Is the America's Got Talent Winner a Star?
We'll conceal the champion until after the jump, but America's Got Talent crowned its fifth-season victor last night to the delight of many and to the abject disappointment of others. Let's break down the potential for mainstream success (and credibility).
Who could deny that fifth-season winner Michael Grimm was the unbeatable favorite the minute he auditioned back in June? With his crystal clear trills and acoustics, he was the most primed talent in the finals (even outshining last year's winner Kevin Skinner). Sure, runner-up Jackie Evancho was a skilled enough preteen, but does she sound like Jackson Browne-meets-Daughtry? Does she resemble a post-Knight's Tale Heath Ledger? Does she cut a figure like Love and Theft-era Bob Dylan? Not a chance.
Mind you, I hated that he chose "When a Man Loves a Woman" for the finale. But when you're trying to endear yourself to a demographic that might turn on you for the whizz-bang operatics of Prince Poppycock, it's understandable to settle for the safety of lite-schmaltz standards.
If American Idol's roster of mainstream successes are any indication, Grimm is as eligible for Billboard entry as Kris Allen, David Cook, and Carrie Underwood. And like Daughtry, he has to zero in on that bankable rabble to make it happen. Whether or not he does "arrive" after his one-year Vegas headlining stint is over, he's still the most stardom-qualified AGT winner yet. I suggest a cover of Jackson Browne's "These Days" as a first single.