POSTING BY JB MADDAWG
Picture it. The year is 1974 and the world’s pop culture shelves are stocked to the rafters in bell bottom jeans and Kool and the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie”. People are watching movies with Burt Reynolds, smoking marijuana and watching Evel Knievel try to off himself in a variety of ways, most notably, attempting to leap Snake River Canyon with a homemade rocket bike. I’ll save you the suspense and trip to Wikipedia, he didn’t make it. Yet again, I digress.
The point is, America was chock full of people meant to be seen as entertainers. Grand Funk Railroad? Awesome. The Godfather films? Awesomer. Even in his death wishyness, Evel Knievel captivated an entire generation by cheating the grim reaper at his own game, and in a white leather, star-spangled jumpsuit no less. These people had talent, and they had no reservations about letting the general populace know how they became famous, but more importantly, why.
Cutscene to 2013. The network known as NBC, or as I refer to it, the channel that tried to move primetime to 6:30 at night, airs its constant summer fill-in, America’s Got Talent. Don’t be fooled by the candy-coated title. As my co-blogger Big Angry would say, “this is a train wreck of Island of Sodor proportions”. For those of you that didn’t laugh at that, it’s a Thomas the Tank Engine joke, you uncultured swine.
Back to the matter at hand, AGT has not only flawed and unwatchable talent, but the chink in the armor also extends up to the unprotected underarm that takes the form of the four talent judges. Let’s break it down:
Judge #1: Howard Stern. I dig Howard, but I’m really not sure I’m ready to see an act at a Vegas casino that Howard put through, unless it involves thong underwear and porn stars.
Judge #2: Heidi Klum. Beautiful and great cheek bones, Heidi is a perfect supermodel, which is to say she has great genes. I’m not sure that qualifies her to pick the next David Cassidy out of a line up. Although, she married and divorced Seal, so there’s that.
Judge #3: Melanie Brown (Mel B): Two immediate problems for me with this one. A)she’s British. If she’s not qualified to be on Britain’s Got Talent, then she’s not for us, either. B)she was in the Spice Girls. No further explanation is really needed here.
Judge #4: Howie Mandel had no talent in 1982, much less in this new century. Plus, the only reason he’s on the show is NBC wisely signed him to a bazillion year contract because they thought Deal or No Deal was going to be around for at least a decade. Whoops. I’m actually surprised they haven’t made him appear every so often on Revolution to appease the
six people millions that watch.
So, how effective can a talent show with mainly talentless judges be, you may ask? Not very. Here’s a synopsis of the kind of “talent” that has appeared over the past few seasons.
- a man who ate broken glass (big deal, I had a friend in college that ate beer cans and pencils)
- a guy that juggled chain saws (juggling went out in about ’79, thanks)
- a guy that shot himself out of a cannon (did someone cancel the Barnum & Bailey Circus?)
- a guy that dove into a kiddie pool of water from 100 ft. up (someone’s been reading the Guinness Book of World Records for ideas)
- a woman who stole Henry Houdini’s escape artist act (qualifies her for America’s Copied Talent)
- a nine-year old singer for a death metal band (any parent of a nine-year old will tell you one thing that isn’t needed is more screaming)
- a ventriloquist with a turtle puppet that sings Roy Orbison tunes (don’t laugh, he won the inaugural competition and got signed to a $100 million dollar Vegas deal)
If these aren’t hideous enough, there’s always the “feel good” contestants. The overweight guy/ugly girl/transvestite goth in a unitard that does such a rousing version of Ave Maria, that the soulless robots in the audience can’t help but be moved to stand up and cry at the sheer auditory orgasm they just experienced. Or at least since they saw the guy before do a salute to Gary Glitter’s Rock and Roll, Part 2, all on kazoo.
Brass tacks, folks. I’m pretty sick of the vaunted back door to fame. As much as I bash them, I think there are still plenty of actors/musicians/artists that got to where they are through hard work and yes, actual talent. They didn’t get their gig by having Paul Lynde, Rip Taylor or Charles Nelson Reilly rubber stamp them through to the main room at Caesar’s. They had to work the channels set up by the various industries to keep said riff raff off of the big stage.
Then again, my entire argument here is crashed by the famed Justin Bieber Theorem.
Ah, well. As the man once said, “Relax, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”