Going into the Top 10, this final prediction was easily the hardest I had to do all season, mostly because my possibility of error was so great. I had to choose one of 10 to win. This was a far cry from the simple ease of choosing almost half of a group of 12 to go home.
Yet as the night progressed, one guy rose to the top. (I’d love to use a more gender neutral term, but the America’s Got Talent Top 10 is a complete sausage fest, though that’s an issue for a whole other time.) My man to win it all might not have completely sealed it up. There’s a few frontrunners with him and even a few possible wild cards who can steal it away. This is my best guess as well as a rundown of his biggest (and smallest) competition.
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I actually found Uzeyer Novruzov‘s finale performance more interesting than any of his previous ones because it was so different. I found the big ladder thing rather repetitive. Still, I don’t think he has much of a chance, especially since the judges savaged him so much in the critiques. Similarly, I really enjoyed Gary Vider and think he delivered some of his best material in the finals. I just don’t think being “consistently funny,” as the judges described him, is enough to win America’s Got Talent.
I’ve really enjoyed Piff the Magic Dragon and Derek Hughes in the past. During the Top 10, I was completely underwhelmed. They both used every second of their three minutes and my attention really began to wane. Piff had his humor to compensate, but ultimately it was all bluster and distraction for a very disappointing and mundane magic trick. These weren’t the acts of champions.
The Middle of the Pack
I’ve never been a big fan of Paul Zerdin. A large factor of that dislike is rooted in my deep and irrational fear of ventriloquists. His final performance crystallized my biggest and most legitimate complaint with Paul. He’s very repetitive; it’s the same joke over and over. When he added more puppets to the mix, it only enhanced that sense of familiarity. This was exceptionally frustrating since almost every other act did something different or took it to a new level for the finals.
I feel largely the same about Oz Pearlman and The Professional Regurgitator. Like Paul, there was a level of impressive talent on display with these two guys, but it was just more of the same. They were fun to watch in the moment. Well, the Regurgitator was more disgusting than fun, but that’s his shtick. It all just felt kind of boring in comparison to the other acts. They’re not completely out of contention, but it would be a shock if they won.
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I’ve put Benton Blount as going home all season and I’ve felt a certain amount of guilt doing it. I like Benton, but I was just always concerned about America connecting with him. Clearly, I was wrong. So looking over his success and America’s Got Talent‘s previous winners, Benton has a really good chance of winning. A lot of singers like Benton have won, and I personally enjoy Benton over all of them.
I’d rather see a magic or comedy act win, but I do think The CraigLewis Band is another frontrunner of the night. They’ve been my favorite musical act since their first live show and they’ve just gotten progressively better and better. The finals was the culmination of their journey on America’s Got Talent. It was their biggest and best performance yet, both in terms of vocals and their outfits.
Who Will Win?
As loathe as I am to agree with Howie on anything, I do think that Drew Lynch was the best comedy act of the night. Drew will be the next winner of America’s Got Talent. As I’ve said before, though, Drew isn’t just a great “stuttering comedian,” he’s a great comedian who uses his stutter as a tool in his comedic arsenal. The jokes work because of the stutter, not in spite of it. Drew’s not just getting pity laughs every time. He shouldn’t be criticized for or removed from his stutter because such talk is irrelevant. The stutter is a part of the whole package. In fact, Drew himself is the whole package.
Drew has made the biggest splash as a news item outside of the show. Even if it’s just as “the stuttering comedian,” Drew is making headlines. He has the talent to win, but more importantly, he has the story. None of the other contestants would have the same kind of triumphant Cinderella story if they won. You can disagree on if Drew’s funny or not, but I don’t think there is any denying that he has won the hearts of America with his personality and backstory.
The order of performances is probably mostly random, but I did think it was telling that they put Drew in the final slot, the reason being because Nick Cannon teased Drew’s appearance multiple times throughout the night. This suggests to me that America’s Got Talent knows that there is a large fan base for Drew, perhaps the largest fan base of any of the remaining contestants. It almost feels like the producers are positioning him. If that’s true, it probably doesn’t speak well to the sanctity of America’s Got Talent as a fair competition, but it does speak well to Drew’s chances of winning.
The America’s Got Talent season 10 finale airs Wednesday, September 16 at 9pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)