“America’s Got Talent” – Year of the Opera Singer?
Season 8 of NBC’s hit summer show America’s Got Talent is four weeks into the season, and we’ve seen some incredible talent. The new season also ushered in supermodel Heidi Klum and Spice Girl Melanie Brown (best known as Mel B) as judges. Howard Stern is still telling it how it is, and Howie Mandel is continuing to show off his array of hats. The show has been averaging at least 10 million viewers each week, while also opening the season with a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Last season also provided us with a first for AGT. The finals did not contain one singing act, with comedian Tom Cotter taking the runner-up spot and Olate Dogs winning the $1 Million top prize. While the talent this season has been pretty entertaining, there seems to be many more opera singers making their rounds during the auditions. Last season’s opera singer was Andrew De Leon, but he lost in the first semifinals show. Neal E. Boyd is the only opera singer to have won AGT, back in 2008. We’re going to showcase our top acts so far after these several weeks, and as you can see, opera is the name of the game.
Taylor Williamson is probably the nicest guy Iíve seen on the show. His personality reminds us of Jacob Williams from last season – shy, monotone and dry. But thatís where the advantage is. Self-deprecating humor and one-liners can deliver quick laughs to the audience. Williamson was able to do that with the audience and the judges. Even before his act officially began, Williamson told a quick joke and everyone in the building started laughing. Itíll be nice to see another comedian make it deep in the competition.
Solo dancers have the entire stage to themselves. Instead of complexed choreography on a stage of a dozen or so other bodies, being a solo dancer gives you the flexibility to own the stage. Last season, Mandel praised Turf for his unique style and contortionist movies. This season, we have Kenichi Ebina. Ebina is able to sync his moves with the sound effects and music during his act, and his timing is impeccable. Heís very fast, so if you blink, youíll miss a move. His dance tells a story and we canít wait to see what he brings to the table in later rounds.
Ventriloquism has been shown to be a winning act in AGT (Terry Fator, Season 2). Singing acts have been even more popular (Seasons 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6). So, combining the two would be quite an act. Hereís where Megan Piphus comes into the picture. At her audition in New Orleans, Piphus was able to showcase her great voice without even opening her mouth. Having two puppets on stage allows for a variety of scenes to be played. You can have a little bit of comedy mixed with singing. The engagement of the different characters Piphus may have will continue to change it up with each act. This is true talent.
This is Forte. These three guys met a few weeks before the audition and performed for the first time on stage. At first glance, you would assume this would be a train wreck by looking at their ensemble and hearing their story. Then, the music started and they opened their mouths. Each voice complements anotherís. Together, this created a captivating performance. It almost sends chills up and down your spine.
These next two acts deserve to share a spot together.
Jonathan Allenís story was a shock to everyone. His parents kicked him out of their home on his birthday because heís gay. At such a young age, you can see Allenís emotion come out when talking about that moment. What came next was a breath of fresh air. At only 20, Allenís dynamic voice is amazing. He had the crowd from the first few seconds. You see how comfortable he is by moving around the stage and owning the moment. The faces on the judges and the audience say it all. Even though his parents disowned him, Allen is still able to take his passion and share it with us.
We couldnít let Travis Pratt fly under the radar. Heís another prime example of how to not judge a book by its cover. You could never have imagined this voice coming out of this man. Pratt was flawless in his audition, and he has the same vocal range of Andrew De Leon. Can you imagine a final between Pratt and Allen? Itís definitely shaping up to be a possibility with the overall response.
Weíre far from over with the auditions, but these are just some of our favorites. Vegas Week is always tense as the acts gets even more serious. Let us know who you like so far this season in the comments below.