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Why Jackie Evancho Won't Win America's Got Talent

Updated on January 25, 2012

Prediction: Jackie Evancho Opera Act Will Fall Short of Top Prize

As I was reviewing the performances on the America's Got Talent special YouTube quarterfinals episode, I was just as shocked and pleasantly surprised as most watchers seem to be about the talent of Jackie Evancho. 10-year-old opera singer Jackie Evancho brings a massive shock factor due to her operatic ability at such a tender age. Jackie is apparently a natural, as she supposedly has been singing for only two years.

Since suddenly bursting onto the scene during the quarterfinals of America's Got Talent, just one video of her performance has surpassed two million views in three days. Other copies of the Evancho performance of Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" are garnering hundreds of thousands more hits. However, as a watcher of America's Got Talent since the first season, I can fairly confidently say that, while talented, Jackie Evancho will likely fall short of winning the fifth season of America's Got Talent.

Let me outline the reasons why I believe this little dynamo will not win. First, though, I will say that Jackie is instantly one of my favorites. Nothing about this article is intended to take away from her immense talent. In fact, I think Jackie is a lock for the finals. She almost certainly will make it to the final performance week and vie for the championship. But I believe that she will fall short for the reasons stated below.

Note: You can see the video below of Jackie performing. Sometimes, these videos are deleted. You can search for another copy on YouTube if her performance disappears.

The first reason Jackie will have trouble winning is that she is overrated by her fans. This is understandable to some degree. After all, seeing a 10-year-old girl sing like this is a dramatic experience. Indeed, she is so good for her age that many commenters flatly claim that her performance is a fake. Of course, it is not fake. Jackie is the real deal, and even this show would not pull such a stunt. Besides, look at her mouth when she sings. Jackie obviously just has an advanced voice for her age plus enough training to bring out that voice at such a young age.

But Jackie really is overrated because of the shock factor. There is really no reason to conclude, for example, that she is better than Barbara Padilla, the opera singer who finished second on America's Got Talent's fourth season. For that matter, is Jackie better than Prince Poppycock, this season's opera semifinalist? Some may say yes, but that's far from certain for the average viewer. And Poppycock actually delivers performances, not just singing.

When it comes to Jackie, she is a solid singer for what she has done so far, but that performance did not show much power and little to no originality. Without the age handicap to fall back on, Jackie really doesn't hold up compared to most winners and some losers. While an opera singer can win (Neal Boyd won the third season) America's Got Talent, Neal won in a weak season, and he is simply a much more powerful and distinct singer than Jackie is (although Jackie may become much better than Neal as she gets older). Simply put, the shock factor makes Jackie overrated.

In fact, if we compare her to the only child winner of America's Got Talent, Bianca Ryan, Jackie still doesn't hold up as a talent contestant. Bianca won not just for the shock factor, as many other young acts made the finals that first season. Bianca also won because of her uniqueness. Bianca stands out even apart from the age factor because she doesn't sound like anyone else in the world. On the other hand, Jackie Evancho is an opera singer that sounds like a weaker version of professional opera singers.

Opera snobs may contend that Jackie has more talent than Bianca, but judging merely by technical factors is not very relevant in these kinds of talent contests. Uniqueness, soulfulness and versatility reign supreme. Ventriloquist Terry Fator is one of the most unique entertainers in the world. Pretty much no one does exactly what he does. Hence his victory. Bianca is a unique mix of soul, RnB, pop, Broadway and a smidgen of opera. It is difficult to find a singer who matches her versatility in vocal tones. While the average viewer may not think about it that way, they sure seem to respond to uniqueness and versatility.

In seasons where no one is particularly unique or versatile, someone who is soulful or delivers emotional performances tends to win. Kevin Skinner had trouble staying in tune, but he was a very emotional singer. Neal Boyd was also a very emotional contestant who took that emotion to an America's Got Talent championship. Jackie is not unique when you discount the age issue, and she is not particularly emotional, as truly emotional singing simply can't come along at such a tender age. Only life experience brings that quality in singing or other performing.

This is why Michael Grimm remains the favorite to win this season of AGT. He brings the emotion to his performances. This is what people respond to. And he is a bit more unique than Jackie. As stated before, Jackie simply sounds like a decent version of another opera singer. Michael remains the favorite. He is more unique and emotional as a performer than Jackie.

With that said, it's hard to say how many people will get the past the initial shock and vote the way the public typically votes on these shows. It's awfully hard not to be impressed by Jackie. With an age handicap, she is arguably the best performer on the show. However, this age issue tends to not be enough to bring home a championship when the age is the primary factor for the interest in the contestant. For example, Connie Talbot finished second in Britain's Got Talent. She was utterly amazing for a 6-year-old girl, but that still was not enough to overcome Paul Potts, an impressive opera singer, for a championship.

In short, child contestants usually don't win even when they are impressive for their age. Jackie certainly fits the bill of a finalist. But she has some developing to do, and it doesn't help that only male opera singers seem to win these shows when an opera singer does win. Barbara Padilla, a better opera singer than Jackie, could not even beat Kevin Skinner. Although Jackie does not quite fit the mold of a champion, she is certainly a star in the making. Whether she wins AGT or not, Jackie Evancho is born to be a singing star. Whether she makes it in Broadway, opera or some other venue, America's Got Talent is a huge boost in her budding career. The sky is the limit for this talented young opera star.


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      Tunanorth 2 years ago

      Well, here we are 5 years later.

