This season of America’s Got Talent comes to a close with performances by Icona Pop and Luke Bryan and a champion is named.
America’s Got Talent hosted by Nick Cannon airs on NBC Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9:00 pm ET.
Simple Kind of Life
In the customary behind the scenes recap, it was shown that comedian Taylor Williamson said that he would vote for dancer Kenichi Ebina, Cami Bradley was wowed by teenage magician Collins Key’s relatively simple card tricks and Forte’s second performance left Jimmy Rose speechless.
New York City’s legendary dancing troupe The Rockettes performed a selection from their latest show “Heart & Soul.” With their neon accented outfits and robotic dance moves, it seemed the group was in a Daft Punk phase. The Rockettes were of course amazing.
Swedish electro pop duo Icona Pop performed pitch perfect but completely dull versions of the hits “I Don’t Care” and “All Night.” The group’s music has an undeniable earworm quality but its prefabricated nature makes it less than ideal for a live show.
Stand and Deliver
Next, One Tree Hill theme song composer Gavin DeGraw took the stage with Cami to sing his song “Best I Ever Had.” Though Gavin is a little past his early 2000’s prime, the performance was more energetic and playful than it had any right to be.
A tuxedo clad Kenichi busted a few moves to introduce operatic foursome Ill Divo and soul singer Heather Hedley who all sang a partially Italian cover of Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” It was corny but inoffensive.
The most amusing celebrity pairing of the night was Taylor Williamson and Inside the Actor’s Studio host James Lipton. The mismatched pair performed a mock version of one of Lipton’s infamous interviews which was as lame as it sounds.
Underneath It All
Collins Key reached new levels of awkwardness when he teamed up with Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb for some banter and close up magic. Surprising no one, the two Today Show hosts didn’t have much chemistry with the slightly bumbling illusionist.
The predictability parade continued as Forte teamed up with poprea vet Josh Groban on his hits “To Where You Are” and “Brave.” The performance was fine but obvious. How great would it have been for the trio to do a little something with Metallica or Kendrick Lamar?
Jimmy Rose performed a duet with one of his personal heroes Dierks Bentley on his song “I Hold On.” If nothing else, the performance proved that Jimmy can hang at the professional level of MOR country music.
Earth, Wind & Fire sang their immortal hit “September” to a worshipful audience and it was a nice performance but it was somewhat sad to be reminded that R&B legends are now firmly in nostalgia act territory.
It’s My Life
In a somewhat shocking decision, Cami was named the sixth place finisher. Cami said that she enjoyed her time on the show and graciously wished her fellow contestants good luck. In a more reasonable result, Collins was revealed as the season fifth place winner. Though clearly devastated, Collins stated that he would continue on his quest to become a world-class magician.
Nick Cannon then told Forte that they had been eliminated. All four judges and the studio audience gave the group a standing ovation. Forte’s Fernando Varela tearfully told Nick that the trio’s time on the show was a dream come true.
Country star Luke Bryan, who had all the swagger and charisma of a tour-tested MC, rocked the house with a performance of his song “That’s My Kind of Night.” Bryan was easily the most exciting musical act of the night and if there were any barns in the vicinity of the broadcast of his performance, they surely spontaneously burned to the ground.
Finally, Down to the Final Three
Nick named Jimmy Rose as the show’s third place finisher, a wholly appropriate ending to his journey. Jimmy took time out to thank his fans and to highlight the plight of former coal miners across the country. In a totally satisfying conclusion, Kenichi Ebina beat out Taylor Williamson to become the eighth winner of America’s Got Talent. Kenichi humbly thanked his wife and daughter for supporting him. Taylor made a childish joke and said that his time on the show was a dream come true. As the season came to a close, Taylor lifted Kenichi off his feet with a totally authentic hug.