In further preparation for Vegas week, I’ve decided to take a closer look at each of our contestants and gaze into my crystal ball to try & predict who will do well in Vegas and who won’t. I’ve taken each act and given them one of four verdicts: “a sure thing” for the acts I’m almost positive will make it through to the live shows; “looking likely” for the acts I think will probably make it though to the live shows; “could go either way” for the acts I’m not sure about; and “a long shot” for the acts I don’t think have a very good chance of making it through to the live shows. Today I’m going to be examining the singers, classical singers, and musical groups from this season. Let’s get to it, shall we? 🙂
*Interesting little thing I noticed: 5 of the acts below made it to Vegas by performing original songs.
Marty Brown: Could go either way. With 3 male country vocalists in Vegas this year, I think at best they’ll take 2 for the live shows – I really don’t see all 3 making it through. I think Milton will make it through based on the fact that he, like Landau from season 6, is such a novelty (in addition to being talented); which leaves us with Marty vs. Jimmy. I go back and forth on which one has a better chance of making it – part of me says Marty, because he appeals to an older demographic; part of me says Jimmy, because he’s got a bit more versatility, in that he’s also a songwriter.
Tone the Chiefrocca: Could go either way. I’m a big “B-O-O-T-Y” fan, and I would love, love, LOVE to see this guy make the live shows. The question is: is “B-O-O-T-Y” every bit as entertaining the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. times we see it performed, as it was the first time? Howard seemed skeptical about Tone performing the same song every time, but Howie was all about it. I think the song is ridiculously catchy, and I think Tone & his brother are ridiculously fun to watch, so I think they may actually stand a good chance of making it to the live shows – if they can somehow keep the act fresh.
Paul Thomas Mitchell: Looking likely. He’s got a unique voice, bona fide talent, and seems like he could be a heartthrob-type that young girls would pick up the phone for. I think he’s got more widespread appeal (and natural talent) than Sully, whom I could see him being pitted against for a spot in the live shows.
Deanna DellaCioppa: Looking likely. While I don’t think Deanna is the most talented vocalist this show has ever seen, and I think she has a lot of room for improvement from her initial audition, I think she’ll likely make it through based on the fact that we don’t have any other R&B/soul female vocalists this season, and the judges (minus Mel B) seemed mesmerized by all the crazy notes she was hitting.
Cami Bradley: A long shot. Given that we only saw a very brief clip of Cami, and there are female vocalists in the kids’ category that could probably sing circles around Cami, I doubt we’ll see her lasting past Vegas…if we even see her in Vegas. She’s not really standing out in my mind, which tells me she may be one of those acts that isn’t even shown in Vegas, and then we just assume she was sent home.
David Fenley: A sure thing. I think he’s probably the most universally-appealing contestant from the singers category this season – he puts a cool spin on popular songs, he knows his way around a guitar, he’s got a unique voice, and he’s got an edge about him. I don’t see him struggling in Vegas, and he would probably be an easy “yes” for the judges for the live shows.
Lil Mike & Funny Bone: A long shot. I think there’s probably only room for one rapping act this season, and I think Tone probably has that slot on lock…IF they even take a rapping act this season. While I really like Lil Mike & Funny Bone, I just don’t know that they’re as entertaining and charismatic as Tone, and “Do the Rain Dance” is not as catchy as “B-O-O-T-Y”. On the flip side, I think “Mike Bone” might actually have some other songs up their sleeve, where as Tone only has one. I’ll be gleefully happy if both Tone & Mike Bone make it to the live shows – but I’m just not feeling optimistic.
Sully Dunn: A long shot. I’m honestly a bit surprised he made it through to Vegas (and the judges did seem a bit skeptical), so I think he’s got a tough road ahead of him if he wants to stick around. I don’t know that another song like the one he performed for his audition is gonna cut it – if I were him, I’d go for a cover that fits in well with his punk style (maybe Green Day?) and work on stage presence. I’m almost kind of hoping he doesn’t make the live shows, for the simple reason that he seems to get really, really nervous in front of big crowds. I could see Howie picking him for the wild card round, though.
Jimmy Rose: Could go either way. As I said above with Marty, I just don’t see them taking more than two male country vocalists this season – and with Milton as kind of a lock, I think the question over who they’re going to pick for the second slot will come down to old school vs. new school: do they want the good ol’ boy who sings covers (Marty), or the vulnerable new guy who writes his own material? I’m actually a bit partial to Jimmy, since I think he has a bit more of a stage presence.
