05/24/2013 05:23 am ET

'Showville' Premiere: Talent Show Heads To Small Towns, Doesn't Find Much Talent (VIDEO)

AMC's new series "Showville" takes the premise of "America's Got Talent" and sends it on the road to Small Town America. Actor Alec Mapa and choreographer Lisette Bustamante are seeking undiscovered talent in small towns, and they quickly learned that the percentage of talented people in small towns may be less than they realized.

The series premiere sent them to Holland, Michigan, where they found four acts put into a talent show for the community. The auditions were the familiar mix of terrible to worse that fans of talent shows have become used to, including one woman who was reading the lyrics to her song from her phone.

One person who did make it into the show as a man who could jam a 5 inch steel nail into his nose. And that is just part of the problem with the show. The execution of it was a far cry from what The LA Times said might have been a great premise on paper.

“You can practically hear how it was pitched: ‘Waiting for Guffman’ meets ‘American Idol’ with a little ‘Stephen Fry in America’ thrown in," they wrote. "Unfortunately, television is not a paper medium and, based on the first episode, ‘Showville’ is a mess, unwilling to commit to being one sort of show or another.”

HitFix wasn't impressed, either, and came out of it confused about what small towns have to offer when it comes to talent. "I can't decide if small towns are crawling with fairly talented people who could probably put together Vegas-worthy routines if they didn't have to spend so much time working day jobs," they said. "Or if there are just a lot of people who have inoffensive hobbies that liven up family Christmas parties, or there are just a lot of dorks who you'd rather not spend too much time getting to know.”

The journey to find small town entertainers continues on "Showville," Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

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