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The Farr Side column: Already invested in ‘America’s Got Talent!’

David T. Farr
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The Daily Herald

I’ve watched “Survivor” ever since it aired more than 20 years ago, and I haven’t missed a season. For it’s 40th season, 20 prior “Survivor” winners competed for TV’s biggest prize to date: $2 million.

It was a blast watching this season and seeing everybody return. These were the best of the best.

Tony deserved to win. This guy was great and fun to watch. His hiding shenanigans to eavesdrop brought some of the best game-play in series history. But, something I missed, due in part to restrictions of COVID-19, was the live TV reunion of the castaways. That is the best part of “Survivor” finale nights. A reunion wasn’t possible, so Tony learned about his win over Natalie and Michelle via live video streaming. How sad.

I’m a fan of reality TV competitions and talent shows. They’re fun to watch and the variety and entertainment value is significant. This brings me to the next big one, currently airing: “America’s Got Talent!” The new season got underway last week and already I’m vested. The stories and talent from the first night were noteworthy. With a wide range of talent possibilities on a show like this, the singers have an edge this time.

I had been seeing the video circulating of Archie Williams and I had to see his audition. I had no idea how moving the audition would be. If you haven’t watched it yet, go to YouTube and look it up. But grab some tissue first.

Williams appears to be a sincere, genuine guy. Then, you learn he was incarcerated for 37 years for a crime he did not commit. Many people would not have the demeanor and class to carry themselves the way he did. He was finally freed after DNA testing proved he didn’t commit the crimes charged against him.

Williams credits his love for music as a saving grace and a way to pass the time. He performed “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” I was in tears. It was such a moving performance and a true testament of the human spirit. I will never hear that song again in the same way. It has a different meaning now.

I also was moved by Voices Of Our City Choir, a choir formed in San Diego to help get homeless individuals off the street. The group’s original song, “Listen To The Sound Of The Sidewalk,” is a powerful, bluesy look into life on the street, complete with a spoken-word segment from Patricia, who spoke with power and grace like Maya Angelou. It was fantastic!

Voices Of Our City Choir earned a golden buzzer, which places it in the live semifinal round.

What concerns me is, if the COVID-19 precautions continue, the live shows may see the fate of others and have to go to a video format. It would be a drawback to not see these folks perform on the biggest stage in the world.

David T. Farr can be reached at farrboy@hotmail.com.