right, An ignorant R7B bimbo was replaced by an aging shrill harpy famous for being the only person on earth who can translate Ozzy Osbourne.
Sharon and Hasselhoff are guilty of voting through some really REALLY horrible acts to piss Piers off. When it was announced that the Hoff was let go because of his out of control alcoholism issues, thewre was hope that this trend would be curbed in 2010. This was not to be, as they replaced the Hoff with perhaps the single most evil human being in existance.
Howie Mandel proved to be a natural foil for Piers, and showed a badass cruel streak we never knew he had. Youtube has failed me yet again here, (*shakes fist angrily at Google, is never heard from again*), so I unfortunately must now ACTUALLY DESCRIBE the horror.
I don't remember which week the audition was or which city, but the guy auditioning for this reveal of Howie's mean streak was auditioning his amazing penis talent. No, that wasn't one of the jokes in this topic entry, he was actually auditioning cock stunts. Thankfully NBC censored his dick, but what posessed them to nontheless put this audition on Prime Time network television is beyond me.
As so many contestants have this year, the guy asked the black Colin Mochrie, Nick Cannon, to assist him. Nick, being reluctantly willing to do anything for a laugh, (a trait which is in direct contradiction to both Biz Markie and Katt Williams being regular players on Wild'N'Out), assisted the guy by holding matches while the guy proceeded to put a lit match into his pisshole. Again I stress that was NOT one of the jokes here, this ACTUALLY HAPPENED ON NETWORK TELEVISION.
Piers and Sharon had both proven they were in fact sane human beings by buzzing him the minute he said "Penis stunts". Howie however, was curious and wanted to see just how bad a train wreck this would be. And when the idiot's pubes caught fire and Nick was loudly and audibly BEGGING Howie to just fucking buzz the bastard already so they could get him off stage, Howie, grinning like Hannibal Lector and staring at Nick with eyes completely devoid of any humanity, refused repeatedly to hit his buzzer until the smoke wafting up from the dumbass' balls was visible on camera.
Howie Mandel is the Antichrist. I am now absolutely sure of this.
Hopefully next year the trend of voting shitty acts through to piss Piers Morgan off will end, as he is leaving the show to take over Larry King's show on CNN.
So many things were retarded about the show's debut season. From casting a hot black chick under the bizarre misconception that having a gold record means she was talented enough to judge other people based on their actual merits and flaws rather than sound like a retarded back-up dancer for Prince, to letting David Hasselhoff "sing" on American television while failing to pay Norm McDonald to be there to make it bearable with a punchline.
Yes, they actually gave the Hoff ten minutes of airtime carved from my soul with a dull fork to sing one of his overseas "hit songs". And yes I remember this, because after three years of therapy as a rape survivor my brain has been sadly trained to no longer block out traumatic experiences, forcing me to face them head on. I'm consulting legal professionals to determine if having to remember Hasselhoff singing is grounds to sue my counsellor.
But by far the worst offense of AGT's first season was it's host. To host the first season of what would become the biggest modern variety talent competition in America, they hired a man devoid of any redeeming qualities. A man who is a black hole of personality. Aman that sane and intelligent people have been known to ram icepiks into their ears and pry their eyeballs out with spoons rather than be exposed to. A man who has somehow through the love of a moronic population continued to be regularly employed on tv for several decades.
The first season of AGT proved such an abysmall trainwreck that Regis fucking Philbin quit becausae he found the show to be beneath his dignity.
I'll give you a few minutes to absorb that.
*cleans her action figures*
*catalogues her DS9 season sets*
*rewatches the entire 5th series of New Doctor Who*
Oh good, you're back. Yeah I know, I lost three days to my brain trying to process the idea of anything being beneath Regis Philbin's dignity.
Anyway, since the first season was indeed such a trainwreck, they replaced the departing Philbin with perhaps the only human being on earth capable of navigating a trainwreck unscathed.
Springer navigated the insanity for two seasons before bowing out because of other obligations, though he remains connected to the show by hosting the new AGT tour in which the top finalists and the winner will tour the country performing at the expense of their digni.... oh wait, my bad, they auditioned for a Simon Cowell created contest, they never had any dignity.
After Springer left the tv show, hosting duties were given to the afore-mentioned Nick Cannon, who I believe may in fact be secretly suicidal being married to perpetual screech Mariah Carey, as Nick frequently allows contestants to use him as a guinea pig and has actually been at risk of serious injury. He was the target of a knife throwing act, nearly had a BMX crush his face, and almost had his feet cut off by a half blind fire twirler. The man has more balls than Christian Bale.
American Idol began in Britain as Pop Idol before debuting a decade ago on Fox. Next season's Idol Lite show X-Factor has been on in Britain for 5 years. America's Got Talent is Simnon Cowell's first original show in America. But as Cowell makes his millions by stick to formula, (create show, make show success by exploiting audience stupidity, copy show on another continent, lather, rinse, repeat), Britain got their own version the year after AGT debuted. This time Cowell himself took a judge's chair beside Piers. Cowell proved that he loves his homeland more than his new home country by having a female judge who is neither a vapid tart, (Brandy) nor a screeching middle-aged woman, (Sharon).