      Jimmy and the rest of the naysayers pretty much missed on all counts, except that she did indeed come in second, although it is well-known that she got the most votes, but her parents [understandably] refused to comply with the tour requirements.

      Jackie's "THIRD" TV special aired in December 2015; that is correct, her "THIRD" TV special.

      It was especially funny that Jimmy touted the very sweet but completely generic [and now totally forgotten] Bianca Ryan over Jackie Evancho, and even quoted Jackie's producer David Foster.

      To clarify, Jackie Evancho IS NOT an opera singer, and does not want to become one, that billing was all on AGT.

      Jackie Evancho now has a professional repertoire of over 100 songs, of which 4 are short opera arias [one of which she no longer performs].

      her voice is even better than before, did not "crack" with adolescence, did not "break" due to misuse, although thousands of up and coming child singers may suffer permanent damage emulating Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" [so did Adele].

      Besides TV specials, she has performed for Obama, the Emperor of Japan, Jay Leno, Oprah, and all the daytime talk shows, had 3 "Billboard Top 10" CD's, plus 4 #1's on the Classical Chart, and keeps a modest schedule of 2 concerts a month [about 25 a year], all the while keeping her "A" grade average at a public high school in Pittsburgh [not L.A.].

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      mike mckay 5 years ago

      She already won in most peoples mind, look where she is today. I listen because I enjoy her talent. She is a breath of fresh air compaired to some of the singers out there.

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      Rnick4499 5 years ago

      How could you say she is a weaker version of an opera singer??Really dude?? She is just as good, if not better than most opera singers i've heard.. When she sang with Sarah Brightman, she upstaged her, and look at the age difference..Jackie was a better singer than Sarah, on that song hands down..Now, not to say that Sarah, singing her own brand of music would certainly have the advantage, but given time, Jackie will outshine them all

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      moncef 5 years ago

      merveilleux,sublime une vrai diva,bravo jackie.

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      smithmark2233 6 years ago

      When I read articles like this I'm reminded of a scene in the move Amadeus. When Mozart asks if His Majesty liked his music, he turns to the director and asks him to put his feelings into words, the director responds with a quip "Too many notes". It's a shame some people can't get past the anomaly and just enjoy the music. Despite her lungs being half the size of an adult you can compare a 10 year old to a professional opera singer? That's pretty low. Mozart wasn't appreciated in his time either. Must be too many notes.

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      Nai-nai 6 years ago

      Ok if you love Bianca we got it.. But stop the snobbery with our little Jackie. She's the way best far on this at her genre, obviously not OPERA, but Classical Crossover. Study before you say something on your blog. IGNORANCE is what makes this world a bad place. She is not overrated, young people are desiring and hearing about this music more and more, thanks to Jackie! She is the best, I respect your taste, but Jackie is the best!

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      MrHand 6 years ago

      do you also notice that she seems to transform in physical appearance as well when she sings, then back to more childish when she stops?

      This is particularly apparent in her return AGT performance where she sings Nessum Dorma. She looks about ten years older (in the face anyway) while singing, but back to very young girl when done.

      Is very creepy.

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      wx645 6 years ago

      just wondering why jackie sounds as a little girl (which should be) when she talks but when she sings, she creepily transforms. her singing voice does not sound anything like her natural speaking voice.

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      Rickky 6 years ago

      Jackie was the real winner as soon as the public got a gimps of her amazing talent on her audition. 10 years old competing against people in their prime with out a sob story.

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      Lynn 6 years ago

      I have read everything and for the most part agree with some of it. The fact is, the only reason Jackie will not win/didn't win was not because she didn't get the votes. I gaurentee she did. They announced "and the winner is" rather than what they always say "and america voted and the most votes went to" because Jackie did get the most votes but her parents and Simon Cowell are not stupid. A 10 year old child with that much potential has no business being stuck to a pathetic contract for a year in Vagas along with the even more pathetic $1M over 40 years. Please! Jackie is the real deal and she's already proving that working with the best and hard work she will only get better as she has over this past 18 months. Watch out Opera world in 10 years she'll even blow away the biggest opra critics out there!!! I think the most beautiful thing about Jackie is she sincere and honset and because of what she is accomplishing she is already bringing classical music to young people broadening their horizons and teaching them to appreciate real music.

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      Ralph Deeds 6 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Well written Hub. I saw Jackie for the first time on PBS a couple of weeks ago. She's spectacular, in my opinion. I gave a DVD of her performance to my 3 years old granddaughter and she watched the entire performance standing in front of the screen. It appears to me from her repertoire that she's getting good guidance and isn't at all likely to turn into a Hollywood bimbo.

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      LoveJackie 6 years ago

      The reason Jackie did not win is that the last show is run by NBC and they pick the winner. Jackie, being 10 years old, could not agree to a commitment to show up for every show. Also, I am sick and tired of that British, rude fellow who constantly buzzes everyone so that he can get noticed. He mentions that this is for a million dollars! It is 40,000 a year for 25 years! Jackie made that much and more with her first CD, "O Holy Night."

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      tef 6 years ago


      Have you actually looked into what is being done to protect Jackie's voice or just made assumptions? Her mother does post some information; I believe to allay the concerns of Jackie's fans.

