It won’t rank with American Idol or any of TV’s music reality shows, but competing for Entertainer-of-the-Year on a Princess cruise ship can be a step in the right direction. And in March, four finalists will compete for votes to win the accolade on the Caribbean Princess after it leaves Houston on a 7-day cruise.
The four are comedian A.J. Jamal (right); magician Alex Ramon (left) singer, dancer and musician Nathan Foley (below right); and piano player and keyboardist John Dressler (below left). The winner will be the fifth Entertainer-of-the-Year for Princess, as chosen by cruise-ship passengers.
Three years ago, we were on the Crown Princess to see number 2, singer Tony Tillman, above with Cruise Director Lisa Ball. This week’s announcement had us wondering what became of him and his three finalists from 2013: a comedian and overall entertainer named Sarge, a comedy duo named Alfred and Seymour; and mentalist Wayne Hoffman.
Today, Tony Tillman (now 69) is still listed with a talent agency and available for performances as a recent vintage of Sammy Davis Jr. Sarge seems to be booked as much as he wants to be, mostly in comedy concerts, mostly in Florida. Alfred and Seymour, who calls themselves the The Black StreetBoyz, entertain passengers regularly on Princess ships. Wayne Hoffman has a website.
All were talented, just as all four of the 2016 finalists surely are.
Jamal, calls himself the “King of Clean” which infers family comedy, has been on The Tonight Show. Ramon is among only 20 illusionists to win one of The Christopher Awards (for work that “affirms the highest values of the human spirit”) and created a magical accompaniment for Taylor Swift at the American Music Awards. Foley has 23 years of stage and TV experience in Australia, where he won a slew of awards. Bressler is multi-talented and Princess describes his show as a “must-see.”
Anybody who has been to shows on cruise ships knows these people don’t get there without being good. What nobody really knows is how good.
Winning Entertainer-of-the-Year is worth $5,000 but for them, it’s not about the money. It’s more about what it could mean to their careers.
In the news…
• Double the ships, double the sailings for Windstar over the last 18 months
• Lindblad Expeditions adding two new 100-passenger ships for 2017 and 2018
Today at portsandbows.com: The ultimate ‘going green’ — Ecoship