Unlike his American Idol and Britain’s Got Talent predecessors, the person who was supposed to win America’s Got Talent, Kevin Skinner (the chicken farmer), won America’s Got Talent. That’s right. The chicken farmer who had barely been off the Kentucky farm his entire life won America’s Got Talent Season 4, which means he is not only getting off the farm but he’ll have some money ($1 million) to rectify the financial straits he and his family are in. But he certainly had some world class entertainment alongside when he won. The America’s Got Talent finale sported singing sensations like Shakira, Leona Lewis, country stars Rascal Flatts, and Britain’s Got Talent runner-up and YouTube phenom Susan Boyle.
Some are saying that the America’s Got Talent finale may have been one of the best live performance variety stage shows of all time. Although the show was loaded with talent, the internet is abuzz with just three names: Shakira, Susan Boyle, and Kevin Skinner.
Shakira certainly lit up the stage, that’s for certain. The internet is on fire with articles about and videos of her performance. In tight black pants and matching top, the internationally renowned pop singer took the stage and undulated her way through her performance, the live audience screaming so loud at times they nearly drowned out her music. Shakira performed her hit “She Wolf” to a Vegas-lit backdrop that said, “Don’t Feed The Animal.” In keeping with the hit music of the day, the song was autotuned to death, but the performance was so sexy no one cared.
Susan Boyle made her American singing debut on America’s Got Talent and simply blew everybody away. She not only sang beautifully, which was to be expected, but her song choice, the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses” was so shocking — and then so surprisingly good — that people haven’t been able to stop talking about it. Considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, “Wild Horses” is one of those songs that has been identified with the original bad boys of rock for decades. Now it will become not only her debut single but a song that just might identify her as well.
The crowd went crazy. They and the judges gave her a standing ovation. From a Scotland town to world renown in just a few months, Susan Boyle has had a few ups and downs, but her path to stardom seems to have solidified. And, on top of that, she seems to have another viral video on her hands.
And then Kevin Skinner won. Some have said that the talented Barbara Padilla should have won and that Kevin Skinner was only winning (and then won) due to the sympathy vote. And to some extent that might be true, because everyone loves an underdog story. But there is no denying that Kevin Skinner has talent, that he can sing a country song with feeling and touch the audience. From the moment Kevin Skinner told his story, then sang Garth Brooks’ “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” he connected with the audience. And the connection held to the end.
America’s Got Talent made winners out of a lot of people Wednesday evening. Rising artists. Already successful artists. Kevin Skinner. All those who made the finals. But most of all, because of it being such a superb all-around show, America’s Got Talent did what so many shows fail to do, it made the audience a winner.
Shakira’s “She Wolf” video from YouTube.
Susan Boyle performs “Wild Horses,” video from YouTube.
“America’s Got Talent,” NBC Television