An Elegant Time-Waster ~ Very Early Morning Thoughts

America’s Got Talent is an OK show – but when I was introduced to the “outside the US” versions, I came to realize there are some very good versions of that show around.   Several things define it for me, but perhaps the biggest on of all ~ there is no 90-second time limit.  The acts take as long as necessary to show what their talent is and how it works.  Here is the winner from 2009 who introduced me to real sand painting.

BTW, this really does have something to do with this post – I promise …

I have been watching sand paintings/painters for several years … until I ran into this interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. To quote:

” And today, we bring you the live-action sand animation of Hungarian artist Ferenc Cakó, who projects his work on a screen for a theatrical audience. These more sculptural forms may be more painstaking than traditional cel animation, and for that reason more rare, but they are also often much more interesting.”





And to give proper credit – here’s the site I found this…I have it bookmarked and visit it daily…It’s call “openculture” for a reason.

And The Competition Starts Now (2) ~

Yesterday I mentioned that I usually enjoy the non-US competition shows more … here are three reasons why … Just so you know, there is no 90 second time restraint, so the real talent can shine through … in other words these clips are a little long – but so, so good.

This was the clip that first introduced me to Ukraine’s Got Talent … I actually had to go back and look up the history to understand it – I’m including a short lesson:

“…the overwhelming brunt of the Nazi occupation between 1941 and 1944, as of the devastating Soviet reoccupation, was borne not by Russia but by the Baltic States, by Belarus, by Poland, and above all by Ukraine…. nowhere is it made clear that the largest number of civilian casualties in Europe were inflicted on the Ukrainians, millions of whom were killed both by the Nazis and by the Soviets. Thanks to persistent wartime prejudices, many British and Americans still harbor the illusion that most Ukrainians spent the war either as auxiliaries in the concentration camps or in the Waffen-SS Galizien….[but] the Waffen SS recruited three times as many Dutchmen as Ukrainians.” (New York Review of Books June 9, 1994, p. 23).

Here’s the 2009 clip of an amazing sand artist …

This years winners were amazing as well … it’s the Street Workout group – who manage to make working out beautiful, sexy and powerful.  No, I wouldn’t want to be next to them at the gym!! This was the final performance…

I have enough trouble riding a two wheeled cycle … maybe I need a three-wheeler!!!!


And last, but certainly NOT least ~ The world’s best bartender … unless you’re in a hurry to  get that drink!!!!


And The Competition Starts Now ~

I enjoy some of the singing/dancing competition shows, but it’s no secret to those that know me that I prefer the non-US versions of most of them.  X-Factor Britain, Australia’s Got Talent and, amazingly enough, Ukraine’s Got Talent … To me – when the idiotic 90 second time constraint is removed – the depth of talent can shine forth.  Also, most of the time the judges are secondary to the talent.  In other words, it’s not the judges show – it’s truly a T A L E N T show.  Of course, there’s always the acts that aren’t going to do well – but that’s to be expected.  It’s the unexpected treasures along the way that make the viewing so worth while.

Let me preface this clip with ~ First, I “lurve” me some Etta James. I’ve heard so many lousy covers of her work … THIS clip was a revelation!!!! Secondly, NEVER judge a book by it’s cover … when I first saw him, all I could think of was “OMG, Pee Wee Herman.” Not by a long shot – I agree with Louie… A Star has been born!!! (BTW, notice the complete lack of buzzers!!!)

I also like the idea that these contestants stand on their own – their looks are not part of the package…the talent is what makes the deal.  This clip also resonated with me because I’m such a firm believer in the importance of arts in the schools.  As someone said to me today –  “When we lose the Arts (in Public Education) we lose our humanity. We lose our ability to build bridges.”  Listen carefully to the story on this clip…when I realized just what he’d managed to accomplish with his music .,.. I’ll admit it, I cried.

And one last clip ~ Auditioning for a show is stressful enough, but imagine doing it completely on your own.  This fellow is a London chimney sweep who wants to sing…and actually is darn good at it!!! (Evidently, he’s a good sweep as well!!!)

I’ve got a few more clips to share, but I’ll do that tomorrow …. enjoy!!!