“America’s Got Talent: Season 12” finalists square off

(Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

As a veteran fan and recap analyst of the NBC talent competition, I am very disappointed with the America’s Got Talent: Season 12 finalists.

There are SIX singing related acts in the Season 12 finals! While I love singers, some of these singers are average at best (I am looking at you, Evie Clair, Chase Goehring, and Mandy Harvey).  Where are the Barbara Padillas? The Forte Tenors? Emily Wests? Brian Justin Crums? Or the next Sal Valentinetti?  Outside of Angelica Hale, there are no truly any singing superstars.  I was hoping that Yoli Mayor, Johnny Manuel, and DaNell Daymon and Greater Works would perform some show-stopping numbers during this finale!

Also, longtime viewers are disappointed that the sympathy vote out powered the truly talented acts who have been looking for their big breaks. I rather have seen Vegas ready performers such as Colin Cloud or Eric Jones mesmerize the audience (and probably inspire the home audience) with their next epic performance over a dog trainer and her dogs bore the Dolby Theatre’s audience.

While many viewers have been waiting for Darci Lynn to inherit Grace VanderWaal’s title and the $1,000,000 prize, I truly believe that we should never count out Preacher Lawson, Diavolo, and Light Balance.  Which Season 12 finalist blew the Judges (Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel) away? Read on to find out.

After the epic AGT Judges’ grand entrance and a fantastic recap of Season 12, it was time for the ten finalists to perform!

Up first to face the Judges and America were 10-year-old, Angelica Hale. I liked the way that the AGT producers incorporated her thoughts about her journey on the show to her new sibling. She tackled Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson’s “Symphony.” She gave me chills, and I truly think that Disney and Nickelodeon would be happy to have her join their company. A-

My problem with DJ Khaled’s Golden Buzzer act, Chase Goehring, is that he is a mediocre performer and an Ed Sheeran copycat. I rather have seen a high-octane vocal performance from Johnny Manuel or Yoli Mayor, who are the real superstars of Season 12! F

Another Season 12 finalist that I cannot stand is Sara & Hero. I have hated since the moment that they walked onto the Pasadena Civic Center stage. They are not $1,000,00 prize nor a spot in Las Vegas. I rather had either Colin Cloud or Eric Jones mesmerize me for one final time.  F

Diavolo has been one of the acts that I have seen grown and improve since their first audition for the Season 12 Judges earlier this summer. I could not keep my eyes off of these excellent dancers. They have transported to different worlds throughout this season, and by using their props, Diavolo has elevated the dance category to a whole new level of excellence!  If I were in charge of a Las Vegas hotel, I would offer them a residency & the $1,000,000 prize! A+

13-year-old Evie Clair and I have not gotten along this season. I have given my lowest grades possible and vented my frustration about Evie advancing in the competition over other talented singers such as Yoli, Johnny, DaNell Daymon and Greater Works Choir, and The Three Masqueraders, who have waited years for their big break. I have lost friendships and followers regarding my harsh commentary, and then her father died, I realized that I was too harsh as a critic and I apologize to both Evie and her family. That being said, Evie made her father proud with her cover of “What A Wonderful World.” B-

Comedian Preacher Lawson has been leaving me in stitches since his explosive first audition. His machine gun delivery style blew me away. After a brief confrontation with Tyra, Preacher talked about his encounter with a “naked dude” and performed a version of MC Hammer’s “Stop! Hammer Time.” His commentary made me smile and laugh. Preacher could be my generation’s Eddie Murphy, and I will fondly remember his routines. A

I have mixed feelings with Kechi participating in the Season 12 finale. She has a good voice, but the producers framed her as a sob story.  A lot of veteran Got Talent fans (such as myself) have started to get annoyed that contestants with sob stories have advanced over truly talented artists. I like Kechi, but her version of “Conqueror” did not give me any pizzazz. C+

Mel B’s Golden Buzzer, Darci Lynne Farmer, has inspired a whole new generation to ventriloquism. She brought out the two puppets that made her famous: Oscar and Petunia. After the puppets bickered, they performed Joe Cocker’s version of the Beatles’ “With A Little Help from My Friends.” I got chills once again! I have said this before, and I will repeat this: Darci Lynne is the Shari Lewis of her generation. Like Shari Lewis, she is going to entertain multiple generations for years to come! A+         

Mandy Harvey may be a hero to this country and overcame a lot of obstacles including being deaf. But at times, like Kechi…I thought she milked her sob story to her advantage. While she has a good story, I think I became a little jaded because Mandy was not one of the acts that I had at the end. Will she win? Maybe or maybe not. But I would encourage her to try out for The Voice because I believe that the coaches will help bring her to the next level of greatness. B

The only Golden Buzzer act (and Season 12 finalist) that could upset Darci Lynne’s victory is Tyra Banks’ Golden Buzzer act: Light Balance. I have watched AGT since Season One, and Light Balance is what the NBC talent competition is all about. It is about showing different wavelengths of creativity by combining elements we had seen before and elevated them to the highest level of excellence. I see Light Balance conquering Las Vegas and inspiring dance troupes from around the world to compete on the America’s Got Talent stage. A+

Tomorrow night, an all-star group of performers such as Kelly Clarkson, Shania Twain, Terry Fator, Derek Hough, and Kevin Nealon joins the Season 12 finalists as the $1,000,000 winner will be revealed!



  1. […] song that definitely expressed teenage angst. Sophie reminds me so much of Grace Vanderwaal and Mandy Harvey. Brad Paisley lead in the standing ovation, while Gabrielle Union stated that Sophie snatched all […]

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