America’s Got Talent has never been opposed to shake-ups in the cast. Except for Howie Mandel, no one on the current judging panel has been with the show since the beginning. Hosting duties have been just as scattered, with Regis Philbin launching the show and then the gig moving on to Jerry Springer and Nick Cannon. With season 12, Nick is gone and has been replaced with Tyra Banks. Though it’s early in Tyra’s hosting, she is already proving to be a massive disappointment compared to her immediate predecessor.
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America’s Got an OK Host
The job of America’s Got Talent host has gone through a few hands, but Nick made the role his own in a way that no one had managed before. Jerry and Regis were only with the show for a couple years each. Nick hosted America’s Got Talent for eight seasons. Jerry Springer and Regis Philbin are excellent hosts with decades of experience but they never really put themselves into the hosting role like Nick. Nick injected humor into the position that neither Springer nor Philbin really attempted. Nick also had this boundless energy that worked perfectly for America’s Got Talent as a bit of summer entertainment. Nick’s personality created the mood and tone of America’s Got Talent for almost a decade. Tyra, meanwhile, has shown very little, if any, personality.
Tyra isn’t doing a bad job in season 12. It is just a boring one. Tyra has been as unassuming as an America’s Got Talent host can be when she is a nearly 6-foot-tall gorgeous supermodel. Tyra has shown very little of the fire that she has exhibited in her previous hosting jobs, specifically America’s Next Top Model. Of course, Tyra shouldn’t do everything she does on America’s Next Top Model. There shouldn’t be that much “smizing” and melodrama on a feel-good family-friendly show like America’s Got Talent.
Tyra hasn’t just shown a lack of her personality on America’s Got Talent, she seems to be aping Nick’s style at every opportunity but without the same heart. In the audition process Tyra is just trying to do exactly what Nick did, be the contestants’ buddy and confidant. It’s a fine effort but there isn’t much charm there, at least not compared to Nick. While it felt like Nick was really connecting with contestants, Tyra feels like she is going through the motions. Tyra has been pretty genuine with the younger acts but Nick managed to find common ground with auditioners of every age. Tyra’s been very sweet with the kids and cute with the animal acts. If the performer has gone through puberty or walks on two legs, Tyra is just kind of there.
The Importance of Being Funny
The main problem that might be dragging Tyra down though is that she simply isn’t funny. The real thing that Nick Cannon brought to America’s Got Talent was a sense of humor. Nick wasn’t always hilarious but he kept things light and was worth a chuckle. Nick’s ability and willingness to poke fun at himself, the acts or the competition is what made him such a great host for AGT. Jerry, Regis and now Tyra are very straightforward hosts. They do their job well enough but don’t add that extra level of humor that Nick managed so easily.
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The issues with Tyra are really no fault of her own. Tyra was simply miscast as host. In replacing Nick, America’s Got Talent should have searched for another comedian or at least someone known for their sense of humor or improvisation chops. Tyra’s talents on a reality show rely on creating drama and judging acts, not really hosting. Tyra is not known for her ability to make people laugh. Tyra is an actress who can be funny when called to but she is not necessarily a funny person. It’s not a personal slight, it is just a statement of fact.
Another comedian could have been too similar to Nick. Considering this it is somewhat understandable why America’s Got Talent tried to go the more straightforward route with Tyra. Still, America’s Got Talent should have tried to recapture the magic of Nick rather than just play it safe once again.
But what do you think? Do you think Tyra is a better host than Nick? Do you like the more focused and straight approach or should the AGT host be funny? Let us know in the comments!
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC. Want more news? Like our America’s Got Talent Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of NBC)