This week, 4-year-old America's Got Talent contestant Kaitlyn Maher performed the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There." That's a tough, octave-spanning song for even an adult to tackle (Mariah Carey is one of the few capable of doing that), and really probably the only CHILD who could do it justice is little Michael Jackson (who was 11, not a toddler, when he recorded the original).
As usual, Kaitlyn was a button-nosed cutie, but she was clearly waaaay out of her depth:
Meanwhile, the big man with the big voice, Neal E. Boyd, took on one of the most showoffy, going-for-gold ballads in the TV-talent-show songbook, Eric Carmen's "All By Myself." And he sang it opera-style. And he was NOT out of HIS depth:
So last night, when the five AGT finalists were announced, the contestants were summoned to the stage in faceoff pairs...and it came down to a showdown between Kaitlyn and Neal.
And I sat there, remote control in my white-knuckled hand, muttering to myself and/or no one in particular: "Gawd help me, if that toddler takes away a rightful spot in the finals from an opera singer, I will change the channel right now and I will never watch this show again."
Well, luckily that didn't happen. I heaved a sigh of relief and set remote down, happy that America listened to tough-loving judge Piers Morgan this time (instead of booing him) when he warned it would not be fair to put someone as young as Kaitlyn on a Vegas stage.
Fast-forward about halfway through the clip below and you can see Kaitlyn's elimination:
I must say, Kaitlyn handled her defeat rather maturely (if robotically) for a wee 4-year-old. But when Jerry Springer told her, "We'll see you next year," I have to say--next year is still too soon. Give the girl a break and let her grow up a bit, and then maybe we'll see her in TEN years.
- Mariah Carey
- Kaitlyn Maher
- Michael Jackson