Yesterday my almost-6-year-old daughter and I had the privilege of sitting down with 11-year-old singing sensation and second-place winner of the 5th season of America's Got Talent, Jackie Evancho, shortly before she got on stage at Toronto's Dundas Square for Citytv's big Summer in the Square event.
I kept the interview short because Jackie was scheduled to perform just half an hour later, and, frankly, Jackie was just so sweet and genuine I wanted to let her off the hook as soon as I could, turn off my recorder and just let her relax off the record. I mean, she's really such a young thing!
Jackie was delightful, so pretty, and she had the energy to match the voice -- like an angel. Here's our interview!
What was it like to be on America's Got Talent?
It was amazing. I loved America's Got Talent. It was one of the best things I've ever done. It was hard at times and kind of got chaotic. But in the end, when it was time for the performances, it was always a smooth ride -- until the part when you're behind the stage and you get all nervous. Then you get on the stage and everything else is just...perfect.
Did you ever get stage fright performing in front of all those people!
I've never had stage fright before, and I think I got that from my dad because my dad loves stages!
Did you think you were going to go that far on America's Got Talent? What were you thinking going into the competition?
I went in thinking I wasn't going to make it to the end. I went in thinking I was going to get there, I was going to sing, and I wasn't going to make it. That's what I thought.
Now that you're a huge success, do you practise your singing a lot?
No, not really. Whenever I have big performances, I practise a lot. Small performances not really because you're singing songs that you've been doing over and over again.
What was it like making your new album?
It was really amazing. I loved it so much. And to work with David Foster was just another amazing thing.
At this point, I had to apologize because my daughter managed to sneak (on her knees) over to Jackie's sparkly iPhone, which was sitting on her armrest. "I'm sorry!" I said, as soon as I noticed Jackie look curiously in my daughter's direction. "Oh, it's okay!" Jackie said. "She can play with it." My daughter proceeded very gently to touch the pink and silver rhinestones on Jackie's iPhone as Jackie and I continued....
What advice do you have for children with big dreams?
I would say that if someone says that you're not good, but many other people say you are, then you can't believe people like that because they just want to make you sad and make you want to quit. You can't let people beat you down. You have to always go forward and go for your dream.
Wise words from a such a young thing! I also asked her if she's touring a lot now, and she said, "not really." Their next stop is Britain's Got Talent. Fun!
After the interview, my daughter handed Jackie the pink rose she brought for her and they took a picture together.... Jackie's holding the rose, and you can see the sparkly iPhone on the armrest beside her! Hee.
After the sweet chat, I got to meet Jackie's family. They're so warm and friendly. It was really nice to be among them. Then we got our VIP passes, which my daughter was very proud of, and awaited Jackie's performance in Dundas Square....
Also in the VIP section was Jackie's brother, who waved at my daughter and me with a big, familiar grin (my daughter LOVED it) and jumped on the stage in a flash when he was called up there to stand with his beloved sister....
Their mom wasn't so eager to get on stage. So the host of the show, Breakfast Television's Kevin Frankish, came to her....
And we watched and listened and absorbed Jackie sing. And I cried because, as cliche as this sounds, hearing Jackie sing live is like being in the presence of an angel. And I don't think I've ever said anything like that before....
Huge thanks to Citytv and Today's Parent for sending my daughter and me to this amazing event. I think we might just watch America's Got Talent -- Tuesdays at 8pm, Citytv -- if they're discovering talent like Jackie's! And, by the way, the very first Canada's Got Talent debuts next spring on Citytv...!
For more of Citytv's fab new lineup (THE BACHELORETTE! You watching!? COUGAR TOWN! You watching!?) checkit HERE.
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