‘America’s Got Talent’: Auditions Begin [Preview]

America's Got Talent

America’s Got Talent on NBC, the summer’s hottest reality competition show on T.V., will start its 10th season on Tuesday, May 26, as the Auditions phase begins at Radio City Music Hall. The same four judges from the last few years will be returning, namely, Howard Stern, Mel B,  Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum. Also, Nick Cannon will be returning as the show’s host, as variety acts and contestants from all age groups will compete for the $1 million prize that will be awarded to the season winner.

This season of America’s Got Talent, four lucky acts will get the opportunity to automatically go directly to the live performance rounds and compete for America’s vote. They will get the chance via something called the “Golden Buzzer,” and then, their fates will ultimately be in the hands of the viewers and voters of America.

America’s Got Talent will, once again, showcase some of the most unusual and unique acts ever, by a wide variety of talented performers, like musicians, impressionists, contortionists, comedians, jugglers, acrobats, ventriloquists, and others. It is not enough for the acts and individual performers to be able to wow the judges and the viewers of America for one week and one performance — to remain in the running for the $1 million, they must continue to fascinate and entrance the viewers of America week after week.

America's Got Talent

Last summer, for the first time ever in the history of America’s Got Talent, the viewers of America chose a magician as the season winner. The magician was Mat Franco, of Rhode Island. Franco became the headliner in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the America’s Got Talent Live stage show.

Performers who have been past season winners on America’s Got Talent include the winner of season eight, the self-taught dancer, Kenichi Ebina. Ebina combines special effects, mime and Illusion into each of her performances; and the season seven winner was a dog act called Olate Dogs. Richard Olate and his son, Nicholas, trained the dogs in the act to do some very impressive tricks.

The winner of America’s Got Talent in 2011 was Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. of West Virginia. The singer ended up signing with Columbia/Syco records. In November, 2011, he released his debut album, That’s Life.

Another singer, soul singer Michael Grimm of Mississippi, was the season five winner on America’s Got Talent. Grimm was the headliner of the America’s Got Talent Tour that year, and he also wound up touring with both Stevie Nicks and Heart.

Singers have won the most times of any other types of performers on America’s Got Talent. The season four winner, Kevin Skinner, won for his singing talents, for example. In 2010, he released his debut album, Long Ride.

Another singer, pop opera singer Neal E. Boyd, was the winner of the third season of America’s Got Talent. The winner of season two, Terry Fator, was not a singer, but he was a combination ventriloquist, comedian and singer from Dallas, Texas. Fator signed a deal to headline at the Mirage in Las Vegas, and he still is a headliner there. An 11-year-old singer, Bianca Ryan, won the premiere season on America’s Got Talent, in 2006.

Howard Stern, 61, has been a judge on America’s Got Talent since 2012. To his point of view, it is just “the fourth season,” as the upcoming season will be the fourth one in which Stern has served as a judge. Though at times, Stern thinks of himself as being “the most important judge in the history of the world,” he has gotten used to listening to and respecting the opinions of the other judges, and they all have developed a great chemistry working together, even though their opinions are often wildly different.

Stern was a big fan of America’s Got Talent even before he became a judge on the show, as was Howie Mandel, who became a judge in 2010. Mandel stated in a recent interview that what he is doing now, and the sorts of comments he makes, “is what I was doing from the couch in my living room, in my underpants, before.” Now, he gets paid for his remarks, and, as he puts it, “I have the best seat in the house.”

On Tuesday night, when the tenth season of America’s Got Talent begins, it is expected to be as popular with the viewers of America as it ever has been. The variety of acts on the series continues to be amazing and the personalities of the judges mesh well together, two of the ingredients necessary to ensure that the series continues to be a big hit for NBC.

Written By Douglas Cobb

The Washington Post: TV highlights: ‘America’s Got Talent’
returns on NBC
The Hamilton Spectator: America’s Got Talent returns
for 10th season

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