It’s another week, and that means more America’s Got Talent open auditions. Ratings have revealed that good old AGT is currently the #1 show in America, so I can construct these fun facts: 1.) I have only recapped America’s Got Talent for TVgasm, 2.) America’s Got Talent is watched by the most people in the country, THEREFORE 3.)Every show that I recap becomes the #1. NBC, you can mail my check to the TVgasm offices, and better luck and higher bidding to ABC, CBS, and FOX next time. Well, enough logical fallacies, on to the show!There’s a little video package that highlights everything that we’re about to see (I’m sitting here watching the damn show, NBC, you don’t need to lure me anymore), and then the main credits. When we come back, we find out the auditions are in Los Angeles, and apart from the exciting prospect of getting the hell away from New York and Chicago, I’m also really excited that we’re in my home turf. SoCal represent!
Nick walks the red carpet to the excited cheers of all his fans.
There’s the footage we get every week of excited people ready to audition, and then Hasselhoff plays fast and loose with his definition of talent by saying he’s sure they’ll find some in LA since that’s where they live. Some guy in a pirate hat brags about him going on to win the million, and I’m pretty sure if a camera guy asks you to get cocky in the auditioners’ Waiting Room it’s like the Kiss of Death on this show.
Little pitchy, dawg. (Is that really still his only catchphrase after 8 seasons?)
Judges are ready, Nick is ready, time for some auditions. We can already tell we’re in LA because it appears that Randy Jackson has dressed in drag and snuck over from the Idol set to be our first act. Jackson, calling himself ‘Nasty Nate,’ says that he plans to sing as Nick Cannon ridicules his hairstyle. Nate says that he bought his hair and so it’s his (seriously? It’s Randy Jackson in a wig. Very funny, FOX! You audition shows and your wacky pranks.) and proceeds to read from the producers’ stock script “Arrogant Asshole (Before Humiliation).” He says he’s got talent, charisma, etc., and he finishes off the whole thing with a finger snap. When was the last time ANYONE that finger snapped had ANY talent? So after a stage entrance that can only be described as sassy and a judge reaction that can only be described as skeptical (Sharon) and enthused (David), Nasty Nate attributes his nickname to his mean behavior but also tells the judges to “use their imagination.” Oh, so his talent is making me want TO KILL MYSELF.
An unfortunate photo/recap juxtaposition.
So back on America’s Got A Q&A With This Guy, Nasty Nate tells us how he still lives with his mom and dreams of singing, instantly becoming the poster child for ‘too little, too late.’ He finally starts to sing and the crowds on his side for about two seconds, when it becomes clear that this really IS Randy Jackson singing. Nick accidently reads from the “Audition is Going Well” teleprompter and excitedly notes that Nate is feeling it, and it’s an X from Piers and David. Is it just me, or is Sharon ALWAYS the hold-out? After the song Nate picks up “Arrogant Asshole (After Humiliation)” and assures the audience that they loved his performance, then tells Hoof he’s the worst. Oh snap! Further, Nate demands that they vote him to Vegas, but Piers Britishly informs him he’s going to “the local cab ring” to go home. Doesn’t the idea of a “local cab ring” contrast really quaintly with what we actually have in LA? So Nate is going back to his mother’s, and this means we’re ready for the night’s first Montage of Failure!
It’s a cat-astrophe! (rimshot)
Zahid the “one-man instrument” is Xed out, as is some mime who worked with paper. The paper guy looked intriguing, but we were busy with our ‘The Life and Times of Nasty Nate’ earlier and so no substantial time is spent on these particular losers. “The World’s Fastest Poet” wants to read a poem he wrote to the judges, and it turns out that not even reading quickly can help bad poetry. The guy looks like he’s having a fit and is quickly dismissed. The judges are ready for a break (because this line of work is so daunting) and Sharon says something catty in a back alley that trashes the talent of Hollywood. Are the judges right? Is Los Angeles out of talent? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?
This is how we repackage “The Gong Show” so that no one notices.
After a break, Nick reminds us that we still have roughly one gazillion auditioners and LA still probably has talent. America breathes a sigh of relief. That sure was a harrowing three minutes, eh? We almost had to resign to the horrors of foreign films. So David Hasselhoff dons his Baywatch gear and reminds us that LA is his town, and how great would it be if he tried to audition on this show? He makes a surprisingly accurate LA metaphor about “saving people’s lives, saving people’s careers” and we’re off again to find more Hollywood talent.
The real show is the auditioners voting each other out one at a time as they struggle to be the last act of the evening.
