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S11.E22: Live Finale

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The top 10 acts compete one last time live at the Dolby Theatre for a chance to win the $1 million prize and be voted the most talented act in America

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Okay, I guess I'm first. :-)

My thoughts on what I can remember off the top of my head.

Sal - I thought he was very charming. I wished that he could of taken more of a chance with the song choice, but I guess the judges wanted him to stick with the standards. He's looking great as well. I remember that he mentioned that after his audition, he was working on losing weight. He looks wonderful.

Sophie - she's beautiful to watch. A lot of strength and flexibility, and she puts it all together beautifully.

Linkin' Bridge - I've always loved this group. I thought they did well. I knew that they would perform early like they have for the past number of weeks. No matter what happens, I hope they keep going. I hope they get a record deal, because I can feel that this is their passion.

The Clairvoyants - They kept it simple, but I was hoping that they would do something similar to the jelly bean routine that they had a few weeks back, while taking it to another level. That was my favorite performance from them.

Laura Bretan - I'll have to re-watch her on YouTube and get back to you on that.

Brian Justin Crum - He did a great job, and as I had said before, he is consistent. He took a chance doing a Michael Jackson song, and it paid off. I still get a bit of an Adam Lambert vibe from him. Whether he wins or not (and I do think that it will be between him and Grace) I hope he finds his own identity.

Tape Face - I really like him, and looking at the package, I do feel that his first and second performances were his best. But what he did tonight was fun to watch, and definitely unexpected, which is what I look for.

Jon D. - He kept his performance simple, interwoven with inspirational words.

Viktor Kee - I thought that his performance was beautiful, and I noticed that he dropped a ball, but handled it well. I love him, but I do wonder how he would diversify his juggling if he were to win. I'm glad that Heidi dropped the "Your balls" commentary.

Grace Vander Waal - Well whadda ya know?  She gets the pimp spot again. I understood most of her words this time, but I still don't see her as the second coming. I can't bring myself to act  like her songs are going to establish world peace like the judges. There, I said it. She's very adorable, and I respect that she writes hr own songs, but  I do think that she could use some time to diversify her sound (some of her songs sound the same), and develop in her singing. I'm sure many may disagree, given her strong following. She may win. As I had said, it may be between her and BJC.

I am kind of sad that this season is coming to a close. I will miss seeing the comments by everyone here (and getting some good insight and laughs). It'll be back to the Dancing with the Stars Board for me.

Until next year folks....(after the finale, of course!)

Edited by giaNtsandYankees · Reason: Spelling and grammar.
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I only saw the last four acts (your last 3 and Tape Face), but Jon and Victor were both great, I thought.  I quickly wrote down Jon's message - live in vision or live in circumstance. Powerful words.  And I thought Victor's act was beautiful. Very dynamic. Grace is a cutie, but I could understand none of what she sang tonight.  Really, really would love for a non-singing act to win. So many of the singers just fade away into the crowd.

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Sal - He's good at what he does, just not my cup of tea 7/10

Linkin Bridge - good song choice, I feel like they've gotten better each week 8.5/10

Sofie - always enjoy her performances, she's so talented 9/10

Laura - I'm still annoyed about Romania's Got Talent but she's good, no doubt 8/10

Clairvoyants - not my fave performance by them overall, but I liked the trick with her in the tank, still one of my favorite acts 8.5/10

Brian Justin Crum - did not like his arrangement of Man in the Mirror, I'm just not sure you should ever do Michael. He's got a great voice but I don't agree with the song choice 7.5/10

Tapeface - I've just never found him that funny. I do think tonight was better than some of his last performances but he's more like a street act or someone else's opening act to me. I imagine I'll be in the minority 6.5/10

Victor - Love him! He dropped a ball again but he just puts on a show 10/10

Dorenbos - My least favorite of his tricks, I thought the trick was just a warmup trick and there would be a bigger one, I still like him, just a little underwhelmed 7/10

Grace -  pimp spot again...couldn't understand her again...yes she's talented, but for me she's just middle of the pack 8/10

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I thought Sal seemed a little low key tonight and also thought he should have picked a different song.

I couldn't understand a word Grace sang. I tried listening really hard. She got the pimp spot so it looks like they are trying to stack the deck in her favor.

Otherwise I thought pretty much everyone really upped the ante tonight. I'm not even going to make guess. I enjoyed the show though. 

Mel didn't. She acted like she was on the rag or something. 

Edited by Commando Cody
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I remember during the finals on American idol they would show a coin toss for who would get the final performance. I wish AGT would do this. I bet Grace  would win with or without the pimp spot but I would like to see some random draw process for the pimp spot. With so many shows on tonight, including big brother , I wonder how many people just watched the final few acts or Second hour. 

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Hate to say this about a kid, but I cannot stand Grace. The only lyric I understood out of that twee, affected bit of sameness was the final one : I'm not clay.  The judges' tongue bath at the end was the grossest display of attempted voter manipulation I have seen in a long time. It was clear they had gotten their marching orders as to what to say about Grace's performance, due to the cohesiveness of the remarks.

In other news, Viktor is divine. 

Actually it was a very entertaining show until the end. 

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I voted 10 for Tape Face, 5 each for Laura Bretan, The Clairvoyants & Jon Dorenbos and 1 for Sofie Dossi.

