Sometimes, some things are worth standing out in the rain for an hour. One of those times was last Saturday and one of those things is, watching a live taping of America’s Got Talent. This was a surprise to me.
I am not the intended audience of variety shows. Or belted out R&B ballads, country music, sob stories seeking redemption through Hollywood stardom, or pretty much anything with sequins at the core. America’s Got Talent is pretty much all of those things and I went there in large part because my wife likes these things and I like being with her- but also because the alternative was an evening where I try to convince my 2 children to clean up after themselves.
So I went.
While I am not the appropriate target for all those things above, I have more than a healthy appreciation for live music well performed, no matter the genre. I also love a rowdy crowd, being around people who are actively doing the things they love, and most of all I appreciate things that are real. This event had all of those things as well.
For example the Philadelphian in me loves a crowd that is willing to boo. I also love a crowd that is willing to stand up and cheer for a child who needs a little help getting over cold feet. This was that sort of crowd.
The event was also surprisingly real.
What I mean by that is the set is crawling with cameras, producers, and we were able to sit in our chairs and watch as Simon Cowell asked performers lots of follow up questions in an obvious attempt to get those amateurs to say something a television audience might find remotely interesting. We got to watch an obviously professional band do a sound check with a fantastic song, then perform a completely different sob story song once it was show time, and then answer Simon’s question as to “why did you choose to come on this show?” by saying, “Because the producers called and invited us.”
That was pretty real.
What was also real is that this show with America in the title only had one America born judge and 3 of the seven acts were from another continent…
Which in mind is how America should and could be.