« Previous | Culture Monster Home | Next »

Prince Poppycock takes on Jackie Evancho and tries opera on 'America's Got Talent'

September 15, 2010 |  9:00 am

We've been talking a lot on Culture Monster about Jackie Evancho, the 10-year-old who sings opera and is a fan favorite on NBC's "America's Got Talent." But with the competition nearly over, another performer seemed to be making a bid for our attention: Prince Poppycock.

Fun for the mouth to say and a scream to watch. Tuesday night in the "America's Got Talent" finals, he was at nearly equal odds with Michael Grimm for least likely to take home the $1 million.

PoppycockCulture Monster was very much looking forward to his next opera sendup and pushed away the niggling worries brought on by the set and his costume choice.  When it became apparent that "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's opera "Turandot" was on the menu, we were filled with anxiety. (Many Culture Monster readers had hoped young Jackie would have sung that. She choose "Ave Maria.")

This aria requires a powerful voice and an earnest outpouring of emotion, neither of which are Poppycock's strengths.  His voice is light and agile -- perfect for Mozart or Rossini -- and winking your way through the final aria of a Romantic opera is just asking for trouble.

As it turned out, Tuesday night wasn't a shining moment for Poppycock, who has performed on Los Angeles stages. Trouble with the in-ear monitors aside, it was his repertoire choice that killed his chances.

Judge Piers Morgan disliked it so much that he buzzed during Poppycock's performance. While we wouldn't be entirely surprised to discover this was an attempt to inspire outraged supporters into voting, he did have a fair point. Poppycock does many things extremely well but there aren't many women who would accept a Louis XVI fop as a serious romantic lead, even in opera. What makes the character great is that it's a sendup of an opera singer's vanity and the decadence of the art form. In "Nessun Dorma," the fun was gone.

We wonder if Poppycock should be confined to the winking cheekiness of his previous performances or is it OK for him to explore more serious repertoire?

After the winner is announced Wednesday night, return to Culture Monster later to discuss the results.

-- Marcia Adair

Follow me on Twitter @missmussel

Photo: Prince Poppycock performs at the Cavern Club celebrity theater in the Casita Del Campos restaurant on April 7, 2009.  Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times


JackieChoose one for Jackie Evancho: Stardom now or a real singing career later?

Vote: Is Jackie Evancho changing her sound?

Jackie Evancho's voice strikes a chord

Before Jackie Evancho: Remembering Julie Andrews, Beverly Sills and other young vocal prodigies

Hear Jackie Evancho, the 10-year-old with an operatic voice

Comments () | Archives (24)

It was shameful to align Poppycock's talent with Donna Summer's voice, a total mismatch. Who on earth chose that legend in the first place?

Jackie Evancho is definitely a rare, gifted talent. However, she is very one-dimensional. The purpose of the contest is to find the shining star that America will pay to see as a headline act. Jackie's only draw is her (amazing) voice, and her cuteness. She only sang opera; only in foreign languages; only slow tempo. To be honest, most Americans will not, and do not buy tickets or albumns for straight opera. Especially in a non-English performances.
Prince Poppycock showed his flexiblity; vocal range; and entertainment appeal. He met all the criteria. Piers admonishes competitors to show their broadness as performers, and berates them if they stay one-dimensional. He then complains when they don't repeat past performances.
Michael Grimm was not as flashy as PP, but he definitely showed he has an appeal to a wide audience. He beat out PP because in the final performance, Michael showed his star quality, and did it in English.
The above are my personal opinions and observations.

Prince Poppycock has the most beautiful voice in the competition. That rendition of Nessun Dorma was one of the best that I've ever seen or heard from anyone, being an opera aficionado myself.

Whoever wrote this: Don't you remember the opera performance he did of Vesti la Giubba? Everyone seems to forget that performance. It was my favorite and very similar to the Nessun Dorma performance. Piers praised him for it and called Poppycock his guilty pleasure. He buzzed the Prince because it was so brilliant he was afraid that Poppycock would win. Peirs buzzed him because he was pulling for Jackie and wanted America to vote the way he voted. He wanted to sabatoge the voting. Not only that but it's pretty clear Peirs is a homophobe and wanted him to loose for that reason. Poppycock was too good for Peirs and that show. After this he will be a mega superstar and never have to stoop to so low a show again. He'll be far from starving. The only other contestant this year that might get something is Fighting Gravity. No one will ever be as big and brilliant as Poppycock (minus Terry Fator) and it's a shame idiots like Peirs can't see that. I think the name of the show should be The Peirs Morgan Show. If America voted the correct way the show could be called America's Got Talent with Sharon Osborne. And to those who agree with Peirs: you would not be saying he blew it if Peirs didn't buzz him it's because you always agree with Peirs that you think that. In my opion he did blow it away that is...

« | 1 2


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Explore the arts: See our interactive venue graphics


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.