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Tara Ariano

S09.E01: Auditions, Week 1

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Shockingly concise opening montage with super quick intros of the jidges and Nick.  I fully expected a long and drawn out pimping of the new golden buzzer.  Instead, it, too, was explained in lightning-quick fashion.  Did AGT switch out EP's?  I love it when TPTB gives credit to an audience and pares down process explanations as happened tonight.

 

Also, I don't recall any other eps where Howard was not given extra pimpage.  I love Howard and this was a most welcome development.  I'm betting he was approached and signed off on this.

 

Really good start by TPTB.  

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I agree. I thought there would be 15 minutes of opening nonsense about the show, the judges, the host (and I love the host and the judges), the rules, the new buzzer, blahblahblah. But Bam! They just got right to it. And not many sob stories so far, thank goodness.

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After a boring season of American Idol, it's fun to watch a show with different kinds of acts. And they are definitely different! Right now I'd say the comedian is my favorite.

 

Nick fooled me completely. Howie was definitely scared.

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I don't know if I would have enjoyed it quite as much without MrKate uncharacteristically joining me on the couch and howling with laughter at this act, but the Dustin's Dojo act did crack me up. Channeling Pedro as he deadpan promised that "all your wildest dreams will come true" clenched it for me. I don't know if this act can succeed with even one more appearance - I certainly don't have high hopes for a long run.

 

That said, I've always felt like there are two competitions for AGT. Many, many acts don't expect to go on to the end. Even if they're wicked talented, their talents are such that they don't translate to this competition. Their main goal, truly, is to win the First Competition; Prize - a trip to Vegas (and maybe screentime/15 minutes of fame/exposure that may or may not evolve into future success in their field).

The AGT audience vote competition is wholly separate. Oh, you have to be a winner of the first competition to be considered for the second, but for so many the best they can realistically even dream of is being a winner in the first competition. 

By my estimation, Dustin's Dojo deserved the prize of a Vegas trip solely based on his ability to stay in character and not break a smile at all. Kudos. Have fun in Vegas.

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I never expected a genuine sociological statement to be made in the premiere!  The absolute wall between the guys and the gals when it came to Dojo was quite something.  Graduate-level courses are fashioned out of what we saw.  Me?  I thought "Three Stooges" early on.  

 

Why is it that opera almost always engenders outsized respect on this show?  Those ladies (Acte II)?) were good, but the slow clap standing O, Howard?  Really? 

 

Old strong dude is a wonderful shout out to a longstanding tradition in America.   Great on him and I enjoyed learning about his dad and family.  I also would have voted "No."  I am glad he made it on air, but that is a one-trick pony act.

 

Blue Journey was darn good, but we've seen a lot of rear projection now.  I hope, but doubt, they will be able to keep up the great level we saw tonight.

 

Nick's fake-out was masterfully done.  Even I was taken aback as he approached the jidges.  I did wonder in the moment why his jidges epithets, which hit a little too close to home, were allowed to air.  Nick is a darn fine talent.

 

The pacing of the show and the decisions as to who we got to see most were excellent.  Can we get that executive staff over to the American Idol offices?  On the double!

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I can't be easily fooled but Nick surely fooled me... not a bad start of the season, but they had to have a sob story at the end like on every episode that the only downer for me..

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Nick fooled me completely. Howie was definitely scared.

 

Nick's fake-out was masterfully done.  Even I was taken aback as he approached the jidges.  I did wonder in the moment why his jidges epithets, which hit a little too close to home, were allowed to air.  Nick is a darn fine talent.

 

I think this kind of hooks into some of Nick's weird antics with his album promotion a few months ago.  Not that the acts were the same, but clearly he's been working on pushing some boundaries with disguising himself.

I never expected a genuine sociological statement to be made in the premiere!  The absolute wall between the guys and the gals when it came to Dojo was quite something.  Graduate-level courses are fashioned out of what we saw.  Me?  I thought "Three Stooges" early on.

