By Brian Dubé
Wednesday, April 21. 2010, I was given VIP passes to America’s Got Talent by Steve Mills, one of the contestants. Steve is a long time customer, literally one of my first and instrumental in helping launch my business in 1975.
This show was a big disappointment in many ways. Firstly, it was a painful and grueling ordeal. We were essentially imprisoned in the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center for 5 hours without a cell phone or electronic device. Yet the number of acts were few and each act limited to 90 seconds. The balance of the time was used to pump up the audience, give out t-shirts and other junky prizes, do a number of audience shots, and rehearse booing and chanting “VEGAS!” the next level for the talented acts.
Many of the acts should never have gotten to stage. I recognized two from the streets of NYC. One of them attends virtually every parade and is essentially talentless. He was booed before even beginning his performance as were others. The audience appeared to be relatively unsophisticated. One of the most talented was a female opera singer who got some negative reaction as soon as she started.
After hours of talent searching Steve’s act went onstage near the end of the day. The Dazzling Mills, consisted of four members – Steve, his son Tony, his daughter Michelle and his son-in-law Kris. Ninety seconds is an extremely short time to do a juggling act and build momentum and enthusiasm with the audience. The approval of the Dazzling Mills was left to 3 judges—Howie Mandell, Sharon Osburne and Pierce Morgan.
The act was a hairsbreadth away from going to Vegas. The final vote was cast by Howie Mandell – a hesitant “no”, equaled two “nos” and one “yes”. Howie felt that the act opened too weakly with a three club runaround (followed by a club passing routine, adding the music and act were dated. He would have preferred seeing a much stronger opening bang to wow the audience. I agree, however, considering the other talent and what I saw, I would have sent them to Vegas for the finals.
America may have talent, but we didn’t see much here. The show will air in June.
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