      Have you watched her interviews? Did you know that her parents restrict the number of her appearances (she was only allowed to attend 10 of the 25 AGT Tour Events as it would interfere with her schooling - maybe a reason for her not getting 1st, and a darn good one!). Have you heard her talk about doing online school (I believe Foster commented that she is an "A" student). Have you read that she sees an ENT specialist routinely who is watching the development and caring for her larnyx. Did you know that Lorraine Nubar, the head of Juilliard’s Pre-College Division of singing, consults and advises Jackie and her parents (she is too young to study at Juilliard). Did you hear her say that she practices 1 hour a day? Have you ever heard her say she was an opera singer?

      And while you are at it, find the video where she gushes about finding a sand dollar on the beach, or where she talks about earning $28 to spend on the family vacation. Maybe just watch how she and her family interact, the soft words, the hugs, the games they play. Or listen to how upset Jackie feels to hear that some people don't believe she is an honest girl and how she wants people to like her.

      Comparisons? The only thing I find sillier then those that mis-represent Jackie as an opera singer are those of you who argue their (not Jackie's) case and try to dismiss her by comparing her to trained opera singers. I don't know about you but I have no interest in watching any of our local U-10 soccer teams play agains the US National team playing as they do in the world cup. Silly right?

      Speaking of comparisons and competition, the greatest competition I have ever faced is trying to do better today then I did yesterday. Those of you who are "professionally trained", have you ever achieved the level of growth that Jackie has in a single year? Yes you worked hard to learn, I applaud you for that. But Jackie works hard too and she does so with grace and determination. Give her the credit she deserves. If her voice falters with age, or her interest wanes, or something else becomes more important to her then singing, SO WHAT? And no, I am not ignorant not uncaring about voice strain; even mature professionals have that issue, but I will address that shortly.

      So naysayers beware! You are actually revealing far more about yourselves, your attitudes, and your values then "educating" the rest of us - and no I do not believe you are clairvoyant; if you were you would just buy a winning lotery ticket. So in the words of Abraham Lincolm:

      "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

      Now as for concern for Jackie, if you are not a person of faith, you may want to stop reading now.

      Lord thank you for this beautiful child. Thank you for allowing me to hear her sounds, mistakes and all, for they are a joyful sound to me. Bless her by surrounding her with people who truly care for her and will protect her interests to Your glory.

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      Mr. GetItRight 6 years ago

      It's clear that Boyd's ignorance of the entertainment industry is only out shined by his lack of understanding of vocal skills. What a bafoon.

      And I quote "By the way, do you know more than David Foster? He thinks Bianca is amazing."

      Well he certainly knows far more than you Jimmy boy. He not only recognizes a real talent when he hears it, he puts his money behind it too. I didn't see him tooling around the country with Bianca, or producing a record for her, or doing a Great Performances concert with her, or... well you get the point.

      Jackie's accomplishments since AGT speak for themselves and your opinions and assessments of her couldn't be more polarized from the truth. Perhaps you should stick to editorializing on subjects you actually know something about, if that something exists.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      She deserves to win - they are all just jealous - let her win and be done with it.

      Judges aare al biased anyway - they pick who they want.

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      Rickky 6 years ago

      Jackie does not sing opera and she doesn't want to, No matter what some of you say about her, You are arguing against success, Youngest with a platinum record, 2010 top debut album, signed a contract with a major label. It would take the whole page to list all her accomplishments since America's got Talent. The one million dollar prize is paid out over 20 years. So Michael Grimm gets 25,000 this year while Jackie is taking the world by storm.

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      Rickky 6 years ago

      Jackie does not sing opera and she doesn't want to, No matter what some of you say about her, You are arguing against success, Youngest with a platinum record, 2010 top debut album, signed a contract with a major label. It would take the whole page to list all her accomplishments since America's got Talent. The one million dollar prize is paid out over 20 years. So Michael Grimm gets 25,000 this year while Jackie is taking the world by storm.

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      Bob Hart 6 years ago

      Would somebody please tell me where they got the info that Jackie got $5.5 million up front for her contract??? This has not been published anywhere. And Lisa and Mike Evancho (mom & dad) have not commented on ANY up-front package also.

      Jimmy Boyd - I agree with you. People comment on subjects in which they have no experience. Please don't - youjust make a fool of yourself.

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      6 years ago

      Just to add in, no actual major companies would want to toy with a child, unless it's a more family based contract.

      For one, opera (and not to be hypocritical), is listened to by a much older arrange of adults, who favor professional, more experienced singers who can guarantee a superb performance. A child cannot guarantee that. Which comes to a second conclusion.

      Her voice is simply not developed enough. She's coming to the age of puberty soon, and you know what that means?

      A) A long break from the music industry due to breakage of the voice caused by puberty,

      and B)More than likely, many people's voices change after puberty, which can extremely affect her career.

      Some completely lose their talent and some still have. But even if she still has her talent, she won't make it into the big spotlight (and not big like AGT, but REAL big). It's simply impossible to get a head start now. There are many older, or at least young adults, who are applying to these gigs. Let's face it, the young are seen as a joke, though many hate to face the truth. Children to teens are just too riled up with emotion and chemical inbalance. They can't guarantee that they'll be committed to an industry, or profession. And then there's the whole big issue with school--she can't just quit highschool in the future. And even if she does, she needs experience once again. How is she going to get experience from no education? No one is going to care.

      Except family-focused industries, once again. AGT helped improved her icon image, but the most she can make it to is the smaller opera chains.

      If in the future, when she develops her voice and majors in the related topic, I believe that she will most likely get a wonderful contract.

      But as of now? I don't believe it.

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      Clarissa Smidt 6 years ago

      I can't believe everyone is even discussing this stuff!

