No one else willing to admit they watch America's Got Talent?

Last night was the first of the episodes where the audience gets to vote. As they tell us about seventy times, 12 acts perform, only 7 go forward. (Except that usually turns out to be a lie, between Judges saves and Wild Cards and whatever.)


Guys spitting on each other? Into each other’s mouths? What, do we get guys pissing on each other next year? And how the hell does germophobe Howie find this act delightful?

Shin Lim (magician who did card trick) was excellent as always, but close up card magic on a huge stage? So the audience has to basically watch it on the monitors? Sort of the opposite of “You’ve got to be there!” excitement.

Courtney Hadwin is a pretty good Janis Joplin copy.

Flau’Je (not sure on the spelling) is an okay rapper, but this is her third performance, and every single one has been about her dead dad. A little variety, please!

And otherwise… well, the singers sang, the dancers danced, the escape artist escaped (at the very last moment! after a hitch that heightened the tension! What a surprising turn of events!) and the comedian told jokes…and I don’t care if I ever see any of them perform ever again.

Oh, I watch if I happen to have the TV on and am flipping through the channels and stumble upon it, because it is FLASHY and EXCITING and has AMPED UP EMOTIONS!

It’s amusing to me that the judges are either aghast and repulsed or IT’S THE BEST YOU’VE EVER DONE!!! Particularly with Simon Cowell, because he spent so many years playing the grumpy villain on that singing show. On this he is often gushingly positive, which on him looks like he’s trying too hard to play the part.

I admit I’m not a fan of the trite overused background stories. EVERYONE is overcoming some trauma, and this show will change their lives! (Cut to mom tearing up.) But I understand that is integral to the show.

If that Angel City choir wins, that’s a cool $156 each per year for 40 years. Before taxes.

That high school dance crew is cute but there’s real dance crews in the competition.

That escape artist was very obviously able to grab some air at the top of the tank when his head wasn’t visible.

I’d admit it, but then I’d be lying.

I usually start a thread but forgot this season. It has been very busy.

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Here’s how it works in this round:

The top 5 in the vote advance
The next 3 go through an “instant vote”; last year, I think it was called the “Dunkin Save.” Note that they reveal the three acts online so people in the west can vote even though the episode won’t air for another hour (Mountain time zone) or three (Pacific). The winner goes through; that’s #6.
The judges then vote on the other two; that’s #7.

There are three quarter-finals, so that’s 21. They want to balance the two semi-finals, so one wild card will be included.

And hopefully, they realize that everybody is familiar with the “Both of you!” / “Neither of you” gag, so they don’t act all surprised when it happens again.

While I’m pipe dreaming, how about enforcing a time limit on the judges’ save votes? We don’t need Mel B spending 30 seconds saying, “I just can’t decide!,” while the closing credits are rolling and there’s a chance the show will run past the end of its time slot.

No major surprises tonight. I would have preferred to have Mochi go through, but it seems likely the judges have been increasingly cowardly the past few seasons and vote a tie so that it comes down to the original vote.

Based on what Simon said, I’m pretty sure he preferred Mochi, but picked the dancers because it made a tie.

I watch it. Every year there are a few really talented performers plus a number of acts that are still entertaining if not stellar. Courtney Hadwin has world class talent. She has demonstrated much more talent than any other contestant this year. Shin Lim is an incredible magician but may be limited by his close up card magic specialty. There are several other good singers and some an amazing trained cat act. There are also lame acts passed through by the judges because they have ratings value.

The format doesn’t always select the most talented contestant at the end. Popularity and sob-story appeals can count more than talent for the public.

I watch but am usually monkeying around on my phone while it’s on. It’s the only thing I watch during prime time during the summer months. Nothing else on. My favorites right now are Courtney Hadwin and We Three.

Simon seems to have mellowed after he had a child. Not the guy I remember from American Idol that’s for sure!

Another week’s results in… and the cats are out. Boo! Is there any point in continuing to watch this show???

Personally, I thought this week’s offerings were on the lame side overall, but it wasn’t helped by all the production problems they were having. I felt especially bad for the comedian: not only is he dealing with his own Tourette’s, but the backdrop behind him was ticing and twitching as if it did too. Very distracting, I’m glad he got voted through despite that.

Vaguely interesting note about the acts going on. I clump all vocal acts together under ‘singers’, whether we’re talking about a rock band, a blues singer, a rapper, a choir, whatever. Similarly dance crews or a salsa twosome or a ballet dancer all count as ‘dancers.’ Using that rule:

Week One:
4 singing acts
1 dance act
1 comedian
1 magician

Week Two:
4 singing acts
1 dance act
1 comedian
1 trapeze act

Doesn’t look like there will be a whole lot of variety in Finals, does it?

There’s always a lot of singers. As it goes on they can drop out quickly as the vote gets split among them. But the odds are a singer wins because there are so many of them.

Nah, not gonna admit that. Those type of shows make me stupid mad. Cannot endure it.

Sorta. I find watching the really really crappy performances on YouTube to be mildly amusing. I liked watching the really terrible American Idol and X-Factor performances as well.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I’m kinda forced to watch this unless I want to eat dinner alone for several months a year. Basically, there are three problems: 1. the host 2. the judges 3. the acts. Yeah, I can see why is something like 30 on Metacritic right now.

