Anthrocide is the official website for D.L. Hamilton, author of several Christian novels and essays.

America HAS Talent…

So, America’s Got Talent huh? (Although, from the title one assumes it doesn’t have much in the way of proper grammatical skills or it would be America Has Talent.) Anyway, for those who, like me, have no better sense than to waste their time watching this drivel, here is my take on the finalists from worst to first:

Grandma Lee – Granted my sense of humor doesn’t mesh with a lot of people’s; for example, I don’t find David Letterman the least bit funny. And, granted, I have become convinced that performers who resort to off-color humor do so because they don’t have enough truly funny material. They rely on the shock value of what they say to get audience reaction. Hence, I do not find Grandma Lee funny. She aims her risqué humor at the judges who obligingly pound their desk with hilarity and proclaim her comedic timing “impeccable.” It isn’t; it’s slow and halting and if she were 30 years younger she’d have been dumped long ago. As it is she gets additional shock-value mileage by being 75 and saying what someone that age isn’t expected to. But would her lame old-lady sex jokes, sans judges, sustain a full-length Vegas show? No way, and I wouldn’t go for free. Sorry, Granny, it’s a “no” vote from me.

Kevin Skinner – The human Eeyore. He’s a mediocre singer and at first the aw-shucks human interest angle was somewhat touching. But he has laid that “Ah’m jest a humble hick (sniff, sniff)” stuff on so thick for so long I no longer buy it. An evil part of me sees him offstage after a performance with a martini in one hand and a cell phone in the other saying in plain broadcast English, “Vinny? This is Kev. Hmm? Actually, I thought it went well tonight and, hey, that onion-juice-on-the-guitar-strap idea of yours was pure genius. Gets me teared-up every time. Anyway, did you open that Swiss account for me like I asked you? Super! Need a place to put that cool mil, right? And hey, Vin, have my lawyer tell the producers here I want a penthouse for the Vegas gig…” Back to the chickens, Kevin.

Drew Stevyns – An OK raspy-voiced singer who is thoroughly uninspiring. Since the audience doesn’t vote people off but instead votes for their favorite, I’d say he has zero chance to win unless all the female voters decide his boyish looks merit their votes.

Recycled Percussion – An unusual group that beats on buckets, car parts, and other junk as musical percussion. Although they’re interesting to watch, here’s my problem with their performances: They have one actual musician, a guitarist, but I hear a lot of other background music and sound. So how much of what we hear are they actually producing? Or are they just a flamboyant Milli Vanilli?

The Texas Tenors – Since I am not a fan of country music, trios in cowboy hats do not attract me, although “God Bless the USA” is as country as they’ve gotten so far. When they pull off good harmony (which isn’t always) it’s quite good. They could probably carry a Vegas show (or more likely a Branson show), but I doubt I’d pay to go, even if I was already there.

Lawrence Beaman – Good singer with a deep, mellow voice. However, he has limited range and needs to pick his songs carefully. Cries too much and too easily but he’s the best male singer of the bunch.

Hairo Torres – This guy is amazing for the contortions he can put his quadruple-jointed body through all while performing acrobatic break dancing. Him I’d pay to see.

The Fab Five – Talented group of five twenty-something to thirty-something sisters who can dance up a storm. I’m not real big on watching dance acts but they’re amazingly precise, they’re attractive but modest, and they seem to be having a ball while on stage. The biggest concern with them is that their dancing is so frenetic that after a 2-minute audition performance they’re completely gassed. That being the case, how on earth will they handle a full 60 or 90-minute Vegas show?

The Voices of Glory – Two brothers and a sister (16, 11, and 9 I think) who blend excellently. The little girl has a dynamite voice and is fearless on stage. Their background story is quite touching; you can’t help but root for them.

Barbara Padilla – Operatic singer who is the whole package. Great human interest story of a cancer-surviving wife and mom who sort of came from nowhere. She’s a lovely lady who comes across as incredibly gentle, kind, and caring (okay, okay, she also cries too much and too easily but I’m cutting her some slack). But all that aside, even though I’m no opera aficionado her performances give me goose bumps. I would definitely pay to see her perform and would sincerely hope for a chance to meet her and shake her hand afterwards. Even though an operatic singer won last year, she is by far the most talented of the competition and gets my vote to win it all.

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