Ventriloquist Darci Lynne steps from ‘AGT’ to Delaware State Fair

Darci Lynne will be bringing her friends to the Delaware State Fair on July 24. (Submitted photo/Todd Rosenburg)

HARRINGTON — It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for ventriloquist/singer Darci Lynne Farmer.

In 2017, she garnered the most votes for a final performance in the history of the NBC show “America’s Got Talent,” winning $1 million and her own headlining act in Las Vegas. After that, came appearances on “Ellen” and “A Very Pentatonix Christmas.”

In 2018, she performed coast to coast, logging more than 50 stops across the country and selling more than 100,000 tickets (grossing almost $5 million). She also hosted her first TV special “Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas” on NBC. The program was a hit, attracting 6.565 million viewers and earning a re-air by the network the week following its premiere.

To top it off, Darci released her first single “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” from the special and marked an important milestone with her stage debut at the Grand Ole Opry.

This year saw her finish second in the first “America’s Got Talent: Champions” edition and start another national tour “Fresh Out of the Box,” which will come to the Delaware State Fair on July 24.

And all of this before she turns 15 years old.

Ever since her first appearance on “AGT,” Darci Lynne has amazed millions of viewers with her talent for ventriloquism. During the first episode broadcast on May 30, 2017, she and her puppet, a rabbit named Petunia, performed “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess”.

Judge Mel B. pressed the Golden Buzzer, allowing Darci to bypass the judge cuts and go straight to the quarterfinals. The video of this performance became the most-viewed in the show’s history within 30 hours of broadcast, and later placed fourth on YouTube’s list of the top 10 trending videos of 2017.

It catapulted a shy girl from Oklahoma City into stardom.

“When I applied for ‘AGT,’ I had such low expectations,” Darci said by phone recently.

“Never could I imagine all of this. It has totally changed my life.”

She still remembers how it felt to win the national talent competition.

“When I won, I just thought to myself, ‘Oh my God. This is the coolest thing ever,’” she said.

“Then I started to get recognized and was able to go out on tour and I just kept thinking ‘Is this really real?”

When asked when she realized she was famous, she pauses as if taken back.

“I don’t know. I mean I guess I’m famous. It’s just really hard to say that out loud,” said the bubbly 14-year-old.

She estimates that she’s been to 40 of the 50 states while on tour. Delaware will add to the list later this month.

“It’s been a blast,” she said of touring. “I never would have imagined that I would be touring America and have been in almost all 50 states. It’s just been so cool.”

On the road with her are the four characters with which “AGT” fans have become familiar.

There is Petunia, the rabbit; Oscar the nervous mouse; Edna Doorknocker, the naughty old lady; and Katie, the sassy cowgirl who yodels.

“We also have a new band on this tour as well. It’s been super exciting,” Darci said.

The entertainer showed off her singing voice in her NBC special as she performed a few songs by herself with no characters. She also will do that during her fair show.

“I’ve been singing since I was 6 years old — longer than I’ve been a ventriloquist — so that’s another big passion of mine,” she said.

At a very young age, her parents encouraged her to overcome her shyness by participating in the International Cinderella Scholarship Program where she was crowned International Mini Miss. At that pageant she also met International Teen titleholder, Laryssa Bonacquisti, a young ventriloquist who inspired her to try ventriloquism herself.

Darci Lynne’s parents gave her a puppet on her 10th birthday and she was hooked.

She said ventriloquism has been a vehicle for her to shed her shyness.

“I don’t get as nervous or as shy as I used to. It’s gotten way better since ‘AGT’ and even before that when I was 10,” she said.

“Performing on stage, I become almost a different person and that’s been really fun.”

Another byproduct of her success has been the young fans who have been taking up the art of ventriloquism themselves.

“That was my initial goal in going on ‘AGT.’ I wanted to inspire other kids to try it and I think I’ve met that goal,” she explained.

“I’ll see YouTube and Facebook videos of little kids doing what I do and I’ve even had kids dressing up as me for Halloween. It’s been really cool.”

Darci’s schedule has gotten so busy that she has had to drop out of her public school and will be homeschooled when the year starts again in the fall.

“I went to public school all last year and it was really tough. So we’re going to try homeschooling this year and see how it goes. It was rough having to miss so much work and having to all cram all of it in when I got back off touring,” she said.

“But my friends have been so supportive. We’re still going to hang out. It was a hard decision to make but I think it’s the best way to go.”

As for the future, Darci doesn’t know if she will continue to perform when she gets older. She’s just enjoying the ride for now.

“I have no idea. I don’t have that all figured out yet. I’m still just going along step by step and we’ll see what happens.”

Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $20-$30 and available at DelawareStateFair.com.

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment