A lot of people have become fed up with the over exposure of reality Television. I happen to be one of those people. It seems that if you have a lot of babies, are a housewife, or want to live in a house with a lot of strangers, there is a TV show for you. Along with being stranded on an Island, being a potential American Idol, or you just want to find someone to marry, TV has that show for you. Lost in all of this glut, is a truly remarkable talent show, on NBC, called “America’s Got Talent.”
In it’s fifth season this show has already produced many successful Las Vegas acts, including a ventriloquist, Terry Fator, who signed a ten million dollar contract last year. Have you heard of any American Idol winners pulling in that kind of money recently? The show, which traditionally starts it’s season after Idol has finished, has a simple format. Any person, with any kind of talent, can audition to win the one million dollar prize, and a show in Vegas. It is on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and is currently into the top ten part of the competition.
If you have ever seen a Vegas show, or are old enough, like me, to remember ‘The Ed Sullivan Show, ” this is the kind of acts you will see. And this year, without a doubt, is it’s best season ever.
Hosted by Nick Cannon, (yes, the guy married to Mariah Carey), The judge’s seats are filled by Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandel. Nick is absolutely great at his job, often participating as a volunteer in the acts. Piers is the “Simon Cowell” of this show, but like Simon, I believe he is correct in the sorting out of which acts are worthy of a Las Vegas show. Sharon is absolutely lovable, and caring about the contestants. Howie is new to the panel this year, and honestly seems to be a fish out of water. He and Piers do not seem to be very good buddies.
Let’s get right to this year’s top ten. Like magicians? Michael Grasso is the guy for you. This guy will have an act in Vegas regardless of winning or not, but he is incredible to watch. Each week his act gets bigger and better, and tougher to figure out how he did that. I’ve scratched my head each time. How about a guy riding a bike? Doesn’t sound all that thrilling, right? But this guy, Jeremy Vanshoohoven, is the “Evil Knievel” of the pedal bike world. He does stunts on stage, many very dangerous, that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Neither of those acts interest you? Wait, I’m just getting started.
If you are a “Dancing With the Stars” fan, maybe you like ballroom dancing. How about two 12 year olds? Anna and Patryk are fantastic together, with the grace and style that is unmatched by any “Stars” winner. Not your cup of tea? Okay, how about a dance group of several teenagers? If you haven’t seen Studio One Young Beast Society do it’s thing on stage, you have never seen a great dance group perform.The show also has a very odd singer, but talented, in Prince Poppycock. Don’t let the name, or the different costumes he wears, distract you from his talent.
Speaking of singers, they have a Sister duo, Christina and Ali, who both suffer from Cystic Fibrosis. These young ladies are inspiring, but not quite talented enough for the big prize. Two more singers, Taylor Mathews, and Michael Grimm, should make the competition more riveting. All of the singers pale in comparison to the 10 year old phenom Jackie Evancho. Check out he opera singing cutie on You Tube. Her first audition had 3 million hits on that website. There is no way of describing Jackie, except to say how can such a big voice come out of a little girl. She is certainly America’s sweetheart already, but a Vegas show? I just don’t see it.
The final act of the top ten is also not easy to describe. Think of “The Blue Man Group,” on technology steroids, and you’ll see Fighting Gravity. This group of 13 college kids are truly fantastic to watch. Their creativity is mind blowing, and their act is in it’s infant stage. I think if new talent is the goal, this team wins the gold this year. But the 10 year old opera singer will have something to say about that. Want to know who wins? Stay tuned.