Tyra Banks…ugh. UUUUGGGGHHHHH. Folks, it has happened. I have found a reality TV show host more irritating than Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila. Every goddam second she opens her mouth is like a drill to my skull. She oozes enough smarm to choke an elephant. She sounds like she’s taunting half the time. Swear to god, when she said “gold-den buz-zerrrr!”, I wanted to punch her. Remember how much flack Ryan Seacrest got in his first season of American Idol? Banks makes him look like a Supreme Court justice. Come back, Nick Cannon, all is forgiven!

As for our distinguished pretentious blowhards who wouldn’t know a million-dollar act from their…you know what, reality TV’s slow mutation into Judgemania is its own thread, so I’ll just run them down. There’s Howie Mandell, the grizzled veteran (I think he’s the only person remaining from the first season) who’s long since given up any pretense of giving a damn or making any effort and just spews out tepid drivel and collects his paychecks. There’s Mel B and Heidi Klum, who fluctuate between screaming, hysterical laughter, screaming, mindless cheerleading, screaming, overemoting, and MORE FREAKING SCREAMING. There may be a subtle difference in their styles, but damned if I can find anything. And then of course there’s the ever-dependable font of concentrated industrial-grade BS that’s Simon Cowell. It’s really something else. Cowell’s the only person I’ve ever seen who manages to be a dirtbag punk and a snotty elitist. There’s no rhyme or reason to his “critiques”, all he ever does is troll and push buttons and drop more radioactive pellets in the punchbowl. Well, okay, he did expand his repertoire a bit on AGT; now he grossly abuses his power by demanding that certain contestants give him what he wants, on some occasions forcing them to come up with something different on the spot. And of course, interspersed between their witless blathering that passes for judgment there are healthy doses of infantile bickering and walking over each other. I found this schoolyard crap unbearable when I was in the damn schoolyard.

As for the other 10% of the show (going from memory, because there’s no way in hell I’m subjecting my eyes and ears to this a second time): A couple boring comedians. Cats doing whatever it’s possible to actually make cats do. A young woman with long hair doing vaguely creepy stuff. A pretty good dance troupe. A pretty good acrobat duo. And of course, lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of singers, all doing the same safe, tepid, banal, flavorless, predictable, vanilla mush you’ve heard on 500 other reality shows. (Seriously, a man doing Whitney Houston??) Oh yeah, those absolutely disgusting spitters. Of the remaining contestants, I’d say there are, very generous estimate, three that could get so much as a ten-minute segment on a variety show, much less a full-length full-price Vegas act.

Yumbo Dump deserves special attention. Every season, it seems, there’s this one entrant that’s so obviously no good, so obviously out of place, so obviously completely in over its head, so utterly blown away by even the dismal competition around it, that gets free ride after free ride and is shielded with more fervor and fanaticism than the goddam Queen of England. Remember “bee dubba oh tee wai”? I’ve seen (and heard :() Yumbo Dump, and it is a kiddie birthday novelty act AT BEST. The idea that it could be even a street performance in Vegas is beyond laughable. And yet we had to have them through prelims, and we had to have them in quarters, and we had to see each and every performance in full (complete with utterly impotent buzzers to drive up the sympathy votes, of course), and we had to have a pathetic attempt at a meme (yo, DDR did “feel so good”, and a lot better) and the brain-dead crowd bleating right along. I have to wonder, once they leave the protective cocoon of reality TV, where everyone loves everything and everything is awesome and you’re perfect just the way you are, what they’re going to do with their lives? When the first person says “You suck!”…then the second, then the fifth, then the two-thousandth, will they be able to take it? And get real jobs?

Anyway, yeah, I admit it. :smiley:

A talent show isn’t Reality TV.

That acrobat duo was crazy sexy.

Hah. I had to watch the result show delayed, and remembered to pause it to look at the little blurb about the prize.

It’s one million dollars, all right, but it’s paid out over FORTY years, not the twenty I’d always heard. So that’s just $25,000 a year before taxes if you take the annuity, plus it’s split among the members of an act, so if that choir with 150 members won they’d be due a magnificent $166.67 a year.

Alternately you can take ‘the present day value’ of the annuity. Does anyone know what that million over 40 years would be worth as a lump sum today? Is there some sort of formula?

I’m sure there’s a formula but it’s necessarily going to be a little arbitrary. AFAIK, they do let you take a lump sum. My quick calc, using a 2% inflation rate, would make it about $450k equivalent.

Yes, there is - assuming they want the value of the annuity to be zero after the 40-year term, it’s 25,000 x (Y[sup]40[/sup] - 1) / (Y[sup]40[/sup] (Y - 1)), where Y = 1 + the annual yield expressed as a fraction (so if it is a 5% yield, Y = 1.05).

For a 2% yield, it needs to be $683,887; for a 3% yield, $578,869.

BTW, the “paid out over 40 years” has been the rule since season 1 - I remember when the first winner, a 13-year-old girl, won, and I thought that maybe she might actually take the 40 yearly payments.

I’m glad the trapeze artists made it through. They and Shin Lim have the problem that they’re running out of material, they have to work up new routines to step it up again. It’s easier for singers who just have to pick a new song. Lim can rearrange the parts of his act, largely what he did last night but it will be more difficult for Duo Transcend, and dangerous too. Aaron Crowe has that problem also, he barely made it through last week because his act was do lame.

I want to see Courtney Hadwin take it, I think she’s got incredible talent but the competition is finally getting hot.