Quick Take: America's Got Talent 7, "Week 1, Night 1"
I had to check in to see how The King of All Media would do in his new digs.
Review: America's Got Talent 7, "Week 1, Night 1"
(S0701) As much of a TV geek as I am, I don't tend to watch reality competition shows that involve singing and dancing. The only things that come to mind that are even close are Making the Band, which involved auditions in the early rounds, and more recently sitting in occasionally with my wife while she engages with her obsession with America's Best Dance Crew.
However, as soon as I learned that broadcasting legend Howard Stern was locked in to replace Piers Morgan on the America's Got Talent judging panel, I knew that I had no choice but to check in to see how The King of All Media would do in his new digs.
Therefore, while watching last night's season premiere, I had the odd opportunity to experience the format and rhythm of the decidedly offbeat America's Got Talent for the first time, but also to get a newcomer's sense of how Stern impacted the proceedings.
And while I'm a biased fan of The Howard Stern Show (placing me directly into the franchise's target audience for new viewers), I must say that Stern had a typically large and typically positive impact on the proceedings.
Stern's energy and quick comedic timing kept the two-hour variety show zipping along. His chemistry with fellow judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel was easy and instant. As I wrote late last year: " Howard already has natural chemistry and history with both of his potential co-judges, as Sharon Osbourne is a longtime Stern show guest (Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne's frequent appearances on The Howard Stern Show predated the family's rise to television stardom and was fundamental to launching MTV's The Osbournes) as is Howie Mandel, who took on David Hasselhoff's slot last year."
I must say too that while the editing at times was a little breathless and montage-y, there was a good balance of setting up the variety acts, allowing them to perform long enough to get a good sense of what it was about (and of course the judges' buzzers helped with this), and then cutting to judges' reaction and banter. There was the occasional tendency to dig too deep into tear jerking mode, but for the most part I was pleasantly surprised by the proceedings.
It must be noted too that instead of playing into the "deepest fears" about his "shock jock" reputation, Stern was a consummate professional, and even tended toward kind words and encouragement for most of the performers.