      Hasn't anyone noticed that there are NO opera singers commenting on this little girl? And the people in the industry who are, have their own pathetic agenda! The reason why no opera singers have anything to say is that they all know (as do I) that this little girl is nothing more than a choir girl singing opera - badly. I mean, it's nothing like the voice of a seriously talented young opera singer in their mid teens. She is far too young to sing this stuff AND have any sort of a career later on - her tender little voice will be shot to pieces in a few years, just like Charlotte Church. Maybe she'll earn a lot of money - of course; that is a huge factor in this. But look at all the people that will earn money out of her like fleas on the back of a dog! Seriously - this is nothing to do with Opera - it's spectacle and ridiculous. I only saw the video because some idiot in my family forwarded the link and I was curious.

      I have no problem with starting to perform early - in the Classical field, this is normal and right - you have to get that head start, and have it balanced with all things childish too. But, because she's a singer, she should be advised to stick to singing as a chorister in church and use THAT training, rather than being paraded about on national television like a golden calf.

      At her age, how can she even begin to weigh up the cost of singing this stuff against the cost of her future? This is more of the same industry that bleeds young artists dry - it's all about money, money, money. And frankly, if she auditioned to sing O Mio Babbino Caro at a REAL opera company, she'd be told to go back to school and study music for the next 10 years and come back once she's developed physically and musically. The interesting factor is that one can see how much easier she finds singing Andrew Lloyd Webber than classical music by Puccini et al. this is because material that is simpler and far less demanding vocally is more suited to a little girl. Her breathing is all over the place in the arias - her phrasing is terrible! But it isn't her fault - she can't possibly sing this stuff properly because she hasn't developed enough to get through it. Those huge long lines that Puccini wrote - he wasn't writing for little blond children to sing those - he was writing for young women in the their 20s and 30s! The long phrasing is there because it gives the music a far more sublime experience to the listener. This little girl just can't deliver - it isn't possible. So, all you people who think she is so fantastic - you are being short-changed on the whole experience of hearing this music. For a real sense of what Puccini wanted, listen to Monserrat Caballe singing O Mio Babbino - she had been singing it that way since she was in her mid teens! She was a REAL opera singer - even as an adolescent opera singer. Not a little pipsqueak child chorister masquerading as an opera singer - PLEASE!!!

      Considered to be one of the greatest tenors ever born, Pavarotti sang in as a chorister for years before he was even allowed to attempt Opera by his teacher. Why then are we so determined to place this little girl's youth above her actual ability (which is also being totally overblown)? It's such a joke to compare her to real opera singers. I can't tell you how utterly ridiculous and very sad it all is (and I'm an opera singer!) to see this little girl being encouraged to wreck her most precious asset for a big fat cheque and a few years of fame. It's no different to child prostitution really - she's just on the stage earning money instead of servicing men on the street.

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      Biggest fan for Jackie 7 years ago

      I don't care what this sdiot has to say about Jackie. She can sing all types of music. She is multi- dementional I'd like to hear the guy from No sing opera and I would especially hear the gay guy get out there and blows us away. with a Steven Tyler song. neither could even get close. Jackie is the brst singer in this or another compitition. phoey on the so called xspert

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      harsh realities 7 years ago

      The little demon spawn sucks. Her singing sounds like an animal in pain. It's awful.

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      Tracey 7 years ago

      I know its been awhile and while I agree she had a great talent in opera however If she wasn't only 10 years old and she's not even old enough to even be in Las Vegas. You have to be 21 to even gamble I think that is the reason she did not win. I personal was disappointed when Jacky didn't win. Look of where she went after the show was finish. She will go along way in her little life. Perhaps if she were just a little older she most definitely would have won.

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      Tunanorth 7 years ago

      She BEAT MICHAEL JACKSON'S RECORD for youngest artist ever to have a top 10 album.


      CC artists of course don't outsell pop artists, and Sarah Brightman's lifetime sales of 73 million is a pretty good liftime target for Jackie.

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      Robo9999 7 years ago

      And I quote "Second, she almost certainly won't be a big seller if she gets a record deal." Have you checked the Billboard charts lately? O Holy Night debuts at # 2 and beats Rihanna. She is the youngest to debut an album on Billboard. You have certainly proven to be someone I will not seek out for expertise in the entertainment industry. How could you not see it? a 4 year old with a tin ear could see that this young girl would be a superstar.

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      R S 7 years ago

      Oh but it is all about the talent. Michael Grimm was passed over by Sony/Columbia, and signed a record deal with Epic Records for a Million dollars. Jackie Evancho signed with Sony/Columbia and got 5.5 Million up front! I'm not knocking Michael, as he is good, but Jackie is the far superior talent. Jackie is a rarity in that she has at 10, a fully developed Adult Larynx. Her voice will not be changing, except for the better. She was born with the ability! What she gets out of it now is astonishing. As her lungs get bigger, her lower register will continue to get better, and her speaking voice will mature. Jackie already has a 3 1/2 Octave vocal range, and that will probably grow with more training. She already does a beautiful Glissando from E-Flat 5 to E-Flat 6 that is so beautiful. Think of it! Maria Callas can't do that. Nobody can! She's a 62 Lb 4'2" little girl! By the time she had a vocal Coach when she was 8, she already knew how to mix her Head voice with her Chest voice to improve her tonal qualities in both registers by combining both to create a third tonal mix and blending them all together, and at 10 the transition between them is undetectable! While not unheard of, mixing the two registers that way is rare, and few can Master it. It takes many years of training, practice and a great voice to accomplish. At 10, with only two and a half years of formal vocal training, it's almost impossible, yet Jackie does it naturally with ease. Listen to her sing "The Prayer" on the AGT tour in LA!

      There's one note near the end of the song that she holds and builds, then abruptly stops in perfect time with the music. The silence is deafening, you could hear a pin drop! It's just so beautiful, and she touches people inside when she sings. She has this unique ability to sing from her heart to the audiences hearts, and suddenly the world is not as bad a place that we think it is. We forget about all the problems and just enjoy the moment feeling safe! I'm a grown man in my mid 60s and she gives me goose bumps and makes me cry, every time I hear her sing, it's just so beautiful. It has the same effect on me every time I hear her sing. Other artists have put tears in my eyes, but not every time! You can see the improvement in her voice since the finals on AGT. Please listen, and enjoy!

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      Ann Hortaliza 7 years ago

      It's not about the Talent, it's about business. If Jackie won the AGT she could demand more Talent Fee that's why the most deserving contestant never wins (clear as black & white)

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      R.S. 7 years ago

      I have to say that you have completely missed the boat, and are severely lacking in knowledge of the technical aspects of singing. Jackie Evancho will re-write all the record books when it comes to the human voice. Jackie has vocal talents that no one in the history of music has ever achieved, and she does them all with ease. Her biggest difficulty is breathing! She's a tiny 63 Lb little girl with tiny lungs! The ability is there, she was born with it. As she continues to grow, she is going to amaze us even more. Thankfully she has chosen not to pursue opera, but rather follow in the footsteps of Sarah Brightman as a Classical Crossover singer.

      You compare her to Bianka Ryan, yet where is Bianka Ryan today? She signed a recording contract for 5 albums in 2006, that didn't set the world on fire. Her first album charted at #57 and the ensuing 3 albums didn't chard at all, and her contract was terminated. She'll get her Million dollars from AGT, but it's at $25,000 a year for 40 years. She can cash it in and get a little less than half it's value, but she hasn't done anything close to remarkable in the last 3 years.

      Jackie signed a Multi-Million dollar contract with Sony/Columbia for and estimated 25-50 Million dollars, with a huge signing bonus. Her first release by SYCO is a teaser, a compilation of all of her songs to date, sprinkled with Christmas songs called "O Holy Night", that's firmly at #2 in pre-sales on Amazon. Projected sales for her upcoming first album in 2011 for SYCO is projected to earn between $200,000,000 and $500,000,000. So much for the Bianka Ryan comparison!

      Mark my words, Jackie Evancho will go down in Musical History as the greatest vocalist that ever lived, barring ill health or accident. Her accomplishments to date seem impossible, yet she performs them with ease and she gets better each and every day! She's the best pure voice, the world has ever seen!

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      Bob 7 years ago

      The show is called “America’s Got Talent”. Its stated primary goal is to discover new talent, talented people who are basically unknown. Circus acts and outrageous costumes are not talent as I define it. They may have enormous entertainment value for a particular venue, but that’s a different kind of talent. Musicians tend to gravitate to the genre where their talent is displayed the best. I happen to be an opera fan and the singers with the most vocal talent sing opera. One opera snob on another site described Jackie Evancho as a classical cross-over singer such as Andrea Bocelli who in my opinion, doesn’t have near the talent of Jackie Evancho. He said opera is more than just standing in front of a microphone and singing your heart out, it includes acting and other intangibles. That’s true. But does he discount Pavarotti’s last performance of “Nessum Dorma” as not operatic or without talent? This little girl wasn’t going to put on an opera in 90 seconds, but she had more talent than everyone else in the room put together during the last few shows of AGT. Poppycock and Gravity would have gotten the buzzer from me. Grimm had something going for him. He used the sympathy card about his grandparent’s plight as a result of Katrina. He did a good job with “You Don’t Know Me” and he did it with emotion, just like the tearful interview backstage. This isn’t “Queen for a Day”, it’s a TALENT contest. Jackie showed a LOT of emotion in all her performances. It was derived from the same place Pavarotti gets his emotion, from the beauty of the music.

      I’ve noticed blogs saying Las Vegas is no place for a little girl and she doesn’t need the million dollars. I say her parents are fully qualified to protect her from any harmful influence in Vegas or Hollywood and almost EVERYONE needs a million dollars. Besides there was a deal between the Evanchos and Grimm that Grimm would have gotten at least half the money if Jackie won, which she should have. I watched all the Evancho clips I could find from when she started signing at eight until the present. I heard her improve over those two years and also heard sing some songs should have left alone. Someone dissed her performance of “O Holy Night”. I’ll agree, she didn’t sing as well as the best performance of that I’ve ever heard, which was done by Celine Dion with a beautiful arrangement. I think Jackie would come close to Dion’s performance had she used the same arrangement and orchestration. Have you ever heard Pavarotti sing in English? He was nowhere near as good as he was in Italian. It’s like having Brenda Lee sing “O Mio Babbino Caro” when she was a little girl and having Jackie sing “Jambalya”. If Jackie wants to be a top opera soprano she will be.

      Jackie was definitely unique. Her uniqueness was that she had way more talent than the other contestants. I agree with Boyd that most people have their taste in their mouth and it’s those people that make marginal talents rich. A good example was exposed to me lately on PBS. Michael Feinstein and a lot of his fans think he’s a talented singer. They’re all wrong. He’s no better than average, just like the musical IQ of most people.

