Wednesday, August 22, 2007

This really is the moment on America's Got Talent

Before we start, I just want to assure you guys that Piers Morgan is okay. You may have heard that he cracked some ribs in a Segway crash over the weekend, but he made it to the live finale, albeit in so much pain that he barely moved or spoke. I'm just surprised it was Piers who crashed the Segway. If there's one judge on America's Got Talent you expect to be tooling, GOB-like, around town on a Segway, it's the Hoff. But I'm glad that Piers is okay, because that means it's okay for me to find the whole thing funny.

(By the way, we're talking about the season finale here. If you don't want to know who won, you need to stop reading now.)

Of course, it was a two-hour finale, with really only one point to it – crown a winner – so there was filler everywhere. There were performances from last year's Quick Change and Stomp Out Loud. There were performances from both this year's top ten and the "audition all-stars" (really just the most spectacular rejects of the season), and the rejects, by far, put on a better show. A flaming pogo stick makes everything more interesting, after all.

But the performance I'm sure you were looking breathlessly forward to – I know I was – was from David Hasselhoff, German superstar, the voice that broke down the Berlin Wall. His rendition of "This is the Moment" was everything I had been hoping for: unapologetically over the top and delightfully hammy. The only thing that was missing was that light-up piano scarf. Although I kind of hate the show a little for showing the Hoff's tiny, sweet old parents in the audience and making me feel bad about making fun of him.

And then there were the performances by the contestants, the ones that really counted. America's Got Talent made it a treat for them and for us, giving each of the contestants an appropriate act to sing with.

Julienne and Taylor Swift sang Taylor's "Teardrops on My Pillow." Maybe it's just because I don't follow country, but I had no idea who Taylor Swift was. Because I'd heard of everyone else who showed up, though, I was willing to trust the show that she was famous. Taylor and Julienne's voices meshed perfectly, and when it was done, Martina McBride had some nice words for Julienne in a video greeting.

Cas and UB40 came together to play "Red, Red Wine." It was probably the most obvious choice ever for a singer like Cas, but that's not to say that it wasn't a good choice. He fit right into the band, and when he was done, he was rewarded with a video message from Lionel Richie.

Butterscotch and Sean Kingston performed his "Beautiful Girls." It was a little disappointing, because Butterscotch really only did the beats and backup, instead of actually singing a duet with Sean. Once she was done, Butterscotch got a nice video greeting from her grandma – aww! She was the only contestant who got a message from family, and not from a star. But that made her lucky, as far as I'm concerned, because hers was the only personal message. Martina McBride is cool and all, but she's not Grandma.

Terry and Kermit the Frog – okay. How do I adequately explain the awesomeness of this performance? They duetted on "You've Got a Friend," with Johnny Vegas returning to sing as James Taylor, and Terry even got the opportunity to sing as himself. But did I mention Kermit? And the Muppet shenanigans didn't stop there, as they replaced the judges with Animal (Hoff), Beaker (Sharon), and the Swedish Chef (Piers), and gave Terry a video message from Miss Piggy.

But you want to know the results. I don't blame you; I've put enough filler into this recap. The first contestant to go was Julienne – the correct decision, as talented as she is – and next was my girl Butterscotch. That left Cas and Terry to fight it out for the title. And the winner, defying all of my expectations, was… Terry!

You know, Terry wasn't the one I wanted to win originally, but I actually found myself rooting for him at the end. He would never have been able to win any other show, and he was a delight to watch every week. And what makes me even happier is that America's Got Talent gave Terry what I always wanted for him: a venue in Vegas. He'll be playing at the Jubilee Theater at Bally's. So congratulations, Terry, and I promise, if I ever make a crack about ventriloquists again, I will add, "Except Terry Fator."