By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Thousands auditioned, but hundreds of acts were invited to face the America’s Got Talent (AGT) judges: Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and the first time in AGT history: show creator Simon Cowell.
While only nine acts received the Golden Buzzer, several performers have built passionate fan bases, and they have led some of them to the Dolby Theatre. This season’s live shows were unpredictable as early frontrunners (Hara, Malevo, Moya Angela, and Musicality Vocal Group) were sent home, while acts that should not have advanced (Calysta Beiver, Kadie Lynn Robertson, Kadan Rockett, and Lori Mae Hernandez) were wrongfully performing in their place.
But tonight, five singing acts and five variety acts will take the Dolby Theatre stage one last time to prove to America that they are worthy to join past winners Terry Fator, Olate Dogs, Kenichi Ebina, Mat Franco, and Paul Zerdin in the Winner’s Circle and receive the life-changing $1,000,000 prize.
Which acts stepped up to the plate and delivered the performance of a lifetime? Read on to find out!
After guest rappers Pitbull and LunchMoney Lewis debuted their new collaboration, “GreenLight” and both Nick and the judges made their epic entrances, it was Sal Valentinetti’s job to kick off the performance. Ever since Heidi pressed the Golden Buzzer for the former pizza deliveryman, he has brought charm to the Dolby Theatre and reinvented the Great American Songbook for a new generation. For his final performance, he tackled “Mack the Knife.” This song has always intrigued me, but I never had any interest in this song until Sal tackled it. Sal’s superb vocals gave me chills, and he could give several crooners named Buble, Groban, and Mann a run for their money. Bravo, Sal! A-
Reba McEntire’s Golden Buzzer act, Sofie Dossi, has intrigued me since she made her debut at the Pasadena Civic Center. Last week, she took a huge risk, performed without her signature bow and arrow, and made it to the finale. She did her perfect final routine to “Die In Your Arms Tonight.” Between the half-dozen somersaults and superb death-defying aerial acrobatics on her wooden ring, Sofie proved why she is one of the best rising acts this season. What a spectacular performance, Sofie. She has a bright future ahead of her! A
From the first moment I saw them audition at the Pasadena Civic Center, I knew that Louisville, the Kentucky-based quartet was going to make this season very special. They have made me cry at least twice this competition with “Free Bird” and “7 Years.” Tonight, the guys performed Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” and once again, the guys made me cry. Their impeccable harmonies made my arm hair and knee hair stand up. Of all the music acts, they improved so much this season, and I hope that someone gives them a recording contract soon! A+
Just like Linkin’ Bridge, I also saw Laura Bretan audition and earn Mel B’s Golden Buzzer at the Pasadena Civic Center. While I admire her talent, I am little disappointed that the AGT producers were not straightforward with the audience and told us that she appeared and won Romania’s Got Talent. Tonight, she sang “O Mio Babbino Caro,” a song that will always belong to my good friend and AGT alum Barbara Padilla. To be honest, if the two were performing song side-by-side, Barbara would win hands down! D+
Thommy and Amelie have always been my favorite magic acts since day one! The Clairvoyants have mystified, dumbfounded, and terrified the audience all throughout the season. For their final performance, they revisited their journey and did the best tricks. Heidi threw a football to a random audience member, and who promptly gave Thommy his wallet and driver’s license, she gave him the correct results. They also correctly revealed that the audience member’s name was Victor and was born in May. Thommy ordered Simon to give Howie his wallet and asked Mel B to name her nickname for Howie: she called him-a “wannabean.” As Thommy escorted the veteran judge to the stage, Amelie went inside a tank of water, and she wrote out “2-20” and “2456” (the expiration date and the final digits of Simon’s credit card). Finally, they reunited Mel B with the pendant from last week and inside it was the word: “Wannabean.” I hope that they are one of the last two acts standing! A+
I was a little surprised that Brian Justin Crum did not close out the night. Before he took the stage, Brian’s fans delivered a “Break a leg” message, which moved him. Brian’s final performance was Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” While I was surprised that he did not pick an up-tempo song, I instantly remembered that the MJ hit fits Brian’s journey. His dominant notes were excellent as usual, but it took me to near the song’s decrescendo to get on board. I love Brian, and I hope to interview him in the future, but it was the wrong song for him. However, I think that he is going to be one amazing recording superstar B+
Love him or hate him, Tape Face has made an impact on this season of AGT. He started out the evening by playing with two horse dolls. Next, he snapped his fingers away and then summoned Mel B to join him on stage. While she unenthusiastically waved palm-palms, he threw a mini plunger to a toilet seat (which was hanging around her neck) and toilet paper came from it and he completed the horse race. This was absurd and funny at the same time. I hope he finds success in Vegas. A
Viktor Kee has taken this season by storm as he took juggling to a whole another level of excellence. His final act was set on top of a volcano. He was also blindfolded for the first half and added fire during the second half, which added suspense and danger to his act. Viktor has graced the Dolby Theatre stage with elegance this season, and I honestly believe that he can conquer Vegas. Bravo, Viktor! A
Jon Dorenbos proved that even NFL athletes can have a hidden talent. The Philadelphia Eagles player’s magic has blown the audience away and earned Ne-Yo’s Golden Buzzer earlier this season. He used the number 2 for his act and while the judges signed the pieces of paper, Jon asked Simon to write a name of a loved one on his card. As Simon revealed his son, Eric, on the card, Jon told an amazing story using close-up magic and a deck of cards. This routine moved me so much, and his message struck a chord with me. Thank you, Jon, for an incredible season. A
Grace VanderWaal closed the night! I am surprised that so many people have covered “I Don’t Know My Name” all over the world. Is she inspirational? “Yes.” Is she a good songwriter? “Yes.” But, at the same time her vocals are not ready yet for the $1,000,000 prize. Simon called her the next Taylor Swift, but I believe that Grace might be the next Carole King. I pray that Ms. King watched this performance because I think she could be an excellent mentor to this lovely young lady. B
Tomorrow night, the $1,000,000 winner will be revealed!