Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 | 12:29 p.m.
More arts and entertainment
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Pint-sized 11-year-old Jackie Evancho won numerous standing ovations for her magical and memorable performance with hit-maker David Foster at their Mandalay Bay concert Thursday night. Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue was given special up-close rehearsal and performance access exclusively for our incredible Vegas DeLuxe photo galleries.
The tiny, one-time “America’s Got Talent” contestant simply mesmerized the audience who sat silently as she worked her way through an hour of classics and pop-opera winners. Then they exploded each time she finished, jumping to their feet with thunderous applause and cheers. Jackie was beyond brilliant!
For fun, producer and songwriter David talked her into trying a Britney Spears number for the first time after she revealed that she secretly listens to heavy metal at home! She managed five bars of “Piece of Me” before giggling hopelessly.
Jazz saxophonist Kenny G was a surprise performer and told the audience that he’d piloted his own single-engine, prop-water floatplane over to Las Vegas that took just over 2 hours. David had the entire audience sing “Happy Birthday” to Dr. Phil McGraw’s wife Robin McGraw. David also revealed that the choral ensemble and all the musicians onstage except his drummer were Las Vegas residents, and that brought more cheers.
The funniest moment of the night was when David implored Dr. Phil to pick somebody at random and solve his or her problems within 30 seconds. The TV star said he had to look no further than David to ask why it took him three failed marriages to find the woman of his dreams in fourth wife Yolanda!
Backstage, David told me that he’s planning on several Las Vegas shows next year but is hoping that, as much as he loves Mandalay Bay Events Center, to find a smaller intimate, space so he can expand the number of talent search chances he gives to audience members.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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