America’s Got Talent has been on television since its debut back in 2006, and since its debut episode, it’s been going on for 11 straight seasons, with the 12th season being renewed as of August 2nd, 2016, which will be airing sometime in 2017. Through the years, the show has seen a variety of judges from Howard Stern, to Sharon Osbourne, to David Hasselhoff. Currently, the four judges consist of Howie Mandel, known for his host work on Deal or No Deal, Simon Cowell, known for creating America’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent, Mel B, who is known for her work with Spice Girls, and Heidi Klum who appeared on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue of 1999. Since its debut, America’s Got Talent has not only seen a rise in uniqueness in terms of its judges, but its talent as well.
Once you think a season has some of the best acts, the next season comes in and takes the throne for having the best acts. To be more specific, America’s Got Talent (2016) is possibly the best year this show has seen since its debut. Not only is there a variety of talent, but the talent is rich and original and creative and it’s not only made the judge cuts tough, but has made the competition that much more interesting to watch. Unfortunately, what comes with all the talent is having to let the talent off the show, and that’s what I would like to talk about here.
The top ten greatest acts and auditions on this season of America’s Got Talent, whether they’ve been sent home or not, and to throw in a little twist, I would also like to talk about the five worst acts, and fails that have happened on this show in its current state. Don’t get too disappointed if one of your favorite acts ends up going home, because there’s still plenty of time for someone to take your favorite spot.
15. Tape Face
Winning over the judges since his audition, Tape Face has become a memorable character in this season of America’s Got Talent. While never saying a word or correcting anybody’s mistakes, he’s been successful with each performance by putting a swing on miming. Simon Cowell has been quoted as saying he’s like Mr. Bean. During his audition, he sang a song with two hand mitten puppets as seen in the image above, and did a portrayal of a lady in a red dress to the tune of “Lady In Red.” Possibly one of the most unique and creative acts this show has seen.
14. Sal Valentinetti (Singer)
Sal Valentinetti is a singer in the style of Frank Sinatra and the like. He’s very old-school and his voice pays tribute to that. During his audition, he not only won the judges over with his rendition of “My Way,” but he also won the heart of Heidi Klum which resulted in her pushing her golden buzzer for him. He also performed at the live show with his rendition of One Direction’s “Story of My Life,” while looking rather dashing in his full white tuxedo. He was critiqued by Howie Mandel for not sticking with the oldies, but still a phenomenal performance nonetheless.
13. Linkin’ Bridge (A Capella Group)
Taking the crowd by surprise and even having Simon Cowell reveal that he believes they are the reason this show exists, Linkin’ Bridge sing tunes like “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and others in the form of an a capella group. On the outside, you’d think they were these four tough guys, but deep down, you see that all four of them have a sincere passion for singing and with each performance, it leaves you in jaw-dropping awe with how fantastic they sound together. Simon Cowell has mentioned that he enjoys the fact that they take risks with their song choices, and how well they incorporate it into their act.
12. Jon Dorenbos (Close-up Magician)
Yes, the same Jon Dorenbos who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. Alongside that, he’s been doing close-up magic for the 2016 season of America’s Got Talent. Along with many other acts, he’s been stealing the show every time he’s performed. So much to the fact that Ne-Yo pushed his one use golden buzzer for Jon Dorenbos so that he would have a secure place in the live show. Not only is his magic good, he’s also been bringing his quick witted attitude and sense of humor into the show that really sets him apart from the rest.
11. Sofie Dossi (Extreme Contortionist)
On top of being one of the youngest performers in this season, she’s also been gifted the golden buzzer by Reba McEntire, which was pressed during an episode of the judge cuts. Sofie Dossi is known for her incredible flexibility and the ability to perform an extreme form of contortion on top of still making it her own. In the image shown above, you can see her shooting a bow and arrow at a target for her audition, which pleased both the crowd and the judges. She’s been proving to be a great competitor in this series as she performs every single time.
10. Brian Justin Crum (Singer)
Throw away everything you know about musical passion and listen to Brian Justin Crum. Not only is this man possibly one of the best singers this show has seen in recent years, but his ability to put his emotion and pure vocal talent into his music is something only true master vocalists could achieve. He’s done some fantastic work on this show already, but be sure to check out his cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.” Possibly one of the best covers I’ve ever heard, and that’s not an easy thing to accomplish.
9. The Clairvoyants (Mentalists)
Have you ever been with your significant other and felt a connection with them, both physically and mentally? Well, if you don’t believe in that type of thing, The Clairvoyants will throw all your doubt out the front door. They are mentalists, which means they can read each others minds and decipher each others surroundings without being able to see one another. I know what you’re thinking, yeah that type of stuff doesn’t exist, well whether it is or not, The Clairvoyants have proven time and time again that this kind of thing is possible, with the right tools of course.
