True talent was in short supply during the Tampa, Florida, auditions for "America's Got Talent." Except for a few acts that demonstrated poise and skill, the hopefuls were a group of attention seekers who really had no business being on stage.
The urban "Glee" sets the bar high in Florida.
Inspire the Fire, a non-profit organization whose founder said has been called an urban version of "Glee," set everything in motion. A group that reaches out to young people through the arts, Inspire the Fire launched into a spirited song-and-dance number that had more heart than anything the hour-long Fox TV show has come up with during three seasons on the air.
Howard Stern, who is proving to be a tougher judge than his critics anticipated, definitely came away enthused by the energetic singing and dancing.
"You guys are so upbeat, you make us smile. You can sing, you can dance, you can do it all. By the way, I hate 'Glee,' but I love you," Stern said.
Pandering to the radio host.
During his radio career, Stern gained a reputation for bringing unusual guests into the studio, especially beautiful women who wanted to get undressed on the air. The Tampa auditions had some of that flair with the Bikini Bombshells, four buxom young North Carolina women in bikini tops and hot pants.
Testosterone levels were high when the ladies reached the stage. Stern gave them a standing ovation even before they did a thing. Howie Mandel immediately declared "You're going to Vegas!" before any of them said a single word.
Stern definitely expected the dancers to wow the crowd, but none of them had enough dancing ability to make a decent living at a gentleman's club. The applause and whistles quickly turned to catcalls and booing as the girls strutted their, uh, stuff.
"They are cute, but they can't dance," host Nick Cannon said backstage.
Stern laid it on the line from the judge's table. "My Aunt Sally, God rest her soul, was 95. At 95, she moved better than you. At least if your implants had exploded, we would have had excitement."
Mandel had, at least, a few kind words for the act. "This is, for me as a judge, such a dichotomy. Even though you are terrible -- you are really terrible, atrocious, whatever -- I still loved it," he said.
The Bikini Bombshells led into a montage of dreadful acts, including a hairdresser using "claws" to cut and style hair onstage.
Male clogging group gets things back on track.
After three weeks, the oddball auditions for "America's Got Talent" are getting tiresome. Though the producers are giving the questionable acts a minute or two in the spotlight, the Tampa acts turned dull quickly. With only an hour to fill, the audience gets hungry for real talent, not hairdressing or hot girls stuffed in hot pants.
"All That!," a male clogging review, got the show back on track. These 20-something guys danced with a skill that rocked the entire house. This is the kind of act fans want to see more of from week to week.