America’s Got Talent Season 12 Winner

10 acts advanced to the finals of America’s Got Talent, and tonight the winner of the public vote will be revealed. The final 10 acts in the running are:

Angelica Hale (singer)
Chase Goehring (singer)
Sara and Hero (dog act)
Diavolo (dance/acrobats)
Evie Clair (singer)
Preacher Lawson (comedian)
Keichi Okwuchi (singer)
Darci Lynne Farmer (singing ventriloquist)
Mandy Harvey (singer)
Light Balance (dancers)

There are a few stand out acts in that group to go along with the singers, and overall it is a good lineup.

Five acts have advanced to the top spots:

Angelica Hale
Darci Lynne Farmer
Light Balance
Mandy Harvey
Sara and Hero

5th Place: Sara and Hero
4th Place: Mandy Harvey
3rd Place: Light Balance
2nd Place: Angelica Hale

America’s Got Talent Season 12 Winner: Darci Lynne Farmer

Most of the singing only acts fall flat for me, though Angelica Hale is very talented and not surprisingly came close to winning, but Darci was different with the addition of ventriloquism and comedy. A deserving winner following in the footsteps of Terry Fator, who won the show a decade ago.

America’s Got Talent Season 10 Winner

I’ve never been thrilled with an end result of American Idol Lite (although at least it’s never been as bad as New Zealand’s Got Talent where every single act danced or sang), but a season like this is refreshing. Comedians and magicians and a real dragon. Lots of variety to go around. Makes for a very watchable final episode, too.

Derek Hughes has been eliminated. Oz Pearlman joins the top 5.

Gary Vider has been eliminated. Drew Lynch joins the top 5.

Uzeyer Novruzov has been eliminated. The Professional Regurgitator joins the top 5.

Benton Blount has been eliminated. The CraigLewis Band joins the top 5.

Piff the Magic Dragon has been eliminated. Paul Zerdin joins the top 5.

The CraigLewis Band finishes in fifth place.

Stevie Starr The Professional Regurgitator finishes in fourth place. He is an amazing act, but I kept thinking he already had his chance on Britain’s Got Talent.

Oz Pearlman finishes in third place.

Drew Lynch finishes in second place.

The America’s Got Talent season 10 winner is ventriloquist Paul Zerdin.

As one of the top shows of the summer, America’s Got Talent will be back again next year for season 11, though Howard Stern will not be returning.

America’s Got Talent Season 9 Winner

I had to stop watching AGT last year about half way through because I was having trouble with my ears and never realized until then just how obnoxiously loud this show can be, but I have since gotten back into it and been following along for this season.

I really liked the magicians. Too bad we’re left with mostly lame singers that nobody will remember in a month (Jackie Evancho is the only exception to this trend), one of whom will probably win like every year in a show that ultimately devolves into American Idol with some variety thrown in. At least it’s not as bad as New Zealand’s Got Talent, where every single act in the finals was a music act.

The remaining final six contestants with a shot at the “$1 million prize” are singers Quintavious Johnson, Miguel Dakota, and Emily West, band Sons of Serendip, acrobats AcroArmy, and lone surviving magician Mat Franco, not coincidentally the most attractive one of the lot.

Anybody expecting any results before 90 minutes into the show is presumably disappointed. Makes more sense to just read about it online.

In sixth place is Miguel Dakota. I’m comfortable with any of the others advancing, but I have been fast forwarding him because I have been over it.

In fifth place is Quintavious Johnson. I had thought he would finish higher than that, but the other competition ahead of him is pretty stiff.

In fourth place is Sons of Serendip. Of all the singing acts, this is the one that stood out most to me, between the singer and the unique blend of instruments you don’t usually see people playing.

In third place is AcroArmy. I never quite felt as impressed with them as I was with Britain’s Got Talent Series 4 winner Spelbound, but they were an amazing act and really the only one in the finals that kept getting better and better as the season progressed.

