We're underway. The pictures of some of the bigger names who once appeared on this show fly across the screen. Snippets of the winning acts of Kevin James, Drew Carey and Britney Spears are highlighted. Britney was quite the loud little kid.
ArseInnyO comes out to a Huge Cheer, totally not because of the Applause sign, right? And of course what's an ArseInnyOh appearance without the 'woof woof' from a few dedicated drunken fans.
"Wassup?" he says. "Where mah dogs at?" Ugh - is he gonna be like this ALL night? AIO can't believe CBS let him do a live show. Who let that dog into prime time, woof? There are some who reckon he's better than Ed McMahon, but I'm thinking it's one of those 'choose the lesser of two evils' deals.
Notice ArseInnyO isn't mentioned as one of those who got his start on Star Search.
"Over the next 5 weeks we'll meet the performers who hope to be the Stars of Tomorrow," he intones. Most of whom we hope will make that 'difficult decision' to never appear on a stage anywhere ever again.
AIO babbles something confusing about how tonight's winners will be going "head to head" with tomorrow night's winners and next week's winners at the first semi-final next week. Don't make me feel obligated to watch all these shows before I've even seen one of the contestants, AiO.
First order of business is to make as many references to awards-won as possible. The 3 regular judges are Naomi Judd (7 time Grammy winner), Emmy award winning presidential speech writer, Ben Stein (I didn't know they handed out Emmys for writing political speeches) and Emmy award winning writer & producer - Carol Leifer, who is a producer of 'a little show called Seinfeld' (it sounds like professional jealousy masked as an inside joke - except AIO is not a Seinfeld insider.)
In addition to these three, a different special guest judge will join them each episode. Tonight's special guest judge is 7 Grammy award winner Chaka Khan, who's hoping to get another Grammy under her belt. If she can, that is. That woman has chunked on a lot of weight. Mostly in her chest tho, so the men are probably enjoying the view.
AIO is kinda smarmy. "I mentioned there are 5 judges. The 5th judge is YOU, America, Studio judges are half the score, and America's Heartland the other half by going online to vote at CBS.com/star". Better bookmark that website and forestall the whining from your kids to be allowed to "help pick the winners."
The junior kiddie singers go first. I know it's coincidence but the first contestant's name looks like he took the category way too seriously. Welcome Eric Kidd Junior, age 12, from Akron, Ohio. ArseInnyO tells us that the Kidd is from the same state he's from. Like we care. It's NOT all about you ArseInny.
Each StarSearch contestant has a short video wherein they are being interviewed about their lives, with effort made to focus on the performance category.
Eric sings because "he loves to perform for people." His choice of song allows him to roam all over the stage, which totally endears him to the judges. Never mind they've probably never voluntarily listened to a rap song before in their lives. They wouldn't know that the song is originally by Lil Bow Wow or that it is a 'classic.' The title might have been obvious from the lyrics. The word "Basketball" got a lot of airtime.
Lil Eric's voice hasn't broken yet. He does some kind of jerky dance movements which must be the 00's version of cool moves. Eric is wearing what all cool singers wear these days: the headset microphone. He moves around the stage well, not afraid to step out. The song is over pretty quickly. Um, thankfully.
ArseInnyO does a complicated handshake with the Kidd. It struck me as lame on AIO's part, as if he were trying to remind us and himself that he's a 'brutha' or something. Then it's time to poll the judges, who award 1 to 5 stars. But whole stars only. No half stars.
Naomi makes a really lame comment about Sesame Street and the letter T and that means he has talent. Get used to this. Naomi is the Queen Of Lame Comments. She gives 4 stars
Ben is overly full of praise and gives him 5 stars.
Carol thinks he's fantastic, Mad Fet, great to see a rapper whose crib is an actual crib (kinda funny, but also feels like a joke we must have heard a million times already. For some reason I get the impression that if Naomi can, Naomi will find a way to use that line later on in the competition. There are bound to be more Junior Rap kids, aren't there?) 4 stars
Chaka says "You were brilliant. You're off the hook." ("off the hook?" - these comments are laaaame-oooo) 5 stars.
18 stars, but doan fuggit, America has to get involved, says ArseInnyOh. (Oh ArseInny, lose the lame fake brutha 'tude, would you?)
I definitely need my Lame-O-Meter (LOM) for this show.