Howard Stern was judge, jury and executioner during Monday’s first live broadcast of AMERICA’S GOT TALENT.
Proclaiming himself to be “America’s judge,” the controversial radio host called an instrumentalist “crummy and horrible,” told a six year-old dancer he didn’t want her in the competition at all and trash talked two acts who weren’t even performing.
“I think we have a better chance tonight of seeing Jesus come down to Earth than seeing this guy walk away with a win,” he jabbed in a recorded segment before Iranian-born janitor Michael Nejad took the stage with instruments he crafted from gardening tools and household appliances.
After the performance — (which, in fairness, was awful and earned an X from all three judges) — Stern went for the jugular.
“Sometimes a shovel is so you can dig your own grave,” he said. “If you play the baseball bat, it still has to sound like a good instrument. It’s crummy and horrible sounding. If I was a priest I would read you the last rites right now. You are not going on tomorrow. America will not be voting for you.”
But wait, there’s more. Stern then turned on fellow judge Sharon Osbourne, blaming her (and Howie Mandel) for allowing Nejad to advance this far in the contest to begin with.
“I voted this guy through to appease you two,” he insisted as the embarrassed performer looked on from the stage. “We sat in a room in Vegas and I told you no. You and Howie would not take no for an answer and I had to put him through.”
Sharon, clearly annoyed, then threatened to bite Stern’s finger if he pointed at her one more time!
“And wait ‘til we get to (a 70 year-old midget lounge singer) Big Barry,” he continued. “I am going to have it out with Howie. And Ulysses (a heavy set African-American singer who performs TV theme songs), too! The three of you. I am gonna throw you out of here.”
He then instructed Nejad to “go home, stare at the wall and invent something.”
Stern — who is reportedly being paid $15 million to replace Brit Piers Morgan this season — wasn’t sugar coating his reviews for any of the acts, it turned out. Earlier in the evening, he told six year-old tap dancer ‘Lil Starr that he was “not in favor” of advancing her to the live semi-final rounds.
“I don’t think you are up to it,” he said. “Every single time I have seen you it has been the exact same act. It is brilliant for a six year-old, but I don’t think it is an act that can win.
America’s votes will now decide who remains in the competition. Of the 12 acts that performed, four will advance during Tuesday night’s live results show.
According to Stern, the lucky ones will be:
EDON – a 14 year-old singer from Chicago. He eared a standing ovation from the judges for his cover of “Titanium.” “Did you get a standing ovation at your Bar Mitzvah?” Howie asked, before lauding “Jew are terrific!” We have Edon going all the way to the finale in our first weekly Top 10 Rankings.
AMERICAN BMX STUNT TEAM - The crew of stunt bike riders reduced the size of their performance space to fit inside Prudential Hall at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. “You did something remarkable again today,” Howard praised. “You are still holding my attention and you are better than your main competitor (All Wheel Sports) so far.”
SHANICE & MAURICE HAYES – The father-daughter singing team (he’s 62, she’s 18) lit it up again — despite Howie’s concerns that dad could be dead weight for the act. “Sometimes (your act) can get a little cheesy,” Sharon admitted. “But I love cheese and I love you.”
DAVID GARIBALDI & HIS CMYK’S – What’s not to love? These guys ooze cool, combiing dance, rock and roll and art. David (the lead artist) and his four partners take turns splashing paint on a canvas, creating cool and amazing pictures. But this time, they did it backwards! “If I was a woman I would marry you,” Howard exclaimed. “I love you!”