Americans… Have Talent?

America’s Got Talent, apparently – but it takes Michael Knight and two vastly unqualified British goons to separate the weird from the chavs.  And what have they uncovered so far?  4-year-old Kaitlyn Maher, an impossibly cute little girl whose suitably adorable version of ‘Somewhere Out There’ (tragically, not the Nina Hynes one) melted the hearts of the audience and the supposedly ruthless panel.  What a gruesome display of sentimentality masquerading as talent.  What chance does genuine talent have next to to a 21st century Shirley Temple?  You wouldn’t expect David Hasselhoff to express discernment under these circumstances but even Piers Morgan couldn’t mallet the wailing wee one back into the arms of her opportunistically wholesome parents; she was, after all, the only 4-year-old on the show and infinitely cuter than the tap-dancing octegenarian who brought back terrible nightmares of Les Dawson’s beloved, rotund dance troupe, The Roly Polys.  For Morgan and Sharon Osbourne, little Kaitlyn must have stoked latent nostalgia for 1970s’ Opportunity Knocks, when Paula Yates’ father, Hughie Green unearthed such precocious young talents as Lena Zavarone and Bonnie Langford.  I hope they find the new Jim Davidson while they’re at it.  The only word (after “awww”) I could utter after this brazen exploitation of childhood was “yuk”.  Morgan and Osbourne’s fawning gullibility makes me more than a little embarrassed to be British but it helps to explain how they got the gig in the first place; in America, violin-screeching sentimentality matters much more than substance, as Disney proves time and again.  If they don’t decide to rename this TV travesty America’s Got Schmaltz, they should at least replace Morgan with Russell Brand at the first opportunity.

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