 

I'm wondering if its a widespread gender thing overall.  I'm male, and it took me like... 1 second to twig to what they were doing.  And I'm not even that big a Stooges fan.

Why is it that opera almost always engenders outsized respect on this show?  Those ladies (Acte II)?) were good, but the slow clap standing O, Howard?  Really? 

 

It was the first "fuck you, judges" I wanted to deliver this season.  I think we had this discussion about the pissing away of the meaning of Standing Os over in the Idol forum.  This didn't even REMOTELY meet the standard I hold a real Standing O to.  By my measure, if there's a single standing O during the ENTIRE audition process, and a single one during the live shows, that's... right on the borderline of "almost too much".  But I bet we'll get a few dozen of each.

Blue Journey was darn good, but we've seen a lot of rear projection now.  I hope, but doubt, they will be able to keep up the great level we saw tonight.

 

I even got why the guy didn't want to reveal how long they'd known each other--he didn't want them pre-judging the act in any way.  Where he BLEW it was in not instantly telling them after the act was over.  That would have gotten them some nice brownie points.

The pacing of the show and the decisions as to who we got to see most were excellent.  Can we get that executive staff over to the American Idol offices?  On the double!

 

This show's always been okay with that, but yeah--they really stepped up the show control/editing/pacing.  I don't even mind them pretending that different acts from different days were all in a row.  It's like they told the judges not even to worry about that (thus allowing them to wear totally different clothes).  That reassured me they're no longer assuming their viewers are idiots.

Edited by Kromm
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I liked the comedian Naturman.  I think I saw him on Last Comic Standing also.

 

I liked the opera singers, thought they had beautiful voices, unlike some so-called "opera" singers in the past.  I think their voices blended together beautifully.  However, I do agree that it's tiresome that the judges automatically feel obliged to give a standing O because someone is singing "opera." 

 

I didn't like the dancing duo because I feel like I've seen that act with the screen before.  I was bored.  I didn't like the smart kid either because I didn't think his piano playing was all that.  It just sounded like a lot of banging on the piano to me.

 

As a former student of tae kwon do, I "got" Dustin Dojo immediately.  I thought the act was hilarious.  Glad they made it to Vegas, although I don't expect them to make it much further.   

 

I hate "danger" acts where I'm peeking between my fingers and afraid to look, like the man doing the handstands.  I appreciate the talent, but I just don't want to see it.

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I'm wondering if its a widespread gender thing overall.  I'm male, and it took me like... 1 second to twig to what they were doing.  And I'm not even that big a Stooges fan.

 

 

OK, female who thought the Stooges were the last word in humor when I was about 8. I don't quite get the connection? This reminded me more of an Andy Kaufman type of thing.

 

 

I liked the opera singers, thought they had beautiful voices, unlike some so-called "opera" singers in the past.  I think their voices blended together beautifully.  However, I do agree that it's tiresome that the judges automatically feel obliged to give a standing O because someone is singing "opera."

 

What gets me is, the automatic bowing-down to anyone with pretensions to operatic style reveals a lack of knowledge of the form. Thus, they praise the good equally with the average or mediocre. I thought the duet was good, better than some I've heard on this show, and the "Flower Duet" isn't overdone on this show. Now, if they come out next time singing "Ave Maria" or some crossover stuff, I may change my mind.

 

I didn't like the dancing duo because I feel like I've seen that act with the screen before.

 

 

Same here. There were two acts doing it last year, if memory serves. And one of them (Kenichi) won.

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Watching last night I was reminded that I enjoy the judges here more than the others on the other 'judging' shows.  These four are a good mix, seem to actually get along well and have individual comments normally worth hearing  Part of the reason I find myself always watching...the commentary is generally quite good.  And.....I really appreciated the new pacing and the let's get right to it feel this season!  After the just finished season of DWTS and the endless repeats and more repeats it was fun to have show just move smartly along!

