Despite concerns that new judge Howard Stern’s particular brand of comedy wouldn’t translate well to the family-friendly audience of “America’s Got Talent,” he blended in well — if even a little too well. Monday night’s (May 14) premiere of “AGT” was lackluster at best, with plenty of talent, but no million-dollar performers.
Although the NBC series has swapped out judges over the years, the premise remains the same as the show enters it’s seventh season: performers in cities across the country come out and audition with any — literally, any — talent they posses. As the rounds go on, the contestants work their way toward a $1 million prize.
Starting in L.A., Stern and fellow judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel encountered a slew of bizarre talents, starting with a magician/stripper who ended his show in a pair of gold mini-shorts and one of Mandel’s rings on his nipple.
The show continued with, among other things, a bird-obsessed singer, a modern clog dance group, a BMX stunt crew, gymnasts, and a hip-hop dance crew. All before they made it to the second city. There was also William Close, who played on his “earth harp” — a gigantic instrument that spanned the theatre. It was bizarre but awesome, and he was sent to the next round in Las Vegas.
In St. Louis, the crazy continued, notably with a sharp shooter, neon dinosaur light performers, a pirate sticking needles in his face, a dancer who was so bad that host Nick Cannon went onstage and took over, a dog ventriloquist, a man with a scorpion fetish, and an opera singer named Simply Sergio, who has some major pipes but needs to stay away from gimmicks. Sergio even got a hug from Howard Stern, which was perhaps the most shocking moment of the night.
The season premiere ended with the best performance of the night, as father-daughter street performers Maurice and Shanice Hayes sang “You’ve Got a Friend.”