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Official RTVW Summary
AMERICA’S GOT TALENT
Episode 1: Let the Freakshow Begin
Since this is an entirely new show bringing a completely fresh concept to reality television, it seemed appropriate to do some research so that we can truly appreciate this original phenomenon. America’s Got Talent is the brainchild of Randolph Hickney of Mascoutah, Ohio. Randolph - “Dandy Randy” to his closest friends - pitched the idea to Simon Cowell of American Idol fame.
Being the cutthroat media mogul that he is, Cowell had Dandy Randy tied up and thrown over a bridge somewhere in Manitoba. Then Cowell championed the concept as his own and, through sheer masculine willpower, forced NBC to agree to put the show on TV. Oddly enough, Simon was unable to get FOX to put it on as a natural follow-up to American Idol. Imagine that – being rejected by FOX! You know right there that this show is going to suck in ways never seen before.
Now that we’ve discovered who’s responsible for this, let’s take a look at the local talent that they’ve dredged up to play the parts of host and judges:
The Host is Regis Philbin.
Some of you may nod appreciatively because you think of Regis as an old favorite uncle. You’re delusional. Go outside and take a deep breath of fresh air. Mr. Philbin is an untalented, unfunny goblin who must be using magic powers to extort people into allowing him to stay in show business. There simply is no other explanation for it. If this show fails, it will fail because of his presence.
The judges are Piers Morgan, David Hasselhoff, and Brandy.
Piers Morgan is the obligatory British person for this reality show. He is also a no-account vagabond who just got out of rehab. Apparently, he worked on some little tabloid over there in Liverpool. If he’s half as snide as Simon Cowell, we’ll be satisfied.
Ugh. Take a look at the weird distortion on Hasselhof’s picture. This will be a continuous issue as the hideous scars from his numerous face lift surgeries would otherwise scare off children. By the way, writing Hasselhof’s name is a pain in the ass, so we’re going to refer to him as Hassomescars from now on. Maybe just Scar. Whatever.
Brandy? Isn’t she the woman who did that Cinderella movie with Whiteny Houston a few years back? Yeah, that’s an A-list celeb right there. Obviously, she has been put here to try to fill the Paula Abdul slot of useless insights and fake appreciation.
Now for the premise of the show: People with a variety of “talents” will perform before the judges who will narrow the field down until viewers pick their favorite performer who will eventually be awarded $1 million. According to the NBC website, this will include ”…singers, dancers, animal acts, bizarre novelty acts, magicians, comedians, belly dancers...all ages....” Of course once you turn eighty, you are no longer a belly dancer - you’re a bizarre novelty act.
Two questions pop right up. First, how can you possibly compare a singer and a bizarre novelty act (William Hung notwithstanding)? Second, won’t we get tired of seeing the talking dog after the second week? Y’know, some of these may be amazing at first glance, but then they become incredibly passé overnight. So what will the draw be as the season goes on? Trapdoor elimination sounds like a good idea. Or catapults. Maybe they’ll catapult the bad acts into giant vats of pudding with David Letterman’s Will It Float? girls standing nearby.
Now that we’ve set the scene for you, let’s take a peek at the first installment of this bizarre experiment.Day 1 Auditions
At the beginning of the show we get flashes of what to expect: belly dancers, jugglers, a cow dancing on its head, acrobats, little kids, fat men jiggling in choreographed lines, cross-dressers and an obviously disturbed individual with large knives. In other words, they filmed one of my family reunions. We also see that the judges get to make bid red X’s appear over the performers. Because, you know, simply being told “you suck” is not enough anymore.
Regis stands before the gates of Paramount Studios to tell us that Tom Hanks does, in fact, suck and we need to find people to replace him. Shouldn’t be too hard to do. How are we going to do this, Regis? “The old fashioned way,” he says. “By holding auditions across America.” Sorry old man, but as you should know the old fashioned way meant five minutes in an uncomfortable position inside the casting director’s office. Isn’t that right, Ms. Van Doren?
So we get some more flashes of the brilliant desperation that awaits us: the human jump rope, synchronized basketball bouncing, blue gorillas, a muscle-bound chicken, a talking donkey and a “Senior Jewish Rapper”. Who wouldn’t be quivering in anticipation with that kind of line-up?
Regis walks out onto the stage and introduces the band. Philbin’s engineered excitement is already wearing thin. Perhaps he needs more naps. In any case, he proceeds to tell us that everyone in the audience is participating in the audition. These are the West Coast flakes and freaks. But before we get to hear more about them, we meet the judges.
David “Scar” Hasselhof used to run on the beaches with big-bosomed women who desperately needed money to pay for those bosoms. Then he went on to dazzle the people of Romania whose previous high-point in music entertainment was the sound of Russian tanks serenading them with shells.
Brandy also had a singing career and dabbled in acting. Now she has nothing better to do with her time than watch the best of the worst in our society. Brandy has a mouth like a bass. Just sayin’.
Piers Morgan knows the Queen of England. Big bloody who cares? This is America and the average person here wouldn’t know Betty II if she fell under our SUV.
The judges demonstrate how the big red X’s work. If a contestant gets three red X’s, then they have to stop or else Regis will come out and kiss them. For some reason, the skits on SNL where Chris Kattan plays Regis’ assistant comes to mind.
Then, out of the blue, Regis calls up the first round of performers. Dave the Horn Guy. At Last. Syd the Kid. And Bobby Badfingers. Oh boy! Bobby gets what we call a confessional. He confesses that he’s a complete moron for thinking that anyone gives a rat’s ass about his so-called talent, which will be demonstrated all too soon. He’s the world’s only professional snapist. Don’t confuse him with the Trappists, they won’t think it’s funny. So anyway, he does his thing.
