Wednesday night’s “America’s Got Talent” results show revealed the first six acts that will compete in the Season 8 finals, which get underway on Sept. 10.
Operatic trio Forte, singer Cami Bradley, comedian Taylor Williamson, shadow dance group Catapult Entertainment, magician Collins Key, and all-girl, all-kid dance group Innovative Force each earned enough votes to move on to the next round.
This viewer expressed concern over the seeming disregard the American voting audience displayed by putting Innovative Force and Key through in light of the superiority of other acts – such as singer Dave Fenley – that were sent packing.
It is apparent that Innovative Force and Key were the least deserving of the six that earned a spot in the “AGT” finals.
Um, well, there’s a reason for that.
After some quick research, it turns out that Bradley, the all-girl dance group and Key are the only true amateurs in the group.
Keeping true to its deceptive tactics, “America’s Got Talent” continues to present its contestants in a light that isn’t entirely accurate.
So far, half of this season's finalists come with resumes that are rich in professional experience.
Does this bother you?
Let’s take a look.
Josh Page, Sean Panikkar, and Fernando Varela are the three supposed regular Joes who just happened to come across each other on YouTube.
That may be true, fellas, but you forgot to mention one little tidbit: at least two-thirds of your group is very musically accomplished.
Let’s start with Panikkar, whose professional accomplishments are too numerous to list here.
A few highlights from his website:
“During the 2013-14 season operatic engagements include the role of Rodolfo in a new production of La boheme staged by Francesca Zambello at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Macduff in Macbeth for the tenor’s debut at the Sachsische Staatsoper Dresden and with Palm Beach Opera, and return engagements with Pittsburgh Opera as Tamino in The Magic Flute and with Fort Worth Opera as Nadir in Les pecheurs de perles.”
Varela also has a long list of pro accomplishments, which you can see on his website. Of particular note, he’s performed in more than 16 fully staged operas and hundreds of concerts, having performed with a variety of big-name acts, including Jewel, Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond, Kelly Clarkson, Keith Urban, Seal, and Lionel Richie.
Interestingly, “AGT” only showed Page’s onstage encounter with Josh Groban during Wednesday night’s episode. Interesting because it appears that he’s the least accomplished of the group.
Mr. Awkwardly Funny himself also comes with an impressive resume.
Williamson performed at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Canada, and was the youngest comedian to perform on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”
That’s not all, he’s been on an MTV’s “TRL,” Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” and was a finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.”
Funny guy, but an up-and-comer? Hardly.
This one’s a stretch, but the fact is an accomplished professional formed the shadow-dancing group.
Founder Adam Battelstein spent 19 years with Pilobolus, a Connecticut-based choreographer and dancer-athlete company.
Battelstein has worked with illusionists at Momix, performed at the 2007 Academy Awards, and soloed at Carnegie Hall.
The group performs for corporate meetings, awards ceremonies, trade shows and private engagements. Their client list includes Abbot, Bridgestone Tires, IBM, and Project Hope.
There have been a few contestants on this season’s “America’s Got Talent” that have mentioned in passing that they are professionals, so maybe we’re making progress towards accurately portraying these performers’ experience.
However, the bulk of them are shown in a light that is, at the very least, deceptive to the viewing audience.
It doesn’t come as a huge surprise that these performers are professionals, given their obviously seasoned and well-practiced crafts.
What is at the heart of the matter, though, is how “AGT” uses its power to mislead and misinform its viewing audience.
Be upfront with us, “AGT,” just be up front.
The next semifinal round of “America’s Got Talent” will air on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 8 p.m. on KSL 5 in Provo.