“America has voted,” “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon intones in his conversational style, never having attained a dramatic voice. Not that we care: Everybody likes Nick and they just want him to name names on Wednesday night’s live eliminations results show. But by the end of said Finals results show, where six acts were chosen out of twelve finalists (five by popular vote, one by the judges), the viewing voters actually had a say in all the finalists moving forward in the Season 9 Finale.
Getting things started, it appears that “America’s Got Talent” has been hijacked by the Muppets. As Bill King at Buddy TV recapped Sept. 10, “It’s time to play the music! It’s time to light the lights! And that means tonight’s filler will be exponentially better than usual.” And he was correct. It was far cornier, but it was better than usual and more fun by far. Because… well… who doesn’t love the Muppets?
Miss Piggy tied and chained Nick to a chair in his dressing room and America goes down television memory lane with the opening segment of the classic “The Muppets Show,” lovable bad jokes and all. But by the time the opening theme’s ending is sung by the crowd at Radio City Music Hall, Nick has pulled a Houdini (apparently learning something from all those magic acts on the show this season) and made it to the stage, where he graciously shared his hosting duties with Kermit the Frog.
Since the Muppets have taken over, there doesn’t seem to be a live performing act to kick off the results show this week, so off we go…
All the Top 12 acts that performed in Tuesday night’s Finals performance round were arrayed on stage after the inevitable recap of the Finals round. Nick then announced the three acts in fifth, sixth, and seventh place, which he referred to as “the bubble.” Being on the bubble, he explained that to get through, America would have to vote one act into the finale with the Snapple Save. Of the remaining two acts, the “America’s Got Talent” judges would decide who would become a finale finalist. And those three acts are: cellists Emil & Dariel, singer Miguel Dakota, and music group Sons of Serendip.
Before he got to eliminating anyone, Nick spoke with Season 5 runner-up and possibly the most successful alum from “America’s Got Talent” Jackie Evancho. The tiny girl with the booming operatic voice is now a charming and pretty 14-year-old young woman. Nick asked her if she had words of advice for the contestants. She told them to channel their nervousness (because “if you’re not nervous, you don’t really care” and “nerves are always good, because you get an extra boost”) and “always be confident in yourself, no matter what you do.” So… all wisdom aside, does this mean we” get to see Jackie Evancho perform before show’s end?
After a quick look-see in the Reddi Wip After-Party room, Nick finally got back to business, naming the first two acts up for elimination. They are: Singers Emily West and Mara Justine. Besides Mara’s mother, it is doubtful that there is anyone in the U. S. that doesn’t think that Emily West deserves a spot in the finale. Mara Justine has talent but it is raw and in need of coaching. But America chose… and Emily West was the first contestant sent to the Season 9 finale.
Next: acrobat troupe AcroArmy and shadow dancing duo Blue Journey. With Blue Journey’s somewhat less riveting performance Tuesday night, they could be in trouble. A few tense seconds later and… yes, AcroArmy was voted it into the finale.
The show took another break to let the unforgettable Jackie Evancho recapture the stage she owned (who doesn’t think she was robbed of due in Season 5 — definitely the Adam Lambert of “America’s Got Talent”) in 2010. She performed “Think Of Me” from her soon-to-be-released album, “Awakening,” which will hit stores Sept. 23. That shockingly beautiful voice has started to fit the person it eminates from, we see. And all those worries about her voice when she was younger? Well, five studio albums and an EP later, not to mention international tours, and Jackie Evancho is still an operatic force.
Then there was more time killed with Miss Piggy, who dreamed of singing with Heidi Klum and Mel B. Wrapped in feather boas and singing back-up, the two “AGT” judges were atonal and awful, but not quite as bad as Miss Piggy. The best part of the sketch was that it was an awfully long set-up for the two old men muppets, comic hecklers Statler and Waldorf. Waldorf asked why we were watching the pig’s dream sequence. Statler’s reply? “Dream sequence?” he questioned. “It was more like a nightmare.” (Oh, we miss those guys. One of them has to be Simon Cowell’s father, you know.)
But back from the sublime to the bittersweet, as acts advance and others are sent home. Host Nick Cannon then named two more acts: singer Quintavious Johnson and hand balancer Christian Stoinev. Since Stoinev had to be voted through by the judges to make the Finals and his hand-and-puppy show seems to have hit a plateau, young Quintavious, who, like Jackie Evancho before him, wowed the judges with his vocals, should have got the vote. The pause and… Quintavious Johnson.
Then its the last three acts: They’re all magic acts. Mat Franco, Mike Super, and David & Leeman are asked to step forward to hear the results. Mat Franco has been a lock from his first audition. Whether he’ll win it all is up to America, but his path to the Finals has been assured. Mike Super’s magic seems a bit parlor trick-ish, so he’s going home. The shame of it all was that David & Leeman, a polished and amusing magic duo, will not make the finale — unless there’s a shocker. But there is not, and Mat Franco was named to the fourth slot in the six-slot finale.
Then its back to the Snapple Save. Who did America choose? It was a difficult choice, no doubt. All three acts were worthy of the finale, but in the end America chose Sons of Serendip.
That left two acts: Miguel Dakota and Emil & Dariel. Strong, charismatic performers, the judges had a tough one to call, but in the end, it was two to two, a tie amongst the judges, so — as it should be — the final decision was left up to America and whichever act had received the most votes from the viewers.
Who got the sixth spot in the Season 9 finale? Miguel Dakota.
Did America get it right? Could they have chosen a stronger six finalists? There were a couple of weaker acts in the Top 12 but they seem to have been pared off for the finale. Of nine or ten strong acts that performed Tuesday night, all of the six remaining finalists seemed to come from the strong set. Although some people might not see their favorites in the finale, they really can’t say that the Top 6 are undeserving.
So now there’s only one question left to answer. Who will win Season 9 of “America’s Got Talent?”
The season finale and results show of “America’s Got Talent” will air on Tuesday and Wednesday next week on NBC Television at 9 p.m. (EST).