'America's Got Talent': A chat with season 4 winner Kevin Skinner
He started the fourth season of America’s Got Talent telling the judges wild stories from his days as a chicken-catcher. He finished it…as the million dollar winner, preparing to headline a Vegas show in a little over a month. Only in America! Kevin Skinner, the singer/guitarist from Mayfield, KY, beat out opera singer Barbara Padilla and music group Recycled Percussion (among other competition) to take home AGT‘s top prize Wednesday night. He took some time today to chat about his victory, as well as his upcoming Vegas show.
Congratulations on winning America’s Got Talent! How does it feel?
It’s surreal, you know. You chase a dream for so long, and it’s hard to believe when you get a little recognition for things that you’ve done for so long. It’s a great feeling.
You wake up on Thursday morning and you say “holy crap. I’m a millionaire and I’ve got a performance contract.”
That’s how you feel. Like, this can’t be happening to me. One part of you says “okay, this has happened, now I’ve got to go through with it” and the other part is saying “how is this happening to me?” It’s kind of crazy, but in a good way.
At what point in Wednesday’s show did winning seem like a real possibility?
It was right up to the very end. I didn’t really know, and I’m sure nobody really knew. When they called out my name… I wasn’t really looking for it — I mean, I knew there was a chance they would, but I also knew there was a chance that they could call Barbara’s name, too. So it came as a big surprise.
What was it in the end that made America vote for you? What quality pushed you over the edge?
I kind of think — and I’ve heard a lot of people tell me this — that I connected with the audience, that people all across America were connected to me. I’m just a common, everyday person. I don’t look any different, more flashy than I would everyday. People connected with that. I’m kind of like the friend next door, you know? I think I also just chose a good song, too, and it turned out great. I think that’s what gave me the edge.
So you’re going to be headlining a show in Vegas. What happens between now and the start of the show?
Just…spending as much time with my family as I can, you know, and friends. Doing a little practicing, getting prepared. Maybe writing up a song list. Just being me for a little while before I have to go out and start playing again.
What is the show exactly?
I’ll be headlining a show that plays Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights, and one show on Sunday. I’ll be doing that every week. Some two-hour nights, some less. That was my understanding of it, though that could change. I was told it might be Planet Hollywood, but I’m not sure.
Will you be singing country only? Will that work for a Vegas crowd?
I can sing a variety of stuff…just need to feel the crowd out, have a variety of songs and go from there.
What was your most memorable moment from America’s Got Talent?
Probably when they played back my video on Wednesday’s show, leading up to me and Barbara standing out on stage. That was a great feeling, filled with a lot of emotion. It had been a lot of hard work — a long road to get up to that point. That was definitely the most memorable part of the show.
Photo Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC