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Well, it’s the finals, Tyra’s dressing up like she’s stuck in the 80s, and most of the acts seemed to have brought their A-game! My reviews will be mostly positive, so this ranking will be based quite a bit on personal bias…Anyway, let us begin!

10: Vicki Barbolak. I knew it should have been Angel City instead…Looking back, Vicki’s main draw has always been her personality…But personality alone, while it may get you places, does not make a funny comedian (just look at Amy Schumer!) A lot of the punchlines were either obvious or designed to get everyone going “Whoop-whoop!” Arsenio Hall style…I like Vicki’s character, but there were other acts that I considered more deserving in her place for this final round, INCLUDING singers…Take that for what you will…

9: Duo Transcend. These two do continue to impress me with their variety of movements, though I can see why it’s not for everyone…Some might find it repetitive, while others might find it a little concerning that half the act seems to be this married couple dropping each other…

8: Michael Ketterer. While I’m not generally a fan of taking upbeat classics and doing a slow, dramatic cover of them, I will admit that this was his best performance so far…The song choice, despite its odd rendition, worked pretty well, he had plenty of the raw emotion he’s shown before, and his voice was at its most consistent…I guess not every great musician has to be this perfect, golden-voiced singer, and in all honesty there is something very compelling about his vocal style…But the two main factors for me regarding singers are how well they can hit the notes, and just how enjoyable they can be, so Michael is still my least favorite singer to make it this far…

7: Daniel Emmet. Never have I imagined that Ed Sheeran could work so well for opera! Of course, they still show him performing “Nessun Dorma” in the package just to show the judges, “See? I CAN perform the traditional opera songs that are always being performed on this show!” But his defining moment is easily his breathtaking rendition of, “America, you’ve brought me back not once, not twice, but three times, and I love you!” *Sniff* Gets me every time!

6: Glennis Grace. I don’t know if I liked this QUITE as much as her last performance…It’s great to hear more of her belting it out, but it did sound a little pitchy at times…But still, I can’t help but appreciate how she takes so many songs from artists who are nothing like Whitney Houston, and make them sound like Whitney Houston! On a side note, maybe she should set up her son on a date or something…That kid looks a LITTLE overly-infatuated with his mom…Then again, if I had a mom like that…Ahem…Oedipus Complex is a serious thing, fellas! Get help…

5: Samuel J. Comroe. He really is reaching Preacher Lawson levels in character…

4: Shin Lim. Here’s my old bias against magic acts creeping in again…Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the presentation, and those special effects will make for a great SEGMENT of a magic show…But they’re still just special effects! The rest of it was pretty much what we’ve seen from him before, and that transforming card might also give an idea how the rest of the act worked (though I trust it’s the same old slight of hand he’s always relied on). I like Shin, this was a nice way to cap off his performances in this game, I want him in the Top 5 at the very least…But for me, this was not his best performance…

3: Courtney Hadwin. Well, she certainly started out doing that ballad I considered she might do, before going all jump-scare on us! Nothing much to add that I haven’t said before, though Heidi’s comment on how these young teen girls have won the last few years and that Courtney might win tomorrow could actually hurt her more than help her…It doesn’t help that people really seem to be getting turned off by her odd singing style…I still hold to my opinion that her winning might signify some kind of producer interference, though to be fair, the two acts I predicted might potentially beat her got some pretty underwhelming spots in the line-up…Nonetheless…

2: Brian King Joseph. Did I mention that this guy is my Golden Buzzer? Because he is! (Even when they brought up Darci Lynne, Mel had to say “My Golden Buzzer!” like some sort of freaking trademark stamp!) This was pretty much everything we got last time from him, except the notes sounded less scratchy, so…Step up! Although the backing-track WAS pretty loud and ALMOST overpowered his sweet violin-playing…ALMOST…While I still hold my opinion that he’s my favorite act of the season, there’s still one act tonight who I feel REALLY stepped it up this time!

1: Zurcaroh. There’s “Baba Yetu” again! And once again, it seemed to really elevate what was already a great act of a hundred people! Of course, the way they elevate EACH OTHER (both figuratively and literally) is what REALLY made it tonight! Though I did joke at that one part, “We’re sorry that boy didn’t like you! Here, maybe turning you into a human jump-rope will cheer you up!” Jokes aside, this was near perfection!

Great final! Not much else to say! Though the running order does have me a little concerned, due to Brian going first and Michael going last…Hopefully that doesn’t affect the votes too much…

My Votes: I dialed that 01 number like there’s no tomorrow! And for the online votes, it was all split between Brian and Zurcaroh!

