Ordinarily I don't watch shows like American Idol, The Bachelor, or America's Got Talent. But tonight I happened to be walking through the living room where the TV was on NBC and I caught the last half hour of America's Got Talent and by golly, I was impressed by the last act of tonight's show.
His name is Kyle Rifkin. He's 38 years old and he grew up in Harlem. His father was an abusive alcoholic and his mother mustered the courage to take her children, including Kyle and leave the father. She left her children with a friend while she dealt with getting away from her abusive husband. Kyle grew up fast, learning to sing and entering singing contests.
"I had to win," Rikfin said before he went on stage. "I would go home with a little money and we would have food to eat."
Now at the age of 38 he entered the America's Got Talent competition in hopes of making his mother proud of him. Growing up Kyle thought his mother had abandoned him and his siblings but one day, she stepped out of a taxi in front of the apartment where he had been living. She was home.
Kyle's mother went with him to the competition and stood backstage with hostJerry Springer while her baby boy went out on stage and met judges David Hasselhoff, Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan. Kyle announced his intention to sing "Ain't Too Proud To Beg by the great Temptations" as he put it. There was a brief moment where the music didn't queue right up but when the track started and Kyle began to belt out "I know you want to leave me. But I refuse to let you go..." it was on!
The camera cut to the judges and David Hasselhoff turned to his left and pumped his fist in appreciation and exitement. The audience jumped to its feet, began to cheer and scream loudly and clap their hands. There was no doubt that Kyle was moving on to the next level of this competition. By the end of his performance, he had the audience in his hand. Even before he finished the audience was chanting "Vegas...Vegas...Vegas!!!"
When the audience quieted down, Piers asked Kyle if he had any family with him. He said that his mother was there and Piers asked Kyle to bring her out. She did and as mother and son hugged on stage, the backstage camera showed Jerry Springer with tears rolling down his face. He turned to the camera and said, "That's what this show is all about."
And he's right. Shows like this come along all the damn time and they bore me. Most of them, like American Idol flat out offend me and I won't watch them. Had this not been a chance happening that the TV was on NBC, I wouldn't have even seen it.
It is highly unlikely that I will see any more of this show, but I will say this, Kyle Rifkin, if you ever release a CD of Motown standards, I'll buy it! I like Motown music and The Temptations had a fantastic sound. You'd do well to to sing that kind of music and I know a lot of Americans would love you for it.
Good luck to you Kyle, and may God Bless You and your mother!