Warning! The following contains spoilers for the first live show of America's Got Talent Season 15. Read at your own risk!
It wasn't that long ago that America was watching The Voice fumble through a live show while trying to finish its season, and it makes what America's Got Talent has accomplished all the more impressive. The NBC series really showed out with a massive digital audience behind its judges, and a way to take positive advantage of the coronavirus situation for a change. My question is, why didn't the show do this sooner?
For those that missed out, America's Got Talent did some of its live show on the stage tonight, when it made sense, but also utilized the Hollywood lot at Universal Studios for other acts. We saw contestants dancing in diners, or wrangling pigs in front of Western backgrounds, and it really did a lot to mix up the scenery and make this live show feel even more unique than it already was.
It's something that, I'm assuming, was only made possible because of the circumstances of COVID-19. America's Got Talent is typically filmed at the Hollywood Dolby Theater, but due to the virus, has had to change locations due to restrictions. Personally, I feel like the show should always utilize Universal Studios Hollywood for live shows going forward, because it brought real energy to some of the acts I find myself yawning to at home.
With all due respect to Simon & Maria, having a Hollywood diner set enhanced their dance act greatly for me. There was just so much gained from the duo shimmying and twirling on the set compared to the stage, and even though the judges weren't able to give their commentary until after a commercial break, I think the wait was well worth it for the product that we got.
Of course, I think America's Got Talent would prefer to go back to the way things were and have a live audience giving feedback in the seats. Let me be the first to say that I don't miss the live audience at all, and while I'm sure it would be cool to attend a taping, I think the value for the television audience was so much greater with the added visuals when using the Hollywood backlot.
America's Got Talent has been a hit for NBC for a while, but if COVID-19 has taught me anything about the show, it was that it needed a way of shaking things up. Now that it has been forced to, I'm seeing a lot of aspects I'd like to see return when the world is back to normal, and hopefully, Simon Cowell is seeing the same as he recovers from surgery.
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