“America’s Got Talent” aired an epic night of final performances last night (Sept. 19) on NBC. The remaining ten acts took the stage for the last time in what host Tyra Banks called the most-watched season in series history. Only one act will be crowned the AGT season 12 winner later tonight. Last season,12-year-old ukulele-playing singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal captured America's heart and won the title. This season, singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer and 10-year-old vocal powerhouse Angelica Hale have been early fan favorites and these ladies arguably led the pack of amazing performances last night. Will one of them win the final battle for the $1 million top prize?
Angelica Hale Threw Down her Gauntlet
It’s been a joy watching this young girl, who survived incredible medical odds, light up the stage the way that she does. She’s a diva in a pint-sized package, who boasts confidence and lacks pretention. Her vocal prowess is arguably unmatched among the remaining singing finalists. Beyond her magnificent power and range, Angelica is so expressive and interprets each song she sings with emotion way beyond her tender ten years. Her show-opening performance of Clean Bandit's “Symphony” was flawless. She earned a well-deserved four-judge standing ovation and the audience loved her. Her smile is infectious and if she doesn’t take home the title, we hope Disney, Broadway, or a record label scoops her up as quickly as possible!
Darci Lynne Farmer Delivers Series-Best Routine
Sometimes it’s hard to believe Darci Lynne Farmer is only 12-years-old. She has such stage presence and a knack for delivering humor in such a natural, organic, truly funny way. She has created such distinctive personalities as well as signature speaking and singing voices for each of her puppets. This takes an incredible amount of discipline and artistry, not to mention the power she packs into most of those vocals with her own mouth completely closed. Last night, she voiced two puppets at once, while they performed a duet of the Beatles classic “With a Little Help From My Friends.” She was brilliant. It was arguably her series-best performance. She also earned a four-judge standing ovation and the audience roared with applause. Like Angelica, win or lose, she is a born entertainer and the entertainment powers-that-be need to pay attention and reward her accordingly.
Will Either of These Girls Win?
While Angelica and Darci Lynne have both been heavily favored among critics and fans as potential “America’s Got Talent” season 12 winners, it is impossible to know how America will vote. Surprises and upsets happen in reality talent competitions all the time. Darci Lynne would be the youngest ventriloquist to win AGT. Adult ventriloquist Terry Fator won the competition in season two. At just 10, Angelica would become the youngest winner in series history. While we agree the odds seem stacked in Angelica or Darci Lynne’s favor, we can’t count out some other amazing performances.
Chase Goehring, Mandy Harvey, Evie Clair and Kechi
All three of these singers were stunning last night. Chase and Mandy have both only performed original songs throughout the competition. Chase’s song “Mirror” relayed such a powerful, positive message and true-to-form he infused lightning quick rap in the middle and impressed upon all of us to love ourselves as we are, when talking to the judges after he performed. He’s Seal’s Golden Buzzer and beyond the constant Ed Sheeran comparisons, he’s arguably a breakout singer-songwriter force to be reckoned with.
Mandy Harvey has defied reason every time she sings because she is deaf, and sings with perfect pitch, from only memory. Like Chase, her original song “This Time” was particularly uplifting and powerful. She is Simon’s Golden Buzzer and everyone loves her. Last night’s performance was stunning and she’s left a lasting impression on the judges, audience and AGT viewers at large.
Young singer Evie Clair has endured excruciating family circumstances throughout the competition with her dad battling terminal cancer and passing away just last week. It took incredible courage for her to continue on so soon and she delivered a beautiful, heartbreaking performance of “What a Wonderful World.” Everyone rose to their feet in unanimous applause and Simon told her she had his total respect. She’s multi-talented, has a distinct sound and evokes emotion when she sings. Win or lose, our hearts go out to her and we wish only good things for her musical future.
Finally, Kechi also delivered her series-best performance last night with an awe-inspiring performance of “Conqueror.” As a burn survivor, who has gone on to triumphantly fight for her dreams, the Houston native singer embodies the title and the spirit of this song. Heidi Klum told her “I will never forget you” and Simon praised her saying, “We are only as good as the people who come on the show, and you define us. You made a difference to us, the people at home, and hopefully for yourself.”
Any one these amazing singers could pull an upset and walk away with the title. All of them deserve high praise and recognition and we hope they ultimately find career success.
Four More Acts
The other four acts were also incredible last night. Sara and Hero entertained us, Preacher Lawson made us laugh, and Diavolo and Light Balance were physically and visually stunning. Simon made a plea for anyone with a club or venue to take on one of the latter two acts. Of all of the ten final contenders, Diavolo and Light Balance seem organically made for the Vegas stage. We could also see Sara and her furry friends in Vegas. But, Preacher seems more suited for TV.
Overall, our instincts tell us Darci Lynne and Angelica Hale will be the final acts standing. It’s hard to say which of them will take the title. We’ll have to wait and see and we have no doubt it’s going to be one of the most exciting season finales in “America’s Got Talent” history.
The “America’s Got Talent” season 12 finale airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on NBC.