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Texas Tenors at Whitley Bay Playhouse

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With the X Factor returning to television last weekend and the media frenzy surrounding it, one thing is for certain, within a few months we will have a new crop of reality TV stars. Sometimes these people fade back in to obscurity as quickly as they emerged from  various reality shows,  but others go on to carve themselves a career as performers either in musical theatre or their own acts. We only have to look at the West End and many UK touring productions to see a crop of these personalities. In the West End we have Ray Quinn currently in Dirty Dancing, Niki Evans starring in Blood Brothers and both Lee Mead and Rachel Tucker in Wicked. While the tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has featured many such personalities and after an initial West End run, Connie Fisher is still touring in The Sound of Music.

Across the Atlantic, Americas Got Talent is classed as the worlds biggest reality show and the X Factor is due to be introduced in the States in the not too distant future. So no doubt Broadway and touring shows will feature the new reality stars in due course. As there is no doubting Susan Boyle and Paul Potts have made themselves global superstars via these reality shows in the UK. So we took the opportunity to speak to one of the acts who had recently been through the Americas Got Talent process and have now embarked on a UK tour. By coincidence, the tour by the Texas Tenors, which comprises of Marcus Collins, JC Fisher and John Hagen, coincides with end of the UK airing of Americas Got Talent, where they came forth in the whole competition.

Marcus told us there was no single point of the TV extravaganza which sticks out, as the guys considered the whole journey as an experience. But when you consider they worked a fourteen hours day to sing for just ninety seconds, you start to understand the pressure behind the glitz and glamour. The Texas Tenors felt progressing through the competition week by week was a challenge in itself, as they headed for the final. At no time did they hear the dreaded buzzer or see a red cross appear above them. But they told us the sound could clearly be heard backstage and throughout the auditorium when any of the judges pressed their buzzers.   

Life has changed dramatically for the three Texan guys since the show, but the careers for the three school boy friends was firmly based in show business before the TV talent show. From classical singing, cruise ships, TV dramas and Broadway shows the guys have worked extensively but never broken through in to the big time. So they joined forces and entered Americas Got Talent and now a year later, they have toured the USA, played Las Vegas and commenced their first UK tour.

There is no doubting the drive of Marcus, JC and John as they make a name for themselves as the Texas Tenors and their success seems richly deserved as they are level headed and have worked for years for their big break and do recognise how lucky they are. Marcus told us their lives have changed dramatically since the show. Now they have financially security, with sell out tours in  the USA and now the UK and since the finals their feet have not touched the floor.

They admitted to being totally overwhelmed after singing in the final of Americas Got Talent, when not only the audience rose to its feet but the three judges gave a standing ovation. While Sharon Osborne and David Hasselhoff had admired the Tenors from the start, it was winning over  Piers Morgan that gave them the most satisfaction. Piers had been the hardest critic of the group but his views softened as the Texas Tenors won through each round.

The closeness of all the finalists meant they have kept in touch and several have even performed with each other in Vegas since the final.

Even the staging is a group effort as each of the Tenors contributes to their act, while music producer Nigel Wright lends a guiding hand and will work with the group once more when they are back in the USA. Each of the three singers has their own responsibility with Marcus dealing with the routines, while JC looks after lighting and arrangements and John concentrates on the musical arrangements. But the actual song choice is a combined effort with each musical number meaning something to each of the singers. This is best identified by the Texas Tenors having seen Susan Boyle sing Wild Horses on the final of Americas Got Talent , which they felt was very spiritual to all of them and is now included on their tour.

While the guys feel there is not too much difference between USA and UK audiences at the moment they are looking forward to their appearance in the North East as they have heard North East audiences are very enthusiastic. During their concerts songs will include My Way (which they sang in the Americas Got Talent final), Somewhere, Unchained Melody and their own version of Danny Boy.

Once the twenty four UK date tour is over, its back to the USA for more sell out shows through the rest of 2010 along with the release of their second CD. There is no doubting that the Texas Tenors will be around for a long time and prove that there is still valid reasons for these reality shows.    


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