Tuesday’s “America’s Got Talent” episode from Radio City Music Hall in New York City is the next-to-last episode of the show’s eighth season and will feature the final six acts’ last performances before the voting audience decides the overall winner.
With just six 90-second performances, tonight’s two-hour episode will probably be filled with a lot of fluff. Let’s hope it’s entertaining fluff.
Then again, maybe each contestant will perform twice, which still leaves a lot of time for back stories and non-essential content.
Be that as it may, here is the rundown of this viewer’s favorites and not so favorites.
The Bottom Two
Based on last week’s performances and routines to date, Key and Rose are the least deserving acts left in the competition.
The judges – especially Howie Mandel and Howard Stern – are constantly reminding us that at this point in the competition, each performance needs to be better than the previous one, or, at least, as good as the previous one.
Rose and Key have simply not done that.
Key’s last two acts have been confusing and hard to follow, while Rose’s songs, though solid, have not shown that the singer is capable of anything other than imitating another artist’s song.
Williamson is a funny guy, there’s no denying that. But whether or not he has the comedic chops to win the whole thing hinges on tonight—as it does with all of the acts.
Compared to comedian Tom Cotter from Season 7 of “America’s Got Talent,” Williamson is neither as funny or memorable.
Although Williamson’s awkward shtick is mostly endearing, it could serve as the part of his act that dissuades viewers from voting for him.
Bradley is a bona fide talent that, no matter the voting outcome, will likely go on to a successful recording career bolstered by her time on “America’s Got Talent.”
In fact, when this reviewer (me) spoke to her a couple of weeks ago for an exclusive interview, she said that several labels had already contacted her about possibly signing with them. Of course, she has to wait until the season is over before she can pursue those offers.
Keep your eye on the news in the coming weeks to see which label she ends up signing with.
Ebina is a great dancer who has shown consistently that he is a creative genius with mad dancing skills.
He deserves to be one of the favorites, but what if – hear this out – what if he’s out of ideas and fails to wow us tonight?
Let’s hope that’s not the case and that he turns in another routine that will endear him to the American public, like his video game and mirror routines did.
Because Forte is so professionally accomplished, some might say the competition is theirs to lose and that it is this trio that is the heavy favorite to win the $1 million grand prize.
The Grand Prize
Speaking of the “America’s Got Talent” grand prize, have you noticed the fine print at the end of each episode? The $1 million prize is paid out over 40 years, which comes out to $25,000 per year before taxes.
Not exactly the kind of cash that will send the winner into early retirement, especially when divided between more than one person.
In spite of the bottom, middle and top acts, this reviewer realizes there’s a lot more at play than which contestant has the most talent.
Because the competition’s outcome is turned over to the American public, the outcome has the potential to be more of a popularity contest than a talent contest.
It’s not hard to imagine the female audience stuffing the ballot box in favor of the dashingly handsome Key, or for the equally awkward geeks in the audience casting their 10 votes each for Williamson.
Country music fans could also perceivably swell the voting pool with enough votes to give Rose the title.
Be that as it may, this season’s “America’s Got Talent” is one of the best in the show’s history.
Win or lose, each of the remaining six acts can, and should, go on to successful careers in their respective fields of entertainment.
The “America’s Got Talent” finale performances air tonight at 8 p.m. on KSL 5 in Provo, and the finale results will air on Wednesday at the same time.
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