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America's Got Talent hosts auditions in Miami

Host Nick Cannon says he’s excited about season nine

D. Kevin McNeir | 10/17/2013, 9 a.m.

Do you think you have what it takes to win $1 million and to be named the most talented act in America? Well join the crowd as thousands of eager contestants from across South Florida converge at the Miami Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26-27 for “America’s Got Talent” season nine auditions. After Miami, auditions will move on to cities that include Atlanta, New York, and Houston, before ending the tour in Los Angeles next

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Nick Cannon

February. Last year’s winner, Kenichi Ebina, is currently headlining the “America’s Got Talent Live!” tour, along with the show’s always-funny host, Nick Cannon.

Viewers may not realize that Cannon, 33, who is also married to R&B diva Mariah Carey, was a teenage star on the long-running Nickelodeon hit show “All That” and a popular stand-up comedian before his breakout role in “Drumline,” then later hosting several TV and radio shows. Word is he’ll be bringing back his show “Nick Cannon Presents Wild N Out” — an improv comedy show with musical performances that he created, produced and hosted on the way to becoming one of the highest-rated shows in MTV’s history — and with a brand new cast. But how does all of that compare to “America’s Got Talent” and where does he find the time?

All kinds of talent are welcome

“I don’t really have to fit the show or my other projects into my schedule because with proper time management, it’s all pretty easy,” he said. “What I really like about the show is it gives people a platform to change their lives.

Our ratings may not be as high as ‘Idol’ but we do pretty well. The fact remains we are the only talent show that accepts contestants of all ages and allows for all kinds of acts. It’s a real slice of American culture.”

Cannon was not exaggerating. Since the show started eight years ago, it has featured singers, dancers, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, musicians and ventriloquists — all hoping for the chance to capture the hearts of America and snag that $1 million prize.

“We have had some crazy acts in the past — that’s for sure,” Cannon added.

“Someone once put drills in their nose and hung bricks on their eyelids. That was a bit much for me but it’s amazing to see just how far people will go.”

Cannon compares the modern variety show that he hosts to popular shows like the Ed Sullivan Show from the 1960s. And he believes that to make it doesn’t require any magic potion.

“I know it may sound like a cliche, but my advice is to avoid being mediocre because pretty good never does very well on our show,” he said. “You have to give it everything you’ve got.”

Then to show that he always maintains his humor, Cannon said that one way to shake up the talent show format might be to include an ‘all nude’ requirement. Then he burst out in laughter — always the comedian.

There may be one or two audition slots available but you’ll need to act fast. Go to www.americasgottalentauditions.com to pre-register.

Ashley Montgomery contributed to this article.