Nighty-night Kaitlyn: 4-year-old cutie finally voted off talent show
Finally, sanity has prevailed. Viewers of "America's Got Talent" said nighty-night to 4-year-old singer Kaitlyn Maher, who was voted out of the competition Thursday. Please pack up your Dora suitcase, go home and get to bed.
Her farewell comes none too soon to those of us who wondered whether her competing on the show violated some child labor law. Her singing Wednesday night was adorable as usual but, honestly, didn't rise to the level of the other performers. And it shouldn't. She's only 4.
Kaitlyn is sweet and talented, and her parents must be extremely proud. But she was way too young to be a finalist in a talent competition for America's next new act. Putting her up against adults was unfair and almost cruel. What preschooler is prepared for that kind of rejection -- and on national TV? Did she even understand it? Truth is, at her age she probably won't even remember it.
My heart hurt for her when the show's host Jerry Springer announced she had lost to opera singer Neal Boyd, who deserves to be a frontrunner. I wouldn't have been surprised if Kaitlyn had cried, but I guess she's already too grownup for that.
Obviously, America loves to root for cute kids, and I'm sure having Kaitlyn reach the top 10 was good for TV ratings. So create a talent show for kids under 16, like the Wright Kids, who also got the boot Thursday night, and rightfully so. (The five acts that made it through are Nuttin But Stringz, Queen Emily, Neal E. Boyd, Donald Braswell and Eli Mattson.) Make the prize a college scholarship, rather than a headline show in Las Vegas and $1-million.
Let Kaitlyn learn where Vegas is before she's shipped there to perform. Let her sing for the love of it, not the cash.
-- Susan Thurston
[photo from NBC]