Counting up the first live show performances, semis and the final my tally from when the acts performed is:

Sal: 9+1+1=11 (9th to perform then led off the semis and finals)

Sofie: 7+9+2=18

Linkin Bridge: 4+5+3=12

Laura Bretan: 12+11+4=27

Clairvoyants: 8+10+5=23

BJC: 9+11+6=26

Tape Face: 9+7+7=23

Viktor: 3+4+8=15

Jon: 7+8+9=24

Grace: 12+9+10=31 

Grace has been clearly favored by NBC and the judges plus the USA Today had a half page article about her today.  We'll find out tomorrow if America agrees.  Watching her performance tonight, I turned on the closed captioning and that helped to figure out exactly what the words were she was singing.

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I enjoyed the show tonight!  All the acts were good and surprisingly, some people got votes from me that haven't in the past.

  1. My favorite was TAPE FACE.  Even though I had seen this a long time ago in one of his You Tube videos I could not stop laughing.  If I went to Vegas I would love to see a show with him.  He got 10 votes from me tonight.
  2. THE CLAIRVOYANTS  The first part of the trick with Victor was easy to figure out but the rest not so much.  It was their best performance of the season for me and I also gave them 10 votes.
  3. SOFIE DOSSI  She has impressed me each week and this week that spinning loop and the drop was fantastic.  For me, she's the BEST of the young acts.  She also got 10 votes from me.
  4. SAL VALATINETTI  He had me the moment he began singing "Mack the Knife" which I love and he did it really well.  Of the singers tonight he was my favorite and he got 6 votes from me.
  5. LAURA BRETAN  I know I've bad mouthed her for winning "Romania's Got Talent", but this week she was really good!  I figured she would sing the same song that she did to win RGT but she didn't and this was so much better.  Strangely, she wore a white dress for RGT too but at least they livened it up for AGT with all the lighting effects.  For the first time I gave her some votes, a total of 5.
  6.  JON DORENBOS  I've really liked him in the past but tonight wasn't my favorite performance by him.  Man, his hands were shaking when they did a close up of him shuffling & holding the cards.  He still got 5 votes from me.
  7. VICTOR KEE  I was really disappointed in his performance tonight which was too much like the last one with all the visual tricks.  When he dropped the ball again for another performance I just couldn't see giving him 10 votes as I've done in the past.  Victor got only 5
  8. BRIAN JUSTIN CRUM  I hated his opening video with the sob story routine again.  The song was not familiar to me so I guess you can figure out I'm not a fan of Michael Jackson.  I hated his performance which makes two BaaD ones in a row for me.  He got zero votes from me, but it won't matter in the end.
  9. GRACE VANDERWAHL  When they showed the You Tube videos from her followers it only convinced me that the deck is stacked and she's gonna win.  When she started singing I actually could understand her, but then as the song went on it was the same unintelligible mumbo jumbo I've heard before.  Just don't understand why or how this 12 year old is the next great singing sensation.  Needless to say, as in all the weeks past she got zero votes from me again.
  10. LINKIN' BRIDGE  They've not been an act that I've liked at all for the whole season and whatever song they song tonight was meh and a bore.  No votes from me.

Who's gonna win?  I think it's either GRACE VANDERWAHL or BRIAN JUSTIN CRUM, but for me it will be TAPE FACE and hopefully he'll get an act in Vegas so I can go and see him live. 

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Grace's ukelele playing is really on par with Tiptoe Through the Tulips. It's basically just plink, plink, plink. I would love for someone to ask her point blank what's with the weird, affected accent.

Sal has an excellent career ahead of him...as a Sinatra impersonator. Which is not such a bad thing, there's at least 3 shows I can think of offhand in Vegas that have used one.

Can't get into the Clairvoyants, but they're just made to be a lounge act. They will be fine. I enjoy Victor, even though the makeup, costumes, and theatricality are pure Cirque, which he used to perform for. Tape Face was funny in a silly, lowbrow way. Probably won't win but will get lots of jobs. Loved Sofie but again, she won't win. Her routine looked like a comfortably established act and not the showstopper she really needed. Completely zoned out on Jon, could only tell you it was a card trick. That's just not at all interesting to me.

I can live with just about anyone but Grace winning.

BTW, last season's winner Paul Zerdin's show on the Strip only lasted 10 weeks and has already closed.

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I live near Vegas on the Utah side. The whole headlining show is a joke. America's got talent Live is 3 days at Planet Hollywood Halloween weekend. It is way overpriced $60-200 a seat , plus way better things to do in Vegas on that weekend so I'm sure as in the past there will be half price tix at those booths on the blvd.  Only winner that has a show is Terry Factor and it rotates with other acts. Michael Grimm sometimes plays in the bar of the Redrock Casino, which is a family friendly off the strip casino. My son likes to bowl there and I saw Michael Grimm poster and it was $5 so I went in for a few songs. I can't imagine he is getting rich off of this gig.  There are others from AGT in Vegas, Grandma Lee who did not win headlines at one of the station casinos. 

This show is about Simon being able to sign singers to make $$$ and ratings. If Victor gets his dream of Cirque du Soleil (there are 7 different shows on the strip right now so it is very possible he could get a job from the show) then the show can brag about Vegas dreams and Simon came make his $$ off of Grace and maybe Brian.

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I'll be gobsmacked if Grace does not win.  I'll also be super happy.

