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Open Letter To The Contestants of ‘America’s Got Talent:’ If You’re Not A Musician With A Gimmick Or Story, You Won’t Win

NBC
This is an open letter to any contestant auditioning to be on America’s Got Talent, and goes for any future contestants, too. If your talent is to slam dunk basketballs, show off your backwards walking dog, swallow swords while balancing on broken glass and/or anything else like that, you won’t win. Sorry.

You see, it’s not that you’re untalented, we all think you’re awesome and so is your singing birds or backscrating cat and your kid that’s as cute as can be who can tap dance on their knuckles. That’s all fine and dandy and there’s a place for it – which is usually grandma’s living room or at a county fair. But if you look at the history of America’s Got Talent, including Britain’s Got Talent, the winner is traditionally someone who can sing and they have a great story or a gimmick behind them. Let’s look at the winners:

Season 1: Bianca Ryan, The 11 year old singer.
Season 2: Terry Fator, the ventriloquist who would sing impressions and is now headlining in Las Vegas.
Season 3: Neal E. Boyd, the young opera singer.
Season 4: Kevin Skinner, the chicken farmer/country singer.
Season 5: Michael Grimm, the singer/songwriter.
Season 6: Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., the car wash singer who sang like Frank Sinatra.

See that pattern. All singers. If you can sing your ass off, but are boring, you probably won’t make it far. Better make up a good story and incorporate something that’ll blow the audience away. This, of course, could be the year that a singer won’t win. Several dance acts have won Britain’s Got Talent – even the year Susan Boyle was on the show (she came in 2nd place).

If there was a way you could incorporate song and dance, I think you may be golden. But just because you’re the best chainsaw juggler, pumpkin headbutter, novelty act you’ve ever seen, you probably won’t make it far.

Yours, ect.
John W. Riggs

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