Review: Jackie Evancho's golden voice proves she's 'got talent'

Jackie Evancho

Jackie Evancho

It's easy to forget Jackie Evancho is just 12.

Her poise. Her control. Her range. Her voice. Oh, her voice.

She mesmerized a sold-out crowd at the Naples Philharmonic on Monday night with that once-in-a-lifetime, hard-to-believe-it-comes-out-of-her-body voice.

Part of her charm is her age. But her talent is ageless.

The little girl who stole our hearts on "America's Got Talent" proved she's not a made-for-TV anomaly.

Her voice and her performance exhausted all of the superlatives in the dictionary.

She caused goose bumps with a rendition of "Music of the Night" from the "Phantom of the Opera." It's her favorite song, one that inspired her to become a singer. It also turned out to be the crowd's favorite, as they gave her a rousing standing ovation with the yelps, whistles and cheers normally reserved for a Broadway star.

The comparisons are also endless.

Jackie showed the innocence of a Shirley Temple with a double-handed wave, an oh-shucks shrug of her shoulders and an infectious smile as she acknowledged the thunderous applause. She caused the crowd to giggle as she sipped on water and later as she skipped off the stage.

Jackie showed the maturity of Celine Dion, slaying "My Heart Will Go On," Dion's iconic theme song from "Titanic." And like the line from the song — There's nothing I fear — Jackie soared to hit the highest notes of the acclaimed-but-difficult number.

Jackie is even becoming a heartbreaker. After every song, a young boy about her age stood to show his appreciation and at one point made a heart sign with his hands to show his affection.

Jackie, with her blonde hair pinned up and matching curled locks shaping her face, showed her sweetness, dedicating "Reflection" from "Mulan" to her mother.

"She let me be who I wanted to be and let me choose my own career path," Jackie said drawing "aahs" from the crowd. She drew similar "aahs and oohs" when she walked out for her second set in a sparkling fuchsia and turquoise gown.

Her voice even made us believe snow might fall in Naples. She ended the performance with a trifecta of holiday songs including "White Christmas" and an encore of "O' Holy Night," putting an exclamation point to an enchanting night.

Jackie showed her ultimate potential in the first set, effortlessly belting out "The Summer Knows" made famous by Barbra Streisand from the movie of "Summer of '42."

Her performance Monday night featured many of the made-for-movie hits from her latest album, "Songs from the Silver Screen." It will be only a matter of time before people will be writing movie songs for her to make famous.

Trumpeter and special guest Jumaane Smith said it best when he introduced her as the "incomparable" Jackie Evancho.

It's easy to forget Jackie is just 12. Then she thanked the crowd for allowing her to come to Naples, and said she and her brother had so much fun here — chasing lizards.

The little girl with the golden voice showed Monday night she's more than a reality-TV standout. Jackie is no longer a star in the making. She's already arrived.

Tom Hanson is a news editor at the Naples Daily News, a pop culture junkie, and a music fan.

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Comments » 1

chrisallan writes:

This special girl is fantastic. words cannot describe the beautiful sounds that come from this young girl. I have not been a big fan of classic crossover, or these types of songs until i heard Jackie sing them. Now like a lot of people , she has me mesmerized ! I live in ontario canada, and cant wait to see her in Toronto in march !

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