Reality Rocks - Archive

Shocker! A Grimm Result On ‘America’s Got Talent’

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

For the second season in a row on "America's Got Talent," a humble singer-songwriter with a hard-luck story has won. Last season, it was chicken farmer Kevin Skinner who walked away with the million-dollar prize, and this season, in a huge upset, raspy bluesman Michael Grimm beat out America's frontrunning sweetheart, 10-year-old opera sensation Jackie Evancho.

 

Considering that the ultimate goal of "AGT" is to find a lucrative Vegas act, a la past winner Terry Fator (one of the most successful reality show winners in TV history), I find the last two seasons' results to be a little odd. Now, I am not trying to take away anything from Michael's victory (or Kevin's, for that matter). Michael is a talented man and a seemingly stand-up guy, and I'm delighted he'll be able to use his prize money to help his grandparents, who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. My issue is that, much like the quiet and unassuming Skinner, Grimm is not a Las Vegas-style performer.

If "AGT" viewers had really thought to vote for an act ready to headline Vegas, then honestly, the final two would have come down to the flamboyant and foppish Prince Poppycock, whom judge Piers Morgan likened to a modern-day Liberace, and the blacklit performance art troupe Fighting Gravity, who with better production values would be right at home playing down the Strip from Cirque du Soleil, the Blue Man Group, and Terry Fator. Jackie Evancho would have also probably drawn crowds to Caesar's Palace, just for the sheer novelty of hearing the voice of a 40-year-old woman emanate from the mouth of a 10-year-old girl...although in the long run, it's probably better off that she placed second on "AGT." Unless it's the Circus Circus Hotel, Sin City really is no place for a child.

Jackie will surely mature into quite a performer over the years, assuming she doesn't undergo some Peter Brady-style voice change. And I wouldn't be surprised if Poppycock and Fighting Gravity get to perform for Vegas audiences one day, despite not winning "AGT" this season. But what will happen to Michael Grimm in Vegas, a town where over-the-top showboaters like Celine Dion, Elton John, Cher, and Tom Jones typically headline? Kevin Skinner's two-month Vegas run in 2009 was critically panned (that wasn't entirely his fault, since he was lumped into a Jerry Springer-hosted "America's Got Talent" variety show that included other contestants), and his post-"AGT" album, Let It Ride, failed to chart. Will Michael Grimm fare better? We will soon see if he can viva in Las Vegas...as well as what will become of Jackie Evancho et al.

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