Most of the acts really did bring it tonight.  

Clairvoyants is the slickest/most polished act, imo.  I bet they got some male votes by putting Amalie in a swimsuit and dipping her in that clear vat.  I think Howie was too eager to help them, again.  He couldn't simply go along.  He always had to say something or affirm.  The entire time with the purse and audience member was a waste.  The driver's license, and then we are supposed to marvel that he told her dude's birthdate?  Big misstep, imo.  That locket, though, is quite something and a great ending.  I was stunned that we saw even that much of Simon's AMEX Black card.  

Dorenbos had a great message, but he was too nervous.  That last trick with the folded "Eric" card was very poorly done, imo  - we could see the other bent card in the middle of the deck because Jon failed to properly flatten the deck.   

Sal was funny at the beginning.  The intro music stopped completely.  Silence emanated from the band.  And Sally-boy kept snapping his fingers like Count Basie was swingin' us all to "April in Paris."  It was a perfect metaphor for how fake he is.  The voice is really good.  That is real.  The rest of him and his act?  Yeah.

This was a very good Finale and Simon was right to express his delight/astonishment.  

Despite his flub, I would vote for Viktor.  

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I was annoyed at Simon for not mentioning that Clay Aiken sang "Mack the Knife" so much better during 2nd season AI, and then I realized probably no one else remembers that. 

I don't love the Clairvoyants...something about their personalities grate.  And I hate to say this about a kid, but I HATE Grace's act.   My uncle Mark also plays a mean uke....I'll get him signed up for next season.

I think what bugs me about Laura is that she could be singing all the wrong words or notes or whatever and no one would know because no one knows opera.  Would she fill a Vegas lounge? Doubt it.

I'm okay with Victor, Jon, Brian, LB, Sofie or Tape Face winning.  No Sal, no Grace, no Laura, no Clairvoyants. 

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IT'S HERE, IT'S FINALLY HERE...Merry Christmas everyone, it seems like just...8 months ago the season began and already we are reaching the finish line. Time sure flies when you are busy watching Nick's hair transform, doesn't it? And from the very first moment the show started we were presented with a question that lingered until the very end...why is Pitbull still relevant?

The judges might as well have left their chairs in the storage locker as most of the evening passed by with them standing up, I would complain about the lack of critcism and the pointlessness of 10 standing ovations, but I don't think any act deserves to be ripped apart at this stage either so we'll just let it pass.


ONWARDS WITH THE RANKING

11. Pitbull and LunchMoney Lewis - Worst. Wildcard. EVER

10. Linkin' Bridge - The right song sung in the wrong way. This felt like a round of vocal gymnastics rather than a good performance of a very meaningful song. I think the original version has a certain tenderness about it that gets to you, but this felt...emotionless. They still haven't managed to perfect their harmonies and it just didn't leave much of an impression on me. Prediction: Bottom 5

9. Laura Bretan - I actually had to check and make sure she HADN'T sung this before, that's how badly all these songs blend into one in my head. I assume Big Bird from Sesame Street was supposed to do the backing vocals and got stuck in traffick, that's the only explanation I can find for the giant bird cage she had on stage with her. As for the performance itself, YUP...that was DEFINITELY opera. Not her best, not her worst. Prediction: Bottom 5.

8. Sal Valentinetti - You know what? This was a boatload of fun and a great way to open up the show, although I do wonder who he pissed off to get the opening spot twice in a row. I say boatload because ANY cruise ship in the WORLD would be proud to have elderly couples shaking their hips to good ol Sal here. I joke, but I'm actually pretty happy to see him in the finals, he's just likable and goofy in his own strange way and if any of the judges need to call in sick then he would make for an excellent replacement, he even comes with enough catchphrases to rival Mel B. Prediction: Could sneak into the top 5, probably 4th-5th at best. 

7. Brian Justin Crum - I'm sure this is the only way Batman could ever genuinely enjoy pop music, but I wasn't the biggest fan of this rendition either. I think his performance in the judges cut is still his strongest and he really hasn't gotten better since. It's been consistently GOOD since, but just not...improving in any way. His vocal abilities are still astounding, but I would have liked to hear him REALLY give it his all and I don't think this was it. Prediction: Still a contender, but looking less and less likely every minute...

6. Sofie Dossi - I keep expecting her to disappoint and run out of tricks, but she continues to deliver week after week. She is just full of surprises and she's somehow managed to stay afloat as part of one of the most underappreciated variety genres on AGT. For someone who is self taught she has a GREAT sense of showmanship and knows EXACTLY how to perform for the camera and make herself captivating to watch. Just the spins she was doing alone were amazing...just looking at it again and seeing her spin and spin and spin and...uh...excuse me, I need to lay down for a moment. Prediction: Close, but probably no cigar. I'm guessing she'll barely miss out on the top 5.

5. Jon Dorenbos - I said I wanted to see Jon's sleight of hand skills and he certainly delivered on that, coupled with a speech fit for ANY self-help seminar. At the same time, I can't help but feel it was a bit of an odd one to finish on, as most magicians on the show have STARTED their journey with similar acts. I can't hold it against him too much as it's obvious he had FAR less rehearsal time than any of the other acts and in my eyes, he's proven that he IS a good magician and deserves his spot here. Prediction: A contender, BUT this might have been too "small" for most people to actually get him to win, but he has a chance.