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      Dennis Oppelt 7 years ago

      The Reason why Jackie did not win was because too much of the American population is full of very ignorant, no taste people such as yourself.

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      Galen 7 years ago

      I predict that you (Jimmy Boyd) and Michael Grimm will be living in your cars in a year or two, and Jackie Evancho will be a multi-platinum recording artist!

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      Rich 7 years ago

      Well, Jimmy, you were spot-on with your prediction. I was as surprised as Grimm that he won, but you certainly called it. You don't, by chance, own a crystal ball, do you?

      I believe I liked Jackie for the same reason just about everyone else did and still does. She's amazingly talented and has an unusual maturity to go along with it.

      I thought it was between Jackie and Prince Poppycock. Poppycock was amazing, especially his take on the Bohemian Rhapsody. His downfall was his last performance. He probably should have saved the Freddy Mercury song for his final performance. Piers didn't do him any favors with votes by buzzing him.

      Well done with your prediction!

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      Jan 7 years ago

      Jackie won, just didn't get the prize. America can't get past their handsome guitar picking men with a sad story. I would never pay to see Grimm. His stuff is old, a Bruce Springstein wannabe. I don't know anyone who voted for Grimm, and I think we were all surprised Jackie didn't win. I was thoroughly entertained by her and would pay to see her. How refreshing!

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      Poppycock fan 7 years ago

      AGT is a great venue for talent other than just singing and that's why I think Poppycock and his entourage and showmanship fit in. He puts it all together. Jackie should grow more, as in any child singer, and come back for American Idol. Or go to the Disney crew. The kids do look clean, dress cute and sing great, but AGT to me is for 'talent' not 'just' singing. As for Savannah - she's another kid singer. Let her grow up, and have her try out for idol. She sounds like she needs some polishing and she looked bored to tears.

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      Simone 7 years ago

      @ Scott: She absolutely without a doubt is overrated.

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      scott 7 years ago


      Still think she's overated?

      She still might not win. but it wont be because she's overated.

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      Anonymous 7 years ago

      If you like Bianca...check out Savannah Robinson...she's 11 and unbelievable. I found her on youtube by a lucky accident. See for yourself!

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      dm 7 years ago

      I feel Michael Grim or Poppycock should win.It would be well deserved.When Grim sings his emotions pour out into the crowd.Poppycock brings the stage alive by just being there, along with a strong soaring voice that ignites the emotions within. These two are true entertainers.I do not want to leave out mentioning Jackie Evancho because she is talented. Her voice is not quite as strong as it should be and she does not manifest the proper emotion to draw the crowd in.She is only 10 years old and will most likely accomplish this with time.With that being said Poppycock or Grimm nave my vote.They have all the qualities right now.

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      Todd 7 years ago

      You have top level talent with Evancho, PP and Fighting Gravity and then the rest are 2nd and 3rd tier talents.

      And it's not even close.

      Fighting gravity may be the most Vegas ready act and is a good show but for pure talent trail PP and Evancho.

      I don't really care what anyone says. Evancho is uber talented, virtually flawless and with the help of PP has turned this opera hater into someone who can appreciate the genre.

      I have to give it to PP by a hair b/c he IS flawless and puts on a show as well.

      "If someone who was 22 had her voice, i'm sure that no one would claim that the voice belonged to a 30 year old. If this girl was just a regular act at a small cruise ship line, I doubt anyone would even care about her after the next act."

      Poor analogy. Evancho is what she is - a phenom at an unbelievably young age. Reg cruise line acts are on a cruise line for a reason - they don't have "it". Jackie does.

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      EE.WBBC237-4 7 years ago

      Well I think that just like Susan Boyle, Jackie might not win, it depends if voters get tired of seeing an underage opera singer or not. Great article by the way, I agree with your point that you make. LIke you said, I think it's the shock factor. I hope that the biker wins, becuase I think that takes more trained-skill over natural skill. She does not have a voice of a woman in her 30's. If someone who was 22 had her voice, i'm sure that no one would claim that the voice belonged to a 30 year old. If this girl was just a regular act at a small cruise ship line, I doubt anyone would even care about her after the next act.

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      Eric  7 years ago

      I got to say, turn off the video and just listen to Jackie. I don't care who you are. This is pure talent. It's unfortunate that I am just now watching this specular show and I am extremely convinced there will be only 4 acts to contend with in the finals.

      Michael Grimm

      Jackie Evancho

      Fightling Gravity

      Anna and Patryk

      As a side note, I mis the Belly Dancing Duo.

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      Sara 7 years ago

      I want Prince Poppycock to win. Jackie has a good voice and her future is already set for her. PP wants this and if he wins then it may start his own career, he was always the shy and lonely one so imagine how happy he would be if he won because America thought he belonged.

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      Lily 7 years ago

      Jackie's life and future are set, so it doesn't really matter if she wins or not.

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      Simone 7 years ago

      You know what Mr. Boyd... I may have been a little too harsh in my initial criticism of you. (Prince Poppycock blog, don't know if you recall or not) We both made it quite clear that we did not agree with each other. However, when I said you didn't present facts in your blogs I was wrong, and I can admit that. The Poppycock blog, wasn't your best written blog I assure. However, if you had presented it in the fashion that you did this, Factual, logical, less insulting. I would have never dared fought you on it. For this I apologize to you.

      As for the subject matter at hand. This little girl has QUITE the voice. I was very impressed. BUT, I do not believe she has the talent to match up with these other acts. This season of AGT is simply too packed full of amazing competitors. Not to mention there was an opera singer far above and beyond her current state in this competition, before she lucked out with Youtube and got in. I believe Prince Poppycock tops this little "prodigy" with ease. Everything about him is far more entertaining and "Vegas" I'd pay serious money to see what he has in store for a full length show, then see a not-quite-up-to-par little prodigy.

    • Jimmy Boyd profile image

      Jimmy Boyd 7 years ago from Vernon, TX, USA


      What in blazes are you talking about? Of course, early life experiences count. Much of that is what can make a great singer. But saying that a 10-year-old has the mental and emotional presence to channel those experiences into a performance is a different story.

      Note: I did say there are exceptions. Why do you ignore key points of my comment? I guess you're too interested in trying to insult me, so you just pick and choose what you want to remember. Selective reading for the win.


      You could have just said you disagree and think that Jackie would be one of those exceptions if you had read carefully. Instead, you attack like some kind of rabid dog. You seem to suggest that children, as a general rule, can emote while singing. Please. Even many adults lack this characteristic in their singing. Once again, though, I said there ARE exceptions (you know, that part that you ignored?).

      LOL at talking about polls. You do realize the public puts people like Tim Urban and Sanjaya Malakar into the Top 7 of American Idol, right? LOL.

      You still haven't pointed out any of these life experiences of Jackie's that I supposedly trivialized. So what experiences did I trivialize? You were too busy dissing me to actually give any facts. Maybe you should actually start with that next time instead of a personal attack. Oh, I forgot. You have no facts. Next.

      One request, though. Please refer me to any major psychology text which in any way supports the argument that kids are naturally good at emoting during a singing performance. Let's see that, shall we? Or are you just referring to psychology to make yourself look educated? Yeah, I think we both know that's what you're trying to do.

      And the whole "father" argument is just a misplaced personal attack. Completely pointless and irrelevant to judging a singer on a TV show. Just weird, Wayne.

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      Wayne 7 years ago

      I didn't say anything about life experience or emoting from the soul. You did. Jackie sang with emotion. If you poll a plurality of interested people you don't know, three or more, the majority will say she sang with emotion. You my friend would be in the minority. That little blip of the aria tells a story and she told it well.

      Since you brought life experience up. You do trivialize children. What you are saying is early life experiences don't matter. You must never have been a father and if you are, not a sensitive one. Everything is relative. Take a lesson in child psychology 101. If you are educated you probably had a bit of psychology but you sure as hell didn't learn anything.

      The only reason I would ever visit Hubs again would be to figuratively shake my butt at Jimmy Boyd and tell him how unperceptive he is. Kudos to Boyd if I never come back.

    • Jimmy Boyd profile image

      Jimmy Boyd 7 years ago from Vernon, TX, USA

      Good points, Wayne. But I do think the voting is quite different for some reason depending on the country. George Sampson would have virtually no chance of winning in America, for example. And Zara Larrson, while good at hitting the notes, is about as karaoke as they come from a stylistic perspective. I don't think she'd stand a chance on AGT unless the competition imploded.

      I didn't trivialize children. Should be clear that Bianca was my favorite. Unlike some people, I didn't say emotion is everything in a performance. It's possible to make up for it with other qualities, just as Bianca did.

      No, I don't think children generally have the life experience to emote from the soul. Where in the world would you ever get such an idea? You've been 10 before, so you should know what I'm talking about. There can always be exceptions, but you gave no reason to think that Jackie is one of those exceptions. And it's not the least bit apparent from her first performance.

      Yes, I have seen her sing other things, and I frankly am not that impressed. For example, "O Holy Night" sounds like a singer who is stuck between genres instead of someone who truly knows who she is. She has a long way to go to be a high-level classical crossover performer.

      I can't say that I hope she wins. But I certainly wouldn't be torn up about it, either. She is one of my favorites.

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      wayne 7 years ago

      Personally I hope Jackie wins. It would help get children interested in higher level music and bring new talent to classical training.

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      wayne 7 years ago

      Jackie doesn't sing opera according to the opera camp. According to Jackie her genre is classical crossover. David Foster and Tim Janis are high on Jackie, both classical crossover composers. The only way Jackie will win is to force it with astounding subsequent performances. Michael Grimm or Poppycock should win. I certainly wouldn't want to see Poppycock win. He has a Vegas act no matter how he finishes AGT and that is where he belongs FOREVER. Michael Grimm is talented with a nice story line but he also needs to step up his performances or he can't win.

      Jackies talent and improvement since she started to sing at age eight must be seen to be appreciated. The only way to do that is to spend some time with her on all of her videos. She is judged by her trivializers and most of her maximizers based on one performance. Fans almost always overrate their favorite on talent shows. Jackie is UNIQUE. Tim Janis "She is just truly blessed with a voice that is just phenomal". David Foster recruited her to perform for him.

      Opera snobs don't like anyone outside of their genre (or faith) and that includes Jackie and Bianca. Classical crossover singers must be versatile. Its the nature of the genre. Jackie does sing with great emotion. She knows hurt and loss as well as anyone. She knows the pain behind what she sings about. (It is standard practice to trivialize children)

      I disagree with the postulation that children usually don't win got talent shows. When a viable child talent is put forward they often win. Bianca Ryan, George Sampson, Zara Larrson, Caroline Costa. The problem with children is that their talent most often is not developed enough to be viable. Worldwide in recent years, and these are not up to date figures, 14 children have won. One seven, Two ten, two twelve, three fourteen, two fifteen, and four sixteen year old children.

