America's Got Talent 3: The Best Performances from the Final 5
America's Got Talent 3: The Best Performances from the Final 5
The season finale of America's Got Talent airs Wednesday at 9pm, which means it's a perfect time to look back at the all-time best performances from the top five.  I'll be the first to admit that some of the finalists don't provide the type of entertainment I'd pay money to see, but there's no denying that all of them are talented and worked hard to make it this far in the competition.  Below you'll find clips of my favorite performances from each of the America's Got Talent finalists, and then you can decide for yourself who deserves one million dollars and a show in Las Vegas.

I didn't pay much attention to Eli Mattson until he landed in the AGT top 20.  The Minnesota-born singer was solid before then, but when he took the stage to sing Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" I was truly blown away.  I don't consider myself an Alicia Keys fan, so Eli's ability to sit down at the piano and inject true soulfulness into the song impressed me greatly.  He remains my favorite to win the competition, and that's partially due to this performance.

I buckle in fear anytime a singer dares to tackle "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls.  It's a big, bombastic ballad that Jennifer Hudson most recently made famous, and every year on American Idol someone embarrasses themselves horribly by attempting to sing it.  The tune is simply too difficult for at least 99 percent of the population to pull off, but not for Queen Emily.  I feared the worst when she sang the song after making it to the America's Got Talent top 10, but somehow she made it her own and truly dominated the stage.

I wouldn't mind Donald Braswell so much if he'd lay off the Josh Groban songs, but unfortunately most of his song choices are predictable and boring.  That being said, he has varied things up a few times throughout the competition.  My favorite Groban-free performance was when he took the stage to sing "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera, which is another song that many lesser singers have brutally butchered over the years.  Sharon Osbourne may find Braswell out of touch, but this performance proves he could have a successful career on Broadway.

Nuttin But Stringz seem to stage more elaborate performances every time they take the stage, which is something I like about them.  Their performance during the finals last week was like a culmination of everything they'd done before, only amped up to eleven.  They threw in some hardcore violin playing, an abundance of fog, and even more Cirque Du Soleil-style dancers than usual, and they totally blew the roof off the auditorium.  Aside from the special effects, the thing that truly makes this duo special is their obvious passion for performing.

It's tough for me to choose the best performance from Neal E. Boyd.  He hasn't varied his style much throughout the competition, therefore all of his performances have been consistently strong.  However, I most enjoyed watching him belt the operatic classic "Nessun Dorma" during the finals.  It's hard not to be touched by the emotion in Boyd's voice, and the cheesy pyrotechnics at the end somehow managed to add gravitas to the entire number.

The one-hour season finale of America's Got Talent will air tomorrow night on NBC.  Will your favorite take home the grand prize?  You can tune in to find out, or check BuddyTV to read my live thoughts about the episode as it airs.

- Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Video Source: YouTube
(Image courtesy of NBC)