Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Special Seat in the Back

I neglected to write one more thought I had about my excursion to America's Got Talent with my dear mother:

To those of you who haven't attended a live taping of a TV show, let me give you a little behind the camera perspective. First of all, that audience you see, who are clapping their hands in enthusiasm, have actually been waiting for a couple of hours outside AND inside for the hopes that some camera sweep might catch them applauding like little monkeys. (Okay, I've been guilty of this group. And yes, I did just finally erase my "appearance" on Ellen. Man, I looked good clapping.) Second of all, the host, or panel of judges you see, typically have three layers of hairspray in their hair and 16 coats of make-up. Honestly, every time they cut to a commercial break a pack of magical trolls appear with tool belts full of brushes, make-up, duct tape, hair dryers and mirrors. (I wish I had that, but instead every time I yelled "break" they handed me snacks - preferably, wheat thins.)

And last of all, have you ever noticed that you never see an ugly person in the front? Well, as you can imagine this is not just an unexplainable coincidence. No, like all things in TV, even the appearance of the audience is carefully planned. Now, as I stated before, the taping of the show was pretty pathetic, but this part, of ushers strategically placing good looking and bad looking people, deeply intrigued me. For example, what is the criteria these ushers are using to place people?

Mustache on woman = back row?
Large boobs = guaranteed front row?
Man with Gigantic Afro = Back Row next to woman with Mustache?
Man with Hasselhoff T-Shirt = Next to Judges so The Hoff Can bask in his last fan's admiration?
Family of Black people = Front Row to appeal to a wider audience?
Family of fanny pack wearing Mid-Westerners = Back Row because boring people don't watch such a cool show?

Honestly, it was hilarious watching the ushers subtly, and not so subtly, direct people to certain places. And then, what was more funny, was watching people's reactions to their final destinations. Some people, who were placed in the front, walked confidently to their seats thinking, "Yeah, that's right, I'm good looking," while others put their heads down and thought, "WHY am I sitting in the back? Does that mean I'm ugly? Do I look fat? Why did I wear this shirt? This is just like high school where I was left alone on prom." Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but I have never seen a happier or sadder group.

So, where did my mom and I sit? Well, since we aren't overly endowed (sorry Mama), or do we have an abundance of facial hair, we were placed in the middle. I have to admit I was little offended. Does that mean we are just average? I hate TV.

No comments: