Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

At a time when common, everyday Americans seem to be losing their voice, the world stage may very well turn to Kevin Skinner, a ‘chicken catcher’ from rural Kentucky.


Former mobile phone salesman Paul Potts introduces himself
to the world on Britain’s Got Talent in 2007.

I’m the first one that will tell you that most of the stuff on television is c-r-a-p. My viewing habits consist mainly of news, good movies, selected funny stuff, and Auburn football. Occasional television series such as 24 and Lost have caught my eye as well, but I’ve never really been a fan of reality television or the newest batch of game shows.

In fact, I can count on my fingers how many times I’ve seen American Idol, and while I’m familiar with the similar UK program Britain’s Got Talent–the audition performance of frog-turned-prince Paul Potts still brings a smile to my face, and thanks to the miracle of YouTube millions are aware of Susan Boyle as well–I can’t say that I’ve ever watched the American counterpart. I may have liked David Hasselhoff in my Knight Rider-watching youth, but recent clips of him drunk and eating hamburgers off of the floor have soured me on the “young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law,” and I certainly had no desire to see him judging talent competitions on prime-time TV.

Last night, however, America’s Got Talent found its way onto our television screen, and one performance in particular blew me away. Kevin Skinner, a 35-year-old Mayfield, Kentucky “chicken catcher” working for Pilgrim’s Pride, ambled his way onto stage much in the same manner former cellphone salesman Potts and eccentric spinster Boyle presented themselves overseas. In this case, though, his particular background and manner struck a nerve.

In the package which preceded his performance, Skinner spoke in awe about the hustle and bustle of the “big city” and talked about how interesting he found the very same aspects of country life that so many people on the coasts would likely find absolutely horrific. Sitting on a porch, watching the world go by? Hunting and fishing? Please. If it doesn’t involve espresso, anyone not in the flyover states simply aren’t interested. And from the instant Skinner opened his mouth and introduced everyone to the slow drawl of a God-fearing southern gentleman, he was looked upon with derision.

I sat up, wanting him to absolutely bring down the house. I hoped to see this man become the American equivalent of Britain’s Paul Potts or Susan Boyle, belting out heartfelt country ballads instead of opera or showtunes. As a man who simply cannot wait to move back down south next year, I’m tired of hearing the condescension. As a conservative stuck in the northeast, I’m tired of listening to my neighbors and classmates dismiss most southerners as misguided, zealot hicks.

“You went to school in Alabama?” some ask. “What was that like?”

So, as the audience laughed at his job description and as the judges shared impatient glances and rolled their eyes, I didn’t just see one man standing on stage with a guitar — I saw middle America ready, willing and able to surprise everyone on the coasts, to shake their foundation of what your average American citizen is all about. Hard work. Dirty fingernails. Untapped depth of character, and undiscovered talent. Somehow, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. And I wasn’t.

I’m no expert on country music, but to me he sounded a little like George Strait, perhaps a little like Randy Travis. Either way, it’s clear he surprised nearly everyone, and that the NBC production was designed to do just that. Now, I couldn’t tell you much of anything about Mr. Skinner’s politics, but his genuine nature contrasted with the derision of those who might laugh at his clothes, accent or diction reminded me of the struggle for America we’re living right now.

Every day, it seems, we’re fighting an overreaching government so out of touch with everyday Americans, instead bent on pleasing and appeasing those on the Georgetown cocktail circuit. Yet here’s this man who very well could have the spotlight of the world on him.

But enough of my rambling. I don’t know if anybody else might see it in the same light. Regardless, this man has a phenomenal, God-given talent. And that being said, I give you Kevin Skinner, Mr. middle American everyman:

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Comments

  1. La Muse Poetique says:

    I HATE these "[insert country name]'s Got Talent" shows because the only people who make it to the end are either singers or dancers.

    There's so much other talent that they showcase that just gets dismissed.

    Might as well call it America's Got People Who Can Dance or Sing

  2. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    I'm with you there, ma'am. I'd like to see someone walk out there with a painting, or with an answer to our economic situation

    Still, it was a rarity that I tuned in, and I'm glad I did — this one made me think a little bit.