How America will probably vote: I think everyone who the judges said might win tomorrow will most likely be the Top 5 (Brian, Courtney, Michael, Shin and Zurcaroh). How they’ll rank is a little harder to call, though the winner is always someone who REALLY stands out among other acts we’ve seen before, so I don’t think the winner will be Michael or Shin…That’s all I’m gonna say for now…

It sounds like most of our predictions might come true tomorrow regarding guest performers…I really don’t see who else Lindsey Stirling could be there for but the guy who’s likely about to beat her out as the greatest electric violinist in the world…KISS will most likely perform "Rock and Roll All Night" with Courtney…David Spade sounds like that has-been Frank was talking about, though my first guess is that he will perform with one or both of the comedians…And I heard some opera group in there, so they’re obviously there for Daniel…I guess if Grande or VanderWaal were gonna be there, they would have announced them, but I still won’t rule out an encore from Riana and perhaps some others…Yep…Should hopefully be an interesting finale…

Anyway, see you then! They better not screw up the final results!


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Sep 20, 2018

Well, I guess we can throw everything we knew about AGT champions out the window now!

Shin didn’t have much buzz compared to other contestants nor was his act anything new…Those are two aspects that always seemed to persist when it came to the acts that won this show in the past…He wasn’t even a Golden Buzzer, and he’s not even the first magician to win this show (though maybe since the guy who won it before was arguably not quite as good…) But let me tell you, he sure had a committed base! …And some horny female voters…

It’s hard to tell how this would have played out if a few things went differently…I did predict early on that he might be the runner-up to Courtney, and that might have actually happened if Courtney tried mixing up her performance style a bit so as not to divide so many people…At the very least, Tyra would have likely called her name instead of Michael’s at that one part…Indeed, with all the hype she’s been getting, I would have expected her to at least make the Top 3…But I can definitely see why this season favorite didn’t even crack the Top 5…

And I do feel kinda bad for Michael getting told he’s in the Top 5 and then immediately afterward getting sent home…But hey, the fact that the Top 4 were my favorite variety acts is nothing to complain about!

As for Brian and Zurcaroh, if they were later in the line-up last night, either of them might have won instead…Then again, people REALLY stuck by Shin! I’ve probably said this before, but it seems ironic that people want variety on this show, but always seem to favor all the magic acts over the REALLY unique ones…They’re getting very predictable is all I’m saying, and it is enough for me to root against whatever good-looking magician tries out next year…And at this point, something tells me there will be a LOT of them next year!

But regardless, I’m happy for Shin! I know Frank was supporting him since Day 1 (I mean he was LITERALLY one of the very first auditions this season). It took me a little time to get into his act, but as we entered the live shows, it became true…well…magic!

I would have loved it if Brian (my Golden Buzzer, just so you know) won…Hell, I probably would have loved it even more if Zurcaroh won, so that we could finally put a group act in the winners’ line-up (and no, the dog act doesn’t count). But they both made the Top 3, they both beat out all the singing acts, and the guy who beat them was a pretty damn good act himself! …Though maybe he SHOULD focus on his PHYSICAL presence for his act, because when he speaks? Pret-ty dull…Though I guess it was still better than Rob Lake…

As for the rest of the night, KISS was fun, I loved watching Glennis sing circles around the established pop superstar, Courtney got to steal the spotlight from The Struts, Daniel had a nice duet with the established opera star I never heard of (sorry), David Spade was amusing working off of Vicki (now if he can just stop saying yes to every project Adam throws at him), Garth Brooks wrote a sappy yet nice ballad for Michael, and we had an epic violin duel between Brian and Lindsey while the Duo performed in the background and Zurcaroh just reprised their audition…Not a perfect night, but it worked for me!

Also, not my ideal results, but I can live with it! Now if all those Youtube commenters can just realize that magicians for them are becoming like singers for the producers…

Be back later to give my final ranking of EVERY act in the live shows! And I trust that FrankDoc might have a list of his own, if last year is any indication…Hope you’re looking forward to my list like I’m looking forward to yours! (No pressure, though…)


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Sep 20, 2018
WOW

I mean...

Wow

I feel like this season has been pretty predictable and unexciting throughout and while I went into the results show expecting a few surprises, I did NOT see this coming. I'm just not used to seeing the results on this show NOT be a massive punch in the gut. Am I dreaming or is Tyra about to announce on twitter she read the card wrong?
I guess I was right after all about Samuel being a possible shock entry in the top 5, I just didn't have the guts to commit to that prediction and I CERTAINLY didn't expect that to happen at the expense of Courtney.
Is Courtney missing out on the top 5 THE most shocking exit in the history of the show? We have certainly had fan favourites bow out early (Andrew De Leon, Siro-A) or right before the finish line (Tape Face, Piff) and seen plenty of hyped phenomenons either succumb to the third place curse (Nuttin' But Stringz, Recycled Percussion, Team iLuminate, William Close) or lose to an underdog (Jackie Evancho) but at THIS stage of the competition for an act to be so massively popular both with the judges, the televoters and people onlin...and yet not even make it past an act that had previously been a Dunkin save...I didn't see that coming. Not even in my wildest imaginations.

