I skipped a big chunk of the first round of The Show this year, after I got tired of this season’s selection of freaks and saw one too many heart-wrenching stories that looked just like last year’s heart-wrenching stories (does every farm boy have a chewed-up gimme cap covered in camouflage?) But now they’ve gone to the second round, and changed it up, and I’ve been yanked right back in again.
There was none of that silly trio stuff that we’ve seen every other year, and the survivors got to play instruments if they wanted (mostly to bad effect). A few people freaked out, and a few people really punched up their games, but what struck me the most was that the overall talent level was un-freakin’-believable. There were a lot of serious chops left lying on the floor when all was said and done. Even this year’s teen-age Toy Boys could just flat-out hit it.
I’ve been a fan of The Show for the last couple of years because of the underlying cheesiness that inevitably popped up as the season went along. I noticed last year that the Velveeta Factor went way, way down (mostly, it was saved by the Goofy Ford Commercial of the Week), and looking at the crop this year, there are going to be some flat-out spine-tingling performances — not one or two, but potentially one or two every single week. Bring on the Cruelty Round, when America starts crushing the hopes and dreams of these young talents!