By Calvin Palmer
America’s got talent but apparently no sense of justice. Pianist Jeffrey Ou had to be judged on the first half of his act on tonight’s show when one of the dancers on stage kicked the microphone cable to the piano thus rendering it inaudible.
It was one of the perils of live television.
The quiet unassuming Ou, a manic maestro when playing the keyboards, accepted his fate with good grace; an attitude that is likely to have stood him in good stead with the viewing audience who will decide his fate with the votes they cast.
But it seems to me to be wholly unfair to be judged on half of his performance.
The director of the program could have cut the number of time host Nick Cannon told viewer’s they were watching America’s Got Talent and that only five acts from tonight’s show would go through to the final. Most people get the message the first time. It does not have to be repeated after every advert break.
Cutting down on this repetition, the kind normally reserved for children at elementary school, could have created sufficient time for Ou to reappear and perform his act again.
Perhaps it is asking too much of an overpaid TV director to think on his feet and provide Ou with a fair hearing.
The panel of judges consists of two Brits – Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne. One of the reasons I watch the show is to hear the cadence of English voices. Another reason is my wife works with one of Grandma Lee’s four children.
The British are renowned for their sense of fair play and I sincerely hope Morgan and Osbourne can bring pressure to bear on executive producer Simon Cowell, another Brit, to allow Ou to repeat his act next week and to have it judged in its entirety. Viewers who gave him a sympathy vote tonight would have their votes discounted.
That seems a fair solution, although it is unlikely affect the likely outcome of Ou’s fate. He would be better served by honing his piano-playing talent to the classical concert halls of the world rather than the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas cabaret. But a million bucks is a million bucks and I do not blame Ou for showcasing his talent on this show.
He is, however, wasting his time. The clear winner tonight was the silky-smooth voice of singer Lawrence Beaman; a class act head and shoulders above everyone else.
He has the poise and talent to become the outright winner of America’s Got Talent; a view expressed by all three judges. But it will be the viewers who will ultimately decide.