Something is starting to smell rotten.
Tuesday night — during what was top-to-bottom the toughest night of competition yet — the AMERICA’S GOT TALENT judges (likely at the urging of producers) went out of their to way to exterminate certain acts from competition.
And no one was harsher than Howard Stern.
“America’s Judge” started the night by throwing fan favorite Andrew DeLeon straight under the bus after what was arguably his best performance yet.
“I don’t know what to say to Andrew,” he started. “There are times I feel the whole thing is getting a bit strange. Andrew has a great personal story. He sat in his room, he never sang for anybody. And in a way that is wonderful for our show, but when I look at the broader audience… This is opera and I wonder if you are not hurt by the fact that you don’t have (more) technical training…It is not enough to rest on the story… I wish you had a little more formal training.”
Then Sharon Osbourne chimed in, essentially retracting her comments from last week (when she said he could win the whole contest). ”Last week I told you you were a star. But afterwards, when I went back and listened to it, oh, you were off,” she said before suggesting that the 19 year-old singer strip away his trademark Goth makeup. Wait…what? First, that is like asking Prince Poppycock to take off his makeup. It’s part of the act. And second… this isn’t grade school. There are no take-backs.
The nonsense judging continued all night long with Stern pooping all over 14 year-old singer Edon, sand artist Joe Castillo (something about how he’d seen it all before) and even YouTube darlings Academy of Villains.
Now no one should be naive enough to think this is an actual talent contest. If it were, the judges wouldn’t have brought back a guy whose only skill is getting kicked in the testicles as a wild card act. This is an entertainment television show where producers and judges do everything in their power to manipulate who stays and who goes so they can have well rounded shows each week that feature all different types of acts.
Singers win every year because they are who the viewers can identify with, connect to and vote for. This year, the judges have all but come out and said they will not let a singer win. The fact that Andrew was slotted first and slaughtered like a little lamb should give everyone a preview of what they will attack poor Tim Hockenberry with next week.
It is also a huge shame that the producers decided to cut the field from 24 to 6 in one shot. Viewers spent 12 weeks getting invested in these acts — the supposed best of the best — and then they completely blow the chance to take advantage of the audience’s appetite to see more of them.
Next season they should ditch the stupid YouTube trainwreck show and add an extra week of performances by the people the fans of the show really want to see.
Only three acts will go through on Wednesday. If the judges have their say, they will be William Close, Tom Cotter and Todd Oliver. Who all deserve it. But viewers will miss out on a chance to see people like Joe Castillo and Andrew DeLeon one more time.
If you missed the show tonight there is a great recap over at CarterMatt.com. Here is a bit of what they have to say:
Andrew De Leon – If you want even further evidence that the producers here are desperate for a winner who is not a singer, all you have to do is look at how the judges treated Andrew here. There was talk about his lack of formal training and even his look — which is really the reason why he is distinctive to begin with. Did Sharon Osbourne really just tell someone to stop being goth?
Todd Oliver and Irving – This was largely the same sort of act that we saw during the wild-cad show. Was it really funny? Mildly, but it was not something that we were rolling on the floor over. The audience did seem to like it more than we did, and this was really the same that we felt about the guy last time.
Donovan & Rebecca – What was really interesting about Howie Mandel’s argument to keep these aerial artists — that there are no other shows where they can shine. This is true, and this group is fantastic — on the other hand, we have a problem here in that we are not sure than an entire Las Vegas show can be built around two people unless some other components are thrown into the mix.
Edon – We were all about Edon until he performed a One Direction song this week. Why? It just didn’t fit his style of his voice at all, and it really just felt as though he was just trying to get as many votes as possible by performing a One Direction song. It was still a good performance, but not worthy of making it another round on the show.
The Scott Brothers – You have to step it up at this stage of the game — and we already saw almost everything that these poppers brought to the stage this week before. There just wasn’t anything different about the act this time around, and they have no real chance of moving on to the next round.
Eric Dittelman – Dittelman did it again! There is something rather incredible about what this guy does, but at the same time the issue here is that whether or not this guy is actually exciting enough. He’s skilled, but he is not necessarily that flashy.
So what do you think? Are you happy with the judging tonight? Do you think it makes sense to only pass three acts through? And who will they be? We want to hear form you. Sound off below!