4. The Clairvoyants - Who knew potential credit card fraud could be THIS much fun? If Simon finds his bank account emptied out by tonight, don't blame me, there are at least 90 000 other guys going through the footage with a fine-tooth comb. As I've stated before, I love these guys and although I SHOULD be annoyed by all the "we have a special connection" mumbo jumbo, I feel it's the direction the producers have pushed them towards and it's not exactly their fault if some of the audience members are stupid enough to fall for it. That being said, I didn't think this was their best. I loved that they brought things back full-circle and referenced older tricks they had done, but it felt a little less polished tonight than usual, a bit too unfocused and repetitive...Still, I'm strangely fascinated by Tommy's spot on Christoph Waltz impression. Prediction: I feel pretty confident in saying they will make the top 5, although not high enough to be in any danger for the contenders, should they miss out it will probably be due to Sal. 

3. Grace VanderWaal - I've never gone along with all the "hype" acts on this show, it even took time for me to warm up to Emily West, but I give up...there's just something about Grace that makes me WANT to listen to her rather than begrudingly sit through the act waiting for others to start like most other singers on the show. This was her best vocal performance to date and I enjoyed the song too, whatever happens she's hopefully going to have a career after the show as she deserves it. Prediction: Legend has it that every 10 years on a star-filled night the curse of Bianca Ryan is lifted and another female child singer may win the show. Could this be the night? Possible...

2. Viktor Kee - There was a strange looking man sitting in Viktors spot during the intro package, but we thankfully got him back when the act started and this has got to be his best so far...we had a blindfold, we had great music, we had great balls of fire and it was all looking so good until...another mistake. I've not really talked about the fact that Viktor's dropped a ball in ALL of his live performances now because his recovery is so damn good, but he absolutely needed to nail every last move tonight to have even the slightest of shots at making it into the finals so my heart broke when he dropped it again. And yet I enjoyed every last bit of it and wish him the best in the future. Prediction: Sadly, bottom 5.

1. Tape Face - HE BROUGHT THE HORSES, I had seen him do this bit before on youtube and it always looked like a good finisher and it worked absolutely PERFECTLY on stage last night. The jokes were hilarious, Mel B's eternal annoyance at having to do anything on this show besides drink soda fit perfectly and the tape looked EXCELLENT on his face. Prediction: If this didn't get him into the top 5, I don't know what would have...but I still don't see him winning, I never did from the very beginning. For all the people that fall in love with him and die laughing, there will be as many going "WTF was that? THAT is supposed to be worth a million dollars???" at home and I just don't see the general public getting behind him enough to get him the prize, but it's clear he's already a winner no matter what happens.

OverallI still think Jon, Tape Face, Grace, Brian and The Clairvoyants are the most likely top 5, with only Sal possibly ruining it. As for who will win? Pfff...I think a good case can be made for all of these acts as to why they WILL win and also why they WONT. 

Out of all of them, Jon is probably the one that needs the victory the least. I'm not here to judge the acts financial situation, but being a pro football player in the NFL means he's not exactly struggling for cash. He's also not really given any indication that magic is anything but a hobby to him, I just can't see him quitting the NFL and pursuing a career in magic at Vegas any time soon, while most other finalists do what they do for a living. 

I find the idea of Brian winning exceedingly dull. He seems far more fit for broadway (where he DOES work at) than Vegas and I'm not seeing the massive support behind him that we all expected. Kevin Skinner, Landau, Michael Grimm etc all had massive hype behind them from the very beginning and were gaining more viewers as the rounds went on...Brian has consistently been getting less views than even Sal or Calysta...and while youtube views don't mean much in the end, I'm just not sure he has quite the fanbase we thought at first...

I love the clairvoyants and find them deliciously creepy in a way that really appeals to me, but this wasn't their best and I can't see them doing better than 3rd place MAX. Grace has the same issue so many before her like Barbara Padilla, Jackie Evancho, Emily West etc have had: the voting majority is made up of women and it's far likelier they will vote for someone male. Not to mention the fact she's a child AND has developed a huge backlash against her in recent weeks. Tape Face is just too out there, too "love and hate" to appeal to MASSIVE amounts of voters (kind of like the regurgitator). 

So after all that...who WILL win? The answer is Pitbull. Pitbull always win.

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1 hour ago, Frankenstein123 said:

11. Pitbull and LunchMoney Lewis - Worst. Wildcard. EVER

HA! I started watching about half an hour late, so I was able to fast forward through most of that intro. Now I don't have to worry if I've been missing something by not listening to Pitbull all these years. 

1 hour ago, Mama No Life said:

I don't love the Clairvoyants...something about their personalities grate. 

I think what it is for me is that every single word sounds completely scripted and rehearsed. Of course it is, but there's no naturalness to it, if I'm making any sense. Listen to Jon Dorenbos; he has a natural-sounding delivery. 

Edited by Superclam
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I think Simon is looking for his Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood for AGT,  and he is going full speed behind Grace. When you think about it no winner from AGT is someone so known, so name recognizable. Now time will tell if she as successful as those two performers or even like his find on Britain's Got Talent: One Direction.  I do find her talented especially in songwriting, so she could possibly have a career in that respect.

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The Clairvoyants have been my favorite all season and even though I wasn't blown away by last night's performance, I still would pay to see them in Vegas over every other act that's left.  Love them.

