I don’t watch talent shows on TV.
I used to watch the “X Factor” off and on years ago, and have dipped in to some of the others occasionally over the years, but basically they bore me. Nowadays I pick up what I need from YouTube, especially when I see new videos of the incredible Amira Willighagen, or Andre Rieu (drool!) and his Johann Strauss Orchestra.
So, let me put this into context …
I remember the first time I heard Amira’s amazing voice. I was dancing with my partner in Second Life (an online virtual world bounded only by the limits of one’s imagination) at our regular Saturday night venue, the ballroom in the Titanic. Yes, that’s the ship, Titanic.
We had become very friendly with the hostess and the DJ during our time there, and always looked forward to smartening ourselves up for Saturday nights; my partner in a tux, me in whichever amazing gown from my collection felt right that particular night. (Wow, do I miss those gowns!!) 😥
On this particular night back in 2013 the DJ, who was Dutch, said that the next track he was going to play was by an 11 year old girl who had just won the “X Factor” in Holland, or whichever talent show it was at the time, and our jaws dropped as we heard Amira’s voice for the first time, and were stunned by her likeness to Maria Callas. That night will live in the memory for ever.
Amira has since performed all over the world, including with Andre Rieu (drool! … Oops, I did it again!), and her talent, fame and success have continued unabated.
Tonight was another of those nights.
I was sitting here, home alone, just filling time by browsing down the list of YouTube offerings and picking out performances which looked like they might be interesting, when I came upon Cristina’s audition last week for America’s Got Talent 2020.
When I watch some of these videos I have to admit that a tear does occasionally form, and I feel moved and so happy for the contestants, but the moment usually passes and I continue browsing.
Tonight was an emotional roller-coaster that I want to relive again and again, and I will be following the progress of Cristina Rae, hopefully all the way to winning the series and from then on becoming the huge international superstar her talent deserves.
Why, in particular, this moment tonight, and why her?
Well, I don’t normally do lists, but here’s one just for you …
1. Her story, as told on stage. Although her life story as a whole IS relevant to her singing ability the part we hear in the audition is not. It has no relevance in that regard, BUT … the way she expressed her hopes as to what AGT might mean to her and her son really struck a chord. She has a delightful personality and charm, and those are such endearing qualities.
2. Her whole demeanour. Throughout the entirety of the video we see HER; we see Cristina as she really is. We see a person with no airs and graces, no ego to wave in peoples’ faces, no chip on her shoulder. We just see a single mom with a deep love, both for her son and for the world as a whole. Even though her journey through life has had some really tough times she still exudes a charm and grace that many would do good to emulate. We see a humble person, but one with an inner strength and a determination that she is going to win against whatever life throws at her. I just know that as she reaches stardom it will not change her; she will always be true to herself.
3. In the air tonight. Maybe it’s nothing too original to choose as your audition song but the lyrics are so appropriate for her. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life.”. You better believe it, and the way her face lit up when, after the drum riff, she sang the line “And I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord”, the reaction from the audience, and the look that came over her face … just so moving. Then, with her second song, as so cleverly requested by Simon, she brought new meaning to the expression “leaving it all on the stage”! O.M.G.!! If you don’t believe me just check out Simon’s reaction …
4. Her voice. As if I even needed to mention it. Like, WOW!!!! As Simon Cowell said, “Cristina, there is only one way to describe your voice. It is insanely good.”. Simon, me ol’ mucker, you are not wrong! In searching for more information and performances from Cristina there is a fuller rendition of “In the air tonight” where, although I know little or nothing about music, I believe she acually hits “Top C”!
5. The wait. Even after having watched the video several times I still find myself holding my breath to hear what the judges are going to say, and then, Heidi asking her, “Are you ready for this right now?” and Cristina replying “I’m ready.”. My feeling is that in that moment Cristina was answering as in, “Yes, I’m ready to move on to the next stage of the show and see where it goes.”. Oh, no, girl. I doubt if anyone was ready for Heidi bouncing around like she did, and Cristina was obviously in disbelief about the Golden Buzzer. True humility.
6. The wait was over. The tears, as they do each time I watch this, could finally flow. And they keep on flowing, every … single … time.
7. What’s in store? If anyone is going to beat Cristina in this competition they are going to have to be stratospheric. I’m sure she has the hearts and hopes of the whole of America on her side. I’m certainly going to be following her career every step of the way, and waiting for the first of many albums and performances from her in the future.
Oh, there are so many more little moments to be found in this, such as, just after coming off stage she is holding her son, little Jeremiah, and she says to him “We did it”. Not “I” did it … “WE” did it. That dear, sweet child will be growing up in a house FILLED with love, of that I am sure.
Cristina, you are beautiful! You are beautiful as a person, and you have an amazing talent.
YOU GO GRRL!!!!!