With each new episode of America’s Got Talent, our vision of this season’s planning meetings becomes clearer and clearer.
Executive: “We want America’s Got Talent to really…capture the youth movement. You know? What are kids into these days?”
His Assistant: “Sir, I’m 46 years old and have no children.”
Executive: “But you’re young-ish. You’ve got all your original hair. What’s the last album you bought?”
Assistant: “I don’t know. Adele? I don’t really buy music, I just –“
Executive: “Who’s that? What does she sound like?”
Assistant: “Umm…I guess she’s got kind of a Mariah Carey-ish vibe. Sort of.”
Executive: “Charles, get Mariah Carey on the show.”
Assistant: “But she hasn’t done much these past few –“
Executive: “DAMMIT, I said GET MARIAH CAREY.”
Assistant: (returns after speaking with Mariah’s people) “Sir, they say Mariah won’t perform…unless you give her husband a job.”
Executive: “Tommy Mottola will not be working for NBC. I hate that man.”
Assistant: “No, no. Nick Cannon.”
Executive: “Dyan Cannon?”
Assistant: “NICK Cannon. From…well, Nickelodeon.”
Executive: “Whatever. Let him host. Springer is gone, we need a replacement.”
Assistant: “Very good.”
Executive: “So that’s settled. NOW, how do we tackle this whole Internet fad? Get these bloggerers and orcs and so forth to latch on to the show?”
Assistant: “Facebook, maybe? That’s very popular. I also read a Time magazine article about this ‘Twitter’ service. Could be big for us.”
Executive: “You’re speaking Jupiterian again, Charles. Does this have anything to do with MySpace?”
Assistant: “I mean, sort of. MySpace is still around, though admittedly not as popular as it once was, and the number of pedophi –“
Executive: “So they’re cheaper.”
Assistant: “Well, ye –“
Executive: “Done. Now, what do you think about an all-children Biggest Loser?”
I’d bet dollars to donuts that I’m at least 80 percent on-target. Oh, and people performed this week, too, including Ishaara, embedded below. A look at some of the more dynamic acts after the jump!
Ishaara: If we’re following the model (sometimes) proposed by the judges — that the winning performer(s) should be able to sustain a one-hour Vegas show — then Ishaara, a Bollywood dance group, was a model act. Immediately energetic and fun, they played up the recent success of Slumdog Millionaire (and its song “Jai Ho,” which I never need to hear again) and worked the judges into a Danny Boyle-ish frenzy. And not undeservedly so — though I’ve seen better performances from similar groups in college competitions, Ishaara’s stage presence and poise was second to none. Couple raw talent with an act that’s more NOW than anything we’ve seen thus far, and I think they’ve got a shot to do very well in this competition. (Points off for mimicking Gerard Butler in their “This. Is. ISHAARA!” post-performance huddle.)
Charles Dorsey, Jr.: Everything about this kid was nice. His smile. His manners. His mom. Just…nice. Sitting at the piano, he belted out a rendition of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” that inspired Piers to deliver one of his typically bipolar critiques. “I think we may have found a star in you,” he said. A nice young man with a proficient singing voice? Sure. But “star”…that’s pretty loaded. With each new week that fails to uncover a Susan Boyle in the ranks, you can hear the growing desperation in the judges’ words. They (or at least our executive friend above) want SO BADLY for that moment to happen that they promote these average performers to hyperbolic proportions, convincing themselves — and hoping they convince us — that they’ve FOUND IT. Not yet, guys. Maybe tomorrow? (Not tomorrow.)
Heavy VV: Just when I thought I had this show completely figured out, AGT throws a CURVEBALL and finishes the night not with an inspiring, waterworks-inducing final performance…but with a husky young lady shimmying and shaking in place. We were fully prepped, too: Obstacles? Check. Perseverance? Check. Weird outfit? Check. A perfect set-up…undone by three quick “x”s. (And not helped by Nick Cannon freak-dancing with her after this rejection.) Maybe this was the slap in the face the “Me” generation needs? Don’t something like 20 million people watch this show?
So that’s Week 5, Episode 1. What did you think, guys? Do you have any suggestions for future AGT partnerships? (Tony Hawk, Teletubbies…) What are you looking forward to in the upcoming Vegas rounds? Write away!