On Tuesday night the 10 finalists of “America’s Got Talent” season 14 will take the stage for their last chance to prove to the American public that they deserve to join Shin Lim, Darci Lynne Farmer and Grace VanderWaal in the hall of champions. The finale includes six Golden Buzzer acts: Gabrielle Union‘s singer and pianist Kodi Lee, Simon Cowell‘s 11-year old violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa, Terry Crews‘ Detroit Youth Choir, Dwayne Wade’s acrobatic dance group V.Unbeatable, Ellie Kemper’s Light Balance Kids and Jay Leno‘s opera singer Emanne Beasha. Also competing are singer Benicio Bryant, two-time judges save earners Ndlovu Youth Choir, comedian Ryan Niemiller and vocal group Voices of Service.
In our exclusive odds, Kodi Lee and V.Unbeatable are far ahead of the other eight finalists in the race to win. In the question ‘Who will win AGT?’ we currently have Kodi as the projected winner with 22/25 odds while V.Unbeatable is a bit behind him at 41/20. But well behind them is Benicio Bryant, polling third with 15/2 odds. In the question ‘Who will place 2nd?’ the two frontrunners have swapped spots–V.Unbeatable leads there with 5/4 odds while Kodi trails with 29/20 odds. Benicio has even worse odds in the third spot with 18/1 odds.
But odds and stats aren’t everything, especially when it comes to AGT. Stories and career trajectory play a huge part in the likelihood of picking up public support. The winner will, after all, have the opportunity to headline a show in Vegas, so voters will want to make sure that they choose an act that can hold their own in Sin City.
With that in mind, we’ve ranked the 10 finalists in terms of who we think will be crowned the season 14 champion this week. Have we ordered them correctly? If not, who do you think has a better chance at winning? Be sure to leave your own thoughts in the comments.
1. Kodi Lee
These two acts couldn’t be more different–Kodi is the sentimental pianist and singer that has won over everyone’s hearts while V.Unbeatable is the large, energetic trick-perfecting dance crew that makes the audience roar with cheers. But both have had a stranglehold on the votes since very early on in the competition, earning Golden Buzzers and never falling in danger of going home. Kodi was the first act to receive a Golden Buzzer after Gabrielle was taken with his first audition. V.Unbeatable had to wait until the Judges Cuts to get theirs from Gabrielle’s husband Dwayne Wade. For the win, if it’s between these two, it’s going to come down to their final performances–can Kodi continue to tug on the heartstrings of voters with another emotional ballad and can V.Unbeatable top their most recent performance with even more jaw-dropping tricks? It’s a tight race, but I’m betting on America sticking behind Kodi and returning to form by crowning another singer with the title.
3. Voices of Service
4. Detroit Youth Choir
After Terry threw his support behind DYC when he expressed his personal connection to their experience while handing them his Golden Buzzer it isn’t a surprise to find them as one of the contenders for the championship. They are, at the end of the day, a fantastic choir that does more than just sing–they rap, they dance, they inspire–and more then deserving of the title. That being said, choirs have always struggled in the show and so a top 5 placement would be an incredible feat for them. The easier leap for voters to make still within the choir realm would be to give VoS their support. This quartet not only brings the same sentimental/inspirational factor to the table as the other top contenders, but they are unique from them in how great they harmonize with one another. Their semifinal performance was one of the best across both episodes so if they put forth another effort that great I truly think they could unseat Kodi and V.Unbeatable and find themselves as the season winners.
5. Benicio Bryant
6. Tyler Butler-Figueroa
Benicio and Tyler are two acts that in a less competitive season would be much higher on our ranking. But the fact of the matter is that even Simon has called this one of the (if not the) best finales in the show’s history so they are up against some formidable opponents. Both have managed to get through each stage of the competition without being vulnerable to a save, but in short are simply outmatched by more appealing musical acts in DYC, VoS and Kodi. I think Benicio has a chance at cracking the top 3 if he serves up his best vocal of the season while Tyler will likely place just outside the top 5 (which I think is a very good placement for a strictly instrumental performance–we did say goodbye to the incredible Marcin Patrzalek already after all).
7. Light Balance Kids
8. Ryan Niemiller
In all the seasons of AGT, no act has ever won after having been saved by the judges or the live twitter vote. In that regard, it’s going to be tough for either of these acts to catapult themselves to the top with only one more performance. Ryan was the shocker of the semifinals when he beat out Emanne and Alex Dowis for the Dunkin’ Save, but it was also a bit of a surprise to find Light Balance Kids vulnerable to elimination in their own semifinal. If either act has a chance at cracking the top 5 spots it has to be Light Balance Kids who come to the season with built-in brand knowledge and an act that voters have already proven they love.
9. Emanne Beasha
10. Ndlovu Youth Choir
Given her immense talent, it kind of ruins me to have to place Emanne so low in the rankings, but acts that fall to the whims of the judges save in the semifinals just don’t have enough support to have a chance at the win. Ndlovu was unlucky enough to need the judges save twice this season so they’re easily the underdog of the finale. For Emanne I’d guess that while everyone respects her undeniable talent, voting for a non-English performance is always a stretch for the audience so we’ll have to just relish in the fact that we get to hear her phenomenal voice one more time.
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