The 2nd night of the New York City auditions on "America's Got Talent" gave us creative, original and fascinating performers, reminding us why the Big Apple rocks in so many ways. The mood was jovial, the judges seemed to be enjoying themselves and it made for a fun, fresh hour of television.
A Funny, Sassy Poppa Stern
The festivities did not start off well, as a parade of clumsy dancers, vocally challenged singers and a peculiar looking chap dressed like a "Spinal Tap" reject took the stage - frightening!
Suddenly, things started looking brighter when Howard Stern introduced his mom and dad, and we quickly realize that daddy is quite the sharp-witted gent. After an especially bad act, the Senior Stern grabbed a microphone and started to give a one-on-one critique to a contestant, complete with sassy one-liners and sharp comebacks. That humorous banter and warm/fuzzy moment set the tone of what was to follow in the program.
And the stars keep on shining...
One of the first shining stars of the night was a comedian/ventriloquist - with a twist. The man used a video screen, with projected images of all three judges, and proceeded to do these very clever bits, including a hilarious image of the "man-child" from a Howard Stern/Howie Mandel union. Stern called the act "a true original."
The talent kept on rolling with a gorgeous and sensual acrobatic routine from Donovan and Rebecca, a band of female rockers and a drag queen with an enormous, pink "Beehive-esque" wig, who shocked everyone by having a killer voice.
Stand-up comic Tom Conner, an immensely gifted man with smooth, natural charm, was a comedic whirlwind. Howie Mandel said "I am a big fan of yours - I think we found a star."
Next up was a handsome young guy, a dazzling dance teacher who was a one-man Hollywood animation machine, with eye-popping, unique moves. It was surprising to hear that the judges were not as wildly enthusiastic about him as they should have been, but at least he's moving on to Las Vegas. He also has a great personal story, raised by a loving grandmother, who was there to cheer him on to victory.
Strut that wild thing, Stern!
The final performers had all the makings of a pitiful male strip tease act, as a team of pumped-up beefcakes with inflated egos tried their best to entice America - eh, not so much. Sharon Osbourne told them "I like dirty, but you're not dirty - you're too clean cut."
Their desperate bump and grind went from sad to fab as Howard Stern took off his jacket and started to shake his wild thing. He was a riot and that spontaneous dance definitely helps to further solidify his newly- softened TV persona.
Overall, the show moved along well and was highly-enjoyable, but the three judges need to step it up with their comments. They are just feeding off one another, and much too agreeable, rather than offering stronger, more constructive feedback to the performers.