Having stuffed an apparently crucial intermediary Top 12 segment in after the semifinals, Season 8 of America's Got Talent will at last announce its finalists tonight. With no judges' picks this time, the finalists will be chosen entirely by viewer votes -- that's certainly Jimmy Rose's last best hope for a million dollars, unfortunately.
Our live blog starts now:
The evening begins with a live segue from the Million Second quiz, then straight into the recap of last night. The package doesn't bode well for the Chicago Boyz, as it focuses exclusively on their big mistake -- ah well, good run gentlemen.
The Orville Lounge segment continues to be pretty dumb. I see they've changed their motto from "That's what's poppin'" to "Get your Orville ready," which is an even less probable sentence for any human being in real life to ever say.
We now a have a performance from prior AGT champions the Olate Dogs, doing a pretty impressive series of conga lines, flips and dances. They're here to plug their new album, and that's not a joke.
With next season's talent about to kick off, Nick Cannon is sent out onto the streets of New York to recruit street performers. It's actually a pretty smart concept, and there's some pretty impressive people out there. If he'd have dropped his $250,000 watch into a guitar case I'd have been really impressed.
We then have our first results of the evening:
Kenichi advances to the finals
Sure enough, that imperfect performance did them in. Kenichi has been a favorite of mine throughout the live shows, taking a different kind of risk every time -- can't wait to see more of him.
Cami Bradley advances to the finals
So far these results are pretty cut and dry. There was never really all that much suspense around the top contenders though, the big surprises will depend on who sneaks in around the edges.
We then have another performance from singing ventriloquist comedian champion Terry Fator, bringing with him a cougar and a cowboy puppet. It segues into a trailer for One Chance, a Weinstein movie about a Britain's Got Talent winner.
The next match-up is a little disheartening: KriStef Brothers vs. Taylor Williamson.
Taylor Williamson advances to the finals
The elimination here is a surprise, and I suspect that it means Jimmy Rose made it through after all. Nice to see Taylor make it through though, and nice to see him share some serious words on how being different is cool even when it doesn't seem like it. From him, I believe it.
Forte advances to the finals
I agree with this one wholeheartedly -- Branden has a great voice, but Forte has quite a bit more wow factor. That leaves two spots left:
D'Angelo and Amanda
Jimmy Rose advances to the finals
Well, there's that.
The final matchup of the night is probably the least certain:
Collins Key advances to the finals
There's another guy who's probably not quite ready for prime time, saved by America's great big crush on him. The thing is, I really am always impressed with his tricks, but he's never once kept me engaged for a full ninety seconds at a time -- or rather, somewhere closer to 200 seconds, as he invariably goes over. You can definitely win me over still, Collins, but you need to take control and tighten it up.
Those are your AGT Season 8 finalists: the innovative dancer, the beautiful singer, the awkward comedian, the multi-cultural opera trio, the polite young man with a guitar and the teen magician. Tune in next week to see how they do.
(Image courtesy of NBC)