Nick Leshi

Nick Leshi
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Bronx, New York, United States of America
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December 13
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Writer, actor, media professional, fan of entertainment, pop culture, and speculative fiction. Contact nickleshi@aol.com for more info.

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SEPTEMBER 8, 2010 8:55PM

A Young Girl Proves Me Wrong on America's Got Talent

Rate: 7 Flag
Back in June when America's Got Talent started its latest season, I posted my reaction to it.  Among my various comments and random critiques, I wrote: "I think children should be barred from the competition unless they are truly remarkable, equal to or surpassing the finest adult performers. Otherwise, they turn the show into amateur hour, or worse, an exploitation of their unrefined talents. Also, they should limit the number of singers who make it to the finals -- there are other talents much more entertaining to watch, but those acts usually seem to be kicked off early for some reason and we end up with a string of b-rate singers, turning America's Got Talent into a poor-man's version of American Idol."

Not only did I disparage young performers, I also denounced singing acts.  Well, along came a little girl named Jackie Evancho who proved me wrong on both counts.  This child has an amazing voice, terrific stage presence, and definitely deserves to be a finalist on any professional performing arts competition.  Her opera singing is good enough for me to want to buy a ticket to see her live on stage.

I'm a fan of some of the other acts that have talents easily suited for Las Vegas, but there is no doubting that little Jackie Evancho made me eat my words by proving that she has the skill to compete with the older, more experienced men and women on the show.  Just like the first time I heard Charlotte Church sing, I think Miss Evancho has a brilliant career ahead of her.


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Amazing that voice comes out of her isn't it. I love that her parents dress her for her age too.r
I saw this video several days ago and was floored. I don't know about America, but this young lady has way more than talent!!!
What everyone else said. The first time I heard O Mio Babbino Caro come from that young voice I was thunderstruck.
The talent this year is way above average. This little girl truly sings like an angel and that Prince Poppycock is one for the ages. I'm hooked on the show right now.
Wonderful, thanks for sharing this. Just like the commentator, I felt like there was a grown-up lady singing somewhere off stage. It reminds me of Julie Andrews. She was also a child prodigy with a voice beyond her years. I look forward to watching her career.
Jackie is great and I think she will probably win, but this year, it's been Prince Poppycock all the way for me.
Prince Poppycock is cool, and keeps getting better. I also am rooting for Fighting Gravity -- that would make a great Vegas show! But the more I see Jackie Evancho the more she impresses me.
This makes me cringe. She does have the potential to be an opera superstar one day, but that day is not now. Her voice will be ruined by the time she hits age twenty, if not much earlier if she keeps singing what she is singing.
Emilia, is it because her vocal chords are still developing at so young an age? I'm assuming she's getting the proper training and is surrounded by people who will shape and nurture her talent -- and protect her voice -- as she continues to develop her talent.
@Nick

Your vocal chords don't fully develop until you are somewhere in the neighborhood of ages 30-35. I was actually turned away from a voice teacher when I was fourteen because she wanted my voice to mature more before we got into learning technique. I waited a year and then started studying right before I turned sixteen. It was about a year before I sang my first aria, before then it was all relatively light art songs. O Mio Babbino Caro was my third aria I think and that may have been a year after the first one.

A good teacher will not give an eleven year old an aria, no matter how pretty the voice. Charlotte Church can no longer sing classically either because of what she sang at Jackie's age.

I may write my own piece on here about this, but I'm not really a writer.
It's like the great baseball debate about how to properly manage young arms so they don't blow out prematurely. Some players, though, like Nolen Ryan, are more resilient and naturally guifted. I wonder if the same is true for singers. This girl obviously has a great gift and is getting a lot of quick fame. Hopefully, people will have her best interests at heart for a lifelong, healthy and productive career.
Nick, I'm a singer myself and get the impression her voice is well trained. Just watching her working with her vocal coach I can tell. You'd be surprised what a well-trained voice can endure. You live in NY so I'm sure you're familiar with Broadway performers. They are like vocal acrobats...with voices trained to stay strong through 6 shows /wk. She's young, but if she's surrounded by professionals, she should be fine.