By Ken Tucker
Updated May 11, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

Oprah Winfrey began her show today by saying, “I love it when somebody’s dream gets to come true,” thus imposing her trademark positive-thinking message onto a sometimes-impressive, sometimes-ridiculous variety hour. The theme was “The World’s Got Talent,” and its draws were “the number-one talent scout in the world” (that would be Simon Cowell, sitting next to Oprah and grinning like a Cheshire cat) and a satellite interview with Susan Boyle.

The Boyle interview was no headline-maker. Yes, Oprah asked whether she’d had a makeover; Boyle said she’d just “tidied myself up like any female would do.” She didn’t sing for Winfrey. The whole chat lasted about three minutes.

The rest of the hour offered acts from all over the world, including Escala, a string quartet consisting of Brit babes in short skirts and heels. Cowell thinks they have “it” (they’re his clients). Judge for yourself:

Oprah presented performances by Jane Zhang, a Chinese singer known as “the dolphin princess” for the high notes she hits (ouch). There was also a Germany-based act competing in the current Eurovision Song Contest called Alex Swings Oscar Sings. Oscar is a transplanted American with a lounge-singer ooze; Alex arranges the songs. “Miss Kiss Kiss Bang” is the name of their hit, complete with nonsense lyrics like, “Do the heedee hi ho” copped straight from Cab Calloway (ask your grandparents, kids):

Oh, yeah: Simon predicted Adam Lambert will win American Idol because “he’s got that ‘it’… he’s got swagger.” Well, duh.

Did you watch? Are you suddenly yearning to buy an Escala album, or to download “Miss Kiss Kiss Bang”?