8. Outlawz (Dance Group)
Through the years of America’s Got Talent, there’s been plenty of great dance groups, and there’s been plenty of bad dance groups. I like to think that Outlawz fall somewhere in between. During this season, they proved that they have a different style of dancing that isn’t seen often in dance groups, unfortunately, it was also their downfall in the end, since they were sent home. They’re all fantastic dancers, each with their own unique style, so I hope they keep doing what they’re doing, even if America’s Got Talent doesn’t think they fit in with the rest of the talent.
7. Nathan Bockstahler (Comedian)
You’re never too young to start your career in what you feel you are perfect for, and Nathan Bockstahler proves that. At only six years old, Nathan Bockstahler took the stage as a comedian, which in itself is tough to accomplish, but he made everyone in the room laugh, and that’s an accomplishment on its own. Being six years and having the guts to do this type of performance is on a whole new level of confidence. Unfortunately, even though he is part of the younger crowd, he wasn’t able to get too far into the competition, but I sincerely hope he doesn’t let that get him down, he’s got the stage presence and the comedy, he should continue to use it.
6. Christopher (Dancer)
There’s been a few times when I’m watching America’s Got Talent and I go “no, this is my favorite act. No, this is my favorite act.” That’s a good indication of how many good acts are in this season. Christopher, while not being able to make it very far in the competition, is both one of my absolutely favorite acts, and one of the most surprising. He came out with four puppets attached to him to do a performance to the YMCA. You can see in the image above that all the puppets, including himself, to look like the Village People. It had the audience on their feet, and it was an all around fantastic audition and performance.
Now while we do have a lot of great acts in this season of America’s Got Talent, there’s also those acts that are both unforgettable and absolutely god awful. I’d like to turn the tables a little bit and talk about five of the biggest fails, or god awful auditions during this season.
5. Ryan Stock & AmberLynn
If you were to look up the word “danger” in the dictionary, I guarantee you will find a picture of this couple. Ryan Stock & AmberLynn are known for performing dangerous stunts by swallowing swords, and the like. During the live show, AmberLynn shot a burning crossbow shot at Ryan Stock, but missed the target and hit him on his neck. He ended up being perfectly fine, but America did not warm up to the idea of keeping them in the running. Although their performances prior to the live show were great, it just wasn’t enough to bypass the fact that Ryan Stock had gotten injured.
4. Charles & Rose (Viva Las Vegas & Dance)
Charles and Rose are a part singing part dancing duo that appeared on America’s Got Talent. With their inability to sing and dance properly, they still somehow managed to make it through the auditions. For me, I’m all for performances to be hilarious for hilarious sake, but when an act is just plain bad, and they still make it through, I tend to lose my faith in humanity just a little bit more. While I’m glad they did get voted off the show, it would’ve been interesting to see how far they would have gotten with their lack of talent on both sides.
3. Mr. Splat
Talk about a waste of time. This act, known as Mr. Splat came on stage for an audition, only to dive into a pool of shaving cream. He’s known as a novelty daredevil, but nothing about his act consists of being a daredevil. He was eliminated immediately and rightfully so. There’s certain acts that really shouldn’t be allowed to perform on the show, and this is one of them. As a result, the judges got a little crazy and started to throw shaving cream at one another prompting Simon Cowell to leave the show for the night.
2. John Hetlinger (Singer)
There’s been a few times on America’s Got Talent where the act does not fit the persona. John Hetlinger is a perfect example of this. When you see an older gentleman show up on the audition stage, you already have the preconceived notion that they’re going to sing some type of classic song from Frank Sinatra and the like. In John Hetlinger’s case, you saw an old man perform a cover of Drowning Pool’s “Bodies.” Trust me, I love the act. He went through to the judge cuts, but didn’t progress after that. However, it’s still not the kind of act that belongs on America’s Got Talent, regardless of how original and creative it is.
1. The Spice Gurlz (Drag Queen Spice Girls)
Before you say anything, I’ve got nothing against drag queens or anything of the sort, but what I do have a problem with is when an act is bad just to be bad. America’s Got Talent saw a drag queen act try out a Spice Girls act. It didn’t work out that well, as evident from Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel pushing their red buzzer. They were given the opportunity to try out another song, but we’re eliminated from the competition and couldn’t progress forward. Honestly, there’s enough odd acts in this season, and one less isn’t really going to change anything.