The audition rounds are over on America’s Got Talent 2019 and we have now seen our winner. The question is, who will it be? The only prediction that I can make this early is that Kodi Lee is going to win, and if he doesn’t, he’ll be in the top 3 for sure. So rather than ranking the 10 acts I see going the furthest, I’m ranking the top 10 acts I personally enjoyed the most.
But before we get into the list, we must address the golden gimmick in the room. Three golden buzzer acts made my list, but two did not. Violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa is talented but needs more time to grow before he could win the show. And singer/rapper Joseph Allen has got charisma, but I wasn’t blown away by him or his cheesy song. How did everyone else stack up in my opinion? Find out below!
10: Detroit Youth Choir: Choirs have never done well on AGT. This choir is really great and earned Terry’s golden buzzer. Tons of energy and a clever song choice. I don’t think they can win but I thoroughly enjoyed them.
9: Verba Shadow: I’ve seen this act before. Shadow troupes have been on these shows before, heck, on BGT, Attraction won the whole show. Having said that, this is the type of act that I can see over and over again and still be really impressed by. They’re really good, told a story (obviously) and I could see them going far.
8: Kodi Lee: Kodi Lee is the clear favorite to win AGT as of now. I’ve made my thoughts clear on how I felt about Kodi’s audition as someone on the autism spectrum myself. Kodi was great. He delivered the song really well, and has a nice falsetto. And he could play the piano pretty well too. But the producers turned him into inspiration p*** (click here if you don’t know what that means, I promise it’s totally safe for work). And honestly, I love seeing people with disabilities succeed on these shows, but only when it’s because of their talent. Kodi is a great singer, but there are several others who are better than him.
7: Light Balance Kids: Light Balance was one of the best dance acts ever on AGT, and this spinoff is quite impressive as well. They are the second dance act on a Got Talent show I watch to have a kids spinoff in recent memory, after DVJ on Britain’s Got Talent. As Julianne pointed out, it takes a lot of practice to be in the exact right place when your lights turn on.
6: Luke Islam: In my opinion, he’s the best golden buzzer act this year. This kid is super likable, personable, and has a phenomenal voice. He’s one of my favorite singers this year. Problem is, he was featured in the last audition episode of the year (which usually means he’s not long for this world) he lacks a sob story, and (as some commenters pointed out) his last name is Islam. If it was really about talent, he’d be one of the favorites to win. But I’m afraid he doesn’t have much of a chance.
5: Benicio Bryant: The best kid singer of the season by a clear mile in my book. His version of “The Joke” was really quite stellar. He has a great tone, nice presence, and I could see him making the finale. Is he a potential winner? Doubt it, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him win.
4: Chris Klafford: He’s got a great tone, gorgeous falsetto, and he can pull off powerful notes. Honestly, he might have my favorite voice of anyone this season. Can he win? I’d eat my hat if he did. But I want him to go far.
3: Eric Chien: He’s a magician and he’s really really good. Probably the second best one to ever be on AGT. His problem is that he auditioned the year after Shin Lim won the show twice. Therefore, I expect a strong busing coming for him in the first live show or second round if he makes it that far. It really sucks that he auditioned this year, because if he waited a year or two he might have had a shot at winning the whole shebang.
2: Ryan Niemiller: My favorite stand up comedian of this season, and in my view, the best AGT has had since Julia Scotti in season 11. The only question is whether or not the show will let him tell jokes about subjects other than disability. He said he didn’t want to be a niche comic, and he’s funny enough that I hope the show doesn’t push him into that box. I see myself rooting for Ryan.
1: Michael Paul: On my podcast, I gave Ryan my theoretical golden buzzer. I want a stand up comedian to win AGT, and he’s the best one this year and in several years from my perspective. So why is he in second place? Because I’ve grown to like Michael more as time has gone on. His material was great and his puppet was super clever. The Elton John and Trump jokes were great, and the first time the bird crapped on the stage I genuinely laughed out loud. This act reminded me a lot of Paul Zerdin. Can another comedy ventriloquist win? Probably not if Simon has anything to say about it. But three ventriloquists have won already, why not a fourth?