Tacoma singer will try his talent Monday on ‘America’s Got Talent’

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Jimmie Herrod has talent. Enough to get him on “America’s Got Talent” in 2021 and, beginning Monday, on the new “America’s Got Talent: All Stars”.

Herrod, 32, was an Army kid who grew up in Tacoma and graduated from Mt. Tahoma High School in 2009. He’s now a Portland-based singer with the band Pink Martini and other projects.

Although Monday’s show has already been taped, neither Herrod nor NBC would reveal if Herrod moved on to the next round of the eight-week-long show.

In 2021, he finished in the top 10. He considered it a win. “The prize that I’ve got from doing my original season, even though I did not win, really is this unbelievable amount of visibility that you gain from being on something like that,” he said Friday in an interview with The News Tribune.

The new show is described as an extension of the original “America’s Got Talent” — a juggernaut that is a perennial number one summer TV show. Video clips from the show have been viewed more than 1 billion times on social media, according to NBC.

The series brings previous AGT winners, finalists, fan favorites and viral sensations from “America’s Got Talent” and its franchises around the world. A total of 60 acts will compete for the ultimate title. Each episode will feature 10 acts, which include singers like Herrod, dancers, ventriloquists, comedians, aerialists, magicians and others.

In each episode, five of the contestants will be awarded a “golden buzzer” and advance to the finals. AGT superfans will also vote on one additional act per episode to move onto the finals.

Following the final performances, the superfans will vote again on the 11 finalists to choose the winner, which will be revealed in a two-hour finale. The judges are AGT creator and executive producer Simon Cowell, fashionista Heidi Klum and comedian Howie Mandel. Terry Crews will serve as host.

Going viral

Herrod (pronounced “huh-ROD”) auditioned for the 2021 show with “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie.” Before the audition, Cowell told Herrod that he had long disliked the song. But Herrod’s performance changed Cowell’s opinion. “Wow, wow, wow,” Cowell said. “It’s not my worst song anymore.”

A clip of that went viral and Herrod thinks that’s why he was asked to come back for the “All-Stars” show. “Some people don’t remember my name, but they remember that moment, proving Simon wrong,” Herrod said.

A promo for the 2023 series shows Herrod wiping away a tear after a performance. “I’m always drained by performing, not just because it’s emotional, but the opportunity is huge,” he said. “And you really want to do your best.”

Bright lights

First attending Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle after high school, Herrod moved to Portland in 2013 and received a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies from Portland State University. Herrod sings regularly with genre busters Pink Martini where he perfected “Tomorrow.”

In 2018, he recorded the single “Exodus” with the band. He also sings with electronic dance music group Odesza and performed with them on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” What does he really want to be doing? “I love a good Sondheim musical,” he said. “But I grew up in Tacoma in the ‘90s.

It was a very different time socially than it is today. There’s a lot that I would like to be able to represent with my music that can be said without it being a musical theater number.”

Ultimately, he’d like to perform and record his own pop music. A successful run on “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars” could get him closer to that goal. “To get seen by so many people through a show, like ‘AGT’, it’s something you can’t buy,” Herrod said. “It really is that extremely unique opportunity that anyone would be so fortunate to get just one opportunity like that in their life.”

Watch

What: “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars”

Who: Tacoma singer Jimmie Herrod.

When: 8 p.m. Monday (Jan. 2).

Where: NBC, Seattle channel 5 (KING).

Source: The News Tribune