Is Grandma Lee the Next Susan Boyle?
The Got Talent franchise is like American Idol without the marketability, car sponsorship and Simon Cowell, but like any reality-competition-hungry country, America ignores these shortcomings. We can look past David Hasselhoff's half-hearted feedback ("I was really touched by your personal story") and even the insensitive giant X's that scream "Game over!" to a family of slum-raised acrobats because occasionally, the program finds a Susan Boyle. This season, America's Got Talent offers up its own dowdy performer: Her name is Grandma Lee, and America, she needs your votes and a makeover.
Grandma Lee wouldn't have gotten to the final five without a camera-ready gimmick, and this 75-year-old comedienne has that in her slight stoop, her bowl-cut and the ten grandchildren that surround her after most sets. As the introductory montages would have us believe, Lee spends her days in coffee shops, writing her own material that covers anything from geriatric dating to geriatric sex. Here are a few of the zingers she has unleashed on America in past episodes:
"You know I love this country, but President Obama honey, your stimulus package ain't gonna work. I was married to my ex-husband for almost 40 years and believe you me, not the combined efforts of the Playboy Channel, Victoria's Secrets, or the soothing, seductive music of Barry White...some packages cannot be stimulated."
"I got divorced because of religion. He thought he was God, I did not."
"In another 40 years or so, you're going to be like me, with the love of your life standing at the foot of your bed with a bottle of Ex-Lax in one hand and a bottle of Viagra in the other, trying to make a conscientious decision."
Although this "elderly woman saying shocking things" schtick might seem hackneyed to you (see The Wedding Singer's Rosie), popular America and the AGT judges heartily disagree. Sharon Osbourne called her "naughty and irreverent." before declaring, "You got it missus, you got it happening." The Hoff admitted, "You just slay us." And Piers Morgan conceded, "Grandma Lee, you can get in my shorts anytime." And after last night's results show, it is clear that Lee is one of the strongest of the five finalists.