After the stunning debut of Kentucky chicken catcher Kevin Skinner on America's Got Talent, the NBC talent show remain virtually untouched on the top of the ratings totem pole as it upped its 11.3 mil showing on its debut to nearly 13 million viewers last week.
Some critics say Skinner was the Susan Boyle America's Got Talent was looking for after the 47-year-old Scottish singer shot to worldwide fame on Britain's Got Talent's last season. Skinner, whose simple demeanor, heavy southern accent, and profession elicited a few giggles from the crowd, surprised everyone when he started strumming his guitar and singing the first few lines from Garth Brook's "If Tomorrow Never Comes. Kevin Skinner "moved" everyone, said judge David Hasselhoff.
For his part, NBC's new reality programming chief Paul Telegdy said that while the Susan Boyle phenomenon is a nice boost to the Got Talent franchise, America's Got Talent can very well survive on its own.
"I think a lot of viewers would turn up for America's Got Talent with or without the Susan Boyle phenomenon," he said. "We have had our own phenomenon come out of the show. I remind people that Terry Fater is the most-paid reality show contestant of all time."
He also didn't mince words on how the America's Got Talent format is better than American Idol, which is much more popular and draws twice more people than AGT.
"I hope there's a heightened interest in the fact that the real reason for the success of America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent is this democracy of access," he added. "There are people who wouldn't even get in line at American Idol who appear on America's Got Talent. It's come one, come all."