Nick Cannon on “America’s Got Talent”

Nick Cannon on America’s Got Talent
Nick Cannon is hosting and helping the talent

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America’s Got Talent has returned for it’s fifth season on NBC. Back again to judge the contestants on the variety-talent show are Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan, along with the newest judge Howie Mandel. And very excited to be returning as host for another summer is the ultra-likable Nick Cannon, who is skilled at easing the sting of rejection for the performers seeking fame and fortune.

Last season it was refreshing to see the sincere compassion Cannon had for the wannabes, as he helped the talent step in and out of the spotlight. As a colorful array of hopeful stars, including singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, etc., paraded in front of the judges, Cannon did his best to help calm their stage fright and make them enjoy their moment on the national stage.

Cannon says, “I’m rooting for them. I’ve been in the contestant’s shoes before. I’m a product of talent shows, so I know about those nervous jitters before you go on. I know it’s really about being comfortable.”

 “So you know, when it’s an extraordinary ridiculous act, or someone who actually has real talent, if I can just make them feel comfortable, the better they will perform.”

 “No matter how crazy they are, they will be even crazier if I say, ‘You’re the best. You’re great.’ It’s all about just making the person comfortable and rooting for them. I’m always on the side of the talent.”

He’s a genuinely sweet fellow. No wonder Nick Cannon is Mariah Carey’s sweetheart, happily married two years. Mariah made a special appearance on the show last year “to give the contestants inspiration,” and may show up again, Cannon teased.

There were many moments during last year’s show when Cannon went above and beyond the call of duty to help out the contestants who were in need of inspiration.

A chubby young girl was trying her best to dance and the judges were so mean and awful to her. It looked like she wanted to burst into tears and run off the stage.

But Cannon stepped out and said, “Maybe you need a partner,” and did a wild dance with her. Even though she got the boot from the judges, she walked off feeling like a winner because of Cannon’s act of kindness.

The multi-talented movie actor, comic and TV personality said he’s had moments like that in his career when he’s needed someone to lift his spirits.

 “Oh, yeah, that’s happened plenty of times. And not necessarily early on in my career. I mean, a few years ago I was on tour opening up for Dave Chappelle. I hadn’t made a nice little name for myself, and obviously Dave was huge at the time.”

 “We were at a college show, and everybody who does stand-up knows that college shows can be real rowdy. They were there to see Dave, but I went out there and tried to do my typical jokes, kind of warming up the crowd. And it was just an onslaught of boos.”

He heard boos the whole time he was on the stage, and as soon as he stepped off stage, Dave was right there to take him aside. Cannon said that Chappelle told him, “Look, man. We all have off nights. It’s all about timing and all about the way things are set up.”

The lesson learned was that sometimes you bomb, and sometimes the crowds are into screaming no matter what you do. So Cannon had a real rough night. But he said it was encouraging to know that someone was right there to lighten the blow.

Cannon said, “It’s kind of cool to have that help coming from somebody who’s actually been through the same situation. That’s what I try to do on the show.”

Piers Morgan joked that sometimes Nick will take a horrific moment “and make it ten times worse by joining in with the act.” Cannon shoots back, “only on purpose, to show the contestant that I can be bad too.”

Bad? Nah, we know Cannon is a real good guy.

America’s Got Talent is on Tuesday and Wednesday nights on NBC.


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who have written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 30 years.

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