Amanda Holden. Famous in Britain for stuff I can't be assed to look up on Wikipedia. Her judging on BGT is fun, lighthearted, and intelligent. She's funny, can be every bit as insulting as Piers and Simon when someone sucks, and is honest to the contestants. She's also able to admit when she's wrong. Her comments following Susan Boyle's famous "who the fuck is this fat bitch and OMIGOD THAT VOICE AM I IN HEAVAN???" audition was unnervingly right on the money, chastising both the audience AND herself for being shallow cunts when Susan first walked out.
Ideally I'd like to see Amanda come Stateside and be Piers' replacement on AGT. As this would be intelligent, badass, and given the interactions she could have with Sharon and Howie, vastly more entertaining than past seasons, it will of course, never ever happen, as we all know both NBC and Simon Cowell have a terminal allergy to good ideas and original thinking. So dimes to dollars I'll bet you good money we get Spencer Pratt or someone like him.
Aside of a vastly superior judging panel and funnier hosts, the biggest difference between AGT and BGT is the prize. AGT contestants are competing for. AGT's grand prize is $1'000'000 and a headline show in Las Vegas Nevada. BGT's grand prize is 100'000 British Pounds, (about $210'000 USD) and a slot on the annual Royal Variety concert performing live in front of the motherfucking QUEEN OF ENGLAND. Debate rages as to which is better; more monewy but a job only bored tourists will ever see you doing, or less money and the chance to share the stage in front of the most prestigious audience ever and the world's greatest entertainers. (Miley Cyrus, Lady GaGa and Micheal Buble were among last years acts, and acts such as Rod Stewart, Will Smith, Meatloaf, Ozzy Osbourne, and Cirque Du Soliel are RV Alumni).
The "Got Talent" series, for all it's idiot trainwreckery, has a redeeming quality. It often introduces the world to some genuinely amazing talants. Granted, the most amazing talents of each year never ever actually WIN the damned things, but they get more than enough exposure to be snatched up by some company and given a contract somewhere. And some of them transcend the show itself and become worldwide phenomenons.
There is not a single country on this entire planet with at least one tv station that didn't do a story about Susan Boyle. A quiet unmarried spinster from a village in Scotland, Boyle got audible snarky laughter when she came out. The audiences and the judges barely hid their contempt and condescencsion. Audience members were shown on camera rolling their eyes at her wish to be like Broadway icon Elaine Page.
And then she sang.
And the whole goddamn world heard it. My mortal enemy Youtube has disabled embedding of any video of Susan's audition because of site lag and a secret desire to screw with my Cracked writing. So if you're one of the 3 or 4 human beings who haven't seen it, look it up.
I STILL get goosebumps and teary-eyed watching that clip. And for my wife and I watching Simon Muhfugging Cowel rest his hands on his chin and sigh like a little boy with a crush watching his favorite movie star NEVER gets old.
Susan didn't win BGT last year, but she did get a recording contract from Simon himself and is currently one of the entire world's best selling singers, with her first album, "I dreamed a Dream", in only six weeks of sales, it became the biggest selling album in the world for 2009, selling 9 million copies.
AGT produced two OMGWTF talents thisa year, both of whom who made it to the finals though, shock and awe, neither won.
The first is living proof that the Hindu faith is right, reincarnation exists.
This is John Quale, a store clerk from Los Angeles. But that's not how you know him. This is his stage persona, Prince Poppycock, a very over-the-top chaqracter designed inbtentionally to be flamboyant, comically gay, in your face without being grotesque, and to disarm you with his appearance so you never see his talent coming. I'm still unsure if that pun was intentional, I'm too busy having dirty thoughts about his lips.
Poppycock is a damned fine operatic singer and a born entertainer. Even raging homophobes were in awe of his innate showmanship. You can tell two things from his performances; He was BORN to entertain, and he's in it for the art, not the money. Despite being the bastard gay love child of Mozart and Freddy Mercury, he's a joy to watch because you can tell he loves what he's doing, and it's pretty rare these days to see an entertainer who's visibly having a blast doing what he's doing.
He made it to the top four, but despite his great voice, there was a better opera singer in the competition, and she joined the competition through the YouTube auditions when she wasn't trying to pass grade 4 math class.
This is Jackie Evancho. She's 10 years old. And she has a voice that shouldn't even be physically possible.
Jackie was the fan's vote choice for a spot on the YouTube round of the Quarterfinals, where she and 11 other acts that auditioned through YouTube that the judges chose competed to advance. Jackie's voice is so amazing that, despite it being repeatedly proven that it is in fact her singing, people on the interwebs are STILL creating elaborate conspiracy theories to explain why she's OBVIOUSLY lipsynching and why a middling talent competition would go to the effort of passing her fake singing off as a talented child singing her heart out. These people are of course, trolls and idiots with nothing better to do than argue about a 10 year old girl.
She of course did not win either. That honor went to Sheryl Crow's male clone, Micheal Grim.