Viktor is a talented guy, but every single time I've seen him this season (I did miss a couple of his performances), he's dropped one of the balls.  I can't vote for a juggler that drops stuff! lol

Hated every second of Brian Justin Carefully Manscaped Beard Crum.  That is my all-time favorite Michael Jackson song and I loathed the arrangement and his screeching.  It always cracks me up how people come on reality shows like this, gain a tiny bit of "fame" for the season, and then somehow convince themselves they are changing the world because someone on Twitter told them so.  Your devoted fanbase will have forgotten you by the end of the show tonight.

I hate Grace.  A lot.

Sofie is incredible.

Edited by TaraS1
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I think Grace has a lot of talent and POTENTIAL, but for me she is not there yet. Nowhere near where an act should be to even have 3 nights in Vegas. Not to mention, one song a night by her is fun -- an entire evening of samey sameness songs and that uke plunking?  No thanks.

If I were Cirque du Soleil I would be standing backstage with a contract ready for Sophie to sign. Viktor too.

Laura Breton also has incredible POTENTIAL, but I work at a performing arts university and she needs professional opera training. Like, now. Otherwise that incredible voice is going to be totally ruined by the time she's actually ready to perform opera.

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Who in the world is Lunch Money Lewis?

At first I honestly thought Grace was redoing her first performance. Her songs all sound the EXACT same. And they're all terrible.

I was very underwhelmed with Jon Dorenbos. :( Finishing the season with boring card tricks? Come on.

Tape Face was fun. I know it won't happen, but I would love for either him or The Clairvoyants to win. Unfortunately it will be dreadful Grace.

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Wow, how long is the downtime for this show?  Restaurant Package Sal looked like Original Recipe Sal's kid!

I don't think it's possible to go wrong with Mack the Knife.  (Does that put me into the aforementioned cruise ship elderly be-bopper category?)

The uncoordinated sax/trombone line cracked me up.

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11 minutes ago, candall said:

Wow, how long is the downtime for this show?  Restaurant Package Sal looked like Original Recipe Sal's kid!

I don't think it's possible to go wrong with Mack the Knife.  (Does that put me into the aforementioned cruise ship elderly be-bopper category?)

The uncoordinated sax/trombone line cracked me up.

Not to mention the Three backup singers.  What were they there for??? Ha.

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Grace has already mastered the Taylor Swift technique of singing about how people don't like you. 

The challenge with putting her last (again) meant that those of us who tuned out were a lot less likely to vote, at all--that's another way (along with the recency effect) that the pimp spot works.  It'd be interesting to test that more scientifically.

Tape Face showed us the proper way to use an opera song (though it's more famous in its Lone Ranger context) and deserves to win for being a funny mime.  Viktor would for adding a new energy to juggling, but let's face it, juggling was always sexy.

I thought the Clairvoyants made a misstep with their first trick--"empty all your pockets" to "you're holding up...a wallet...with a driver's license."  That interfered with the suspension of belief that magic needs, because it was about as magical as guessing that you have a credit card.  Then you start looking for how the rest of the tricks were done, and even if you're me (and thus probably guess wrong), you still think it's a trick.

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I never understand what Mel B is so annoyed about.  After three years she does know what show she's on right?  I love Heidi's attitude about being included she is just having a ball with it all the time.  I don't remember her being like this before.  Is it because of Simon?  And they really need to tone down their middle school flirting by way of insults they have going on.  It's getting old and distracts from the actual performers and critique. 

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12 minutes ago, callmebetty said:

I never understand what Mel B is so annoyed about. 

Dropping a dish towel over Mel's Pissyface was the best moment of the night.

Heidi would have kept those pom poms going, but it wouldn't have been nearly as funny to obliterate her shiny happy eager expression.  I'm prepared to give Tapeface credit for anticipating Mel would be a sourpuss and planning to give the bear that small poke as part of his program.

If Mel's lack of cooperation was prepped in advance, she did a good job.  Felt very natural.

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I would so love for TapeFace to win.  There were 4 of us watching last night, and we were all laughing so hard, we were in tears.  He is just so adorable!!!  And silly and quirky and endearing and all kinds of lightness and joy.  I know he's not everyone's cup of tea, so I don't really expect he will win, but I would be thrilled if he did.  I would honestly pay to see him perform.

I think Brian Justin Crum is amazing, and while it took me a minute, I ended up totally on board with his rendition of Man in the Mirror.  Very different, which is always risky, but I loved it. I am hoping that if a singer wins, it's him and not Grace.  I just cannot with Grace.  All her songs sound the same to me, whoever mentioned Tiny Tim with the ukulele was so right, and I still can understand only about 2 words of every song she sings.  She's adorable, and I am duly impressed that she writes her own songs, but I just don't actually like her songs or her singing or her ukulele.  Just a big ole pile of "is she done yet?"

Sofie is terrific.  I love Viktor, even if he does drop a ball now and then.  :)  I would be happy with any of those 4 winning.  But really really happy if it were TapeFace.  :)

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2 hours ago, LucidDreamer said:

If I were Cirque du Soleil I would be standing backstage with a contract ready for Sophie to sign. Viktor too.

Viktor actually did work for Cirque for a long time. He was in Dralion first and then had a main role as Cali, the lizard-man, in Amaluna. I saw him in that show and he was amazing.  Not just his juggling but his overall performance was great. I'd love for him to win this, though I don't think he will.

