We just love America's Got Talent at my house. It's interesting and quite educational. I bet you are wondering why. Here's the lessons we've learned:
Everybody's Different: Wouldn't life be boring if everyone's talent were contortion? This is also a skill you're either born with or not, I tell her, there is no point in being jealous over something you will never be able to do yourself. Appreciate that someone else can do it.
Seek Your Talent: You've got a talent I tell her. You've got to keep trying things and developing what you are good at. See that man standing there allowing the others to use his stomach as a drum. He made the semi finals.
Talent May be Natural, But It's Hard Work to Hone It: There are kids on the show and my daughter says I want to be there too. Then we watch the kids and the clips and dissect them. Look at the work those pre-teens must have put into learning that dance routine I say. Do you think they attended lessons more or less than 1/2 an hour once a week? Do you think they spent half their lessons telling the teacher they had a better way of doing something or explaining why they couldn't hold their arms out straight? Do you think you want parents who woke you up after one hour of sleep to practice your dancing for 23 hours straight/ 7 days a week/ 365 days a year?
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Get to Know Someone Before You Judge Them: Get to know someone. Or just observe them before you decide if they're interesting enough to get to know. In other words, don't judge the people around you at first glance or on something superficial alone. Like what shoes they are wearing or if they can't run fast. The show is at it's best when they bring someone on stage who doesn't look like they'd be able to do the amazing whatever they do. See Andrew DeLeon. Wow we say. Just don't bring a boy like that home I tell her, unless he agrees to let you pick his clothes. He needs to respect your talent.
Opinion vs. Fact: My daughter once came home very upset that a girl in her class had said that her drawing was bad. That's OK, I said. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Different people have different opinions and you can choose to listen to them or not.
On America's Got Talent we hear opinion vs. opinion in action with every act. What Mel B likes, Howard doesn't. And that's OK. What do YOU like I ask my daughter. Your opinion is as valuable as another.
Adding educational value, we generally hear the reasoning behind the opinion. Mel B says you can fill up a Vegas stage with all that heart. Howard says it just didn't excite me. I say I love the creativity of those people with the shadow and light show. America votes through yet another man with a guitar. My daughter loves that Howie Mandel always finds something positive to say and she listens to him very carefully. She likes the way people respond to his diplomatic approach and she works to achieve the same with the things she says. Personally I am more of a blunt hatchet man Howard Stern -- who would love to have the likable energy of a Mel B. (I have as much natural chance as I do to lift my legs around my head.) We all express our low opinion of what Heidi has to say. Being born genetically gifted doesn't qualify you to judge talent. This is probably more of a fact than an opinion.
Voting is good: You're opinion counts and it's important to participate in the democratic process. Or look what happens, another man with a guitar wins.
Family Shows Should Not be Scheduled for 9 p.m. EST: Hey NBC, you've got three generations of current customers you could be reaching. My 6-year-old has strong opinions on whether or not to buy the popcorn you push and push. (She wants it) She really really wants to watch this show live so she can vote and 9 p.m. is too late for us to start watching. I understand you're also catering to the Californians but you're losing us here. We do catch up with the clips on school nights, but it's just not the same. We want to vote!