Vote: Is Jackie Evancho changing her sound?


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In the non-surprise of the summer, Jackie Evancho made it through to the top 10 on NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ Wednesday night. Earlier this week when Evancho inspired us to look at how common it is for children to emulate their heroes when they are first starting out, several opera singer friends suggested that the 10-year-old must listen to a lot of Sarah Brightman.

‘America’s Got Talent’ only allows its cast to speak to reporters from their hometown while the program is still airing, so we can’t ask Jackie herself. So we did some more YouTube diving.


An old interview from a Pittsburgh-area news broadcast said that Evancho likes Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli, but what is even more interesting is comparing performances. The song Evancho sang on Tuesday was ‘Time to Say Goodbye,’ a Bocelli and Brightman signature.

From the first few seconds of Brightman’s performance, the mystery of Evancho’s strangely mobile hands is solved. It’s a classic Brightman tic.

What’s not at all like Brightman, bizarrely, is the voice. In Tuesday’s performance, Evancho’s voice was even darker and more adult-sounding than it was three weeks ago. ‘America’s Got Talent’ vocal coach Yvie Burnett assured me that the performers work with the talent they have and don’t try to change it, but the difference between Evancho’s two ‘America’s Got Talent’ rounds is not something that would happen without coaching. It may not be the show that is encouraging Evancho sing like this, but someone is.

You can compare for yourself with these videos, but to my ears, when you factor out physical maturity, Brightman’s voice is much lighter and sounds more like Evancho a year ago.

Which voice do you prefer -- Jackie’s original or the new, more grown-up sound?

-- Marcia Adair


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