We are only two episodes in to this season of “America’s Got Talent” and there are already several frontrunners. In week one, Darci Lynne Farmer, a 12-year-old ventriloquist, got sent straight through to the live shows when Mel B pressed the Golden Buzzer. Likewise in week two, deaf singer Mandy Harvey won over Simon Cowell.
Will one of this week’s acts inspire judges Heidi Klum or Howie Mandel to do likewise? Or perhaps new host Tyra Banks will run out from the wings to push the button.
Among the dozen or acts we are likely to see on the June 13 episode is salesman Daniel Ferguson who is said to surprise the judges with his rendition of the DNCE club hit “Cake by the Ocean.” He plays it for laughs by doing the song in the style of famous cartoon characters.
Also slated to appear is Kechi Okwuchi, one of just two to survive a fiery plane crash that killed 107 people. She earned a well-deserved standing ovation with her soulful rendition of Ed Sheeran’s chart-topping “Thinking out Loud.” And a pair of magicians, Les French Twins, are said to impress with their patter and prestidigitation.
After six weeks of auditions that took place at various venues around the country, there will be four weeks of Judge Cuts beginning in mid July. Last year, there were four guest judges: George Lopez, Reba McEntire, Ne-Yo, and Louis Tomlinson.
Each week, we will see 20 acts and the eight judges and host will each have one chance to press the golden buzzer to send an act straight through to the live shows. Six other acts will make it to next round. And if all four regular judges hit their red buzzers, it is immediately eliminated.
The three weeks of live quarter-finals will begin in early August and air on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The line-up will be the nine golden buzzer acts, the 24 acts from the Judge Cuts, and three wildcard acts chosen by the judges. A dozen acts perform each week; seven acts make it to the semi-finals while five are axed.
The two weeks of live semi-finals kick off in late August with the 21 acts voted to the semifinals, plus the judges’ semifinal wildcard pick. Each week, 11 acts will perform; five will make it through to the finals and six will be eliminated.
The two-part finale will take place in mid-September. On the first night, all 10 acts will be perform. On the second, the top 5 will be revealed and then the countdown to the winner starts. The champ will win one million dollars and a gig as a headliner in Las Vegas. Last year, twelve-year-old singer/songwriter Grace VanderWaal won. The mentalist duo, The Clairvoyants, were second and NFL player turned magician Jon Dorenbos was third. Tape Face claimed the title of most memorable act of the season.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.