by Lyn Jensen
America’s Got Talent announces the winner of Season 11 on Wednesday, but first let’s take a look at what the ten finalists did to win America’s votes on Tuesday. Five musical acts could win, five variety acts could win, and they’ve all got the judges and audience loving ’em. So who’s most likely to win the one million dollars and the Vegas headline show? In some past seasons singers have dominated, other times have favored a more eclectic selection. Given the level of talent, and the votes of past weeks, this season could go a number of ways.
1. Sal Valentinetti, he who channels great classic Italian-American lounge crooners, could headline in Vegas tomorrow. He turns in a personalized one-of-a-kind performance of “Mac the Knife.” The judges rave and everyone gives him a standing ovation. He’s definitely one of the top contenders.
2. Fourteen-year-old contortionist Sophie Dossi is one of three young girls to make it this far, and she needed a “Save” last week to do it. Likely she’ll have to wait ’til she’s more ready for Vegas.
3. Linkin Bridge aren’t the most polished singers, but the four black men from urban Kentucky have a sentimental backstory and give what the judges suggest is their best performance.
4. Laura Bretan, the fourteen-year-old opera singer, is more suited to the classical scene than the Vegas scene. Plus she’s got competition from other singers and other girls who attract similar demographics.
5. Are The Clairvoyants able to predict a future for themselves in Vegas? The young couple keep coming up with fresh twists on their psychic skills.
6. Brian Justin Crum puts a fresh interpretation on “Man in the Mirror,” showing he’s one of the acts most ready for a headline show in Vegas. I keep comparing him to Adam Lambert, but having singing talent comparable to Lambert is a good thing. Plus he’s got a sentimental backstory.
7. As Nick Cannon notes, we can always expect the unexpected with punky comic mime Tape Face. He’s able to come up with a fresh off-the-wall routine every time, so maybe he can sustain a Vegas show. Being the only comedy act left, he could get a surprising number of votes. The judges and audience loved him tonight, although Mel B, not so much. Let’s just say the act used her.
8. Ukrainian juggler Victor Kee has stayed in the competition much longer than expected. His juggling has elements of magic, and he’s able to keep coming up with fresh routines. He’s somebody for whom making top ten is an accomplishment.
9. Jon Dorenbos has two jobs. One is playing football for the Philadelphia Eagles, and the other is being able to perform card tricks no one would’ve thought possible. His act, though, probably plays better on TV than in a Vegas showroom.
10. You Tube sensation Grace Vanderwaal is a promising twelve-year-old musician–she sings, composes songs, and plays ukulele. She’s very promising–but she’s twelve. I don’t think she’s ready to headline a Vegas showroom. America may think otherwise.
I’m going to say a singer’s winning this year. I just don’t see any of the variety acts elbowing past all five musical ones. Of the musical acts, I still think Valentinetti’s got the broadest appeal, although Crum and Vanderwaal have attracted a major share of votes, too.