The inevitable has happened once again: America’s Got Talent has discarded its interesting Vegas-style acts for a finale full of singers. Of the final 10 acts, 50 percent are singers and vocal groups, more than the 45 percent who performed during the semifinals. As usual, voters on AGT love their young singers.
While I am usually grumpy about this, I am slightly less grumpy this year. The reason:
- Linkin’ Bridge, the best singing act I’ve ever seen on AGT. Each performance is different, and what they do with their voices together, building and changing even mid-song, is wonderful. That’s a group I’d pay to see. Just watch their performance of “7 Years” by Lukas Graham:
The other finalists and some brief thoughts:
- The Clairvoyants, mentalists/magicians. The only act that really bums me out. Viewers really chose this bad magic—bad magic that’s pretending to be something else—over clever kids doing big stage magic? Even if that stage magic were things we’ve seen before, the performances were charming.
- Tape Face, a comedic mime. I’m glad he’s in the finale, as he was an early highlight for me, though his performances have become increasingly lackluster. (That semifinal thing with the balloons was a non-starter.)
- Grace VanderWaal, a 12-year-old singer with a ukulele.
- Jon Dorenbos, a magician. One of the weaker magicians this season.
- Laura Bretan, a 14-year-old opera singer. Nice voice.
- Sal Valentinetti, a 21-year-old singer. Okay.
- Brian Justin Crum, 20-year-old singer. Okay.
- Sofie Dossi, a 15-year-old contortionist. An impressive talent but not much of an act—until the semifinal, when she really delivered with a combination of terrific staging and some incredible movements.
- Viktor Kee, a juggler. I was less impressed with his semifinal act than the judges were, but he’s undeniably talented and knows how to put on a show.
While the finals have two magicians, a juggler, a contortionist, and a mime, there are no comedians (I miss Julia Scotti and Lori Mae Hernandez) nor any dance acts (such as Malevo or Flip, who were always fun to watch).
This doesn’t feel like the 10 best, most impressive acts for me, but the America’s Got Talent finale rarely does. And there are a few strong acts to root for next week during the finale.