Sofie is my other favorite. I hope she wins, she's just so talented and every aspect of her performance comes across as very professional. She has a great future in her art. 

Really I'm okay with anyone but Sal and Brian winning. Both bother me and I don't think either of them is very special or uniquely talented. 

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4 hours ago, Frankenstein123 said:

Out of all of them, Jon is probably the one that needs the victory the least. I'm not here to judge the acts financial situation, but being a pro football player in the NFL means he's not exactly struggling for cash. He's also not really given any indication that magic is anything but a hobby to him, I just can't see him quitting the NFL and pursuing a career in magic at Vegas any time soon, while most other finalists do what they do for a living. 
 

That crossed my mind too. As soon as he started speaking I got the very strong impression that he wasn't trying to win, or at least that trying to win wasn't his first priority. (I don't think he intended to bungle the trick with the card rising to the top but he also didn't go all out with the most splashy tricks.) He's already famous and has a lucrative career. What he most wanted to do with that platform last night was share his views. And honestly, if someone whose childhood was upended by his father murdering his mother wants to talk about the importance of love and forgiveness, I'm fine with that.

Though because of his situation he may still be the variety act that finishes highest.

I'm resigned to Grace winning. There have been four variety winners in a row so I can't be too irritated by her.

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Today's my mom's birthday so we're out to breakfast talking about last night's finale. Re: Grace she says, "So she writes her own songs. La-Dee-Dah! Can't understand a word she says!"

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Sal Valintenetti: I'm so glad I don't have to listen to this cheeseball sing ever again.

Sofie Dossi: She won't win, but she has been consistently spectacular all season. I hope she gets picked up by Cirque or something. She is a natural-born performer and so dedicated to what she does.

Linkin' Bridge: I feel like they peaked last week, I really wasn't all that impressed with this week's performance.

Laura Bretan: When, oh when, will this song finally be retired from this competition? And from all media, generally? Did Downton Abbey ruin this song for no one else but me?

The Clairvoyants: I thought this started off pretty slow but the second half was very impressive. At first when they gave the locket to Mel I thought it was just gonna be a slip of paper with "Wannabean" in it like last time, which I was prepared to decry as lame because if it was a slip of paper, then Amelie could have just written that and stuck it in while she was changing into her bathing suit. But the fact that it was engraved was an awesome touch.

Brian Justin Crum: I didn't like this arrangement at all. What I like about the original so much is that it's so upbeat and positive, and this just made me feel like the world was ending and BJC was the only one who could save it.

Tape Face: He just makes me smile. He won't win, but there's something so joyful and innocent about his act that I love. It was great how he brought it back around to the horses in the end.

Viktor Kee: I feel bad that dropped a ball again, but you know what? I don't care. He is magical and mesmerizing. It was so weird seeing him without all his makeup in the package. I just want good things for him. He seems like such a genuinely kind person and clearly loves what he does.

Jon Dorenbos: I don't know if doing a smaller-scale trick is gonna help him or hurt him, but I actually kind of liked it? The bigger tricks all start to feel the same to me after a while, but stuff like this is just pure talent and focus. YMMV, of course.

Grace VanderWaal: I think we just have to resign ourselves to the fact that this mumbly little girl is going to win the whole thing (and also to the fact that next season's auditions are gonna be packed with teenagers and their ukuleles). Once again, I didn't understand a word she was saying (except maybe "I'm not clay"? Is that what the hook was supposed to be) and I just do not get the appeal. I also kind of resent the show for making me dislike a little girl this much.

12 hours ago, silverspoons said:

I remember during the finals on American idol they would show a coin toss for who would get the final performance. I wish AGT would do this. I bet Grace  would win with or without the pimp spot but I would like to see some random draw process for the pimp spot. With so many shows on tonight, including big brother , I wonder how many people just watched the final few acts or Second hour. 

I wish they'd do a random draw for every week, but I think sometimes acts do have to go in a certain order because of stage set-ups and whatnot. For the most part I do think the order depends on making the transition easier for the crew. However, there is also executive meddling at play here: if they want to push a certain act hard enough, they'll make sure that act has the pimp spot and figure out the logistics afterwards.

2 hours ago, UsernameGoesHere said:

At first I honestly thought Grace was redoing her first performance. Her songs all sound the EXACT same. And they're all terrible.

Honestly so did I!

12 minutes ago, Lady Iris said:

Today's my mom's birthday so we're out to breakfast talking about last night's finale. Re: Grace she says, "So she writes her own songs. La-Dee-Dah! Can't understand a word she says!"

Hah, my mom hates her too. She didn't watch with me last night but when she was reading the Philadelphia Inquirer, she said the article about the show was all about her, and before she went to bed she told me about it and then asked, "I don't get it. Who would pay to see her?"

Also, it bothers me that the Inquirer apparently focused on Grace when there's an actual Philadelphia Eagle in the competition. NBC10 seems to always do a little piece on him the weeks he performs, though.

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I tried really hard to give Grace the full benefit of the doubt tonight.   I looked away from the tv and imagined I was listening to a new pop song on a CD.

Sorry.  I could basically only hear a few words and notes alternating with breath sounds and vocal screeks.  And some uke strums and plinks.

What in bloody hell are those judges going on about???

 

(Plus, I think it's rude and outrageous for them to declare "You should be the winner!")

