After Simon Cowell pegged Grace VanderWaal as ‘the next Taylor Swift,’ it seemed pretty clear that she’d be the winner of ‘America’s Got Talent.’ But once that prediction became a reality, I couldn’t help thinking that she wasn’t the right winner for a show like ‘AGT.’ Don’t agree? Hear me out below.
When Grace VanderWaal was crowned the winner of America’s Got Talent Season 11 on Sept. 14, I figured I was one of thousands (if not millions) who was not surprised whatsoever. I also figured that meant I’d be seeing a flood of happy comments and tweets about Grace’s big win, since she was clearly a front runner all season. Instead, I felt like I was seeing frustrated remarks, with fans of the show outraged that a 12-year-old would have her own show in Vegas and $1 million. And I have to admit, I can’t say I disagreed.
Don’t get me wrong, Grace is one talented girl. I don’t know many 12-year-olds that can write lyrics that not only resonate with people, but also match them to a catchy melody. Plus her voice is super unique and when she wants to belt it out she can. But when I think of an act that belongs in Las Vegas, Grace is certainly not the first person to come to mind. In fact, she may have been the least appropriate of the Top 10 for a Vegas setting.
If you really think about the kind of acts that perform in Vegas, Grace really doesn’t fit in…especially amongst her other Top 10 competitors. Lots of people were upset that The Clairvoyants, who came in second, weren’t the ones to receive a show in Vegas, as their mind-reading psychic shtick would be perfect for a Planet Hollywood show. Sure, there’s singers in Vegas too, but they’re either a spectacle because of their dancing or the countless hits they have to their name. Grace may get there one day, but right now her ukulele strumming performances are better for a beachside venue or coffeehouse.
Also, a 12-year-old doesn’t need $1 million. She even admitted to HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY that she had to ask Howie Mandel what it means to be a millionaire! Yes, that’s adorable, as well as what she said she’s going to buy with her winnings (a “treehouse,” of course). But think how that kind of money could’ve helped people like Viktor Kee keep his dream alive.
Going off of that, Grace was almost guaranteed a record contract. Howie was saying that he had industry people contacting him about Grace right after he used his Golden Buzzer on her. And Grace is a twinkle in the eyes of music industry powerhouse Simon Cowell, so obviously he wasn’t going to let her leave the show — winner or not — without a record deal. She didn’t really need $1 million or a show in Vegas to get to the next step in her career.
Aside from what she won, Grace’s win was a little frustrating because America’s Got Talent is not technically a singing competition — there are other shows specific to that. Frankly, I’m almost thinking singers shouldn’t be allowed to try out for AGT solely because there are shows that are focused on that talent versus others. Let the people with crazy talents (umm Sofie Dossi or Viktor, maybe?) have a chance to shine! It almost feels like a cop out for singers to go on the show, as the field size for singers is much smaller. Of course, competing against other talents means you have to really stand out as a singer, but I do think singing is a talent that people are more inclined to like solely because it’s not as strange as, perhaps, a comedic mime or a pro football player who is also a magician.
Remember, I am not saying Grace didn’t deserve to win America’s Got Talent. There’s no doubt that she is destined for huge things and this AGT title can only help her get to superstardom. If you happen to see her stint in Vegas, though, try to tell me you weren’t imagining The Clairvoyants, Sofie Dossi, Jon Dorenbos, Viktor Kee, or even Sal Valentinetti there instead.
HollywoodLifers, do you think Grace was the best contestant to win $1 million and a show in Vegas? Are you glad she won? Tell us below!