We’ve all heard the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” While it’s looked at as a cliché, there’s a reason why it’s an extremely important motto to live by.
It’s impossible to judge someone purely based off of how they look. They can seem put-together while falling apart on the inside, or the opposite. They might not look so “promising” on the outside in certain people’s eyes, but have a heart of gold and real, genuine talent.
The now-famous Kevin Skinner is a perfect example of the latter.
The aspiring singer entered his America’s Got Talent audition with a seemingly-good amount of confidence. That is until the judges kind of tore him apart.
When entering the stage, which you can watch in the video below, judge Piers Morgan rolled his eyes just 10 seconds in, and co-judge Sharon Osbourne could not help but laugh every time Skinner spoke.
Why were they being rude towards him? Because with his backward baseball cap and hippie-style hood, he was perceived as a “hillbilly.”
The Kentucky-based singer introduced himself, “I was a chicken catcher for several years,” he shared to a crowd that could not stop laughing. “I’m not real good at math… We caught about 60,o00 in one night. One person caught 8 at a time,” he joked when David Hasselhoff asked how many chickens he caught.
Soon after, he burst into a rendition of “If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks. And guess what? It was pretty much perfect.
He crooned with a stunning falsetto and played not a note out of place.
Piers’ reaction after his performance was the best: “There’s a moment in every season, I can remember them all, when somebody comes on stage dressed like you are. Your cap’s on the wrong way around and we’re all like ‘this is going to be a total car crash.’ And then you start to sing and within about 20 seconds, you had me. And by the end of it that was one of the most emotional, powerful performances I’ve seen in a long time.”
Osbourne added, “I thought you were going to be really hoaky and silly, but you’re really not. I can tell you’re a lovely person. You’re a very genuine man.”
With all the judges completely moved, Skinner received a “yes” from all three judges and his reaction? He began to cry with overpowering joy and emotions.
Throughout the show, AGT seemed to give Skinner a bit of a makeover. Now he was a true cowboy king.
“You have an ability to move an audience in a way I have never seen on this show before. You sing from the heart and soul with real emotion. And it’s hard to believe sometimes that you are a chicken farmer from Kentucky,” Piers Morgan said to Skinner after his semi-finals performance.
Who would have thought, after seeing the way the judges reacted to him initially, that Skinner would end up winning the entire competition?
After winning, he received a $1 million prize as well as a headline show in Las Vegas which was hosted by Jerry Springer.
In 2010, he released his debut album Long Ride.
In the “NLR Rockumenary” below, Skinner goes more in depth about his newfound fame and success, and how his life changed after winning the show.
“I try not to set any boundaries. I’m a songwriter and I like to write real music and I believe people like to hear real music. As long as I can keep writing and the good Lord blesses me, I don’t put any boundaries on that,” he said when asked about what he hopes for in the future.
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