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Your Freaks and Neighbors

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Quick -- what happens when you want to put on an American Idol-esque show during the summer TV doldrums, and Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest are busy spending the bizillions they earned during the regular TV season?

You get David Hasselhoff in the role of Randy; Brandy playing Paula, some Brit “journalist” named Piers Morgan playing Simon; and an aging Regis Philbin taking over Seacrest’s role in a two-hour waste of time called America’s Got Talent on NBC last night.

Produced by Simon Cowell, the show is a mixture of American Idol and The Gong Show, with a twist: There are no age limits, and America’s “talent” isn’t limited to karaoke-style singing. Last night’s LA-centric show highlighted our freaks and neighbors who try to juggle, strip at a really old age, and give Marty and Elayne a run for their money at The Dresden.

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The judges -- can you say “has-beens” fast enough? -- quickly reminded us why they’re probably where they are right now: They let acts go through to the next round with almost zero talent. Why let in the fast-snapping guy? Why let in the juggler who can’t juggle? Why let in the dude who does hand-balancing in flowy white robes? All nice acts for Universal City Walk, but for the million dollar prize? We don’t think so.

What is it in LA’s collective consciousness that makes the guy sitting in the next cubicle over think his lame Yoda impression will get him that million? Were we all neglected by our parents that much that we need to seek out those 15 minutes of fame, attention and derision, even if it costs us our personal pride? You betcha.

So while LAist liked some of the singers on “America’s Got Talent,” we’d rather wait and see the real karaoke thing on American Idol.

Postscript:
Is there some sort of rule on TV that every talent show has to have a Brit male judge? Besides Simon and Piers, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance show has a Nigel. Fyi to the networks: Having the accent doesn’t always jibe with the American public. Just ask Madonna.