America’s Got Talent: Champions – Ranking the 12 Finalists

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT: THE CHAMPIONS -- "The Champions Finals" Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Terry Crews, Shin Lim, Howie Mandel -- (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

After 5 weeks of competition, America’s Got Talent: The Champions finalists have been revealed and will perform on Mon Feb 11. Also, make a note that the WINNER will be revealed on the finale, which airs on Monday Feb 18. What to expect from the finale, according to an NBC press release: “In the finale, the winner and ultimate Champion is crowned in front of judges Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel. Specials acts and fan-favorites take the stage for memorable performances.”

The show is NOT live. These results are already determined. But don’t spoil them here, thank you. I honestly don’t know the outcome, so I’ll be ranking the contestants as if I don’t know anything–which I don’t.

A bit of a spoiler: Host Terry Crews promised a SURPRISE this week. The twist is easy to guess! The show added TWO wildcards from previous week’s performances. And they are ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer and magician Jon Dorenbos. Darci Lynne made the Top 3 but shockingly lost (as did Courtney Hadwin!) to Spain’s Got Talent winner, Cristina Ramos. It was quite the shocker. Simon’s got to get his favs in there somehow! The wildcard is the way to do it.

There are 7 singing or singing/adjacent acts in the finals. The remaining 5 acts comprise of: Sand artist, Comedian, Knife act, 2 magicians. I feel confident a singer will win. However, fan favorite magician Shin Lim has the best chance of all the non-singers to win the whole show.

My rankings: 

12. Kseniya Simonova – Sand Artist – Terry Crews inexplicably chose this “sand artist” as his golden buzzer Week 5. Her art is interesting, but certainly not final worthy.

11. Brian Justin Crum – Singer – After a show stopping performance of Elton John’s “Your Song” in Week 5, Brian won the 50 states vote. He is capable of capturing the attention of the audience, but there are SO many singers in the finale, I think he’s going to get lost in the sauce. 

10. Kechi Okwuchi – Singer – Kechi combines a moving backstory (she was nearly burned alive in a horrific plane crash and spent years recovering) with impressive vocals. She was Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer week 5. Like Brian Justin Crum, I think she’ll come up short in a very competitive field. 

9. Deadly Games – Knife Act – The duo Deadly Games puts on a thrilling and entertaining performance. But this final will be a (mostly) singers’ game.

8. Paul Potts – Singer – Potts isn’t as well known in the US as he is over in the UK where he won Britain’s Got Talent. He did manage to win the Week 3 50 state vote, but he’s up against some very popular acts in the final.

7. Preacher Lawson – Comedian – He won the 50 state vote premiere week. Always a popular act, Preacher is the only comedian in the finals. But that won’t be enough to even come close to winning. 

6. Jon Dorenbos – Magician – (Wildcard) – When Jon Dorenbos made the Top 3 Week 3, but lost the 50 state vote to Paul Potts, there was a lot of grumbling about how he deserved to advance. AGT has produced better magicians, but Jon’s upbeat and positive outlook on life despite enduring real tragedy–his father murdered his mother, he triumphed in the NFL, but had his career and nearly his life cut short due to heart disease–makes him a compelling personality. I’m sure that’s why he was chosen as one of two wildcards. 

5. Angelica Hale – Singer – This young singer might have won the 50 state vote if Howie hadn’t chosen her for his Golden Buzzer. She was the Season 12 runner-up–popular even during the run of her show. She won’t win, but she could be Top 5 (If Simon plays it that way.)

4. Darci Farmer – Singing Ventriloquist – Wildcard – Darci losing the 50 state vote to Cristina Ramos was pretty shocking! Which is why she was chosen as one of two wildcards. The talented 14 year old singing ventriloquist would be a worthy winner of the show. But it does not bode well for her if she couldn’t even garner votes during competition against a performer unknown in the States.

3. Cristina Ramos – Singer – The winner of Spain’s Got Talent wowed the AGT audience with an Opera/Rock hybrid of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Her blending of styles seems gimmicky to me. But still, her performances went viral when she competed in 2016. Vocal prowess can go a long way in a competition like this. 

2. Shin Lim – Magician – The only non-singer who could win this competition would be the talented and engaging close-up magician, Shin Lim. It helps that he’s the reigning America’s Got Talent winner. He’s fresh in fans’ minds. But nevertheless, his magic is spectacular. I wouldn’t be the least bit mad if he won.

1. Susan Boyle – Singer – I think Susan is going to win. Or at least Simon REALLY REALLY REALLY wants her to win. In a leaked performance, it’s obvious she got the pimp spot. The Britain’s Got Talent alum performs her audition song that went viral, “I Dreamed a Dream.” The entire performance, including video package, is meant to evoke that moment when Susan went viral all over the world. And isn’t it convenient that she’s releasing an album TEN, on May 31?

See you at 8 PM ET/PT tonight when we Live Blog the America’s Got Talent:Champions final performances, airing on NBC. 

About mj santilli 34830 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!