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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

America's Got Talent Launches Season 6 | AGT Season Guide

America's Got Talent Launches Season 6.
For months, hopefuls have auditioned for their chance at stardom. In cities across America, the good, bad and ugly have tired to impress the judges and get their shot at headlining in Las Vegas and winning $1 Million. Now, the judging begins as America's Got Talent Launches Season 6. If you've watched the show then you know the program, but you may not understand why some progress and others are set aside. Here is a recap of the first episode and an AGT Season Guide.


If you're new to America's Got Talent, you're in for a treat. In my opinion, it is the best talent competition on television. American Idol has built a huge following over the years, but all you will see are singers. And, in my opinion, there are few that really impress me, even some of the winners.

AGT is a combination of a singing competition, a dance competition, a magic competition and a freak show. Everyone has a chance, if they deliver.

AGT host, Nick Cannon
Nick Cannon, who is married to music superstar Mariah Carey. is the charming, jocular host of the show. He keeps the talent moving, gets involved in some of their acts and provides comical backstage comments.

Judging the talent are Howie Mandel, Sharon Osborne, and Piers Morgan. They are a perfect blend of critical eyes and diverse personalities. Mandel lets his comedic personality and germ phobias run wild, Osborne provides the voice of reason and Morgan is his usual pissy British self. However, even though Piers Morgan does have a harsh attitude, he really understands what it takes to be a winner on America's Got Talent.

Through the course of the season, you'll see every act imaginable. There are no limits to what Americans deem as talent and are willing to throw out on a national stage. Half the fun is seeing the amazing nutcases that really believe they are special - even after their performance is met with bellowing Boo's and three X's from the judges. They just don't get it - keep your day job.

What's at stake? A headlining show in Las Vegas and $1 Million. Consider the money a bonus, the key words for who moves forward and who gets rejected is "Headlining Act In Las Vegas."

What is a Vegas headliner? Having lived in Las Vegas and performed in Las Vegas comedy clubs, a headliner is someone that can entertain a crowd for 45 minutes to an hour. Keep that time frame in mind.

America's Got Talent judges Pier Morgan, Sharon Osborne and Howie Mandel
Even though you might think that an act is fantastic or unique, they won't progress unless you can answer the question, "Would people pay money to see this person for up to an hour?" Many of the really cute animal acts of offbeat musical acts would fill the appetite of a crowd for maybe 5 or 10 minutes, but not for 45. Knowing this will keep you from being disappointed when one of your favorites gets voted off the show.

Singers and magicians have the edge. If you can sing a great song, you can sing 20 songs well. Magic acts that have a full repertoire can easily entertain a crowd in Vegas for an hour or more. Some of the biggest long running shows in Las Vegas are magicians like Lance Burton, David Copperfield and Mac King. 


Episode one featured auditions from Los Angeles and Atlanta. There were some real hits and some hilarious misses. Between the two auditions, a few acts look like they have promise. Those that make the grade move on to the next step, which is a round of performances in Las Vegas.

A singer named Dave played piano and did a moving rendition of Sarah McLacklan's Angel. Expect to see more of him as time goes on.

There were two magic acts that moved on to the Vegas round. One was a young guy that dreams of being a magician, and is looking for a break. His magic was terrific. His attire was that of a mall rat or frat boy. If he's going to make it to headlining in Vegas, he'll need to get his wardrobe notched up. Another magician had some incredible tricks and he already had the stage presence and the attire to move right onto a Vegas stage.

Other acts that earned a trip to the next round in Las Vegas were a 12-year old fire dancer. How long can you watch a kid twirling a flaming baton? You get the idea. A woman had an amazing talking parrot. She says she has other birds that are psychic and can do other tricks. She's a long shot, but she's headed to Sin City for now. A trio of tiny rappers, aged 5, 6 and 7 were adorable. But 90 seconds of them was enough for me. Many of the other acts moving on to the next round failed my criteria of, "Could I watch them for 45 minutes?" But for now, they're filled with enthusiasm and adrenaline and packing sunscreen for the desert.

Two acts that stole the show were the Miami All-Stars, a Latin dance troupe run by a husband and wife team. It features teens that attend their dance school in Miami. Their choreography was hot, sexy and impeccable. Piers Morgan said that they were the best audition he's ever seen on the show.

Closing out the two hour launch was a group called Illumination. They brought back memories of last years favorite that made it to the finals, Defying Gravity, but they are much more than the powerful visual effects provided by Defying Gravity.

Illumination is a dance troupe clothed in black outfits that are wired with fiber optic lighting. They are choreographed and programed by a dancer/software engineer. She's put together a completely unique show that has much room to grow and a lot to offer. They performed to a blackened theater and gave the audience a visual sensation never before seen on AGT. Piers piped up again and said that their audition was the most creative he'd ever seen. When you make the crabby Brit happy, you know you've got something. What they have going for them is that they could probably advance through the competition as just a dance troupe, they're that good. Or they could advance through the competition as a highly entertaining technology act. Put those two elements together and you have a force to be reckoned with.

You can't have a talent competition without fools, and there were several that took their delusions to the stage. A goofy karaoke singer from LA, replete with lousy backup singers, showcased his ability to grate your nerves. XXX. A man from Denver auditioned in Atlanta and he claimed he could sing and dance - a false belief. The highlight of his performance was when he attempted a somersault and flipped off the stage, nearly killing himself. XXX. A group of about a dozen high school or college age "singers" lasted 15 seconds before they got the XXX. One of the performers started arguing with Sharon Osborne, "You have no idea how hard we've worked on this." Well, you sucked. XXX for your comments.

Two acts stood out as the absolute worst of the night. A young girl who also laid claim to having singing talent merely screamed in a deep voice. The judges let her go the whole 90 seconds and then awarded her the three X's. Insanity or dementia was at the root of the worst act of the night, six old guys in diapers, wearing bonnets and carrying lollipops. They shuffled out of sync to recorded music. I'm still debating if I should gouge my eyes out after seeing that act.

Next week, America's Got Talent will resume their parade of winners and losers on two nights, Tuesday and Wednesday. It should prove to be four hours of a combo talent and freak show.

So, the summer is here and America's Got Talent launches Season 6. And you have a better understanding as a viewer as to what to look for with my AGT Season Guide.

Related links:
AGT YouTube voting concluded July 9th.
AGT Website
AGT on Twitter
Piers Morgan on Twitter
Howie Mandel on Twitter
Sharon Osbourne on Twitter

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America's Got Talent Season 6 - Hollywood #1 -Tuesday, July 12, 2011
America's Got Talent Season 6 - Las Vegas - Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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America's Got Talent Launches Season 6 | AGT Season Guide
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