NEW YORK — Talent-competition show “America’s Got Talent” doesn’t premiere until May 14, but hundreds of fans came out to see tapings of the show in New York this week. When MTV News spoke to fans waiting to go into an audition taping Thursday afternoon (April 12), most said they were there because they’re fans of new judge Howard Stern, and some admitted they’d never even seen “AGT.”
“He was honest and said exactly what the audience was thinking, and I think it’s going to add a big thing to the show,” Adam Lichtenstein, a fan so impressed by Stern he returned for a second day of taping, told MTV News. “Going into the show, we expected Howard to be a little bit mean, but he was honest, exactly like he was on the radio, and he didn’t let down.”
Since the announcement came in December that Stern will be taking the place of Piers Morgan on the show, viewers have had mixed reactions , but most seem eager to check out his judging style.
Joey Boots, a frequent contributor on Stern’s Sirius XM radio show, weighed in on what Howard will be like as a judge. “He’s been judging on his show for all these years, but a lot of people haven’t tuned in to the Howard Stern show because they hear how raunchy it can be. Now that he’s with ‘AGT,’ people are going to see how honest he is as a judge.”
Howard’s new place at the table may mean his loyal fanbase could get even bigger. Boots observed people’s opinions change at the first show tapings. “I already talked to people before they’ve gone in talking about, ‘Oh, I don’t like Howard Stern,’ but after they come out they’re like, ‘I love the guy.’ To see that is great and I think that’s great for America, it’s great for Howard Stern and it’s great for ‘America’s Got Talent.’ ”
When it came to how Howard might get along with fellow judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel, Boots admitted things might get rocky.
“I’m sure there’s going to be arguing going on because he’s going to keep it real, and part of that is disagreeing with each other and I know that there’s gonna be a lot of disagreements, but it’s good. Hopefully everybody just keeps it real. That’s Howard’s motto.”
With an unprecedented amount of talent-based reality shows hitting the small screen these days, it’s Stern’s straightforward style that might ultimately keep viewers turning in. “That’s what a show like this needs. Not somebody that’s going to be pressured like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna vote him in because I feel sorry for him.’ I don’t want somebody voted in favor of because they might be old or something, or it’s a little kid. Hey, if you’re not talented, get off the stage!”
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