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Like Ohwell, I thought the opera singers were terrific, and also remember Dan Naturman from LCS.  Surprised no one's mentioned the precocious little piano player. His personality could either grate overupcoming appearances or actually settle down to be a bit more natural. Hope he doesn't flame out.

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I didn't like the dancing duo because I feel like I've seen that act with the screen before.  I was bored.  I didn't like the smart kid either because I didn't think his piano playing was all that.  It just sounded like a lot of banging on the piano to me.

I thought the dance was well choreographed to disguise minor mistakes. I'm not sure how to take Howie asking if they were a couple after seeing that the guy is nearly twice as old as she is (33 vs 18). The smart kid really made a hash of things on the first piece he played; it was nice of them to give him a second try and hope he doesn't get annoying.

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I thought the dance was well choreographed to disguise minor mistakes. I'm not sure how to take Howie asking if they were a couple after seeing that the guy is nearly twice as old as she is (33 vs 18). The smart kid really made a hash of things on the first piece he played; it was nice of them to give him a second try and hope he doesn't get annoying.

Howie's a dumbass, but to be fair WE had an onscreen cue as to her age, and he didn't.  While she does look that young in a close camera shot, she was also wearing a lot of stage makeup and the way that stage is laid out was a good distance away from the judges as well.  

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I never expected a genuine sociological statement to be made in the premiere!  The absolute wall between the guys and the gals when it came to Dojo was quite something.

 

Female here--I got what they were doing, but still didn't think it was funny.  They were boring as hell to me.

 

I appreciate that the kid who played the keyboard is talented and a genius.  I just found him incredibly annoying.

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I think Dojo teetered on the line between parodying obsessive behavior (can be funny, if done right) and the mentally challenged (rarely, if ever, funny).  When they spun around to look for potential "attackers", that was mildly amusing. Otherwise...just no.

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I'm a guy and I didn't really 'get' Dojo, at least not enough to warrant the Gold Star, but since they introduced it, you knew one of the judges would have to burn it in the first episode to show it's "Serious Stuff". 

 

I don't care for kids acts in general, so the smart kid can just walk back off as far as I care. He was quickly getting annoying for me right from the beginning.

 

Kudos to the producer and editor for cutting out a lot of the fluff. Most of the individual stories were taken in the backstage/prep area, which I don't mind as much since you get a view of how many other acts are out there looking to get on. Now we just need to get a big dancing group on stage to see if these producers are really serious. (As in keep the damn camera on the act for most of the act).

 

Loved Nick's fake out, including the setup. I didn't clue in until he took his wig off and I started thinking "isn't that...". Frankly, given the show, I'm surprised there haven't been more blowouts like that, even if it was just an act.

 

All 5 stars of the show (Nick and the 4 judges) seem to obviously get along well enough. Sometimes one gets on another's nerves, but overall they all seem to have fun and enjoy most of the acts. Nick has become an absolute master at handling the talent, when they do good or bad or just not quite good enough, and unlike the judges, Nick doesn't have as much protection (distance and security) from the acts. Still, the judges (especially the 2 Howards) are good at reading the act's reactions and balancing the criticism and let down with praise. 

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Nick's fake out was funny, but was it necessary? I would've liked to view more real auditions instead... as always the show has a lot of time sinks with no content...

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One fake out act, in an episode that had already cut out a lot of the old filler that used to clog things up? I'll take that trade anyday. Especially when there are other inshow advertising filler like the Snapple Judges Room and the Popcorn Acts that Pop still clogging things up. At least Nick's fake act was entertaining.

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Howie's a dumbass, but to be fair WE had an onscreen cue as to her age, and he didn't.

The judges have information on the acts in front of them and ages were definitely part of it in past seasons; I remember HS sometimes saying "it says here you're __ years old" to some performers. Have we ever seen Howie wearing glasses? He might be trying to wing it for vanity's sake. Even if Howie didn't know the numbers, the guy looked every bit his age, so Howie should have seen that and not gone there.