It’s time for a couple who ominously didn’t get a video package, Andrea and Sheldon from San Francisco. They’re going to do some “footwork fitness” for us, which is really only a talent if they get me to stop recapping TV shows and try it once in awhile. The act is…underwhelming. Some jumping up and down on a step gets them three Xs, and take it from me that LA-San Francisco drive is a bitch to make so I feel for these people. Sheldon says there’s more but the judges cut him short, so that’s it, and I would love for this to turn into the judges begging to see the rest and Sheldon just leaving to teach them a lesson. The judges vote no and Sheldon and Andrea are off to spend some quality time on the 5.
Next up is this weird-ass guy who says he plans to fly his kite for the judges, and I suddenly feel like he’s probably a character in a John Steinbeck novel who has traveled all this way and shot his best friend (yes, I did just combine the only two Steinbeck novels I’ve read) and all he has is his kite and it’s a stunning metaphor for civil unrest and he’s going to fly the kite for his own pleasure and even though everyone will boo it won’t matter because it will be beautiful, damnit. The flight is as disastrous as it sounds, and the guy tells us he didn’t properly prepare his kite. I swear to God this a metaphor for something. Did anyone else feel like the kite guy was significant, or am I tripping out alone here?
A vaguely homoerotic dance crew is Xed out (which Hasselhoff agedly says resembled “a bad game of Twister. You just don’t get our generation’s method of expression, old man!) and a burlesque duo has time-traveled in from the 1930s to also get the boot. Sharon and David say no, and Piers says they’re two of the most singularly irritating people ever and he doesn’t care for the people on the stage either. ZING! K-Dizzle is up next and he rips his shirt off to the audience’s delight and then begins to rap to the audience’s disgust. David Hasselhoff gets a little rap diss in on him (which I’m sure is terrific for anyone’s steet cred), and he’s another loser.
Frumpy-talented, or just frumpy?
The day’s final contestant is nurse Terri. She wants to sing for the judges, and to put it nicely she more than fufills the frumpy older woman demographic that America’s Got Talent is now required to meet under the Boyle Act. Piers tells Terri she can’t be any worse than what they’ve been seeing all day, then asks for something interesting about her. What is this Piers, a first date? It’s so random what they ask to whom. BUT WAIT! Turns out our Terri is seventh cousin to Celine Dion herself! Further, she plans on singing a little Dion, and I can’t help but feeling like no matter which way this goes the next family reunion is going to be awkward. Terri starts to sing, and I have to admit that the producers really did pull a fast one on me here because she’s awful. Usually your talented recapper can call these things before they even converse with Cannon, but I definitely had Terri pegged as good. Sharon makes a big show of fake suicide because they’ve had no talent this entire episode, and both she and Piers get up and start to walk away. And talented or not, this seems a bit rude to do to someone performing. Hasselhoff pushes all of the Xs, and Terri is finished. She walks away extremely dejected and I’m already dialing several suicide watch numbers because I think Terri was really emotionally invested in this. Nick Cannon awkwardly attempts to comfort her. The day is ruled a disaster, a date that will forever live in infamy in an otherwise-proud America’s Got Talent history. “Remember Celine Dion’s cousin in Los Angeles?” we’ll be asking each other in fifty years. “Times were tougher then.”
Sharon has NO respect for people only famous because of their family.
After the break, the judges have somehow found the strength to sit at a table for another day and bitch a little bit more about the lack of talent, which is growing more and more hypocritical. Some fool alerted the lowly auditioners that the judges are in a bad mood, and so now we get a few shots of them huddling together and burning offerings to Sharon. Bri from Vegas is up next, and luckily she brought some backstory about a stutter when she was younger, music helps her deal, yadda yadda, yadda. Bri is also apparently really smart (or so conveniently posed photos would have you believe) and she and her mom are extremely nervous about what Sharon the rocker is going to say. She finally takes the stage, and quickly any favor she had with me by announcing that she plans on performing a Jonas Brothers’ song. Bri starts to play and she has an absolutely AMAZING voice, with a pretty decent keyboard to match. I’m a little bummed that our LA talent had to come from Vegas, but I’ll take her anyway. Sharon says she loves her (which we viewers know was the important comment for Bri), Piers and David like her talent, and all three agree they’re happy she’s there.
Seriously, who takes pictures like this?
David shifts up his catchphrase a little by reminding us the show is about America’s Got Talent (I think that’s the actual name of the show, but I’m not gonna argue with the Hoff when he’s catchphrasin’) and he thinks she’s definitely talented. The judges vote her through, and Bri is off to celebrate with Ma. It’s kind of anticlimatic that she lives in Las Vegas. Her Round 2 should be in New York or something. Lord knows this show likes to skip around geographically.
This is definitely LA.
