America's Got Talent airs second half of St. Petersburg auditions tonight, still calls the area Tampa
Despite our story weeks ago about how America's Got Talent aired an episode filled with auditions filmed at the Mahaffey Theater but never noted they were in St. Petersburg, the hit NBC summer series is at it again.
The preview clip for tonight's episode, which features more auditions from the Mahaffey, is labeled as a "Tampa auditions."
And if the last locally-filmed episode is any indication, they will refer to the Tampa Bay area throughout the actual show.
As I noted last time, the cutesy references to location help mask the fact that cattle call auditions were held at the Tampa Convention Center and onstage auditions were held at the Mahaffey in front of a raucous crowd of 2,000 people.
(footage from each audition session is combined to make it seem everything happens on the same day).
The leader of a dance troupe which seems to have auditioned in St. Petersburg also has written a long blog post detailing how producers mapped out and rehearsed how the group would perform onstage during the public auditions.
After the group was essentially booed offstage, she says her mother saw evidence the crowd was coached.
I attended one of the four St. Pete audition nights as an average joe -- press wasn't given official access -- and saw no such coaching. But it's worth noting the rowdy crowd, filled with fans of new judge/shock jock Howard Stern, were openly hostile to most of the dance acts I saw.
Check out the clips below and decide for yourself.