In hindsight, it makes sense. I became increasingly more convinced that Courtney would miss out on the victory as the season went on and seeing just how divisive she was should have made me even more cautious. She didn't even manage to win The Voice UK, so maybe her chances here were never as great as everyone thought...I wish her the best though, maybe this is better for her and she can use this experience to really find her style, reel in the crazy a bit and end up a success somewhere down the road doing her own stuff, because we both know that winning this show doesn't make you a superstar...
...UNLESS YOU ARE SHIN LIM WOOHOO! Okay now I sound like those YouTube commentators. As you said, It's no secret I was a fan of Shin Lim from the beginning and knew of him WAY before this show. Was he the most deserving winner? Who can say...Honestly, I was far too busy clapping at my TV once we knew the top 4 to even care about who would win. Any outcome would have made me happy and so one way or the other, I have no issues. And while I agree with your point about magic being the most overrated category on this show next to singers and frequently have found their eventual placement to be too generous (Oz Pearlman, John Dorenbos), I think Shin Lim was a class above everyone else who has ever been on this show and deserved to do well. This could unleash an avalanche of Magicians who look like they are auditioning for a boy band on us next year, but they are going to have one heck of a tough time if they want to beat out Shin. so I don't see one winning again for a very long time...

What else..what else..OH RIGHT, guest acts. It was very much the same messy, rushed, odd mish-mash of stuff we have to come to expect from the show, yet as you said...it worked.

Michael made Garth's song sound like everything else he had been singing on the show, Emmet was perfect as usual, Courtney found a band that's equally as incoherent as her, Bebe Rexha got to perform and get stage tips from a successful recording artist, David Spade looked like he could not WAIT to get out of the building and Samuel got to...got to...sit on a chair and watch Mel B recite bad kid jokes.

The first stand-out was probably Lindsey Stirling (who once got buzzed on the show...think about that...) with BKJ, which was just AWESOME even if it was clear the producers had NO clue what to do with Zurcaroh besides dig out their old costumes and go "DO THAT THING YOU ONCE DID AGAIN".
Second stand-out was the Shin Lim segment, as random as the whole pairing was. The trick was great, though I have to agree again that his vocal skills are kind of awkward and he talks like a robot on Star Trek, which is probably why all of the sets I had seen before AGT were completely silent. I'm not sure if the show was pushing him to talk more or he just decided to come out of his comfort zone a bit but uhh.,..yeah, don't. Just stay in the zone and touch your hair, Shin. Don't fix what's broken.

Looking forward to seeing your overall ranking and yeah I'll try to gather my thoughts and come up with a totally biased and subjective list of 10 acts I liked/remember most from this season and WHY.
And after that all that remains is to wait another year...OR MAYBE NOT? I guess we don't really know what the suggested Champions edition will contain besides a more sober Mel B. Inviting winners from all over the world and making them compete certainly sounds intriguing enough. Besides winners of America's Got Talent, Britain's Got Talent and a few random other ones (Hello, Sacred Riana), I have very little knowledge of what's out there and this could be a fun way to find out or at least meet old favourites again. I doubt they will try to dig up acts like Kevin Skinner from whatever hole they are hiding in, but maybe we can at least get a few more good moments between Riana and Mel B?
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Sep 19, 2018
Our long national nightmare is about to come to an end and what has been a fairly average season so far has been topped off with one of the best finals in recent memory so my thoughts will be mostly positive as well.

10. Michael Ketterer - I feel like the show is one step away from building a giant statue of Michael in the middle of the stage and just having acts like Zurcaroh dance in circles around it while holding hands. I also liked this more than his last 2 performances, but while the emotion has always been there with Michael, I still see the voice struggling to keep up. And his "I see you when you sleep" stares at at the camera don't help. Take the story away and I just don't think he matches up to most of the other acts that have gotten this far, but the show has done everything to get him to the top 5 and that's very likely where he will end up. Prediction: 4th place


9. Daniel Emmet. *Sniff* me too. Poor poor Daniel, even Bocellifying Ed Sheeran couldn't get him more than a mild shrug and a "Oh, you are also here?" from Howie. Never before has an acts biggest weakness been that they are just TOO perfect. A bold choice of a song though. Almost as bold as that jacket. Oh god that jacket. The less said about that, the better. Prediction: Bottom 5

