The odds are that a singer is going to take the crown on America’s Got Talent season 11. Of the 10 remaining acts, half are singers or a singing group. So, essentially, there is a 50/50 chance that the winner will release an album that will be quickly ignored by the majority of America in no time.
In all seriousness, though, while there is a good chance that the America’s Got Talent champion for season 11 will be a crooner of some sort, that’s not a given. In fact, given the finale performances, the wind really does blow in a more variety/magic direction. Here are my predictions for who won’t win, who could win and who will ultimately take home the million dollar prize on America’s Got Talent season 11.
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Who Won’t Win?
I love Tape Face, but there is no way he is winning America’s Got Talent. Tape Face might just be one of the most inventive acts to ever walk on the America’s Got Talent stage. He takes something that shouldn’t work and makes it wildly entertaining. He’s still too weird to be a million dollar act.
Viktor Kee and Sofie Dossi follow a similar vein. Both take their talents, which should be utterly boring, and turn them into something much more. Yet there is only so much they can do. Viktor is still just a juggler and Sofie is still just a contortionist. They don’t really wow or amaze; they just kind of exist.
Linkin Bridge has the most emotional story of any of the acts this season. They also probably need the money more than anyone else on the show. Unfortunately, they haven’t really carved out a space for themselves in the competition. Everyone knows they have a sad story and good voices, but there is not much of an emotional connection between Linkin Bridge and the audience.
I know I’m in the minority when I say I’ve never really enjoyed Sal Valentinetti, but it’s the truth. Sal has talent, but he is really just standing on the backs of much more original artists. Sal’s whole shtick is that he is emulating the singers of the Rat Pack era, but he adds nothing unique of his own to the mix. It’s telling that America’s Got Talent stranded him in the opening death slot of the finals. This suggests that the show has as little faith as I do in thinking Sal can win the whole thing.
Who Could Win?
It’s likely that Brian Justin Crum and Laura Bretan will get lost in the scrum of underdog singers. It’s one of the problems with this finale being so singer-centric that all the singers and their sob stories tend to run in one big, inspiring mess, even though they look and sound nothing alike. It’s really a dice roll, though, if you are moved more by Brian Justin Crum being a champion for bully victims, Laura Bretan’s overnight opera success or Grace VanderWaal’s plucky original singer/songwriter wunderkind act. In my view, though, Brian Justin Crum and Laura Bretan might come close to clinching the ultimate prize but will come up short.
On the variety side, The Clairvoyants have a shot at winning the whole thing. It is a very small shot, but it is still there. With the exception of a certain magician, they are probably the most polished act of the Top 10. Maybe their act isn’t an act, though. Maybe they are just that genuinely unnerving and creepy in their everyday life. Still, no matter what is real or fake with the Clairvoyants, they do seem the most ready for “stardom.”
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Who Will Win?
In the end, it is a race between Jon Dorenbos and Grace VanderWaal for the final prize. Since her very first appearance in season 11, America’s Got Talent has been putting all their eggs in Grace’s basket. She got the Golden Buzzer, she is continually praised for being original, the show makes sure to note her popularity among fans, and Grace was given the “pimp” spot of the night. All the ingredients are there for her fairy tale story to end with an America’s Got Talent win.
I have a feeling that Jon Dorenbos might just sneak in and steal that win from Grace. The fact that Jon is a Philadelphia Eagle could backfire on him because more than a few viewers will probably think he doesn’t “need” the money (though I doubt a long snapper is a particularly lucrative position on a football team). In terms of talent, charisma and message, Jon Dorenbos is the most deserving winner possible.
Grace’s talent has a lot of potential. She is not ready to be a star just yet. She has one really catchy original song, and everything else we have heard from her is basically a variation on that same theme. Grace could be the next musical sensation, but it is not going to happen right after an America’s Got Talent win. It will take a few years.
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Jon Dorenbos is ready now. It’s clear that Jon’s passion and talent is really with magic and not on the football field. He is already a star, and America’s Got Talent could be the push he needs to be taken seriously. Jon gives Mat Franco a run for his money in the most charismatic magician to ever be on America’s Got Talent department. Jon Dorenbos should win. This doesn’t mean he will. (I’m still bitter about one trick pony/ventriloquist Paul Zerdin winning season 10.) Hopefully, history won’t repeat itself and Jon Dorenbos will win season 11 of America’s Got Talent.
Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments.
The America’s Got Talent season 11 finale will air Wednesday, September 14 at 8/7c on NBC. Want more news? Follow our AGT Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of NBC)