There was no Susan Boyle moment on Tuesday’s premiere of America’s Got Talent — in fact there was hardly a mention of the Scottish superstar’s name, other than a brief shot of her face in the opening credits. But one act brought a tear to the eyes of typically tough judge Sharon Osbourne.
The Voices of Glory, a trio of young brothers and sister whose mother was injured by a drunk driver, became an early favorite with their sentimental story and rousing performance. Their wheelchair-bound mother was the inspiration for their singing, they said, which drew crowds in the hospital where she recuperated. As the oldest child told the story, the crowd listened in rapt silence before the kids launched into “God Bless America.”
After judge David Hasselhoff gave his approval, Osbourne was interrupted by the crowd calling for the mother to come onstage. She was brought out and waved to the crowd. “I don’t quite know what to say,” Osbourne said as the Hoff comforted her. “Just an amazing family. You must be so proud to have such great children and they are so proud to have you as their mum.”
Showing off talent in Seattle, Chicago and New York, acts on the premiere also included 30-year-old loan officer David Johnson, who performed an acoustic love letter to Hasselhoff, the EriAm Sisters whose dream is to be the next Destiny’s Child and a man who could put a drill and hook in his nose.
One of the oddest performances came from Shine, a Stepford-esque group of Partridge Family clones that did a poppy rendition of “Walkin’ on Sunshine.” They received the type of negative response reserved for only the shrillest acts, and were sent home to Wisconsin with little consideration of their back-story. The rejection, it seemed, was all new to them.
The most embarrassing face plant of the night went to a 32-year-old impressionist from New York, whose attempt at copying Jack Nicholson‘s mannerisms were ridiculed by judges Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan as well as the studio audience.
New this season is the introduction of Nick Cannon (a.k.a. Mr. Mariah Carey) as AGT host, replacing Jerry Springer. Cannon’s hammy spontaneity made him a fun fit for the show — plus he mentioned “my wife” several times.
Here’s hoping for a cameo from Mimi! — Nicholas White
Tell us: Who was your favorite from the premiere of America’s Got Talent?