Milton Patton: Looking likely. Milton’s got a great, unique voice, and on top of that, he’s got a novelty to him that I think will bring in viewers: he’s a black guy that sings country like Brad Paisley. I think part of Landau’s appeal from a few seasons back and Andrew DeLeon’s from last season was the fact that their voices and the music they sang were not what one would have expected, given their respective appearances. On top of that, he’s got an easy charm to him, and good looks that will likely appeal to the ladies. I will be surprised if he doesn’t make it to the live shows.
Forte: A sure thing. Barring a truly horrible performance in Vegas (hell, I think they could probably even get away with bombing completely!), I think these guys will coast through to the live shows easily – the judges seemed to really gush about how great they sounded, and if memory serves, they’re the first opera trio we’ve ever had on the show. The novelty of them seems to be something that would bring in viewers. If Jackie Evancho was AGT’s answer to Sarah Brightman, then I think Forte may be AGT’s answer to The Three Tenors…the buzz practically writes itself.
Travis Pratt: Looking likely. Of the three solo opera guys we have this season, I think Travis has the best technique and control (although I think any one of the three guys in Forte could sing circles around him), and he has the novelty factor: he can sing opera like a girl, and we don’t have any opera girls this season. It’s a niche that needs to be filled. Plus I think viewers will remember him as “the guy who proposed to his girlfriend on national television”. 🙂
Branden James: Could go either way. He seemed a little shaky to me at times, and maybe didn’t have quite the training and control that the Forte guys & Travis did. But I think he injects an incredible amount of emotion into his performances, and has this lovely, vulnerable quality to him. I think him making it through to the live shows will likely depend on how many opera acts they decide to take this season – I don’t recall a season where there’s been more than one, but I also can’t remember a season where there have been this many opera acts that made it to Vegas.
Jonathan Allen: A longshot. Sorry, Jonathan fans – while he comes across quite likeable and has a touching backstory, he still sticks out in my mind as the weakest of the of the classical singers we’ve seen this season. I think he’s at a bit of a disadvantage just due to his age, as the other guys in this category are older and have had longer to hone their craft. I think he may only have a chance of making it through if one of the other guys really performs poorly – or if Jonathan has gotten a ton of practice in since his initial audition and just brings down the house in Vegas.
3Penny Chorus & Orchestra: Looking likely. They’ve got the capability to perform pop music on a pretty large scale, and can appeal to both an older and a younger generation. I think they’ve got more polish and more versatility than Mariachi Nuevo Estilo, who also perform pop songs with a twist; my only worry is that they maybe don’t have quite as much stage presence as them, given that all of the musicians are seated.
Mariachi Nuevo Estilo AVM: Could go either way. I personally found their act a little on the sloppy side, but I can see how they would appeal to a younger audience – they’re singing pop music in an interesting way and dancing along with it in an amusing fashion. I could see them being one of the standby acts in Vegas – and as long as they don’t completely bomb, I could see them making it through to the live shows.
American Military Spouses Choir: A long shot. As heartwarming as their story was, I just don’t know that they’ve got enough unique talent to really have a good shot on the live shows – I think the UV Gospel Chorale has stronger voices and a stronger stage presence, and the American Hitmen are every bit as patriotic as the Military Spouses Choir…but have more talent.
University of Virginia Gospel Chorale: Looking likely. It’s been awhile since the show has seen a good gospel choir, and I think this one is a real crowd-pleaser: they have these huge voices and exciting choreography that can really turn a performance into an event. I think it’s something that will translate well into live TV.
Brandon & Savannah: Could go either way. I’m not entirely sure whether these two will get lumped in with the adults, or will be included in the “kid” acts – they’re at an age where they could ostensibly be included in either category. Regardless, I think they’re really marketable and would likely be popular with the Disney crowd…but in the same token, they might be a bit too “bubblegum” to really be taken seriously. I think they should probably switch to singing covers if they want to be taken seriously.
The American Hit Men: A sure thing. I’ve noticed that Howard tends to really stand his ground when he likes an act (and when he dislikes an act, too), so I think it works in this act’s favor that Howard is a big fan. They’re the “great rock band” that he had been wanting to find this season, and they really don’t have any competition in that niche.
212 Green: A sure thing. They’re young, they’re cute, and they’re talented – and there aren’t really any other acts with a similar lineup or sound this season. I’d say they’re the hipper, more artsy version of Brandon & Savannah – and adults and kids alike will probably love them.
So what are your thoughts on this season’s singers? Who do you think will make it through to the live shows…and who do you think we’ll say goodbye to in Vegas?