Up next, the Junior Flight Attendents are in town and ready to audition. It’s a little boy named T.J. (and don’t get me started on the gender issues that he’s going to have) and a bunch of little girls. The kids are dancers, and one of the little girls hams it up by saying that being on the show is the “most best thing” that ever happened to her. Damnit, why is incorrect grammar so cute in children under ten? So the children, whom I now must legally refer to as “adorable” take the stage and give their names to Piers, but which I mean T.J. gives his name and the rest of the girls stay anonymous. The kids dance and energetic but pretty uncoordinated dance, but because they are adorable the crowd loves them. David says they are an inspiration and then asks if they want to go to Vegas in creepiest way possible, and after Sharon and Piers agree they’re moving onward.
It takes a lot of talent to coordinate outfits this well.
And the happy music isn’t ending! Could this mean? A victory montage! Miss Germany the bartender is ready to do a bunch of stuff with fire, and it seems really unfair that she could have the name she does without winning it in some sort of swimsuit competition. Miss Germany gets three yeses and she’s moving on, and she’s followed by Janice, who has an “arial silk and violin vocal” act. She flips upside down on her silk things and plays the violin really impressively, and after descending she’s moving on also. The Scott Brothers are next, and what the hell, this is a success montage, we’ll even take their weird “cartoon popping act.” It’s basically them moving at the same time, but it’s going through.
Back from the break and still in LA, which is definitely a show record. Some dance crew gets like no screen time and is moving on. Up after that, and the first extended video package in awhile, is Robert. Robert’s talent appears to be wearing a stupid-looking ski cap thingy on his head, and he says he’s going to do some “unusual” dancing. Oh, boy, this is going to be interesting. He says he discovered his talent last year while “listening to music on the television,” which should be grounds for immediate disqualification already. He’s out on the stage and he tells us he wants to be called “Monsieur Pedicure” and that his talent is toe dancing. He spends forever trying to dress and place his toe in this weird little disco box, and I still can’t believe I just typed that sentence. The judges are impatient that this man really is wasting all their time and the audience is impatient that no one can really see his toe in a box all that well, and when he finally starts he’s not really doing anything other than wiggling it back and forth. Three Xs for RObert and David call him ridiculous for wasting everyone’s time, the judges vote and it’s no Vegas for toe-boy.
These two will do little to discourage the part of my brain that is twelve.
So now we have married couple Mario and Jenna. Mario says he loves the intensity and danger behind his act with his wife, and whenever they introduce these couples without telling us what the talent is my mind invariably wanders to dirty things. Jenna says that Mario could easily die from their talent, which only increases the fun in my head. They finally come out dressed as scary circus master and bikini slave girl, ready for a combination of “sexy and dangerous,” as Mario puts it. They awkwardly dance around for awhile (and if that’s sexy and dangerous I’m living a better life than I thought) before Mario pulls out a CHAINSAW. But he’s just sawing boards in half. Uh, I guess that’s dangerous. He isn’t wearing safety goggles! He probably doesn’t have the proper construction permits! But then he starts three at once and my excitement once again builds…and yes! He’s juggling the chainsaws! It’s exciting, but I don’t know if it was worth sitting through the cringe-inducing dancing for.
David says he liked the act, Piers says something uncomfortable about what they do at night (Mario and Jenna, not Piers and David), and Sharon likes their power. I don’t know what they were watching, but I thought that they were horrible until the end, and even then only kind of impressive. But I recap and the judges vote, and Mario and Jenna are moving on. One last break, then our coveted Last Act!
Replay of talentless Terri the nurse and equally talantless Mario and Jenna. Last up today is Lawrence from Mississippi. Lawrence talks a lot about the influence of the South on his music, and even dashes in some talk about church and religion for good measure. Standard talk about his moment and his one chance, we’re heard it before. Once on stage, the judges tell Lawrence to calm down, cause it’s not like their known to mark the talentless with a giant red X or just get up and walk away from someone they hate or anything like that.
Even Nick is surprised they picked this guy to go last.
Lawrence starts with surprisingly little interogation from the judges, and immediately blows all of us away with an amazing deep voice. Singing the classic “Old Man River,” Lawrence makes me immediately vow to purchase anything that he records with a voice that I’m curling up and sleeping in, for real. Immediately after Lawrence starts to cry, and I have to say it’s nice to see an act go at the end because it’s actually the most talented one on the show. There’s no crazy stories about drunk drivers or school bullies, he’s just a damn good singer. Sharon gets up and hands Lawrence a Kleenex, and we’re ready for some judge gushing. Piers calls it stunning, Sharon says it’s a class act, and David says we can all learn a lot from people like him. People like him, David? Racist bastard. Piers teases that the audience doesn’t like him and so of course they go crazy, and the music swells as Lawrence is voted through. Lawrence is in shock and still crying, and David wraps up the show by again saying how moving Lawrence’s voice was. And he’s definitely right about that.
So how were the LA auditions? Was Lawrence as good as I thought? And the kite guy! Is ANYONE else going to lose sleep over him?