The America’s Got Talent Season 9 winner is Mat Franco, leaving Emily West as the runner up. I did not see that one coming. His act was certainly top notch, but I’ve gotten so used to people voting for chicken catchers just because they can sing, although to be fair, that has not happened since before Howard joined the show and Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. won (bet that’s the first time you have heard that name since 2011). As for Emily, as singers go, she was one of the more polished we have seen on this show.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 9

Vegas week began in America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 8. There were groups of singers, solo female singers, solo child singers, groups of dancers, solo dancers, kids who danced… and the occasional variety act. Tonight, more musical acts take the stage.

First there were musicians. Then there were kids. Then more musicians. Now: kid musicians. Aaralyn screams while her brother Izzy plays the drums. Why is this on again? Hopefully this is the only act of the night I have to fast forward. Chloe Channell wants to go to New York City more than she wants to catch a 100 pound snapper. Genesis Nava is also a country singer, but this time she sings without her dad by her side. Ciana Pelekai is the oldest of the kid singers at age 12.

Magic is the next category. R.J. Cantu makes a woman float then disappear. Naathan Phan tells a joke without an apparent punchline but does make some birds disappear. Collins Key gives Heidi an envelope to sign and sit on, buys Howie’s affection by purchasing his book (used like new) and putting a card in a random page, tears that page out, and puts it in the envelope under Heidi’s butt. Far more compelling act and presenter than I suspect any of the others can be. Ariann Black has her assistant crawl through her, which just confuses the judges and leaves me thinking she botched it. Leon Etienne balances Romy Low on a pole.

Howard has a question for Leon and Romy. Who should he send home? Romy responds that Ariann slipped up and should be cut.

Variety goes next. Special Head returns to levitate, this time without a cane. But he’s just bending over backward. Kennedy Davenport is a dancer. Just okay. Continuing the musical variety, Megan Piphus, a singing ventriloquist. Less just okay, which is not much of a surprise because she was a decent singer but not much of a ventriloquist. Lil Mike & Funny Bone return with a less catchy song and limited preparation, resulting in their immediate elimination.

The final category of the week is the male singers. Dave Fenley, Marty Brown, Paul Thomas Mitchell, Jonathan Allen, and Travis Pratt prove to be among the more competitive and competent music category.

We conclude with a going/not going to New York montage complete with no mention of any names or most people I recognize even still. Just put some names on the screen, that’s all you need to do.

The first of the live shows next week will feature Branden James, Aaralyn & Izzy (if Simon Cowell were here, he would have told the truth… and said no), Special Head, Fresh Faces, Anna Christine, Kevin Downey Jr., American Hitmen, Hype, Tellavision, Alexandria The Great, KriStef Brothers, and Collins Key.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 10, which airs Tuesday at 9/8c on NBC.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 8

The auditions concluded in America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 7, and a pole dancer was perhaps the best act of the night. Now the 100 acts head to Vegas, and 60 of them will be chosen for the live shows.

Some acts will go straight to New York (Radio City Music Hall, which they are going to say over and over again), some acts will compete for a 50/50 shot to advance, and some will be cut right away. In order to know who is in what category, I’d need to be able to recognize without any hints these people who I’ve seen for two minutes each.

The danger acts perform first. David Ferman juggles stun guns while riding a unicycle. Brad Byers puts a hook through his nose and out his mouth, then uses the hook to pull people. Alexandr Magala swallows a sword and pole dances. Sam Johnson lights a hat on fire on his head, then he douses himself in gasoline and juggles on a unicycle on a tightrope. Rong Niu returns with her bowl and unicycle act, but this time she makes a mistake, though she does manage to land 5 bowls at the end.

The music acts are next. Forte, an opera singing group that just formed, has now reformed with a different singer joining their trio. Brandon & Savannah perform a cover song, rather than an original like they did last time. They consider their biggest competition to be older rock group American Hitmen.

