AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Auditions" -- Pictured: Shaquira McGrath -- (Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC)
Photo: NBC/Mitchell Haddad/NBC
Photo: NBC/Mitchell Haddad/NBC

Kennesaw’s Shaquira McGrath channels Gretchen Wilson on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Kennesaw server Shaquira McGrath channeled Gretchen Wilson and cruised through the opening round of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” during Tuesday night’s episode.

This is one of the final episodes before the pandemic shut down production. 

“For the past 20-plus years,” McGrath told host Terry Crews before stepping on stage, “I’ve been too insecure to show my talent and be myself so this is my moment to kind of do that.” 

McGrath told the judges that as a server, she sings all the time when she works at Yard House at the Battery by Truist Park. 

“I sing to the tables,” she said. “When there’s birthdays. We’ll have little concerts in the back during the downtime.”

Judge Howie Mandel asked, “So is this your dream...?”
“To sing with the cooks?” she responded with an impish look. 

At age 25, she said she had shied away from pursuing singing as a career because people told her she was too heavy and too short. 

“I never put myself out there like I should have,” she said. “It’s been 25 years of being an idiot and getting inside your head. It’s been too long. It’s time.”

McGrath’s rendition of Wilson’s 2004 country hit “Redneck Woman” was robust and spirited.

She began crying as the crowd cheered.

“I’m getting kind of emotional,” she said. “I sing in my bathroom in the dark. In my mind, this is what I’m picturing.” 

SImon Cowell gave her praise: “You’ve got a genuinely great voice, a great personality. I think Shaquira, this is just the beginning for you. I think there is so much more. Whatever their idiots say, they’re idiots. They don’t know what they’re talking about. I loved you and I loved that audition.”

Mandel: “You popped that cork and you crushed it!”

She earned three yesses from the judges to move to the next round. (The fourth judge, Heidi Klum, was out due to illness - not COVID-19, ultimately.)

Wilson herself gave McGrath a shout out on Twitter after she caught the performance:

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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