Thursday, August 09, 2007


Julienne Irwin made it to the Top 8 of "America's Got Talent" the hard way; by simply being what she is, a 14 year-old with a fresh look and a great voice. Whether she wins or loses, makes more than one CD or none at all, she helped make the summer a little more pleasant. There was plenty of hot humid air, torrential rain, and so much of Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton being dumb that even die-hard pervs were getting creeped out.
The summer series "America's Got Talent" is a less boring "American Idol," since it varies the way people can be annoying, and isn't restricted to singers overdosing on extra vowels just to show-ow-ow emo-oh-oh-oh-tion.
With Jerry Springer hosting, most viewers were prepared for a genial freakshow, and there were lots of laughables, from a tearfully inept Russian drama queen gymnast to a joyfully self-confident porcine Shakira impersonator. There were terrible acrobats, wince-producing novelty acts, dubious street performers and The Stepford Duttons of Branson, a gruesomely toothy family that would make Mormons approve of abortion, up to 60 years after birth.
Irwin always stood out from the rest because she had such amazing pipes for a 14 year-old, and never copped an attitude. Or as Sharon Osbourne cooed, "You are such a great role model for other girls in this country. You don't flaunt what you've got. You dress appropriately -- you're just great." Well, yes, compared to others in the Top 8, including a fat white guy who's made a big deal out of being "modest" while ripping off every black reggae singer he's ever heard, a greasy self-absorbed cruise ship singer (and shouldn't semi-pro ringers be kicked off this ostensible amateur hour?) and another teen female-nom who plays the race card (she calls herself, ah, "Butterscotch") and has fascinated the judges by making fart noises into a microphone.
Julienne Irwin has modest aspirations: "This is so silly, but I hope one day I get to sing the national anthem at an Orioles game. That would be so great."
Her take on Willie Nelson's "Crazy" is nicely updated, sans the hard edge of the worldly Patsy Cline, but with a smooth arrangement that freshens up the melody without adding too many vowel movements.
Here's "Crazy" (in retro mono, as tribute to Ms. Cline) as performed by Julienne Irwin at age 14, live in front of 12 million people. Amazing. Julienne cooks! Julienne fries!

Julienne Irwin sings "Crazy" Instand download or listen on line. No wait, porn ads or pop-ups.

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