They are followed by the kids groups, most of whom are also musical. 2Unique rap a Miley Cyrus song, from before she was famous for something other than fighting with her dad and shaving her head to look stupid. Lil Demon does some hip hop. Melody Caballero struggles through a contortion routine. Ruby & Jonas and Ruby’s brother D’Angelo and his partner Amanda keep their competition in the family. The older duo pulls it off without a hitch, but Ruby slips.

We’re done with music for now as the comics take the stage. Jimmy Failla falls flat. He says his act is not built for 4 people, but the problem is it’s just not funny. Eric Schwartz aka Smooth E has a little more success and at least gets some laughs. Taylor Williamson has the judges laughing before he begins, and he doesn’t even need to say anything for them to lose it. John Wing at 53 is able to make fun of the differences between today and the olden days.

Now more dance. Archbishop Molloy Step Team, Hype, and Art Spark are the groups. Kid the Wiz and Dylan Wilson are the solo dancers. They all perform to mixed reviews.

The acrobats go next. Tavi & Antonio perform their male erotic aerial act. “Accro” Brandon Rosario is the other pole dancer competing against the far more impressive Timber Brown. Duo Resonance have added a spinning trick to their dance, but they are disappointed by the results. KriStef Brothers have stepped out of an 80s workout video to act goofy and show off their strength and balance.

Not to be confused with the music acts, we conclude the night with the female singers. Skilyr Hicks sings another original song as she cries. Selena Mykenzie Gordon sings Martina McBride very well. Cami Bradley sings Summertime while playing piano. Deanna DellaCioppa was the first to sing but fell apart due to technical difficulties, but she returns to deliver a too emotional performance.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 9, which airs Wednesday at 9/8c on NBC.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 7

Buried in between a bunch of messes, country singer Jimmy Rose threw down the gauntlet in America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 6. Tonight is the final night of auditions.

Mestizo Ballet Folklorico dance with machetes, except for 3 year old Mateo who dances with butter knives.

Mel knows Timber Brown. He had a minute part in a show she was the star of in Vegas. He’s a pole dancer, which as we have seen on this show before requires a lot of strength and athleticism to do well.

Skilyr Hicks (14) is a singer/songwriter who started playing after her dad passed away a few years ago. Her emotional tale and song easily win over the audience.

Dr. Bob Baker is Howard Stern’s real doctor. Like what he does with Howard, he’ll be sticking his hand up the rear ends of puppets, such as his talking large intestine. Howard’s intro of him is the most interesting part of the act, but his bad puns turn out to be amusing but not enough.

Milton Patton may not look like a country singer at first glance, but he sure sounds like one. He’s a surprisingly decent singer.

The final audition of the season is retired Jetta, a terrible singer and dancer who quickly increases the sale of ear plugs.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 8, which airs Tuesday at 9/8c on NBC.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 6

Between San Antonio and Chicago combined, America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 5 left me feeling underwhelmed, with the first act of the night juggler David Ferman being the shining moment. Tonight the auditions head to Los Angeles.

Olivia Rox’s parents are both musicians, so she’s been performing since she was 2. I don’t get the choice of song or the wacky arrangement, but somewhere in there she manages to demonstrate her talent.

Ronald Farnham is a plunger thrower. His objective is to throw plungers so that they stick to people, which in itself is completely pointless. It’s even worse when he misses almost every one. At least Howie’s late and not encouraging him.

Tummy Talk is a group of three guys slapping another fat guy. So continues the pointlessness. Howard is the voice of reason, but that’s not enough to prevent them from going to Vegas. Now that Howie’s arrived, this is the type of act that’s going to advance.

Sensation is performing their act for their first audience ever. The projectors and lights make them more than just another dance group, though it falls short of most glow in the dark dance. Heidi was bored and not impressed with the dancing, but the other three vote yes.

Yasha and Daniela have been dancing since they were little, but now they’re 8 and 9. They start off being charming, even when she’s bossing him around, and they back this up with good dancing talent that admittedly gets a little lost behind their personalities.

