Great start to the show, with the exception of Kevin Skinner signing disco. They changed things quite a bit from last year with a lot more focus on entertainment. Last year they had the winner sing with plenty of time to talk about the experience. This year they left little time for either person to say anything, very similar to what happened a few years ago. A step back in that department.
I really liked Susan Boyle's cover of the Stones, Wild Horses. Shakira lip-synching when everyone else sang live was pathetic.
I'm in agreement that Kevin Skinner sang better earlier in the season and went downhill from there. I still think the judges were told to hype him and therefore influenced the voting public. I said all along he was the sentimental favorite - no job, crying, good guy, and country singer - so it wasn't out of the realm of possibilities that he won, but I was shocked.
We all questioned whether America would vote for opera 2 years running and that was answered, but I don't think she lost because of that. Last year Neal E. Boyd won over Eli Matson by less that ½ of 1%, so it wasn't like it was a landslide. And Neal, like Barbara, has an outstanding voice. Lets face it, opera isn't the most popular form of music in America, but people can and do appreciate talent and good singing when they hear and see it, and Barbara did finish second, so I can't complain. Disappointed, yes, but I'm happy for Kevin.