In the words of “America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel, teenage singer Benicio Bryant just “took a big gamble” by performing an original song during Tuesday’s Finals. However, it’s a gamble that may just pay off for the lifelong “AGT” fan. Benicio’s original song this time around was titled “Six Strings (Because of You),” which he performed solo on stage without any fancy accompaniment. Do you think Benicio will join the “AGT” winners list? Watch the performance video above, read the judges’ comments below and then make your predictions before Wednesday’s finale.
Julianne Hough: “All I have to say is, it takes a lot for one person to stand on this stage and be able to hold a stage without bells and whistles and a band and all these things to fill it up. It was just you, your voice and a guitar. That is when you know you are a star. And I have to say that you made a wish in your package that you would win ‘AGT.’ It could just happen.”
Simon Cowell: “First of all, happy birthday. Listen, I’ll make this quick, but you have my absolute respect, picking up on what Julianne just said. All you did was you brought yourself onto the final tonight. The way that you styled yourself, your choice of song, you wrote the song, no gimmicks, nothing other than who you are, which means you have gained my absolute respect and given yourself a real shot after that. Brilliant.”
Howie Mandel: “I’ll just be short about it. Listen, I love you Benicio, you know that. All this week people and press have been coming up to us saying, who do you think’s gonna win? And this is what I’ve been telling people. I think Benicio could win this if he doesn’t sing a cover. If he sings a cover, I don’t know. And that’s up to America to vote. I think you just took a big gamble, but it may pay off.”
At that moment Simon pressed his red X to silence Howie. There was no time left for Gabrielle Union to speak, though she did give a standing ovation.
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “Despite Howie’s many warnings against singing original songs, Benicio Bryant once again chose to perform a song of his own for his final show. Tonight was just him and the guitar for a very simple and scaled back performance that allowed him to show who he is as a person and a performer. He won over both Julianne and Simon for that reason because they think he really let his talent shine tonight.”
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