Kenichi Wins AGT 2013 

 September 19, 2013

By  Jana Hassett

Another season of Americas Got Talent (#AGT) ends and the “The Voice” steps up to take its place next week.  The winner?  Kenichi Ebina, a talented visionary whose skills appealed to the young adults who vote.  Kenichi earned the votes of those that vote in today’s technical world.  Via online, phone and twitter, they chose a dynamic family man to award $1,000,000 to and have his own show in Las Vegas in October.

If you visit his Face book page you can feel the energy from this deserving individual, who we happened to vote for.  But we didn’t expect today’s voters to do the same.  Tracy and I talk about how our opinion is no longer the majority.  As older, conservative, and personally responsible seniors watch from our small mom and pop retail store and marvel at the choices today’s shoppers make.  We have to stay current in order to sell jewelry, photography and giftware in this resort community of 700 people who depend on tourists for their sales.  We continually adapt to the every-changing market and tastes of the current generation.  As we get closer to retiring from full-time retail, we appreciate the internet and what it provides.  But we cringe at the impersonalization of the world because of it.  It breeds a lack a respect for other people and their property (which we see here more and more).

That’s one of the nice things about the judges on AGT, their respect for each other and the contestants.  Occasionally they make some pretty harsh judgments, but for the most part act with dignity and understand that “kindness matters”.  They do have a playful side that is fun to see, but they are very thoughtful in their comments, and sometimes that wouldn’t be easy.

So if Kenichi was the best, what was wrong with the other five finalists?

In my opinion, for Cami, Forte, and Jimmie Rose it was the choice of music.  Their music in their final performances didn’t give me goose bumps.  They were nicely done and had lots of emotion, but they didn’t speak to me or to the audiences.  Forte was the biggest surprise, I thought they would be second because of their commanding voices and wonderful harmony.  But they chose another opera when it should have been “Over the Rainbow” or something like that.  And Jimmie Rose should have capitalized on his Country Western voice and style by singing a classic, but he didn’t.  No goose bumps there either.

Collins Key is a one trick pony, albeit a nice one.  Young and capable, if he stays with it he might get a gig here and there because it is a wonderful trick he pulls off every time.

And then there’s the comedian Taylor Williamson.  A very funny guy, with a cute face, quirky personality and pretty good lines, but they weren’t great.  And as Howard Sterns always says, “at this point in the competition they need to be great”.  It’s all like writing a story – you have to wow them at the beginning to get their attention, play your story along and then wow them at the end.

Kenichi Ebina did just that.  With the dropped head routine as his starting act, he slowly worked his way to the finale with a show of 8+ actors – all him.  He wove a wonderful story, gave us bits and pieces about his life, and kept us coming back for more.  Nicely written, Kenichi.


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