With the America’s Got Talent 2017 final performances airing tonight, here’s a ranking of the Top 10 acts performing for your votes. Tuesday night, a winner will be crowned and awarded that $1 million dollar prize.
Notably, over half the acts in the Top 10 are singers or singing-related acts (Darci Lynne’s act is basically a singing act with puppets). Cowell signed last season’s winner, 12 year old singer/songwriter Grace Vanderwaal, and is just about to release her full length album. It’s as if creator and judge, Simon Cowell, is using America’s Got Talent as a US substitute for his signature singing show, X Factor. If the latter hadn’t failed in the US, I suspect AGT would have remained a mostly variety act competition.
Here’s how I rank the Top 10 going into tonight’s performance show:
10. Sara and Hero – Dog Act – Simon pushed hard for this act, despite the tricks being rudimentary at best. Even the rest of the judges panel understood the act was mediocre. Lucky to even make the final, the act SHOULD be eliminated first.
9. Diavolo – Daredevil dance troupe – If this act can pull off another spectacular, death defying routine, they might place even higher. What makes this act eminently watchable is the intricate prop choreography that threatens to crush, maim or kill dancers at any time during the performance.
8. Kechi – Singer – Kechi might have fared better in a season with fewer singers with sad backstories. Burned badly in a plane crash, Kechi nevertheless has prevailed. She’s an inspiration, to be sure, but there’s plenty pulling at the heartstrings in this group.
7. Chase Goehring – Teen singer/songwriter – No sad backstories for this boy. Chase is a singer/songwriter with potential. He’s yet to hone his style into something truly unique–he’s an Ed Sheeran knockoff at this stage of his development. I don’t get the feeling Simon is very interested in signing him, though. So watch for Chase to be damned with faint praise tonight.
6. Evie Clair – Singer – Evie’s backstory all season revolved around her dad’s terminal stage 4 cancer. Last week, a day after she clinched a spot in the finals, he died. There was some chatter that maybe Evie would drop out, but her mom recently confirmed on Facebook that Evie will compete this week. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how her father’s death is handled in her video package, etc. If the presentation is too heavy-handed, it could create a backlash. In any case, she’s going to have fans in her corner after such a heavy loss. Her singing? It’s just a’ight.
5. Light Balance – Light show/dancers – The judges love love love this act. I don’t get the light projection acts. They don’t translate well on television, I suspect. But I expect the judges will continue to pimp this act heavily.
4. Angelica Hale – Kid singer – Angelica has an impressively mature voice and presentation for a tween. Her intonation is nearly perfect and she is decidedly less pageanty than many kid singers (I’m looking at you, Celine Tam.) Plus she can belt those high notes with the best of them. I’ll be very surprised if Angelica doesn’t land in the Top 5.
3. Preacher Lawson – Comedian – This dude is NOT my cuppa as far as comedy is concerned, but the judges love love love this dude. If he doesn’t tank his routine tonight, he could finish as high as third place.
2. Mandy Harvey – Singer – I feel fairly certain the Top 2 will consist of Mandy and Darci Lynne. Mandy found her way back to singing after losing her hearing has a teen. She performs barefoot to feel the vibrations of the music. But she’s more than just a compelling backstory. She’s also a talented singer/songwriter. I would not be surprised if Simon signed Mandy whether she wins or not.
1. Darci Lynne – Kid Ventriloquist – Darci’s imaginative puppets, clever storylines and impressive singing voice is a combo that can’t be beat. I’ll be surprised if she’s not the last one standing when the confetti falls tomorrow night.
We’ll be live blogging America’s Got Talent tonight (Sept. 19) and tomorrow night (Sept. 29) beginning at 8 pm. Join us.