#2: Lightwire Theater (Season 7)
Season 5 had Fighting Gravity. Season 6 had Team iLuminate.
And Season 7 had this complete and utter waste of a good idea.
Black light acts like these continue to be the source of so much hype from the viewers, and continue to do so well with the voters, because they are perceived as being the apex of fresh and original entertainment; the very thing a show for “any act, any age” should be meant to showcase.
Fighting Gravity was unlike anything ever seen before on America’s Got Talent. When they placed third during Season 5, many viewers were disappointed, and even expressed a sense that it was the final sign that America would never vote for a variety act ever on America’s Got Talent.
Then during Season 6, Team iLuminate renewed that anticipation. With professional dancers, neon costumes as opposed to simple black lighting effects and a computer program running them, iLuminate was able to integrate so many more creative and entertaining optical illusions into their routines.
They too came in third place, and disappointment set in again.
For Season 7, Lightwire Theater employed the next logical step: Puppetry. It was the same core principle of Team iLuminate, but with their lighting effects no longer confined to just the human body. And with only a couple of standout talents of the conventional variety for the season, many of which were unfairly eliminated in Las Vegas, everything seemed in order for the black light artists to finally win it all.
There was just one problem: The people behind Lightwire Theater were completely clueless.
Either because putting the act together was so strenuous and time-consuming, or possibly because they were just plain arrogant and assumed the core of the act itself was all they needed, Lightwire Theater had no idea how to capitalize on the black light medium. Once they were done constructing the puppets, they did nothing but run or jump around in them.
Assuming they even made new puppets at all. They reused them constantly, which made their lack of imagination for how to use them even more painful to endure.
Lightwire Theater never took advantage of their lighting effects — never made any creative optical illusions with the lights, or even used the software at all except to turn their characters on and off.
The closest they ever came to doing anything creative was a poorly done effect of two dinosaurs sealing their opponent in an egg, followed by a lame Matrix-esque camera rotation effect, both of which only sufficed to highlight even further how completely inept they were when it came to actually performing.
Just like Lys Agnès, this act clearly had potential, which is why America continued to vote for them even as they failed over and over again to tap into it. By America’s vote, they were in the Top 8, which means they would have been a Top 10 finalist just like Agnès were it not for the butchered season.
And even though the other choice available to the judges was David Garibaldi & His CMYK’s, who they knew would go into the finale with the stigma of being a judges’ save, and who they knew would be competing directly against another artist, Joe Castillo, and therefore had no real chances at all of winning, the judges still chose Garibaldi over Lightwire Theater.
Lightwire Theater should have put Fighting Gravity and Team iLuminate to shame based on how much of an edge the nature of their act gave them. Instead, they had the opposite effect: They made the other two acts look so much better by comparison because of how creative and entertaining they were able to be while working with far less.
Ultimately, an act is only as good as its execution, and when it came time to actually put their act into practice on the AGT stage, this act had nothing at all to offer.
In this way, Lightwire Theater was a letdown three years in the making. They took all the hope and anticipation from the prior two seasons and completely squandered them in an absolute black hole of inspiration.
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