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My rankings on the night (strictly on performances):

  • 10. Linkin Bridge - Bad song choice. Unremarkable and dull.
  • 9. Brain Crum - Another bad song choice. I liked his first two performances, since then it's been downhill.
  • 8. Sal - Wish he would "sing" the song more. He's good at his shtick though.
  • 7. Clairvoyants - There magic is solid, but I hate their presentation. Feels really stiff and cheesy. 
  • 6. John Dorenbos - Seen variations of this trick 1000 times, but he's always fun to watch. Wouldn't be upset if he won.
  • 5. Grace - I don't hate her like most people and thought she did well. The show is pimping her amazingly hard though and that's annoying. She's like a 95% favorite to take it at this point.
  • 4. Viktor - His juggling isn't amazing by any means, but I loved his set and he always puts on a show.
  • 3. Tape Face - After dwindling as of late, he returned to form. Really entertaining and funny.
  • 2. Laura Brenton - Of the vocalist, she's the most talented by a mile imo. One of the few acts I thought came to win it.
  • 1. Sofie Dossi - I would be happy if she won, though she really has no chance. She changed her act yet again, which deserves some praise. She went from contortionist to acrobat and does both well.
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55 minutes ago, candall said:

(Plus, I think it's rude and outrageous for them to declare "You should be the winner!")

So much agreement on this.

Although twee isn't my thing, I don't particularly dislike Grace more than I dislike your average AGT singer. For the most part, singers just aren't what I'm here for and it's no more personal than that. But the combination of the pimp spot and the judges going several standard deviations beyond the usual "I hope America votes for you, you deserve it but there is so much talent on this stage" irked me.

It also bugs me a bit that she is so widely praised for writing her own songs. How many singers/bands have been told over the years, especially by Howie, that they shouldn't be doing originals? But Grace is a special snowflake.

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I felt the order of appearance was pretty close to how this show wanted contestants to place. I, too, could not understand one word of Grace's uke-plunking song, until the very end, "I am not clay." Hate that she will win. Jon's hands were shaking so badly during his close-up card tricks, I felt bad for him. Plus it distracted me so much I didn't hear a word of his inspirational speech. The guy in the audience, his birthday is May 12? Really? What was so hard about guessing that, he could have been told to just "say yes" to any date. And why have Heidi toss her purse? I didn't get that at all. Plus the locket thing got switched when the woman was behind the screen dropping her dress. While I liked Brian Crum before, last night I flipped the channel during his performance, and I did the same with Opera Girl. Sophie I thought was better last week, just okay this time. My love is for Viktor 100 percent. I loved seeing him in his opening segment, SO HANDSOME! and caring about those kids in Ukraine. Plus I could watch him all day and night juggle ... or not juggle. He is gorgeous and mesmerizing. So, for the first time ever, I got up off the couch and gave all my votes to Viktor. Not that it will make any difference when Grace wins. (Barf.)

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Forgot to add that while I've surprised myself by bursting into laughter at Tapeface, last night I guess I was in a cranky mood because I didn't find his routine funny in the least. Although putting the rag over Mel's face was a high point. Wish it would have stayed on for the balance of the show, plus some tape added over her mouth. I wasn't the only cranky one last night *coughmelbcough*.

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6 hours ago, Superclam said:

HA! I started watching about half an hour late, so I was able to fast forward through most of that intro. Now I don't have to worry if I've been missing something by not listening to Pitbull all these years. 

I think what it is for me is that every single word sounds completely scripted and rehearsed. Of course it is, but there's no naturalness to it, if I'm making any sense. Listen to Jon Dorenbos; he has a natural-sounding delivery. 

And THAT is how I finally figured out how they have to be doing their act:  He saw the dudes drivers license when he picked it out -- the reason the sound unnatural is because they have predetermined what he's telling her by which words he chooses -- for instance:

He's hold something out of a man's pocket.  Oh...what could it be!  What does a wallet contain -- a driver's license!  So, by the specific words he chooses -- for instance, they go, ahead of time, 'Tell me what month?'  (Perhaps they determine 'tell' is their code for 'May' -- but it's completely in how he phrases the sentences -- they have to have that worked out ahead of time that Tell = May'  And somehow, they code his telling her the date in how they phrase what seem like benign sentences.   Maybe they have 'Can you tell me what month?'  Can would be January.  I believe it revolves solely in how they speak in a code and he tells her what she needs to say based on that.) 

But I think that is why they always sound so stilted -- English, not their first language...and there is subtext going on beneath the words we hear...so they speak stilted so she understands what code he is sending.

 

TEAM TAPE FACE!!!!!!!

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3 hours ago, helenamonster said:

Grace VanderWaal: I think we just have to resign ourselves to the fact that this mumbly little girl is going to win the whole thing (and also to the fact that next season's auditions are gonna be packed with teenagers and their ukuleles). Once again, I didn't understand a word she was saying (except maybe "I'm not clay"? Is that what the hook was supposed to be) and I just do not get the appeal. I also kind of resent the show for making me dislike a little girl this much.

