Prince Poppycock, the flamboyant operatic singer that has captivated the America’s Got Talent audience since his first rendering of “Figaro,” hit the stage Tuesday evening for the Finals in a knight’s costume. A more serious song than the audience was accustomed to from the 30-something artist, the Italian opera was still masterfully performed, highlighting the singer’s vocal talents. But seconds before song’s end, Prince Poppycock and the audience were subjected to a surprise interruption. America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan had employed his buzzer. On a final performance? Was it a mistake?
The audience, along with judge Sharon Osbourne, gave Prince Poppycock a standing ovation.
Piers Morgan said that he hit the buzzer because he felt Prince Poppycock had lost his spark. He felt that the opera singer had “blown it,” had been self-indulgent, took himself too seriously, and lost his ability to be fun on his last chance to shine. Sharon Osbourne vehemently disagreed, saying that it was a perfect choice for the young singer. She agreed that it was self-indulgent, but she said that it was his night to be so. (And isn’t Prince Poppycock the embodiment of self-indulgence?) Howie Mandel said that he was afraid that the seriousness of the number might cost him.
But Piers Morgan couldn’t leave the matter at buzzing a final contestant (had it ever been done before?). After Michael Grimm growled and effortless “When a Man Loves A Woman” for his Top 4 performance, Morgan stated that he was the kind of artist that should represent America. He noted that “unlike the previous contestant,” a pointed remark at Prince Poppycock, Michael Grimm was what the show was all about. Sharon Osbourne voiced her disapproval of what she considered an unfair comment.
After the show, Howie Mandel told People magazine that, although Piers Morgan had a right to judge the performance, hitting the buzzer was like giving Prince Poppycock the middle finger. In the same interview, Morgan defended his action.
“I only use the X when I think that contestant has reached the end of the road,” he said. “Poppycock lost his sense of fun and became a bit self-indulgent. And since there’s no next round in the competition, the only way to say ‘You’ve blown it, you can’t win,’ was the X.”
Prince Poppycock responded, saying he felt “fantastic.” He went on: “Piers Morgan is a ninny. If anything, he’s just looking to be divisive and create tension. It was just unfortunate. The act did not go perfectly because I had some technical difficulties but all in all, I have no regrets and no excuses.”
Bodog.com shows Prince Poppycock at 15/2 to win the competition. They’re good odds, but not as good as Jackie Evancho, whose odds stand at 4/11 just hours before the winner is to be announced.
Too self-indulgent? Just right? Was it good enough to win? Or was Piers Morgan right and he just blew it? Does Prince Poppycock deserve to win in comparison to the other Top 4 contestants: Jackie Evancho, Michael Grimm, or Fighting Gravity?
Watch Prince Poppycock in his America’s Got Talent Finals performance and be the judge.
“America’s Got Talent,” NBC Television