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'America's Got Talent' Backstage Report: Should Piers Morgan's Buzzer Be Silenced?

by Michael Maloney, posted Aug 31st 2011 7:00AM
GymkanaTake it from someone who's sat in the audience at 'America's Got Talent' -- the judges' buzzers sound even louder in person. So when trigger-happy judge Piers Morgan hits that red "X" button performers can understandably become rattled.

Therefore, Morgan striking acrobatic act Gymkana may have caused the performers' concentration to fail, which could have have contributed to one of the team's members catching fire when he jumped through a ring of flames.

Host Nick Cannon informed viewers at home (after a commercial break) that the Gymkana acrobat was okay thanks to his flame-retardant outfit.

Morgan quipped that by striking the act he was trying to end it early, thus potentially saving lives. But fellow judges Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne, as well as Cannon, say they wouldn't mind Morgan's buzzer being disconnected.

"I don't know if [the acrobat who caught on fire] was nervous about the buzzing, but it was a very scary moment on live TV," Mandel says.

Cannon and Osbourne feel that Morgan's strike may have played a more active role in the mishap.

"Sometimes Piers doesn't think about the effect that loud buzzer will have," Cannon offers. "They hear that and it can ruin their whole act. I think that was definitely a reason [Gymkana's concentration was broken.] Mentally, you hear that and your focus goes off."

"They're kids in high school," says Osbourne of Gymkana -- and the last thing they need is "Principal Morgan" rattling them. "They're not yet professionals. They treat everything like an exam."

Perhaps for acts involving danger the producers could implement a "silent strike" effect, in which the audience would see the red X appear, but the acts wouldn't hear the jolting buzz.

"Yeah, you could do that," Mandel says. "When somebody's playing with fire -- no pun intended -- it's a dangerous element."

Osbourne would support a softer buzzer, too.

Cannon, in fact, knows just when to implement a silent strike, too.

"They should do it the next time they bring back Those Funny Little People," the host quips. "You'd see Piers just banging on that buzzer."

'America's Got Talent' airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9PM ET on NBC.

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joshua fraim

what i love (sarcastic) about this is that if someone was dangling high up above on a platform and piers went up on the stage and shoved the platform away and the guy was killed he would be held responsible. and yet if the same thing happend because he distracted them with a loud buzz then he's not. what's the difference? piers is not going to be happy until someone is seriously injured while doing a dangerous act and being distracted by the buzzer.

September 02 2011 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like the loud buzzer. If the acts can't handle distractions or criticism, they have no place in show business.

September 01 2011 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Personally, I think Pierce should be kicked off the show. He is an absolute rude ass. He is disrespectful to almost everyone. Sharon and Howie are at least kind. I would like to shove the buzzer up you know who's ass.

August 31 2011 at 10:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dexter Morgan

All the acts buzzed NEED TO GO...but if you let em get this far.....let it go.....THEY won't be around after tonight !

August 31 2011 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would go along with a quieter buzzer, however I also think Sharon should clean up her act. She has become rude and very unladylike. I have come to believe that Piers is the nicer person. The buzzers were put there for a purpose
and Piers is being honest.

August 31 2011 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a load of crap. They're competing for a million dollar contract and everyone expects them to baby the contestants. Piers had every reason to buzz them, if they can't handle a buzz they can't handle a Vegas show.

August 31 2011 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason Cross

I'm not even sure why Howie and Sharon have buzzers at all - they seem so preoccupied with being seen as "nice" that they almost never use them. Case in point - Sandou Trio Russian Bar's final performance.

August 31 2011 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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