"I think Paul Zerdin has the momentum right now. He has gotten better every round," says Gold Derby's latest contest champ Erik Chan (screen name Erik10101), who won $100 predicting this week of "America's Got Talent." "Zerdin has evolved from a throwaway ventriloquist, to a Golden Buzzer act, to a legitimate contender. His official 'AGT' Quarterfinals YouTube video has an unbelievable 1.5 million views, more than twice his closest competition. The like ratio (12,800 to 1,000) is almost unheard of for an act like his."
Can YOU take down this top user next week? Hurry — make your predictions and you could win our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate. It's fun and easy, so start now by scrolling down and predicting the five acts that will get the go-ahead on next Wednesday's show.
Chan tied with two other users at near-perfect 91% prediction accuracy, though he broke the tie with his high 19,016 point score by using his special 500 and 200 bets wisely. Since Chan is eligible, as per our contest rules, he will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate.
This user correctly predicted six of the seven acts that would go through: Alicia Michilli, Oz Pearlman, The Professional Regurgitator, Daniella Mass, Freelusion Dance Company and Mountain Faith Band. Chan also predicted that Howard Stern, Howie Mandel, Mel B and Heidi Klum would all hit their X's. The only thing he got wrong was to predict that Benjamin would advance to the next round instead of stand-up comedian Gary Vider.
"It was easy after watching last night's performances that it was going to be an eight-horse race for the seven spots. The seven I predicted, plus Gary Vider," explains Chan. "I anticipated that Benjamin Yonattan would receive plenty of votes to advance considering his phenomenal talent despite his disadvantage without sight. I love Gary's comedic timing, but he had much less screen time than the other seven (his audition was montaged). I thought he wouldn't pull it off, but he did. Way to go, Gary!"
"I am really enjoying this season! Admittedly the Semifinalist group as a whole is not among the strongest we have seen, but the most talented of the bunch are among the best in 'AGT' history.
"Don't count out other frontrunners like Piff the Magic Dragon, Siro-A, Drew Lynch and Oz Pearlman. Not to mention other acts I love Uzeyer Novruzov, The CraigLewis Band, The Professional Regurgitator and Freelusion Dance Company. Each have the potential to surprise.
"Admittedly, I have a bias against singers on this show that are eligible for shows like 'The Voice.' In particular, Alicia Michilli, Benton Blount, Samantha Johnson and Sharon Irving. I'm not saying they're not talented, just that it inherently bothers me that they are moving on past acts who only have one show. There's nothing they can do that will surprise me; another song is just another song. I feel like we've seen all they can offer."
Twelve acts will perform next week on the first Semifinals show of the season, however NBC has only announced 10 of these dozen acts. As soon as we know the identity of the remaining two acts, we will enter them in our "America's Got Talent" predictions center. In the meantime, get started by answering the following questions:
Which acts will advance to next round?
Will Howard Stern hit his X?
Will Heidi Klum hit her X?
Will Mel B hit her X?
Will Howie Mandel hit his X?
Who will win 'America's Got Talent'?
Every week, the eligible user with the highest prediction accuracy and most points will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, so it's beneficial to keep coming back often and making/updating your predictions. The "AGT" performance shows air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC, while the results shows are scheduled for Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
Making your predictions is fun and easy. Just log into your Gold Derby account, or you can register for a free account via Facebook, Twitter or Google.
After logging in, click on the "Predictions" button found at the top-right of every page. That will bring you to a list of every event currently being predicted at Gold Derby — everything from the Emmys and Oscars to "Big Brother" and "So You Think You Can Dance."
Click on any box and then scroll down to start making your predictions. For each TV show, cast your votes on several different questions relating to the upcoming episode. If you click on the "America's Got Talent" button, you'll see something like this:
To vote for who you think will advance to the next round, drag your chosen contestants over from the left to the right and arrange them in your predicted order. Every time someone logs their predictions, the racetrack odds of the contestants are automatically updated.
If the majority of users think Ira will go through, that means he'll have the best odds and will go to the front of the pack. Conversely, the contestants who don't receive many predictions have the worst odds and will go to the bottom of the pile.
Remember that coming out on top doesn't just mean answering that week's questions correctly. You also have to use your three big bets (500 points and two of 200 points) strategically to score the most game points. If you bet on a longshot who pulls off an upset, you can really rack up the points, so don't take them for granted.
Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it's important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your predictions throughout the week, just click "Save Predictions" when you've settled on your choice.
Get started by making your prediction as to which dancer will be eliminated next. And be sure to sound off on the current season of "America's Got Talent" in Gold Derby's reality TV forum.
Photo: Benjamin Yonattan. Credit: MediaPunch/REX