The 1 Thing ‘America’s Got Talent’ Fans Can’t Stand About the Show

Watching America’s Got Talent each summer has become a 14-year pastime on NBC with continual surprises of how innovative some acts can still be. While you can argue a lot of the talent this year is a bit derivative of what we’ve seen before, a specific feature on the show has been bothering fans.

It might surprise you to realize many viewers are complaining about the show’s editing techniques. They’re right, if you’ve watched the show carefully recently.

The editing is definitely choppy with quick cut reactions of the judges to some of the most amazing (or hideous) acts. So what’s going on here?

Take a minute to learn more about why this might be done and whether AGT should present their acts in real-time.

America's Got Talent
America’s Got Talent | Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The complaints come from Reddit

We’re always quoting Reddit lately when it comes to insightful theories or complaints about our favorite TV shows. Many of those theories can usually be debunked in various ways, even if the central arguments are often interesting to analyze.

A Reddit user posted the AGT camera editing complaint on July 17. They said they just want to be able to enjoy the acts on TV in the way the audience sees them.

Their biggest beef comes in how the camera doesn’t hold one shot for more than two seconds before jumping to an audience reaction shot or the judging panel.

Of course, in TV technical terms, this is called the b-roll where reactions supposedly heighten how the viewer at home might perceive the act. In this case, perhaps it’s not working as well as you see it done on live award shows or in infomercials.

What we want to know is if this is a standard procedure with AGT, or a technique enhanced in recent years.

Based on comparisons from previous seasons, the cuts seem a little faster now

Yes, there definitely seems to be a bit of a difference if you watch some of the act performances from prior seasons. Back then, some acts would be presented more in real-time without being constantly cobbled down for time reasons.

Not that the editing design hasn’t always been basically the same. When you watch the very first episode of AGT, they do utilize the same editing format, yet slowed down a bit compared to now. You could still count to at least five before there’s a quick cut to the judge or an audience member.

With this comparison, the above Reddit user does have a point. The question is, why has AGT sped up their editing techniques, not including shaving acts down to their bare essences rather than the entire performance?

It likely has to do with our heightened reality show culture and keeping things as fast-paced as possible.

Arguably, more audience reactions heighten the emotion of some performances

You could argue the editing team behind AGT does what they do because they know showing audience reactions will enhance how people watching at home feel. Now you know why infomercials always cut away to audience reactions to persuade more people to pick up their phones and order the product.

Maybe you can argue herd mentality there. Nevertheless, the complaints about AGT should maybe shift more to the program’s extreme reality show formatting. Look around online and you’ll find certain groups of people who complain openly about the show manipulating reality and facts regarding the performers to create more emotion.

As much as we all love watching AGT, Simon Cowell knows reality show psychology and tactics all too well as we once saw on American Idol. I guess we should just admit “talent” means not always seeing reality, which is at least better than making claims of presenting the real world.