Photo by Pop Culture Passionistas
America’s Got Talent is back and once again Nick Cannon serves as the highly peppy host and backstage mentor to the contestants. In a recent conference call interview he talked about the level of talent on the show and the advice he gives competitors before they hit the spotlight.
Nick talked about the level of talent on the series this season. “Every year we say, ‘The show’s getting better and better.’ But I really believe that this is the best year because I think people are inspired by the previous years. This year people are more creative, they’re more open-minded.”
He pointed to a specific example, reflecting on how one competitor from last season raised the bar for similar acts this year. “When you saw acts like Fighting Gravity last year, it did so well. And then you see someone even do better than that this year and so early on with like iLuminate, and just taking these different approaches and these different ideas. The talent is tremendous this year.”
Cannon gives a nod to these innovative entertainers for drawing a younger crowd to she show. He noted, “The youth culture has been infused in this show in such a way and everything from the ratings to the chatter about the show it kind of proves it.”
Having been a star from an early age, Cannon gives the competitors, especially the younger ones some sage advice about their appearances on the show. He tells them, “Have a good time. Enjoy yourself. Don’t think of this as anything else but a fun performance. When those young people are on the side of the stage I ask them all these questions, but the last question I always ask them is, ‘Are you ready to have a good time?’ If you can remind young people of that, because there’s so much other pressure that’s coming from outside influences and just even themselves being right there on the side of the stage.”
He continued, “I have to remind them that they’re young and you’re entertaining because you love it, not because you’re trying to win $1 million, not because your parents are going to be more proud of you or anything of that. You’re doing this because this is what you love.”
Still it must be a daunting task stepping out in front of the crowd and the cameras but the three judges — Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel and Piers Morgan. That’s not an easy panel to play to. After all they’ll be critiquing they contestants performances and they can’t even manage to get along with each other.
Cannon addressed the seeming animosity between Mandel and Morgan. “It’s heightened reality. I definitely think that there is tension between Piers and Howie, but it’s in a way where they obviously remain professional. I think Howie was a little offended. In his first season that Piers just would always call him annoying and cut him off and act like he didn’t know what he was talking about. So he vowed that this year he was going to make Piers an honest man and be as annoying to him as possible to try to break him. So I think it’s just a little competition between the two, but at the end of the [day] it’s all love.” And although he didn’t go into detail he added, “Piers and I have always had our own little beef, so I actually enjoy it quite a bit when Howie is going at him.”