The finals part 1 to cut from 10 acts to 4 acts are done. Here is my take on them:
Studio One Young Beast Society
I did not think this was as risky a performance as their semifinal one. It was well done but not all that special.
Christina and Ali
What an unbalanced act they have become. Christina (the younger one) has improved her singing to a high quality level, leaving her older sister in the dust.
He took his bicycle onto the narrowest of supports, always perfectly balanced. It took his act up a notch in my view to where he might make the Final 4.
Back on his guitar, he sang his original redo of "what a Wonderful World" to a vaguely Caribbean rhythm where he wrote the music.
Anna and Patryk
She slid down the steps as they opened their act, but recovered for dance as well as is possible after that, including Patryk flipping Anna all the way backwards. I like it a lot. they are troopers.
He followed Sharon's advice and ditched the guitar, leaving his crutch offstage and relying on just his voice and smile. They were good but not good enough to get him into the Final 4.
He did a stunning magic act with 2 assistants. One got into a box with movement restricted by swords at all angles. The magic screen appeared, Michael stepped behind it and then out stepped the original assistant from the box. In the box now was the 2nd assistant and Grasso was onstage as something approximating a swami. Brilliant! Great magicians can do these tricks but you have to be the best to execute it.
They had a totally new concept with the lunar landing and moon rocks. Despite their set difficult to construct in a week and then to practice the totally new routines, this is top-notch entertainment.
We are now down to the last 2 (and best 2 acts from the semifinals). He did a patriotic show, starting with the Star Spangles Banner, then I'm A Yankee Doodle Dandy and finishing with the Stars and Stripes Forever performed to a kick line. Incredible entertainment! His act reeks Las Vegas but also would play anywhere in the world.
Another incredible talent, a 10 year old who sang Pie Jesu by Andrew Lloyd Webber absolutely perfectly (and as an amateur singer myself I can't do it but I know it when I hear it).
So, my rank order for the Final 4 is:
tied for first - Prince Poppycock and Jackie Evancho
3. Fighting Gravity
4. Michael Grasso
5. Jeremy Vanschoonhoeven
6. Anna and Patryk
tied for 7, 8 and 9. Michael Grimm, Taylor Mathew, Studio One Young Beast Society
10. Christina and Ali
So I cast my 10 ballots on www.nbc.com
(open for another 45 minutes on the East Coast) for Prince Poppycock and I hope he makes it to the final 4. I believe he and Jackie Evancho pretty much have a lock on that. The other 2 positions could be interesing. I see Fighting Gravity and Michael Grasso as having earned them.
The drivel from the judges tonight was the worst I can remember. They should shorten the show by leaving all of it out.