By Tom Comi
It seems like this season of America’s Got Talent started about eight months ago, but we have finally arrived at the final 10 contestants. And while we will never completely understand how the voting public came to some of the conclusions they did to get us to this point, we embrace their right to choose the acts they like best.
With that in mind, here are some thoughts on each of the 10 groups performing tonight (NBC, 9pm ET):
Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.: They say you should never judge a book by its cover, and that’s certainly the case with this 36-year-old, African-American crooner from West Virginia. Whether he wins or not, something tells us he won’t be returning to his previous job of washing cars.
Silhouettes: Perhaps one of the most overhyped acts ever to make the Top 10, this group has resonated with the judges and voters in its ability to form objects from behind a large screen. It can be awesome when done correctly, but I more often than not find myself struggling to figure out what they are forming without rewinding several times on my DVR.
Smage Bros. Riding Show: The great thing about this show is its knack for finding unique acts, and this stunt-riding group (pictured, with host Nick Cannon) has created a big buzz for bicycle riding. If they can amp up the risk factor even more tonight, they could end up winning the top prize.
Lys Agnes: You wouldn’t think opera singers would strike a chord with mainstream America, but that hasn’t been the case on this show. After Neal E. Boyd won Season 3 and Prince Poppycock finished in the top 4 last year, it set the stage for this diva from Nevada. Agnes is not the greatest singer in the world, but her personal story of losing her fiance has without question helped her connect with voters.
POPLYFE: It’s not very often you find a rock band comprised of teenagers, especially one as talented as this one from Oakland. The standout is the group’s lead singer and only female (Kehlani Parrish), but she is surrounded by a rockin’ supporting cast.
Team iLuminate: If you’ve ever wondered what happens when you combine entertainment with technology, look no further than this electric group that combines gymnastics with an innovative lighting system. This act shines when the lights go out, and they very well could be the favorite to win the million-dollar grand prize.
Miami All Stars: Ranging in age from 18 to 43, this dynamic dance team has shown its versatility every time they perform. We see their chances of advancing much further as slim, but they sure are a lot of fun to watch.
West Springfield Dance: Even the members of this Virginia high school group probably never envisioned themselves advancing this far, but it just goes to show how important talent, choreography and glow-in-the-dark contact lenses can be.
Landon Swank: Given that the winning act gets to perform in Las Vegas, it’s amazing that a magician has never won this contest. My theory is that it’s darn-near impossible to come up with new, jaw-dropping tricks each and every week. If there is one magician who has the talent to keep upping the ante, this is your guy. Hopefully, he doesn’t disappear after this week.
Anna Graceman: America loves its young, female singers, and that has been especially evident on America’s Got Talent over the years. Bianca Ryan won Season 1 at the age of 11, and Jackie Evancho (then 10) finished as the runner-up last year. Now we have 11-year-old Alaska native Graceman thriving, and our bet is she will finish no worse than top 3.
Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC