I went to watch the America’s Got Talent road show last night in Chicago (actually Rosemont, but nobody knows where that is). The host was Jerry Springer, and it was apparent the crowd was very familiar with his daytime show.
I didn’t know what to expect. Would the contestants be as good as they were on TV?
Almost all of them came from proverbial rags hoping to ascend to riches. Each came with dreams, and the desire to attain them. Each came with their own personal struggle.
Taylor Matthews showed why he could be the next American heartthrob crooner, part Jason Mraz, part Jack Johnson.
Michael Grasso kept making people disappear and appear with quick precision, never giving the audience a chance to second guess.
Studio One Young Beast Society took their street dance to the stage and amazed with acrobatics and speed.
Prince Poppycock, part Little Richard, part Louis XVI combined opera and farce in an amazing display of strutting and singing and lots and lots of make up.
Christina and Ali delivered in spite of them both having Cystic Fibrosis, and having lost a sister in the last year.
Jeremy Van Schoonoven showed why he’s going to break every bone in his body with his fearless bike maneuvers.
Vegas won’t be far away for Fighting Gravity. These fraternity brothers from Virginia Tech turned a college talent show act into an amazing display of “Blue Man Group” meets “2001, A Space Odyssey”.
Twelve year-old Anna and Patryk swept the crowd and each other off their feet, bringing back memories of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers.
And, the winner, Michael Grimm, did a short set that ranged from Joe Cocker to Ray Charles to Al Greene. I know now why he will be a star.
As I reflect on the night, I felt the power of America. This could never happen anywhere else. That made me feel proud.