      AGT doesn't seem to know how to treat children. If Jackie were to win I would hope that she would take the same route that Bianca Ryan went. AGT trumpets a headline act in Vegas for the winner. Many commenters have said that children don't belong in Vegas, so many will vote against a trip to Vegas for Jackie no matter how much she is admired or favored over other acts. So AGT biases voters against children by not explaining how things would be handled if children win.


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      margie 7 years ago

      All these critical comment's. I say to all of you stand up and show me what you got. You people are worse than jealous school yard girls.

    • Jimmy Boyd profile image

      Jimmy Boyd 7 years ago from Vernon, TX, USA


      Your lack of knowledge of music talent is laughable. By the way, do you know more than David Foster? He thinks Bianca is amazing. You also failed to mention Brandi, Piers and Simon Cowell. Bianca was the favorite of all of these people. So I guess David Foster, Simon Cowell and Brandi equally know nothing about singing talent, right? Just give up, please. I don't want to embarrass you more. This is too easy.

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      GoFIghtingGravity 7 years ago


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      princess 7 years ago

      between prince poppycock and jackie evancho, PRINCE WINS IT ALL!!!! hes talented, can sing opera and other forms of music, wears different costumes instead of showing up on stage with the same looks, and most of all, HE'S ENTERTAINING!!!! thats what people need to get. jackie isn't entertaining. i rather watch prince poppycock for an hour than her. i hope price poppycock wins the million. GO PRINCE!!!!!

    • Skaditch profile image

      Skaditch 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great Hub! I'm hoping that the finals will include Michael Gimm, Ali and Christina, Jackie Evancho, the kite flyer (his name escapes me as I write this, Tyler... ) and Fighing Gravity. I think Fighting Gravity wins it all but I really hope that Ali and Christina and Tyler... Get something out of it because I'm a sucker for people who follow their dreams with personal challenges. Go Ali and Christina!

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      robertademoines 7 years ago

      BR "copied" jennifer holidays version, she copied Jennifers runs and vocal inflections AND her hand movements!!! just like she copied Janis Joplin--BR may be a talented mimic, but not a talented singer... yodeling requires far more vocal talent then copying the vocal stylings of other singers...BR brought nothing new to the table...The Hoff?? are you joking?? LOL---how does someone like "The Hoff" have the nerve to judge a talent contest?? what does "The Hoff" know about singing talent???.........THANK YOU for the comedy.....

    • Jimmy Boyd profile image

      Jimmy Boyd 7 years ago from Vernon, TX, USA


      What exactly are you disagreeing with? Bianca won, and Jackie won't. That's my prediction. Taylor Ware does appeal to a niche genre, and so does Jackie. And that's why they have trouble winning - they largely appeal only to that niche and the "vote for the cute kid" crowd.

      For the record, Bianca Ryan sounds nothing like Jennifer Holliday. As both Brandi and The Hoff said in Season 1, she actually sounded more like Liza Minnelli than Jennifer. Are you sure we watched the same Bianca Ryan, cause your observation isn't even remotely close to the reality.

      And Bianca was the judges' and producers' favorite by a mile, so blaming the public does not apply in Bianca's case. She would have won even if the producers or judges decided. Do you want some other mystery panel of supposed experts to decide? LOL.

      LOL at bringing up Taylor Ware to support your argument. Just LOL. NO need to even comment on that. You're dissing Bianca and praising a teen yodeler? He he. Thanks for the comedy.

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      robertademoines 7 years ago

      i disagree with the review---if anyone is "over-rated" it was Bianca Ryan....Ryan is a mimic---Jackie is not---Ryan won because of her spot on impersonation of Jennifer holiday, right down to holidays signature hand movements...Ryan is the product of what happens when the public votes.....a familiar song, a young confident singer---ryan sounds way overtrained----Ryans vocal talents pale in comparison to Jackies--Jackie however, appeals to a niche genre----like Taylor Ware from season 1 of AGT....Jackie has the potential to be the next Charlotte Church....

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      Lily 7 years ago

      As far as I am concerned, when you look at the talent competing against Jackie, it is ALL strictly vaudevillian. Back in the day of Vaudeville, everyone and there mother had talent! Why even playing the mouth harmonica was considered talent. Niel Boyd, Barbara Padilla, Prince PoppyCock, Susan Boyle, and even the current talented 17 year old classic piano player have this in common, while exceptionally very talented, their talent comes from hours and many years of practice. Not sure if I would consider them prodigies, but just people who have worked many years and hours to perfect their art. Jackie and Bianca Ryan are both prodigies, although their styles are different. That is not to say that one is better than the other. I frankly love both these little girls. As for not being fair if Jackie should win the AGT, I see this no different than allowing professional athletes to compete in the Olympics.

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      NuttinButStringz4ever 7 years ago

      Those are all really good points, but you left one very important fact out. Jackie already has a recording contract. She already has songs all over iTunes. Same with Michael Grimm. I think it would completely unfair and wrong if Jackie won, with her recording contract when Nuttin' But Stringz didn't. That would be hypocritical. The year with Neal E Boyd, and Nuttin' but Stringz, My opinion was that NbS would win. That's what everybody thought. But they didn't. So that's my reason why Jackie shouldn't win.