The time has come for the remaining 10 acts on “America’s Got Talent” to officially pull out all the stops and give their very last performance before a winner is crowned. With $1 million and a headlining show in Las Vegas on the line, everyone brought their A-game.
9-year-old singing sensation Angelica Hale took the stage first to showcase her impressively powerful voice. She’s made it this far by taking difficult songs and singing them in a way no 9-year-old should be able to. For her finale, she opted for more of the same earning high praises from each of the judges. Howie Mandel was the first to comment that her opener felt more like a closer. If she’s got a shot at the big win, it’s thanks to this performance.
However, the competition is tough, as proven by the next act, Chase Goehring. He’s made a name for himself by singing his fast-paced originals, and tonight was no exception, showcasing his fastest lyrics yet again. His song was quick, and even the closed captioning couldn’t keep up. Despite the hard-to-digest words, the audience and judges still found a way to connect with the emotionality of his work.
“I bloody loved it,” Simon Cowell said. “You are the next generation for these types of shows.”
The musical acts took a break in favor of Sarah and her amazing performing dog Hero, who took the stage with an incredible science-fiction-themed dance routine. From living in her car to the final stage of “America’s Got Talent,” this performer has had an incredible journey thus far. Her finale was her most ambitious yet and, while Hero missed one jump and another got tangled in a the jump rope, the act carried on and didn’t miss a beat. Things ended with a terrific stunt jump for Hero, who snagged a stick from the air and landed in a pile of plastic balls.
The dancing continued with the acrobatic stylings of Diavolo. Perhaps no other performers are as taxed physically as this group, who found a way to invent a new, elaborate piece of choreography every week. To close out their showcase on “America’s Got Talent,” they began with two dancers doing acrobatics around a door. Then, the camera went through and a series of ramps with more dancers flying all over them became the main crux of their showing. They even brought back the half-wheel that made them so popular in a previous audition. The stunts were dangerous, and this is not a group that’s been immune to injury thus far. As Simon noted, in terms of a Las Vegas show, it’s hard to see anyone left more worthy than Diavolo.
Things slowed down for a bit and became a little sad as the brave young performer, Evie Clair returned to the stage. Sadly, between now and the last time we saw her, Evie’s father died of cancer.
“My dad taught me, after I start something, to always finish it. That’s why I’m here fighting to the end, just like he did," she said before taking the live stage.
The young woman presented herself with no instruments this time, singing a stripped down and incredibly emotional rendition of “Wonderful World,” dedicated to the memory of her father. Her song received a standing ovation from the judges and the entire crowd. Simon said that he refused to judge her, and would only tell her how much he respected her for what she did. It was unclear last week if Evie would return this year at all, and here she was, vying for a shot at the big win.
Evie’s performance was great, but it was hardly a good opener for a comedian. Still, Preacher Lawson took the stage next to give another high-energy performance that got the crowd back on its feet. He may not have the most tightly-written material, but his physicality and character work see him through each performance and leave the judges and audience laughing. However, as Heidi Klum noted, the material simply wasn’t there in his final performance.
With that, it was back to music as the inspirational Kechi took the stage. After being the sole survivor of a plane crash 12 years ago, this young artist is proving that her injuries won’t hold her back, or affect her ability to perform. She sang “Conqueror” from the TV show “Empire,” which was appropriate because her time on “America’s Got Talent” has been nothing if not a demonstration of what people can overcome and thrive after.
“That wasn’t a song, that was an anthem,” Simon said. “We are only as good as the people that come on this show and I believe that you define us and everything I hoped and prayed this show would be.”
Next up was ventriloquist Darci Lynne, who amped things up a bit by bringing two puppets to the stage. She opened with some bickering between her mouse friend and her bunny friend. The comedy was impressive for a girl her age, but the singing is what turned things up to eleven. The two puppets sang a duet in their very distinct voices, proving that this young lady is not only one of the best ventriloquist talents of all time, but worthy of winning the whole competition.
Mandy Harvey was up next, who began her act with an inspirational speech about not quitting despite the odds. She would know, as this singer is at the finale of “America’s Got Talent” despite losing her hearing ten years ago. Yet again, she took the stage and sang perfect notes that she couldn’t hear. While there are a lot of musical acts this year, Harvey is perhaps the most impressive considering her disability, which she’s overcome with grace and hard work. As Simon noted, for a woman who has never heard singers like Taylor Swift, Adele or Ed Sheeran, her sound is so current. Mel B, however, proved to be the toughest critic saying that she didn’t like this performance, but would judge her based on last week.
The show ended on the highest-energy performance left in the competition, Light Balance. They infuse lights and props in their dancing in an effort to escape their lives in the Ukrain. They were Tyra’s Golden Buzzer winner and, despite some technical issues in the semi-finals, have dominated the competition. Their final performance was perhaps their grandest yet, incorporating high-wire work and proving that they want to give the American voting public a lot to think about while they consider them for the $1 million prize.
Anyone can vote for their choice for the winner of “America’s Got Talent” until 7 a.m. EST on September 20. The results will be read live on Wednesday.