It’s June! That means it’s time for America’s Got Talent!

I have to confess that NBC’s general talent show, America’s Got Talent, is kind of a guilty pleasure for me. Generally speaking, I don’t like to watch talent shows. I don’t watch American Idol, X Factor, or The Voice. I did get into So You Think You Can Dance a few years ago, but lost interest in it. Frankly, even America’s Got Talent can get boring after awhile. It’s definitely no Star Search. However, early every summer, I am lured to America’s Got Talent like a moth to a flame because I love to watch the auditions. I missed the first episode last week because our TV was on the fritz. So I watched the premiere last night on and I have to say, I was driven to laughs and tears all within the space of about 90 minutes.

What I love about America’s Got Talent is that it provides an outlet for all those people who do really cool or interesting things and don’t otherwise have an outlet for their talents. I mean, there are several shows out there for singers and a couple for dancers, but on America’s Got Talent, you could literally see anything. And sometimes the failed auditions are more entertaining than the successful ones.

Miu GaGa from Japan was unsuccessful, but a riot nonetheless!

The first act in last week’s premiere was a guy who plays with rattlesnakes. He blew up a red balloon and goaded a very pissed off eastern diamondback rattlesnake into popping it while he held it between his lips. Like most everyone else watching this act, I was on the edge of my seat, almost as tense as the angry snake about to strike. Fortunately, the performer was successful in executing his trick and won a spot to Las Vegas. Later in the show, there was a guy named Special Head who suddenly won over a hostile audience when he apparently levitated right before their very eyes. Now, I know there’s got to be a trick to this, since I saw a couple of guys doing something similar when I was in Rome last month, but it was still a great act. And I would not have seen it on a show that is only about singing or dancing.

David Weathers “the snake guy” and his rattlesnake wow the crowd…

Special Head and his “uplifting” act…

I also like this year’s two new judges, Heidi Klum and Mel B. (aka Scary Spice of the Spice Girls). I thought I would really miss the marvelous Sharon Osbourne, who had been judging the show since 2007 (the first year I watched). But I have to hand it to Heidi and Mel B. They were great! I especially enjoyed hearing Heidi Klum yodel (she’s surprisingly good at it). I also enjoy Howard Stern and Howie Mandel, who bring a lot of comic relief to the show and seem to have chemistry. Nick Cannon took over hosting duties from Jerry Springer a few years ago and he is a dynamite emcee. As much as I like Jerry, I think Nick Cannon has him beat in the charm department. He’s great at bolstering the crowd, whether it’s after an act that got X’ed or an act that won them over.

Here’s Nick helping out Sponjetta Parrish in 2011… Watch what happens when Nick gets involved and Sponjetta gets X’ed. I bet Sponjetta will never forget that as long as she lives!

Nick Cannon helps Tone the Chiefrocca whip the crowd into a frenzy… Everyone was loving it!

So far, there have also been a couple of impressive singers. I have to admit, 47 year old Kentuckian Marty Brown’s singing actually brought me to tears…

Not only is he a great singer, but he also has a sweet story. He managed to silence a rowdy crowd, too.

10 year old Anna Christine has the voice of a 30 year old woman who’s been around the block a few times. She plays piano, too.

I don’t know if I’ll keep watching until the winner is named, but I do really enjoy the audition phase of America’s Got Talent. The next audition show on America’s Got Talent airs tonight on NBC at 9:00 eastern time. Now that the TV is fixed, I will be watching!