Hats on for talent contestant

Hats on for talent contestant

Edon Pinchot loses reality show but wins customized kippot


It was a grand moment for kippah wearers across America.

Edon Pinchot, a 14-year-old singer from Chicago, kept his head covered while competing on the current season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent reality show.

The modern Orthodox high school student had been singing for years, and publicizing his talents via YouTube video.

On national television, however, competing against acts ranging from ventriloquism to dance to sand art, Pinchot stood out for wearing the Jewish headcovering in the mainstream American genre called reality television.

His elimination last month in the semifinal round means that he will not win the grand prize of one million dollars.

He did, however, win himself some free kippot from Teaneck’s Judaica House, which markets a wide variety of yarmulkes (including plaid ones, with matching neckties) at the website CoolKippahs.com.

“TMZ,” a celebrity-focused website and television show, “called us and asked us if we would be willing to do anything for him,” said Edan Nayowitz, a manager at Judaica House.

As it happened, Pinchot already had shopped for kippot at Judaica House; America’s Got Talent competition takes place in Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

“We took one similar to the type he wears and had his named embroidered on it,” Nayowitz said.

Nayowitz reported having recognized Pinchot when he came in to the store.

“Who didn’t watch him? I think a large part of the Jewish community was watching to see what would happen,” Nayowitz said.

“The fact he was wearing his kippah proudly, not worried about what the consequence should be, was very impressive. He certainly could have taken the easier route of not wearing it and nobody would have said anything,” Nayowitz said.

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