Every Christmas when I come home, we have a Christmas outing with my parents, sister, and James. Until this year, we’ve gone to ICE, which is basically a huge warehouse with holiday themed ice sculptures. It was pretty neat for a few years, but last year no one really enjoyed it. Once the novelty wears off, it’s just a really cold, sparkly room. So this year, we decided to go see the Texas Tenors at an historic theater on the Main Street of our town. No one really knew what it was or who they were, but it sounded musical and Texan-y, so why not. Also Main Street Grapevine is really lovely this time of year. We arrived early to walk around in the lights and explore the little Christmasy shops.
After wandering around for a while, we went into the Palace for the show.
Boy, were we in for it. The Texas Tenors, we learned, were three hat wearing Texas singers who had come 4th on America’s Got Talent a few years ago. They told us about being on America’s Got Talent a few times, but just in case we didn’t understand words, they brought a screen down in the middle of the concert so we could see clips from when they were on the TV show. They weren’t big on subtlety.
During the show, in addition to the America’s Got Talent video, the following things happened: an obscene amount of winking, about 6 costume changes, the audience stood for the singing of Proud to Be an American, a guitar played while one of them read from the Bible, not one but TWO plugs for two unrelated charities, picking older women out of the audience to fawn over them, and a lot of rehearsed fakey banter. It was obnoxious, sanctimonious, and phony, but this also made it hilarious and fun. My family had a great time, but probably not in the way the “tenors” intended.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Most of the things they did aren’t actually bad. Reading from the Bible, supporting charities, being patriotic, all fine and good things. But it’s absolutely offensive when it’s done specifically to manipulate and elicit an emotional response from your audience. The whole thing was shameless and exemplified one of my least favorite aspects of American culture. The music was actually really good, so if they had just stopped talking and sang, I would have no complaints!
Also, if you’re going to have a cowboy hat, you’d better wear it, not hold it over your heart for 90min. And real Texas men don’t wear sparkly vests.
I think we’re gonna have to come up with a new family outing next Christmas.