‘America’s Got Talent’ debate: Where has all the ‘talent’ gone?

Howard has been one saving grace.

We are starting to get close to the end of the “America’s Got Talent” audition shows, and every season we traditionally sit around and ask this question — is the talent this time really good enough? While we usually have a few acts to brag about, this time around we’re really not sure if we can do that. Maybe it’s the Tim Poe scandal, or the fact that the editors have focused more on people getting shot out of a cannon and lengthy product placement segments for popcorn and Snapple.

Ultimately, though, we’re sitting here unable to think about a single act that is at least stirring up conversation around the country. Last year, it was Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. — and three years ago, we had chicken catcher Kevin Skinner. The presence of Howard Stern has made things entertaining (even if we are a fan of Piers Morgan), but this alone cannot make up for the fact that this show has the word “Talent” is in the title.

Ultimately, we have a feeling that the show would show us great talent if it is there — but the problem here is that we really don’t see there being any great talent trying out. Maybe the turnout just wasn’t great, or that the talent pool is just too small at this point with all of the competition out there. All the singers have “The X Factor,” “The Voice,” and “American Idol” that they can try out for — meanwhile, dancers have “So You Think You Can Dance” and dance crews have “America’s Best Dance Crew.” Variety acts have a tough time showing us something new, and for whatever reason voters don’t typically respond to magic or comedy.

Is there still hope for this season? Yes, and this is why we caution anyone thinking about tuning out to not do so. The YouTube audition round produced Jackie Evancho two years ago, and while we don’t love the format of it, there’s no questioning that there is all sort of talent crawling around online that is right for this show, and it’s also possible that the best acts opted to do this rather than going out and sitting at a cattle call audition for hours. (After all, what would you prefer?)

Why do you think “America’s Got Talent” is running out of quality performances, and are you still confident that something great is still lurking under the surface this season?

Photo: NBC

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