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Tuesday, June 2, 2015


If I had to rank my favorite network series programs, America's Got Talent (AGT) on NBC is probably #1.  However, relative to my life in general, this facet of my interest is so relatively insignificant that I neglected to even watch or record the opening session of Season Ten, which occurred a week ago Tuesday.  I was mildly depressed until I figured out a solution. 
In Hawaii, Channel 1017 is Oceanic's service to you where the top programs are kept for a week.  AGT is on ABC, and if you go to that station, effectively, Oceanic has recorded it for you.  

So I saw that first show, which tends to be of especial interest, as the producers present some of the most interesting acts of the season to capture your attention.  Particularly heart-warming stories are linked to the performances.  One problem is that you can't fast-forward through the commercials.  You can, of course,  also re-watch this program on the internet.  See that flag?  Turns out that many of the performers are not from America.  Hey, but we are the land of opportunity.

So tonight at 7PM or 8PM, depending on where you live, tune in to Week #2.  If you are pressed for time, record those two hours so you can at your leisure later erase the commercials.

I've reported on AGT before, so let me today just focus on Howie Mandel (that's him when he was almost 50) one of the four judges:

He is the bald guy on the right.  He has been here and there in entertainment, but has found his calling on this program.  By the way, he has natural hair, but shaves his head as a symptom of severe mysophobia, a pathological fear of germs.  He feels cleaner when bald.  He also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, (ADHD), so is a bundle of nerves.  In the first show this year a hypnotist persuaded Mandel to touch people without fear.  Mandel also used his "once only" Golden Buzzer, which allowed a stuttering comedian, Drew Lynch (left), a free pass to the live show.  Understandably, Mandel personally identified with this handicapped individual.

AGT was created by Simon Cowell, and in 2006 preceded Britain's Got Talent.  However, because Cowell was a judge on American Idol (AI), he could not participate in AGT, so instead also invented The X Factor in 2011.  Previous hosts of AGT were Regis Philbin and Jerry Springer, now Nick Cannon (on the left above).

I enjoy AGT over AI because the entertainment can be anything, some bizarre and even dangerous.  However, most of the winners have been singers, beginning in Season One with Bianca Ryan, all of 11 years old then.  The annual champ gets $1 million (40-year annuity) and a Las Vegas Strip headline show.  Bianca today to the right.

Unquestionably, the success story is Jackie Evancho, who was selected through a You Tube application, only came in #2 in Season Five, but has sold more than two million albums.  Two made it to #2 on Billboard.  She has to, though, "save" her career, for her second album sold 1.1 million, and each subsequent release declined:  682,000, 341,213, 116,054 and now 41,566.  Her first live performance on AGT was stunning.  If you haven't seen it, CLICK HERE.

She was only 10 years old!  A more recent photo to the right.

So watch America's Got Talent tonight.  I have poker, so will need to remember to record it.

Andres is still a hurricane, but is weakening and does not know what to do.  All models show him turning east, then southeast, a strange path:

Blanca, to the east, has suddenly become a real hurricane at 85 MPH, and could easily become a Category 3 or 4 very soon.  Again, very weird:

Blanca should weaken and probably strike Baha.  However, this freaky start to our hurricane season is worrisome.


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