Unofficial #3: Kevin Skinner (Season 4)
When Britain’s Got Talent entered its third season, it gave rise to the internet sensation, now an international superstar, Susan Boyle. Boyle’s completely unassuming appearance and personality in contrast to her remarkable voice made her an overnight sensation all around the world.
So when America’s Got Talent began its fourth season later that year, everyone was asking the same question: “Where is our Susan Boyle moment?”
There never was one for Season 4. It wouldn’t be for another two years that America would finally find Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., the dreadlocked, gum-chewing car wash employee from West Virginia with the voice of Sinatra.
But the pressure was on AGT to find their “Boyle moment” right then and now, and they ultimately had to settle on declaring their Boyle moment to have come from Kevin Skinner.
Just to be clear, as a contestant, Kevin Skinner was hardly disappointing. Like many on the official list, his first performance was his best, but the quality of his act never sank low enough to make anyone wonder how he had even made it into the Top 40 in the first place.
Much debate was held as to whether or not Kevin Skinner deserved to win, especially in light of some questionable formatting changes, most notably the decision to ax the Top 5 and declare a winner straight out of the Top 10, which left a lot of viewers wondering if the producers were trying to crown a victor while their own personal choice was still in the lead. Whether Kevin Skinner deserved to be in the Top 48 at all, however, was never called into question.
Whatever the case may have been, Kevin Skinner was indeed named the victor of AGT Season 4. As a contestant, Kevin Skinner did not disappoint.
Kevin Skinner’s time as the “best new act in America,” however, was a different story.
Estimates on Kevin Skinner’s record sales are unavailable, except to say that his debut album, Long Ride, did not chart on the Billboard 200.
For comparison, Neal E. Boyd’s debut album, My American Dream, charted on the Billboard 200 at 195. He sold six thousand albums in the United States.
That was all Kevin Skinner had to do to make the Billboard 200, and yet he failed to do it. Even Keven Federline can boast having sold more albums than Kevin Skinner.
This was the guy that was supposed to have been America’s Susan Boyle. Instead he became the punch line of what was ultimately the most embarrassing season of America’s Got Talent yet.