Bobby Badfingers snaps his fingers like nobody’s business. *pause while summary writer giggles* This show is soooo messed up.
Yes, this man is actually snapping his fingers to the tune of “Wipeout”. And the judges? Love him. Bobby is going to go on to the next round.
Next, Dave the Horn Guy. Do you see a trend yet? Really awful stage names are going to be the annoyance du jour throughout this competition. Dave has various bicycle horns strategically attached to his outfit. With minor flexes of major muscles, we are serenaded with toots and blats. Piers X’s him within seconds. But Brandy and Scar say they want to see him again. A guy who wouldn’t make $10 a day on Michigan Ave over the Chicago River just got sent to the next round in a contest for a million dollars. Suddenly, this contest doesn’t seem so funny.
Then Blue Velvet comes out. They sing their name. They get three X’s. We go to commercial.
One of the Wayans Brothers is playing a midget in a movie; your hair can smell like fruit; a granola bar makes middle-aged losers act like losers at a nightclub; products from Target will come to life and kill you in your sleep; some hot young people listen to the same song on their car stereos
We come back to see At Last. Decent harmony. The audience gets into it. The only thing that the judges disagree on before sending them to the next round is whether they should change their look.
Syd the Kid, an eight-year-old girl, does stand-up comedy. This involves insulting her mother and her black heritage. What the hell, it works for Chris Rock. Syd gets sent to the next round.
Regis pulls some more people from the audience. Gee, he has a tough job. Good thing they got a pro like Regis to handle that. Next up are Bernie Barker, Alexis Jordan, and Kenny Shelton.
Kenny is a juggler and he essentially tells us in his confessional that he’s worried about dropping. What do you think happens? He drops stuff. When the judges tell him to stop he begs to do his finale. His finale involves big knives. Scar wets his pants because he’s a big baby. Piers pulls a child in front of him with the excuse that the kid will count off time for the juggler’s finale. Yeah, right. That kid is there to take the first eight inches of the blade. Kenny pulls off his finale without severing any major arteries. The judges send him through. At this point, it becomes glaringly obvious that the three “judges” are merely collecting checks until it comes time for the public to vote people off.
some department store is having a summer mark-up so they can then cut back to the regular price and tell you it’s a sale; Disney wants you to buy one of their movies; MAD magazine fold-ins take over a car commercial; NBC pitches their new shows; Taylor Hicks belongs on this show; a lady hallucinates from using harsh chemicals in her house
The Shadow Dancers come on. Regis didn’t call them earlier, but here they are anyway. Piers sums their act up nicely: “It’s three weirdos and a donkey”. The audience demands that Shadow Dancers be sent home. Funny, we were given the impression that the judges would decide who goes on. The rules of this show sure are flexible. Funniest line of the night? Hasselhof says, “Leave the donkey”. We can only guess what he wants to do with a dancing donkey.
Bernie is up next. He’s 105. He used to be a nuclear engineer; now he takes his clothes off in public. The two can’t possibly be related, could they? The old guy takes his shirt off. Piers and Brandy do the X thing. Hasselhof wants more. Bernie begins to take his pants down. Piers and Brandy simultaneously smack Scar’s buzzer. Dave is quite upset that they ended the act. He was really getting into the old guy. Now we know - David Hasselhof has a thing for dancing donkeys and old geezers in sparkly shorts. Scar is quite the freak. For some reason, Brandy also wants him to go on. We’ll be seeing more of Bernie in the future.
Who better to follow up this pervert than a sweet-looking 14-year-old girl named Alexis Jordan. Remember that name. She nailed a Whitney Houston song. As soon as she becomes eligible for American Idol she’s going to walk away with it, unless she is already tied up in a recording contract at that time. She has real talent and the judges quickly send her on.
Regis calls some more names (like it matters). He calls Harry Caray, Kevin Johnson, Cathy Cavanaugh, and Eddie Haskell.
lots of thin phones make nice collages; some stupid movie with Sarah Jessica Parker and Terry Bradshaw has been released on DVD; a guy wakes up in the woods to find a tarantula on his girlfriend’s face; a machine squirts gunk all over your shower
Eddie Haskell comes out with a singing saw. The saw sings a Stevie Wonder song. The judges don’t care for it and X him out fast. For a moment, Eddie contemplates other things he could do with the saw but his medication is still going strong and so he simply slumps off stage.
Kevin Johnson comes on with bird puppets. He says they’re his best friends. Kevin is a lonely, lonely man. Piers X’s him out of pity. Then Kevin starts his bit, using the old Godzilla movie routine of having his mouth move in a way that was not in conjunction with his voice. Of course, he doesn’t move his mouth at all when the puppets “speak”. The judges love it and Piers actually pulls his X back.
Cathy Cavanaugh sings while playing the harp. The audience boos her. She pulls out a .22 and starts popping caps. She’s not going on to the next round.
different credit cards have different brand name logos so that you can personalize the way you are ripped off; arthritis medicine works wonders if it doesn’t kill you first
Eric “Harry Caray” Mol tries some impressions. They stink. He blames the microphone. Next!
Regis calls for Jay Mill, The Holy Cow and Vladimir Malachikhin. Vlad does some fancy handstands and writhes around on the stage. That’s good enough to go on.
ice cream turns people into zombies from Dawn of the Dead; kids are pigs when you give them soup; we all wish we had an easy button; Jack Black takes another role that Will Ferrel didn’t want; more NBC shows; Taylor Hicks again; car advertisers have a little trouble on choosing one method to showcase their product