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'America's Got Talent' recap: Exploring the final frontier!

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After six weeks of auditions, America’s Got Talent journeyed to what host Jerry Springer called “the final frontier” — in other words, the Internet (where apparently no man has gone before?). Yes indeed, it was MySpace week on AGT (complete with the MySpace logo on stage, naturally). And believe it or not, there were fewer truly talented acts than usual. The opening 20 minutes devolved into a blur of chicken mimics, bad dancers, and even worse magicians. Maybe it was the influence of the Web, but the whole affair smacked of a bad YouTube video, and it probably says something that the evening’s first memorable performer was an impersonator whose aging Ozzy Osbourne routine was so spot on, he even managed to win over Sharon.

Seriously, though, I can’t be the only one who’s experiencing full-blown audition fatigue, am I? Maybe it’s because AGT refuses to stray from its threadbareformula — show some talent early, then show some deluded prospects,then close with one super-inspiring act who gets a ticket to Vegas. (Even The Cadence, adrumline of cute college boys in snazzy ties, couldn’t get meinterested.) And frankly, last night’s closing contestant, Daniel Jens, was just a moderately talented man with a guitar.Who happened to have just returned from a15-month tour in Iraq. (See clip below.) For my money, AGT should’ve closed the show with The Tapping Dads (over-the-hill men,tuxedos, tap dancing) instead of another example of backstory-triumphing-over-talent.

Oh, and how’s this for a sobering thought: Next week, NBC is airing two episodes (or three anda half hours) of Talent (to avoid running into theOlympics). Don’t you kind of wish they’d cut back on the auditions and skipped to the meat of the competition? Do you think we’ll get as many gratuitous reaction shots once we get to Vegas? And perhaps someone has pointed this out before, but isn’t it funny that two thirds of the judging panel are British on a show called America’s Got Talent?

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