8. Vicki Barbolak. When in doubt, STRIP! I could have continued living without seeing Vicki in a bikini PERFECTLY fine, but this show just keeps on giving when you least want it. I know Vicki gets a ton of hate online and you are probably right about her spot being suited for a better act like the choir, but I kind of liked the riskier material she tried to go for this time because I'm 5 years old and the word "pecker" makes me giggle inside. Her character works really well on the stage, it just needs some actual...y'know..jokes behind it. I think her overall delivery HAS gotten better, but the material is stuck in the exact same old pit. Heh, pecker. Prediction: Bottom 5


7. Glennis Grace. The world's first undiscovered multiple award winning, professional singer with a history of sold out concerts did it again! She sang and notes came out and the audience went all "woo". She's been consistently good, but I don't think she ever really had that one special moment on the show like Emily West. She should also think twice about bringing her kid to see her. He 's all doe-eyed Oedipus complex infatuated with her mom right now, but one look at "World's Most Amazing Dad" Ketterer and he's putting himself up for adoption. Prediction: Bottom 5

6: Duo Transcend. What they do continues to be an impressive feat, but without any surprise skates or ventriloquist dummies to throw our way, it's kind of like watching a weird family friendly spin-off of Fifty Shades of Grey that you have already seen many times before. Sorry, let me put that into Simon speak: NEEDS MORE FIRE. Prediction: Bottom 5

5. Courtney Hadwin. She ALMOST made me think she would be doing a ballad too, but then everything was back to normal. Outside of her explosive audition and the initial "OH GOD DID I TAKE THE WRONG PILLS AGAIN?" reaction to the whole thing, Courtney hasn't really evolved on the show in any way. Even the "I'M GOING TO PISS MY PANTS ANY SECOND NOW" and "OW, MY BACK HURTS" dance moves are the same old things we have seen each week. She has been consistently entertaining and memorable on a show frequently dominated by the most mind-bogglingly dull singers, but ultimately there hasn't really been another wow moment since the first one. She is also so divisive that I'm now pretty much convinced that she WON'T be the winner. I wont be shocked if he does, but as of now I just see her being a surprise runner up, with someone else ultimately taking the victory. Prediction: 2nd place.


4. Samuel J. Comroe. Well, he didn't strip so I'm grateful for that. Also he truly is catching up to Preacher...And while Preacher started off great and got worse as the weeks went on, Samuel started off okay and has been getting stronger and stronger each time. THAT's the way to do it if you want to win this show. Not that he will, but he put in a good effort and out of everyone I'm predicting into the bottom 5, he has the biggest chance to shock and actually make it to the upper half. Prediction: Bottom 5.


3. Shin Lim. I have to agree. Shin is really at his best as a silent, mysterious, sexy sleight of hand wizard with epic music in the background and him ready to transfer into a shampoo commercial at moment's notice. Get him talking and he sounds a bit like a high school student forced to do a powerpoint presentation on lawnmowers. He's a hard act to follow for ANY magician who wants to come on this show in the future, but as the big fan favourite this year, he's pretty much destined to end third. Prediction: 3rd place


2. Brian King Joseph. "Hey uh, so we have this guy that plays the violin. Should we make sure that's the main thing people hear and properly balance the audio levels?" "Hahaha what a story, Mark. CRANK THE BACKING TRACK UP AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, BOYS!". The King (and your Golden Buzzer) has done it again. I'm not sure if this was leaps and bounds above his last performance, but it was certainly as good. Yet, I still don't see him as a winner. The fact he got the opening death spot doesn't help and I just don't see people as hyped up about him as some other acts. So unfortunately, I fear he will end up far lower than he should. Prediction: 5th place.

1: Zurcaroh. That sequence where the boy walks up to the girl to see if she wants to play...and she just immediately bursts into tears and hides pretty much sums up my childhood. The rest of this was fantastic, just sublime. A fantastic mix of their last performances, yet somehow they made it all feel fresh with the music and the costumes. As I've said before, a group like this has never won the show. Am I crazy enough to predict that one will this year? Prediction: Yes, yes I am. Why the heck not, ZURCAROH WILL WIN!

So that's our final then. Certainly looking forward to the results, as I'm VERY hesitant about my predictions and see a lot of different, very likely outcomes, though we both agree on who will end up in the top 5. If there is to be a shock there, MAYBE it will be Samuel and either Michael or Brian doing worse than expected.

Also tuning in to see an aging rock band known for outrageous stage stunts and blood walk up on stage with a 14 year old girl while Duo Transcend spins somewhere where the camera won't catch them and a few members from Zurcaroh get to do cartwheels during the pyros. Fantastic. Though I have to admit, them actually getting Lindsey Stirling is a nice change of pace, as she has no doubt been on all our minds when we first saw BKJ. TOWARDS THE FINISH LINE THEN, BRAVELY!



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