"America's Got Talent" is set for its 2013 finale -- its eighth season finale overall. So which act of the six remaining finalists has the best odds of winning it all and taking home the title?
The finales of "America's Got Talent" usually have been music-heavy with the remaining acts vying for the million-dollar Las Vegas headliner prize -- and they've usually won. Five of the previous seven seasons have seen a singer of win the top prize. And the 2013 finale shows a 50/50 chance of seeing a singing act win for the sixth time as well, because among the six acts making the Season 8 finale are church/pop singer Cami Bradley, country singer Jimmy Rose, and the operatic trio Forte.
Still, as the professional oddsmakers have tabulated for Sept. 17 at Bovada.com, odds indicate that the best the singing acts will do is second. To explain:
Of the other three acts remaining in the "America's Got Talent" competition -- magician Collins Key, comedian Taylor Williamson, dancer Kenichi Ebina -- the latter seems to have the best odds of winning it all. In fact, among the three finalists, another of their number also has the worst odds of winning the 2013 title.
Magician Collins Key has wowed the judges panel and the audience with his tricks. Still, despite the well thought-out stage maneuverings and illusions he's been able to pull off, he has trouble with his own showmanship and verbal timing. He's young and undoubtedly will end up in Las Vegas soon, but it won't be via "America's Got Talent." Oddsmakers put him at 20/1 odds of winning the season title.
Singer Jimmy Rose has a great country voice. He's also a likable guy. Unfortunately, the other two singing acts left in the competition have more polish and power in their vocal stylings. Bovada puts Rose at 12/1 odds of winning.
Even though she's shown beautiful control throughout the competition, not to mention a flair for hitting power notes and well as delicate ones, Cami Bradley barely edged out Jimmy Rose for better odds. She's at 10/1 odds of winning it all.
Funnyman Taylor Williamson is a comedic force to be reckoned with -- unless you're like judge Heidi Klum, who doesn't get his offbeat style -- but his ability to extemporize, brilliant and hilarious thought it is, will not be enough. The oddsmakers have him finishing third: 9/1 odds.
The power trio Forte, the three-man opera group that met online, dropped a member, then picked up another (and more powerful) singer via the Internet, will just miss winning the Season 8 top prize, according to the oddsmakers. Their odds? 9/4.
That leaves Kenichi Ebina, the marvelous interpretive dancer that integrates his dance routines in interactive works of art that the judges have never tired of referring to as "genius." He appears to have a neverending supply of creativity and uniqueness and, not only has he won the "America's Got Talent" judges over, but he's convinced the professional oddsmakers as well. They give him best odds of winning at 2/3.
But, as with any competition that depends on various factors to determine a winner, odds are not pure indicators of outcome. They are odds of winning -- which also implies that, even though one has the best of odds (or the worst), there is a chance they could lose the competition (or, having the worst odds, still come out on top). With "America's Got Talent," various factors playing into the final placement of the contestants include their final performances, judges' feedback, audience participation, and accuracy of the vote count (which can be impacted by busy and unresponsive telephone lines, computer glitches, poor input by voters, mistakenly voting for finalists other than one's actual choice, etc.). In short, until all the votes are tabulated, it's still anyone's competition to win.
The two-hour "America's Got Talent" Season 8 live performance finale airs at 9 p.m. (EST) on NBC Television.