I, as a viewer of AGT, am a very hard person to please. I imagine if I were an America’s Got Talent judge I’d have more haters than Pierce Morgan could ever dream. I pride myself in my ability to predict how far an act will make it before the end of their audition, with a pretty good success rate. But your act, has surpassed my expectations, and forced me to humble myself. And I’d like to share why, which will take a bit of explaining.
Even though America’s Got Talent is a reality TV show, I have found a couple cliches that show up just about every year. You have the Child Singer Act (usually opera), the Video Dance Group Act (usually electronic), the Poor Middle Aged Singer Act (usually country), the Animal Act (usually dogs), the Novelty Act (usu- actually, it’s different every time), and the most common, the Pity Act.
The Pity Act is a semi-talented act voted through more so for their story, than actual talent. They usually are poor, have a sick relative, are gay, or disabled in someway*.
So when you walked on stage and said, “I-I’m a c-comedian.” I was 100% sure that you were this year’s Pity Act. I mean, of course you are, your disability directly conflicts with your act, your act is a way of ‘coping’ with your disability, and your package tells a very sad yet hopeful story. You check all of the boxes.
But then you started. Your jokes, while small in quantity, made up for it in quality. I laughed more and harder at your two minutes of screen time, then I’ll laugh during a half-hour sitcom.
It didn’t stop there though, every subsequent time we saw you it got better. Even when you got to Radio City Musical Hall, your second performance on AGT, after that I was a legitimate fan.
Not only was your stutter not annoying (kind of important when your job is to talk), it improved the delivery of a lot of your jokes. You took your disability (should I keep calling it that?), joked about it (showing comfort), overcame it itself (showing effort), and then used it to your advantage (showing talent). I hope you understand just how amazing that is. Benjamin Yonattan didn’t do that. He never fully overcame his blindness, and certainly didn’t use it to improve his act. That is what separates you from the traditional Pity Act.
That doesn’t mean that I think America got it wrong and that you should have won. Ultimately, Paul Zerdin was the better act, but it was not an easy decision. You certainly deserved second place, the 1% margin is larger than what it should have been.
Even if you didn’t get the million dollars and a guaranteed Vegas show, you got something even better. Respect, I, along with many other people as well, have a major respect for you and what you do. Because of you, I’ve learned to give the Pity Acts the benefit of the doubt. You, Drew Lynch, the stuttering comedian, have earned my respect, and another fan. Which is more than what Gary Vider can say.
In conclusion, keep up the good work. I’ve seen a lot of people who aren’t as appreciative of your act. But I suggest you deal with them like you have already.
*This isn’t to say their stories are terrible, or they aren’t brave, rather the story is treated more important than the act itself.