  3. Jackie Smith says:

    You are both wrong….just a few years ago the ventriloquist won and has a great act in Las Vegas. I saw this chicken farmer…he was good….not great but good!!

  4. Puss in Hooker Boots says:

    Well, he made me cry a little bit. I agree with you, Jeff, Kevin's got talent and "a set" to go on that stage like he did.

    I may have to watch for him…….

  5. Jennifer says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVU4IkzMNIo

    My Fav from Britains got talent

  6. AMERICAS GOT USURPERS says:

    I LOVED the ventriloquist. Especially his turtle.

    I'd like a magician that could pull Barry's paperwork out of thin air. WOW, that would be a Vegas act.

  7. Lilly says:

    Jeff-
    Thank you for showing this. I to do not watch much tv and I do not like country music at all. But I do appreciate talent and the looks of the judges and the audience once he started singing were priceless! Judge not lest ye be judged was the first thoughts to me when they started mocking him! Go get them Kevin Skinner!

  8. LOOK LEFT LOOK LEFT says:

    This is wack! There are THREE Evony ads at a time over there to the right today. I think Soros is putting em over there to try and calm our anger. Thats six breasts of mind altering euphoria. I gotta get an Evony filter on this browser.

  9. Rix says:

    I'll pass on that one. I have never watched American Idol – in fact, my TV is not even cable connected and serves as a DVD screen and occasionally as a console display for my daughter. And if all Americans follow my example we'd probably lose a few stray talents here and there but the whole country would be so much smarter and happier.

  10. Celia in TX says:

    but I get your point, though….this part of America is seriously overlooked.

    For example, in so many discussions I've been in with being "green" and cap and trade, people just very quickly say "ride a bike to work" and "take mass transit"…(I can't even do that living in the suburbs of Houston, no access to mass transit for me, and my job is 20 miles away)

    I say, what about the people who have to drive 20 miles just to get to a grocery store?

    Policies like that would just make those people shrug their shoulders and start living like they did a hundred years ago, and probably would be more convenient than trying to find a way to afford those government infringements.

    I actually talked to a guy yesterday who said if we DON'T pass cap-and-trade, it'll send us into the dark ages. The way I look at it, it'll send people TO the dark ages.

  11. John Feeny says:

    Jeff – scratch that last comment. I forgot to paste the comment from the Young Conservatives site on Facebook. Let me try again:

    Given what we were speaking of yesterday, at least to an extent, I found this comment interesting. Could there be any truth to it?

    Have you heard about House Resolution 5, 111th Congress? It's a joint resolution to repeal the 22nd amendment. That is the amendment that sets the term limits for America's President. It would require that 3/4 (37.5) of the states vote for it. Could this happen since 32 states took bailout money and could be forced to vote in favor?

  12. Claudia says:

    Terry Fator was the guy who was the ventriloquist. He was really wondderrful and I have seen him once in Reno, he is still doing what comes naturally to him, which is really saying something.

    This guy was a really heartwarming new guy ala Garth Brooks, and incidently that was one of Garth's signature love songs — very well done by Skinner. I am an ol' county gal at heart and love country singers cause they show so much humanity. And I love anyone with a pure beautiful voice, not all the hype of the backup music that tends to blur the reality of the voice. That is why Mr. Skinner is going to be great, cause he is not afraid to show that purity.

    As far as painters or poets or writers and such, you can show those things in a talent competition, but they won't grab the audience like a real gut buster of a song or an energetic dance show or even the Terry Fator's of the world, most of those acts take too much time and investment of the audience to realize the potential. Their works are better showcased in an arena set up for those purposes….

    It is really hard to see a picture on an easel and not have others to compare it too, to see the greatness of what is in front of you, same with a photograph. You can hear the plaintive cry in a poem, but if you only have one poem to show your talent, it is especially hard for the audience to grasp the meaning behind it in three minutes.

    That is why these shows genreally gravitate around singers, dancers, acrobats, magicians, and ventriloguists….. easily portable three minute stands that showcase just those three minutes, instant gratifications of sight, sound and heart.

