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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY CAROLINE WALLACE | ST. PETERSBURG HIGH
Last month, I took a Wednesday off school to get a chance at national television fame as a member of the America’s Got Talent studio audience. The newest season of the show premieres Monday on NBC and will feature auditions recorded at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Here are five things I expect to see on-screen.
1 (I am praying that you’ll catch) Sharon Osbourne giving me a high five.
My friends and I dressed for the show according to the specified rule that “Hip, upscale attire is mandatory.” Once we made it through the long line outside the theater, one of the producers invited us to be part of the “Sharon shot.” Because “Sharon loves pretty young girls,” she instructed us to make our way to the front of the pack. We were in prime position when Osbourne got out of her limo.
2 Howard Stern dominating the judging panel.
I wasn’t expecting veterans Howie Mandel and Osbourne to let the newbie judge run things, but they didn’t seem to have a choice. Stern had a comment for everything. The audience loved him and cried “baba booey” at every available opportunity.
3 Two 6-year-olds from Nashville making a mixed impression.
The little girl wore a skimpy outfit and the boy had no shortage of confidence. They shook everything they had to Boom Boom Pow and got the entire crowd on its feet, but Osbourne wasn’t as enamored. She called the girl’s mother out from backstage to chastise her for her daughter’s immodesty. The embarrassed woman could only blame her child’s dance coach.
4 The judges declaring a local band fit to win the whole competition.
The group of men dressed in sharp suits were some kind of cross between marching band and drum line. They danced, sang and played in a fully engaging performance. Look for them in future rounds.
5 My personal favorite, although they didn’t advance, impressing at least some of the crowd.
The puppet worm circus was three guys manipulating glowing worms as they danced around to the tune of a kazoo. After a few minutes, the three worms merged into one larger worm. Stern and Osbourne gave them X’s almost immediately. Mandel, however, treated the audience to the full performance. He marveled throughout the rest of the show that the three worms had become one.