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My 'America's Got Talent' finals picks

"America's Got Talent" semi-finalist Lys Agnes Photo Credit: YouTube

Everyone always talks about "American Idol" -- we even have a blog devoted to it that runs during the season. But my favorite is "America's Got Talent." And this sixth season has been especially entertaining. Tuesday night's semifinals had me on the edge of my reclining sofa.

Of the 10 semifinalists, Lys Agnes has been my favorite to win since the season got under way in June. But last night's performance didn't quite pack the usual punch for me. I liked her better when she had cornrows and sang opera.

She's trying to show her versatility, I know, but sometimes you shouldn't mess with a winning strategy. Aerosmith's "Dream On" didn't have nearly the impact of, say, "Habanera" from "Carmen," which in my book, even outdid the Maria Callas's version of the aria.

This beautiful lady can get anyone interested in opera. Unfortunately, I think she blew it Tuesday night. (Below, watch and compare her "Habanera" and "Dream On" performances and let me know if you agree.), but maybe the voting public will overlook her poor judgment.

I also really like Poplyfe, but again,  the Michael Jackson mashup didn't quite do it for me.

My money is on the four acts that I think have a real shot at the million-dollar prize and show in Las Vegas.

Among my new favorites, all of whom I've loved all along, are Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., the deadlocked crooner who channels the Rat Pack like nobody else. Last night, his version of Dean Martin's "Ain't that a Kick in the Head" didn't disappoint. And doesn't Vegas really need a crooner?

Also, on my Top 4 list is Team iLuminate. I can absolutely imagine myself shelling out money for a ticket to be mesmerized by them for an hour and a half, just as easily as I did to see Blue Man Group -- twice. I also love Silhouettes, and the fact that they're all kids with illnesses or disabilities makes me root for them even more. Not because I pity them, I don't, but because that makes it all the more amazing that they're so tight and professional.

And, for old-times' sake, I'm still pulling for Lys Agnes. I'm hoping they'll all progress in Wednesday'd finals.

I can totally do without Miami Allstars and certainly without Smage Bros. Riding Shows, which, to me at least, is the most ridiculous "talent" out there. I'm incredulous that boys popping wheelies on bicycles would make it into the Top 10 or even past auditions, but there they are.

Landon Swank, the magician who my daughter, Julia, is pulling for, is really good, but does Vegas need another magician? Anna Graceman, the 11-year-old with the phenomenal voice, was a little flat last night. I don't think she'll make it in but I'm pretty sure we'll be hearing more from her.

And West Springfield Dance Team? Great choreography, very much in sync all the time, talented for sure. But the "Thriller" type getups are getting old. Still, these teens deserve kudos for pulling together such a tight act.

 

Photo: Lys Agnes during a performance of "Habanera" on the sixth season of "America's Got Talent." (YouTube screen grab)

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