  13. Phil Winteregg says:

    I, too, saw this, admittedly while on my laptop plotting the overthrow of our overreaching government. The key here is that this man connected with the audience in a raw, emotional way rarely seen these days. The song was from the heart, the words spoke the truth, and suddenly it didn't matter how he was dressed or whether or not I like country music (I'm not a fan), I was moved. Based on the shots of the audience, I believe so was nearly one else.
    Now if we can find folks like this to lead the conservative cause…

  14. GATOR-1 says:

    WoW~Dude, I fully agree about most of what we watch is CRAP!…

    That kind of inspirational stuff is just what I needed this AM.

    Once again my brain said "You are on the RIGHT page".

    Thanks Jeff, and I will not point out the redundancy of Funny and Auburn Football out of respect…LMAO

    How many days until real entertainment on Saturdays comes back?

    Chomp! Chomp!

    BLessings Patriots

  15. Anonymous says:

    The condencension displayed by the audience and hosts at the beginning is nauseating.
    When you tell people you are a Kentuckian this reaction is all too common.

    So glad he blew them away. We have a state full of talented, creative people. And yes, we can also catch chickens.

  16. LONG ARM OF THE LAW says:

    Phil,
    maybe you and I can share a FEMA camp cell. Overreaching is an understatement. TO HELL with this government.

    verification word: swelly
    cocaine in a limo caused this

  17. LETS JAM KEVIN says:

    I'd hang out with this guy. I like a guy that can cry, like I have been lately for my country.

    verification word: russion
    What we are all fast becoming

  18. Gail B says:

    Wow! (I like that word.) –WOW! Who needs A/C? I sat here with chill bumps all over, and tears dropping onto my lap!

    I had seen Paul Potts before and was again moved by his voice, but "Chicken" Skinner's performance came as a total surprise much like Susan Boyle's outstanding voice.

    How I pray there will surface a conservative who can touch everyone's heart, move us to tears, and cause chill bumps over a resounding message in just such a brief period of time–somebody like Jesse Civello and Jonathan Krohn–but old enough to win against a liberal Democrat in 2012, if not before! ("If not before" is wishful thinking.)

    Verify: ousylide (out by a slandslide?)

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting this video and your comments. Our wish our government would realize the treasure of all our people and respect them! This is just one example.

  20. Anonymous says:

    thanks Jeff! I LOVE underdog stories like this, really true to life genuine stories of HOPE (not the false and lying HOPE stories that our media defrauded us with this last election, but that's a different post). Of course, I love susan Boyle, but was really disappointed that she lost to a dance troupe. While Skinner is not as good as Susan (I can't wait for her CD), i think he has star potential, and given his likely exposure in theupcoming weeks, I sense that even if he doesn't win, he will likely get a recording contract, since Country music loves stories like this, and they are more about substance as opposed to flash.

  21. Gail B says:

    Jeff, we want to move on down south, too, to help us fight these liberal mosquitoes!

    Perhaps you can do something to help heal the wounds of the SC governor?

    Oh, Lord! Verify: antspa Ant Spa! Georgia is built on an ant hill!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Country boys know how to live off the land and survive. Although I live in Central Kentucky I have family and friends from the mountains and I can tell you for a fact those folks have more talent in their little finger than most of us could ever imagine. I appreciate a man that can show a glimpse of the things deep in his heart. Skinner is the real deal!

    Sally

  23. KEVIN SKINNER FOR PRESIDENT says:

    I have more respect for chicken catchers than I do community organizers.

  24. Gail B says:

    KEVIN SKINNER FOR PRESIDENT said…
    "I have more respect for chicken catchers than I do community organizers."

    ("Somebody needs to say it, and say it again!" -Intro to replay of Neal Boortz)

    KEVIN SKINNER FOR PRESIDENT said…
    I have more respect for chicken catchers than I do community organizers. (Hallelujah!)

  25. Gail B says:

    I just had a crazy idea!

    Why NOT let Jesse Civello run for POTUS? He can certainly say that the Obama administration has done away with the Constitution by having someone not qualified to occupy the White House, so what difference would AGE make? I mean, America's Got Talent!

    Might draw some attention to the fact that our government is being overthrown.

  26. Nancy says:

    I just finished listing to this short speech from Marco Rubio. This is how I want my representative/Congressman/President/Judge to feel and act toward Americans.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj5w4EuXb-M

    I immediately thought of this article and thought it fit well.

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