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I got the impression from seeing the twinkle in Howie's eyes that he knew full well the ages of the couple, but he got a kick out of messing with the guy--as in you've got a young girlfriend *wink wink*. 

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I never expected a genuine sociological statement to be made in the premiere!  The absolute wall between the guys and the gals when it came to Dojo was quite something.  Graduate-level courses are fashioned out of what we saw.  Me?  I thought "Three Stooges" early on.

Female here and a lifelong Stooges fan.  They were my favorite act of the night by far,  with Nick's fake-out a close second.  I wish that this were NOT a gender split thing, but I've been in the female minority audience for this kind of humor my whole life.  My heart just sank when I saw the judges split along gender lines on this.  Not at Casa Rat where Mr Rat and I were both howling with laughter.

 

Why is it that opera almost always engenders outsized respect on this show?

Because the audience respects the skill level involved in the singing, plus they aren't being asked to sit through a whole opera, just one extremely well-known and popular vocal piece.  This kind of presentation of opera I think has always killed in the US since the days of vaudeville and chatauqua.

 

I don't like the kid acts in general and really didn't like that kid in the opening act - he  seemed like something from the old Gong Show to me.  Like the hand balancer but nothing is going to top the Kristef Brothers from last season as hand balance acts go. Great to see Mighty Atom Jr. keeping his family tradition going but he may not live long enough to get to  the next level.

Edited by ratgirlagogo
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I don't like the kid acts in general and really didn't like that kid in the opening act

I feel the same way, particularly as the kid's piano playing wasn't even remotely anything spectacular. I've seen/heard better at elementary school talent shows. The fact that a lot of kids get put through based solely on their "cuteness" factor is something that has bugged me about this show since the beginning. I'm also irritated when some of the larger group acts throw in a random 3, 4,  or 5 year old in the hopes of capitalizing on the cuteness factor. The kids rarely do anything to enhance these types of acts and get used as kind of a prop - thrown up the air, danced around, smile and mug for the judges, etc.  I really wish they would set a minimum age for this show - setting it at 18 or even 16 would help make this show a bit more likeable for me.

 

I wonder how many singers are going to get through this year. I really hope we see a better variety of talents this season and that the judges are more mindful about how many singers (especially kid singers)  they send onto the final rounds this season. There are more than enough singing competitions these days and I hate when AGT starts to almost turn into one as well.

Edited by Rapunzel
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I'm also irritated when some of the larger group acts throw in a random 3, 4,  or 5 year old in the hopes of capitalizing on the cuteness factor.

 

Rapunzel, someone needs to buy you a hot fudge sundae, preferably at a restaurant that doesn't have a kid's menu.  I hate "prop kids". 

I also hate that there appears to be no learning curve from TPTB that no matter how cute a kid seems, America didn't watch America's Most Talented Kid, and kid acts have all kinds of other issues. 

 

I'd be up for an age minumum of 18, which would also reduce the legal guardian/school issues for the producers, and lets the kids feel like they would have won if those meanie producers would just give them a chance (also it lets them have a slightly more normal childhood.)  There's an up side for everyone.  (If I'm wrong, feel free to prove it by bring back Most Talentest Kutest Kid as its own show, on a network a few channels away from one I'll be watching.)

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I wouldn't mind seeing the kids if they were actually good, rather than just good for their age. This isn't "America's Got Potential". The "prop kids" would disappear if the judges and screeners would assess the groups on their overall merit instead of making allowances. If a group can't hack it, they should be gone, no matter how young or cute their weak link is.

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I wonder how many singers are going to get through this year. I really hope we see a better variety of talents this season and that the judges are more mindful about how many singers (especially kid singers)  they send onto the final rounds this season. There are more than enough singing competitions these days and I hate when AGT starts to almost turn into one as well.