Jimmy Rose has traveled there from Kentucky. I often wonder why these people don’t look at a map, as LA is about as far as he could travel to audition unless they hold auditions in Seattle or across an ocean. Great country voice (for a very good original song about being a coal miner) combined with a story about military service. He’s going to be tough to beat.

Abel builds and plays his own instruments, none of which are particularly entertaining.

Captain Explosion blows himself up. Just what Howard’s been waiting for. Yeah, he literally gets into a box and makes it explode. The problem with this is you really can’t see anything. Dangerous and sounds potentially interesting… but it doesn’t make for good TV. The judges watching it live weren’t impressed either.

Chloe Channell would rather be hunting, but she puts on a pink dress and sings Carrie Underwood instead. She has a good voice, especially for an 11 year old.

And now back to New York City.

Megan Amigo is a nanny/belly dancing contortionist. She believes Howard has a pure heart, so she’s not worried. The constant smiling and the song about getting happy are not enough to trick the judges, though, with the exception of Howie.

212 Green is a soul pop band from Harlem. Spice Girls is the reason they started singing, which is enough for Mel to call them her favorite, but the other judges are also impressed.

The final act of the night is Al Harris, a guy covered in bandaids. This will not end well. I wouldn’t have predicted he’s a prop comedian. His very bad puns manage to get a lot of laughs… but many many buzzes from the judges as he ignores them for a few minutes after they have already axed him.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 7, which airs Wednesday at 9/8c on NBC.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 5

The New York auditions had me largely shrugging during America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 4. Tonight the auditions move to Chicago.

David Ferman is a juggler. This rarely goes well. They usually drop, if not now during the live shows. After a little warm up with normal juggling, his stunt for the night is to balance a molotov cocktail on a balloon on a stick in his mouth. If he drops this, it will cause a fireball. He concludes this by popping the balloon. This doesn’t really qualify as a juggling act, but it doesn’t lack for entertainment value, originality, or danger.

Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team combines tumbling and rope jumping. Their coach’s goal is to keep them away from gangs and give them a better life. The audience loves their performance, and they feel the same about their story.

2Unique are a 10 year old DJ and rapper, who have performed together for about three months after meeting online. Impressive stage presence for age 10, though the performance runs out of steam at the end.

Sully Dunn is a singer/songwriter who admits to being a weirdo who lacks proper technique. He decided this morning he’s not going back to college so he can be in a rock band instead, and his song is about college bringing you nothing but debt. If nothing else, he’s entertaining and likeable, much to Howard’s chagrin.

Branden James’ parents pray every day that he will stop being gay, but that hasn’t worked so far. He’s an opera singer who performs Nessun Dorma, a song that never ceases to impress.

Trevor Stone is a… cat trainer. A professional cat trainer. Even worse than I expected. His trainee is a guy wearing a cat suit who poops on stage. It’s here that the judges realize they have lost control, eventually culminating in them all sambaing away from their podiums.

Next stop, San Antonio.

David Fenley says music is the only thing he’s ever been good at. Now that he’s married, he wants to take the next step and stop playing at bars. His performance is what Mel B wants, what she really, really wants.

Dylan Wilson comes from Huntington, Indiana, which has corn, farmers, and him. He taught himself how to dance on the Internet, and he did a pretty good job at that.

Heidi asks for guys without clothes, and she gets gladiators, Hunk O Mania’s International Men of Steel. They dance while wielding swords and shields. Though Mel and Heidi say yes to guys who aren’t even terribly appealing, Howie and Howard are unimpressed by the fact that there’s really no act here.

Lil Mike and Funny Bone are brothers who say their real names are both Jesus because that’s what happens when Indians name their kids. At 52 inches, they are the smallest act of the night, but they want to make sure people remember their song Do the Rain Dance, so they come wearing T-shirts that say it. The judges are pleasantly surprised.

The American Hitman is a rock band who served in the Marines together. Howard thinks he’s finally found a band that can go all the way to the top.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 6, which airs Tuesday at 9/8c on NBC.