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America’s Got Talent?

Ok, I tried to watch America’s Got Talent last year and couldn’t get into it. It was like watching a really long, tedious version of The Gong Show. It was too painful to become invested in. When it came on again this year, I didn’t start watching until much later, and am glad I did. While the vast majority of the acts are pretty lame, there are actually two that are phenomenal.

I am not at all a fan of the American Idol genre of television programming, though I have commented fairly extensively on my addiction to CBS’ Rock Star series (Where is RockStar:Van Halen?).

When I first tuned into AGT, I had to revisit my opposition to singing competitions because of Cas Haley. This ia a guy who comes across on TV as a generally decent and normal guy. He also happens to be one hell of an entertainer. He would be my choice for the winner with no doubt were it not for the ventriloquist.

Normally, the ventriloquist bit wears thin pretty quick. It has been a long time since anyone with their hand up a puppet’s ass has made me laugh or even smile. The fact is, there are only so many bits you can do with a dummy – and before I saw Terry Fator, I thought they had all been done to death. This guy is phenomenal. He’s a singer, a ventriloquist, and most impressively an impressionist. Not only is he is one of the best vocalists on the show, he does all of his singing in other people’s voices. He has done Roy Orbison, Garth Brooks, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole (and Natalie Cole), Kermit the Frog, and Louis Armstrong.

If you haven’t watched the show, I don’t really blame you. It’s not an easy thing to get into. However, if you have some time to kill tonight, you ought to tune in just to see Cas and Terry perform one last time.

Written by Michael Turk