For those of you with better things to do on a Tuesday night than watch TV, I have to say you may be missing out on the Jerry Springer of American reality shows. That's right, what Jerry Springer is to talk shows, "America's Got Talent" is to reality shows. Consequently the host of the show is Jerry Springer himself. Don't be disillusioned though, what the show lacks in talent it makes up for in entertainment value.
What is it about this show full of talented men, women, and the occasional transvestite that makes it so entertaining? Could it be the scripted drama between the washed out judges -- Sharon Osborn, Piers Morgan and David Hasselhoff? Or is it the shameless attempt by white trash America to find fame? I think it is both.
The show's executive producer Simon Cowell, of the beloved "American Idol," has truly found the secret to reality shows. Parade shameless American's seeking fame in front of an audience and then ridicule them into a bout of depression only "The Biggest Loser" could experience.
Yes, we truly are reality show junkies. Nothing pleases us more than seeing other people fail. It makes us feel better. As a result, it is always the dumbest person being interviewed after a tornado.
We have made a celebrity out of the worst singer we can find -- William Hung. And it is more exciting to see Brittany Spears drop out of rehab than to make a good record.
Thus, we find ourselves glued to the TV just waiting for some poor schmuck to make a fool of himself.
Sure, we all know that person who thinks they have way more talent than they do, but where do they find this confidence? They find it in white trash America.
White trash was originally a racial slur directed at Caucasian Americans of a low socio-economic status. However, today it takes on a much broader meaning seeking to encapsulate anyone who thinks smoking is cool, wrestling is real and Elvis is alive. Consequently, the same mother that smoked while pregnant with little Billy, has now encouraged him to try out for "America's Got Talent" so he might show the world how a pro can burp the ABCs.
But why call it "America's Got Talent?" That isn't who we are. America has spawned talent such as Frank Sinatra, Tiger Woods, Julia Roberts, Mark Twain, Michael Jordan, and my personal favorite -- Sanjaya! Hold on, he is just another example of someone getting famous through lack of talent.
My point is, if we are going to have a nationwide talent contest, with the winner receiving $1 million, then should we be spending our time watching a cross-section of America who can sometimes be found giving their child a baby bottle full of Coca Cola?
I say NO! Enough with the charades; I am interested in seeing the real talent America has to offer.
Yes, there will still be those with no talent auditioning, and yes, it will likely be funny. However, that should be an entirely different show, and we can call it -- "White Trash America's Got Talent."
Joel Harris is in his last year of law school in Tulsa, Okla. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.