Big Top Action Helps Power America's Got Talent
And what a pleasure it is. And how glad am I that I took the time to check out the current season of America's Got Talent.
I'd known of the show's history, circus acts appearing now and then, but haven't watched it for a few years. Simon, yes Simon Says Yes - Simeon Says No is what brought me back. What I like the most is how the judges embrace the best circus acts, their raving reception making them seem fresh again.
I assume that audience members surrendered their smart phones upon entering.
Really, most of these acts are hardly amateur.
These veteran wire walkers performed a fairly standard routine. The judges appeared to be in such dread, that I wondered if they were overdoing it a bit.
I've never felt so unnerved by a knife and fire throwing routine.
Simon, of course, is the star judge. The one whose word we await. But the other judges form a most winning panel.
Yes, if this act is not razor-edge dangerous, I don't know what is.
Back to no-nonsense basics: TRICKS
Circus "tricks" is not a dirty or passe word on this program -- as it has become in higher quarters of advanced circus learning and credentialed creation. Said one of the contestants, proudly to the judges, "We have new tricks and surprises."
A dancing dog. Wish I had better pictures to show. These were taken on my iPhone in front of my TV screen.
Pure circus -- hold the big top broccoli
As some of you may have noticed, circus acts today may come to you in any number of overwrought formats -- straddled to a "story" line; rendered inside a black S&M tent drenched in blood; over ice or under water. Here, circus is performed straight ahead, and what a pleasure that is.
Which is to say that Cirque du Ballet has not infected the program, And this speaks well of the producers, who apparently have a good understanding of what circus is all about. I compared it to the earnestly plodding Celebrity Circus on NBC back in 2008, whose Cirque-obsessed contestants seemed driven to land contracts with the Montreal monster. After five labored episodes, that tediously pretentious sell-out to fringe circus was history.
Minus excessive airs, our attention is thrown exclusively onto the tricks themselves.
The judges -- Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Simon, : I like all four of them a lot -- augmented here with the fellow in the middle, a guest judge that week. So much better than some of the sleazy panels on Idol in recent years, which put me off and left me with no desire to watch the foundering program. Simon works well with his cohorts. I would venture to guess that this panel might be the most winning of all on either of the talent shows so far. The cool and warm Nick Canon is the perfect host.
Okay, yes, notwithstanding the above, this amphibious ball juggler looked like a veiled promo for Cirque du Soleil. The judges loved him. I found him slightly more repellent than riveting.
WARNING TO ALL CLOWNS. You SCARE Simon. Apparently, he suffers from coultraphboia, a recent British diagnosis for the fear of circus clowns.The put down "creepy clowns" was uttered more than once.
And this overdone Bozo drove Simon close to the edge. The guy was stupidly silly. I doubt he made it through. Maybe a future on the Shrine clowning circuit?
Call the doctor! Simon is having a coultraphobia attack!
When I first watched the program some years ago, I don't recall as many circus acts. Perhaps the producers are banking on big top gusto to give the show more variety and surprise. And think of it, where in the world can a circus performer get an audience in the millions? Where?
So let's all hear it -- GO CIRCUS on America's Got Talent!
************ THE RATINGS *************
So, how are you doing, circus? After writing this, I just checked on the ratings, having no idea what the show has been doing. Whopping good! They drew over 10 million viewers last week, more than twice that of second place The Bachelorette:
Yes, Go Circus Go!