 

I agree, but the judges tried their best last season to stack the top 20 or whatever with variety acts. They can't help it if America keeps voting them out and voting singers through. (It reminds me of the singer who chastised Simon for "voting out" Jennifer Hudson from American Idol - this was right after she won her Oscar - and Simon rightfully pointed out that they put her in the top 10; America voted her out.) 

 

Unless the judges don't put any singers through to the finals - and I would be okay with that, but it won't happen - it's up to the American voting public to push the variety acts.

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Unless the judges don't put any singers through to the finals - and I would be okay with that, but it won't happen - it's up to the American voting public to push the variety acts.

It's up to the show to get the camera work right. When viewers can't really see the act because the camera keeps jumping to the audience or judges or backstage, they can still appreciate a singer; not so much a variety act. The only time you can rely on this show to get a variety act right is when they're forced to because the lights were shut off (e.g. the dance duo).

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The only time you can rely on this show to get a variety act right is when they're forced to because the lights were shut off (e.g. the dance duo).

 

I blame the director for that.  They have enough cameras (all of which should have plenty of tape) that when something interesting happens, you show that.  This is especially true in the tryouts, which aren't live, so they have the opportunity to show the best bits (but sometimes still manage not to.)  

 

The dance duo was exactly what should have been shown...point the camera at the act, make sure it's in focus, and start recording.  There was probably a camera person doing that, but instead the director thought we'd rather see people cheering and/or booing, because we've never seen that, except on every episode of this show ever--and it wasn't that interesting the first time.  

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It would be beyond shocking if each camera's product were not recorded at all times.   If they do not have the equivalent of All-22 (in football a mostly static shot which captures the actions of all players as a whole at all times) then they are beyond moronic.  

 

Until the live shows begin, what we see is the considered choice of producers.  Since we aren't voting yet, I'm pretty much OK with it.  But, when it matters most, they simply must not keep constantly cutting to various close-ups and such for dance troupes.  It absolutely is an advantage to the acts which require less complicated staging.

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I thought it was a good start to the season. Nothing totally blew me away. I'm willing to give Dustin's Dojo one more try just to see what else I can do, but I wouldn't be surprised if they end up being one note. The piano playing kid was cute for five seconds and then it was like ugh shut up. His first song was a big fat mess and idk why they gave him a second chance. I hate when they do that. Come back when you're better.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only person who was fooled by Nick as the mime. Once he took off the wig and I saw it was him I felt like such an idiot, but maybe he really was just that good. He continues to impress as a host. Funny, kind, encouraging...he's also really good at keeping the show moving once the live shows start.

 

Wrt the cameras and cutting away for close-ups and whatnot...yeah, it's annoying for a lot of acts. But I learned in my communication and technology class last semester that people generally have a hard time paying attention to television shows that don't constantly cut away to different shots. I think my professor said that the ideal length for a television shot was three seconds. The producers might be taking that into account, and their main priority is making sure people watch their show and don't turn it off or change the channel.

 

And I agree about the child acts. The kids might start out cute, but eventually their egos get overblown and its obnoxious. Also, I know next to nothing about singing and vocal cords, but child singers have never made much sense to me in terms of something that the show would want to invest in. Isn't it possible that a child's voice could change after puberty and not be as good, especially boys (though the show has had few, if any, prepubescent male singers)? Also I worry that some of these kids have been singing for years without a vocal coach (idk if AGT provides them once you join) and that they're not using proper technique and could end up destroying their voices, once again rendering null any sort of long-term career/investment.

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I'm a little late in posting, but I just saw this today. I like that it was recorded because I could skip over the acts I did not want to see. The piano playing boy lasted about five seconds. Good for him being a genuis, but you would think as a genius he would know better than to act so cocky. If an adult had done that, they probably would have gotten am "X," especially if they had messed up on their song afterward...

 

I remember Dan Naturman (sp?) very well from "Last Comic Standing" and was glad to see that he a) did very well and b) told jokes that I did not remember from "Last Comic Standing." I hope he goes far.

