Ashley’s Top 5: America’s Got Talent Edition

Ashley Winward

I’m the queen of being handed weird opportunities; whether it be free tickets to some eclectic concerts, chances to be in tour videos or interview lead singers in cramped tour vans, I love these little moments because I get a really funny new perspective on things. When I was given the opportunity to be in the audience for NBC’s hit show America’s Got Talent I knew it was going to be quite the experience. Sitting in on this past week’s live semi-finals results show left me with a few tips I wanted to share to anyone thinking that the seat-filler experience might be something for them.

 America’s Got Talent season nine finale airs Sept 16 and 17 on NBC (AP/ NBC photo)
America’s Got Talent season nine finale airs Sept 16 and 17 on NBC (AP/ NBC photo)

1.Be ready to move…..a lot!
Our “Hype Man” for the evening put it nicely when he said “Being a member of this audience is like being in church.” You’re up on your feet before and after coming back from a commercial breaks, before and after a performance—you pretty much are doing squats the whole time. The role of the hype man is so important because if you don’t know how to react to something, he’ll be coaching you from the sidelines.

2.Your throat and hands will hurt
Along with being up and down on your feet you will have to be screaming your face off and clapping. I woke up the next morning with no voice; it’s basically like going to a mini concert, except you’re screaming for that joke Howie Mandel attempted to make, not your favorite song.

3.It’s a lot shorter than you’d think.
When you’re sitting on your couch watching an hour long program, it seems like it takes FOREVER to get to that dreaded final result. In all actuality, being in the audience makes it all move ten times faster. Your typical results show is broken up into six “segments” and with some of them already pre-recorded it could be as few as four short live segments and then a bunch of sitting down on your phones during commercial breaks.

4.“Live” performances aren’t really live
At least on America’s Got Talent, they aren’t. Audience members arrive at about 7 p.m. for a 9 p.m. live show. We got to see two live performances before the show began; one of Ed Sheeran (to be played on this week’s finale) and one of Jackie Evancho. I was kind of disappointed that Sheeran only played his one song and then left. I would have much rather shown up earlier and gotten to see him perform two or three songs but the one I did see was phenomenal. It was a good thing that Evancho pre-taped her live performance because it had to be done twice, after a slight mess up half way through her rendition of “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera. “Crap, sorry!” she muttered trying to push through the songs before having to do the whole take over again.

5.It’s an awesome experience!
While I don’t even watch America’s Got Talent, being a studio audience member was a unique and interesting experience. Seeing one of my favorite artists, Ed Sheeran, for FREE, learning that Howard Stern is probably twice as tall as TV already makes him seem, being in the same room as Mel B as they blared Spice Girls music over the intercom and watching some incredibly talented people (and I’m talking the tech crew too—not just the performers!) was a fun time and I would recommend going if you ever have the chance!