Thursday, October 2, 2008
AMERICA'S GOT TALENT: THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET
Neal E. Boyd has been crowned season 3's winner on America's Got Talent. The 32-year old adult cry baby, who sings opera, wins $1,000,000 and a contract at a Las Vegas hotel. That money has got to come in handy in these tough economic times, but will it? You'd think a big network like NBC would have no problem paying out such a huge prize on one of it's highest rated shows, right? You'd be wrong!
So, I'm watching the credits roll on this week's final episode and at the very end, just as the screen is about to go black, this little line scrawls across the screen.
"The winning Contestant will collect $1,000,000 in 40 equal installments." I'll spare you the calculator. That's $25,000 a year. I'm 47, so if I won this contest, I may not be alive long enough to collect my entire $1,000,000. Neal E. Boyd, on the other hand, will be 72 when he collect his last $25,000 payment.
To put this in perspective, each year, America's newest millionaire will make as much as a library technician, a New York City cop, a receptionist, a nurse or a restaurant cook. Neal E. Boyd may be able to survive on that in his hometown of Sikeston, Missouri (pop: 16,992), but he'd be broke in most other cities. I wonder if the contestants were advised of this little disclaimer while they were auditioning or whether, like me, Neal E. Boyd, was watching his winning moment on T.V. when the disclaimer scrawled across the screen.