 

I would have to agree with Heidi and Mel B. on Dustin Dojo. I wanted to like him more than I did, since at least "Terry" was creative.

 

The old man was cool, but I wouldn't say that he needed to advance. They could have brought him back for the finale and he could have pulled the open truck with the twenty people at that point. I wouldn't say I want him to win, but I don't want him to become a mockery, either.

 

Add me to the list of people who didn't realize that Nick was the mime. I...wanted it to be an actual mime and I wanted the mime to do well. I guess it was a cute idea, but I also don't really understand the point. I'm sure the audience really enjoyed it.

 

The "golden buzzer" has been a part of Germany's version of this show for a couple of years. I guess I don't mind it if a judge can only use it once a season. Does that mean there will not be a wild card show?

Edited by die Frau

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I mean, that boy has skipped, what, five grades? His peers are five years older than him so I doubt he spends much of his time interacting with others and isn't so great at social situations. Not to mention that eight-year-olds aren't exactly masters of humility. That's no excuse, and his parents should tone him down eleven notches, but that's a valid explanation for why he was so cocky.

 

I figured that Donny Valentine or whatever his name was would be an awful singer once he started going on about how he blew his own mind with how good he was.

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It will be interesting to see which acts Mel and Heidi use the Golden Buzzer for, as I anticipate another "so stupid it's (supposedly) funny" act will get through due to Howie's choice to use it.

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The dance duo was exactly what should have been shown...point the camera at the act, make sure it's in focus, and start recording.  There was probably a camera person doing that, but instead the director thought we'd rather see people cheering and/or booing, because we've never seen that, except on every episode of this show ever--and it wasn't that interesting the first time.

You're right in that they could have done better with the duo. They didn't shut off the lights on the judges so there were still cutaways to them, the director was a bit manic in switching cameras, and it made no sense to ever go to the long shot from the right when the performance was in progress. But it was much better than their usual work in letting viewers size up the act.

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I despair of this show ever having a decent director and camera work, considering its checkered history in this regard, but I will try to stay open-minded.

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It will be interesting to see which acts Mel and Heidi use the Golden Buzzer for, as I anticipate another "so stupid it's (supposedly) funny" act will get through due to Howie's choice to use it.

Mel's fairly sensible most times, so it's only Howie that I really fair will let through something moronic.

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I thought it might be North American vs European humour rather than gender.  I thought it was funny. A winner over all at the end? Probably not, but I was amused.

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Wrt the cameras and cutting away for close-ups and whatnot...yeah, it's annoying for a lot of acts. But I learned in my communication and technology class last semester that people generally have a hard time paying attention to television shows that don't constantly cut away to different shots. I think my professor said that the ideal length for a television shot was three seconds. The producers might be taking that into account, and their main priority is making sure people watch their show and don't turn it off or change the channel.

 

I think that's valid for scripted shows - who wants to watch one endless shot of two people talking on a procedural, for example? But on a talent show, it's all about seeing the acts. I'm okay with one or two cutaways to the judge's amazed faces, but that's it. I don't give a shit what the audience thinks, and I don't need to see closeups of the dancers/acrobats/whatever's faces in a group act. I just want to see the act.

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Yes, I hate the camera wprk on this show. I don't want to see constant cutaways to watch the judge's reactions- once during the act is enough.

Count me as another female that did not like the dojo act. I thought it was stupid, & almost seemed as if he was mentally slow ( or making fun of those that are). I used to watch the 3 Stooges all of the time as a kid, but this didn't strike me as funny at all.

I would love to see 18 & up- hate the kid acts- & wonder why most of these solo singers don't try out for the numerous other singing shows?

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& wonder why most of these solo singers don't try out for the numerous other singing shows?

 

Probs because they're not good enough? I don't watch strictly singing shows so idk how many of these people show up on AI, The Voice, X Factor, etc., but if their voices were good enough to get onto those shows, then they probably would. Also, the faux-opera people can't really audition for those shows because that's not the style they're looking for.

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