Out of all the singers on America’s Got Talent this season, 10-year-old Jackie Evancho and 57-year-old Alice Tan Ridley are the only ones who have managed to escape the “mediocre pop balladeer” label. Yes, I know age ain’t nothin’ but a number (and there is no age requirement or cutoff on the show), but it is interesting that the most talented vocalists do not fit the 20something-pretty-guy/girl-with-a-guitar-crooning-indistinguishable-pop-ballads-you’ll-soon-be-hearing-in-your-dentist’s-office mold that so many of the other contestants seem to believe will lead them to the finals.
Last night, both Jackie and Alice got great responses from the judges; Piers called Jackie a “superstar,” and Sharon said Alice gave her goosebumps. Both have been consistently praised since their first auditions, and in a season of confusing skills and questionable taste, it would be nice to see the decision come down to two of the truest examples of talent that we have. Plus, each will have feel-good stories to boot (10-year-old living her dream, former NYC subway singer turned Vegas headliner) — you know, if crying at reality show finales is your thing (not that I would know…).
Does Jackie Evancho just keep getting better? Did Alice do Whitney Houston justice? (Was the well-timed pyrotechnics too much of an obvious push from producers?). These two have my vote to make it into the Top 10 and beyond, but what about you, PopWatchers? Are you on board with Jackie and Alice or does your heart still beat for Michael Grimm and Taylor Matthews?