America's Got Talent has showcased a bunch of extremely talented competitors throughout Season 14 so far, and some of the eliminations have come as big surprises. That said, it only took a couple of episodes to convince me that new host Terry Crews is the best part of Season 14, and now that we're in the live shows, I'm more convinced than ever. Seriously, if I had a golden buzzer, I would have already hit it for Terry Crews.
Terry Crews made his debut as America's Got Talent host in the special Champions edition of the series, which saw Season 13 champ Shin Lim take the top prize yet again. The previous AGT host had been Tyra Banks, who only held the gig for two years. She had been the replacement for Nick Cannon, who departed the series and NBC under a cloud of controversy despite popularity as host and judge Howie Mandel wanting him to stay. Crews had proved capable of mastering pretty much anything, from football to film to TV, but there was no saying if he could rise to the AGT challenge.
Well, Terry Crews is no Tyra Banks or Nick Cannon, and that's not at all a bad thing. While both Banks and Cannon were fun in their own ways, Crews positively sparkles with enthusiasm for everything America's Got Talent has thrown at him so far. I find myself loving AGT more for how much Crews clearly loves AGT.
A young singer wants him to promise to lift him into the air if somebody hits the golden buzzer for him? Terry Crews pulls off a Dirty Dancing-esque lift! Simon Cowell makes fun of people who play the flute? Terry Crews strips off his shirt, pops his pecs, and plays the flute on national television. A choir took the stage to remind him of his hometown? He hits the golden buzzer.
Everything is fresh and new to Terry Crews, and something about his charisma and smile makes AGT feel fresh and new as well, despite the fact that it's been going for nearly a decade and a half at this point. He's a breath of fresh air, and nothing about his work as host feels faked. Admittedly, he is an actor and knows how to perform, but he comes across as so genuinely filled with joy that he's a delight to watch.
The chemistry between Terry Crews and the judges has worked as well, and they seem to be proof that it's physically impossible not to crack at least a little bit of a smile if Crews is smiling in your general direction. This was far from a sure thing, as Season 14 saw the introduction of two brand new judges. Mel B and Heidi Klum ended their stints as AGT judges after America's Got Talent: The Champions. Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough -- who recently posed nude in a big way -- stepped into their shoes.
The dynamic on AGT is different overall in Season 14, and I do find myself missing some of the sparks that flew between the judges in the previous lineup, even if those sparks between Simon Cowell and Mel B weren't always the happy-go-lucky kind. The new dynamic is a little less caustic, and I sometimes wind up looking forward to the banter between the judges and host about as much as the talent acts.
Terry Crews won't be taking home the grand prize or hosting his own Vegas show following the end of America's Got Talent Season 14, but he's still the best part of the show recently for me. You can see more of him as host on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC now that AGT has reached the live shows portion of the season.