This unpopular outcome (Grace will win, no doubt about it) reminds me of the second season of the now defunct X Factor USA.  There was a dumpy, mediocre country singer guy named Tate.  I couldn't find anybody in real life who wasn't baffled that the guy kept getting voted through.  Yet he did, and he ended up winning a 5 million dollar recording contract over much better, more original singers, some of whom even had what we commonly think of as the X factor charisma, unlike the winner.  After winning the show, his debut album sank into obscurity, as did he.   I concluded that a significant majority of people who actually took the time to vote on this show lacked musical taste and any sense of relevance in the music industry. 

If Grace wins, and, like most posters here, I believe she will, there will be a similar trajectory.  Cowell will sign her, push out a hastily released CD that will go nowhere, and that's the last we'll hear of Grace VanderWaal.  And I'll still be baffled about who the millions of people were that voted this mumbly, squeaky, ukulele plinking little girl to win over some of the truly talented, charismatic, and original artists we saw this season.  

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I think Grace will be fine if she's given some respectful career coaching. I completely understand the Grace interest. But she needs vocal coaching, and she needs more music lessons. She also needs to be treated as someone who is already a talented songwriter rather than treated as clay to be molded. My biggest fear for her--since she's so young--is that she's going to be signed to an exploitative contract and have adults try to remake her into what they think will sell.

ETA: Along those lines, I've heard that Cirque de Soleil contracts are actually pretty crappy, so I hope that Sofie Dossie joins a more artist-centered circus with better contracts. Or that she continues to work through her existing agency, but is able to raise her rates.

Edited by Zuleikha
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Forgot to mention...I loved Tapeface's sly dig at knife throwers as he did his exaggerated plunger throw.  That was a touch of genius and truly funny. 

I later loved that Mel B was pretty much required to be nice to him when she wanted to kill him.  Give that lady an Emmy!

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I feel like I can give a very qualified opinion as I don't have biases like some do against certain groups of performers.  In fact, I like all the finalists.

The Performances....

Tape Face - He gave his best performance in his first one and since then, it has been inventive, but nothing that great.   This one was just okay.

Jon - His magic has been so much better.  Plus, I wasn't sure was he doing magic, trying to win or doing a positive thinking seminar.  A little uneven.

The Clairvoyants - After that great performance last week, I was looking for something spectacular.  It was good, but not better than last week. 

Sal -  Good song choice and his performance was one of his best.  He has done everything he can to win, but will it be enough?

Sofie - So great to watch, but again, I think her performance was better last week.

Viktor - Just like Sofie it was great to look at, but I think his best was last week. 

Linkin Bridge - One of my favorites.  They always sound very good.

Brian Crum - I didn't care for his arrangement, but he sang it outstanding.  But, I liked his performance last week more.

Laura -  She looked incredible and sang the same way.

Grace - As usual, she continues to impress.  The presentation was excellent, her own song and her singing was impressive. It's easy to see why so many like her.

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Who should win...

Grace, Laura or Brian.  They have been the most consistent performers and deserve it.  I'll take Grace by a hair, but I would be happy any of the three.

Who will win...

Grace or Brian.  They might have been the two top vote getter in the semi's, while Laura was in the runoff.

Who could upset them?

We can discount Tape Face, Jon, The Clairvoyants, Viktor, Sofie.  All niche acts that could have won, but would have had to have given an incredible performance and I don't think any of them did. 

That leaves Linkin Bridge or Sal.  It's possible, but I doubt it.

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The Show...the bad...

Nick's continued awful wardrobe.  Does he have any clothes that actually fit and aren't mismatched.

Mel B's continued aggravation at Simon teasing her.  She falls for it every time and it's annoying. 

Plus, her obvious displeasure at being on with Tape Face.  That was uncomfortable. 

A little much...

I know the show is trying to create emotion for the contestants with their backstory, but wow, talk about going overboard.  They make AI look like they did nothing. 

We have seen stories of transgender, bullying, grandma dying, being gay, mother dying, adoptive parents, growing up in the slums, going to slum schools, OCD and more.   People talk about the show pimping Grace or others, wow, everyone is pimped on this show way over the top. 

Edited by Jordan27

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18 hours ago, Mama No Life said:

I was annoyed at Simon for not mentioning that Clay Aiken sang "Mack the Knife" so much better during 2nd season AI, and then I realized probably no one else remembers that. 

 

I remember!!  

I haven't trusted a reality competition show since. 

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To inform..

The show doesn't put anyone in order.  It's randomly picked.  So, no pimping happens.  Anyway, that pimp spot nonsense is basically just a internet creation.  No evidence to prove the last spot is the best or the first is the worst..  Laura was there last week and Sal beat her.  And Sal again was in spot 1 and came in 5th. 

As far as judges saying who's going to win...they did that a lot on Idol.  Remember, Cowell saying "Not only will you win this competition, but you will sell more records than any Idol in history. "  He was, of course, speaking about Carrie Underwood and it was early in the top ten.  He was prophetic in that one.

Plus, the show has no stake in who wins.  They are making money off of commercials.  They are just trying to get as many people to watch the show.  Obviously, that is the reason for the massive pimp pre-stories for all of the candidates. 

And finally, I can't understand the words to any rap song or many rock songs.  It doesn't seem to hurt them. 

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I voted for Sal mostly ( he would be great in Vegas), BJC, and Tape Face. Yes Grace is cute and has the potential for being a well known singer someday but I just don't understand her overwhelming appeal? The songs sound very similar, the voice is good but similar to some of those commercials sung by a young singer in that quirky way. A whole Vegas show. packed house???

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