America's Got Talent - Handicap the finalists so far

With three of the four semifinals out of the way, here’s who the judges and audience have picked as the finalists -

Taylor Ware - A yodeling kid.
The Miller Brothers - Should really be just LD Miller, a harmonica prodigy
“At Last” - The latest boy band
“Realis” - a gymnastic dance duo
“Rappin’ Granny” - A grandmother who raps
Bianca Ryan - An 11 year old singer

My first thought in looking at the list is that there’s some real talent here.

The weakest of the bunch is Rappin’ Granny, but she’s fun to watch and the audience and judges loved her. Nonetheless, there’s no way she’s winning this thing. Here’s a video of Rapping Granny. Video quality isn’t great, but you’ll get the idea.

“Realis” didn’t impress me that much. Yes, they’re gymnasts. Sure, it’s impressive when he throws her in the air. But you see cheerleaders do this stuff all the time. Maybe not quite this well, but… Anyway, here’s a video of them doing their thing: Realis

“At Last”. Whatever. I hate boy bands. They sing a-capella, and they harmonize while saying ‘girl’ a lot. Here’s the video.

Taylor Ware is pretty impressive, if you like yodeling or can at least appreciate the talent. Here’s a video of her doing her thing.

Then there’s the Miller Brothers. The younger one is the star. The older bother, not so much. But the kid is absolutely phenomenal on the harp. He’s 11, and he’s already played with people like Buddy Guy. I believe it was Buddy Guy who said he’s the best harmonica player who’s ever lived - and he’s a kid. You’ve got to check out these videos:

The Miller Brothers first appearance on America’s Got Talent
The Miller Brothers second appearance
LD Miller playing ‘Fever’ at some show
LD Miller playing with Buddy Guy at age 7(!!)

Finally, Bianca Ryan. I think she’s just fantastic. Not just her voice, but she’s got great stage presence, and she’s absolutely fearless. She can also express the emotion of a song better than any of the current “Diva” singers I can think of - and she’s only 11. Check out these performances:

Bianca Ryan singing “And I’m telling you I’m not going”
Bianca Ryan singing Joplin’s “Piece of my Heart”. A damned hard song to sing, and she nailed it (perhaps a little sharp in spots, but mostly spot on).

In my opinion, so far this contest is really only between two people - LD Miller and Bianca Ryan. They are the only ones who you can say, “Yep - that’s a future star”. Taylor Ware is talented, but the best she’ll do is sing at county fairs. The others, well, we’ve seen all those acts before. No big deal. But Miller and Ryan are the real deal - watching them, I figured that this was what it was like when little Stevie Wonder or Michael Jackson came on the scene. One look and you knew they were going to be around for a long, long time.

Between the two, it’s a toss-up for me.

Anyone else watching this show? What do you think?

Thanks for the Links, Sam. There were a few performances I didn’t catch on TV. To my great suprise, I’m enjoying watching this show. I usually don’t get into this type of entertainment.

Rapping Granny. Just a gimmick. She’s not a very good rapper, really.

At Last. - Yes, it’s a “boy band.” Generally, I would say that’s not my thing, but I think these guys are very good. I like the acapella, and the human beat-box adds a lot. It’s just the four of them providing every element of the performance. No back up band, or accompaniment. Don’t let your disdain for N-Sync make you think that these guys aren’t talented.

Miller Brothers - That kid sure can play the harmonica. The older brother isn’t a bad singer either. Pretty much nothing but praise on this act.

Realis - Didn’t knock my socks off, but there is a part of me that wants to see them win just because it would be so unexpected. From the first episode I saw, I was willing to put money down that a musical act would win the grand prize. The variety of the show is what makes this more entertaining than American Idol.

Bianca Ryan - She’s got a voice, no doubt. She’s just not always in tune. She has a lot of talent, and a lot of potential to develop it more. I don’t think that she’s grand prize material though.

Taylor Ware - The genre of the talent isn’t going to make her a super star, but I enjoy the performance. The yodeling is impressive, and she also can sing quite well too. Points for variety.

I can’t fathom to guess who the masses will support, but I would venture to guess that At Last and The Miller Brothers both stand a good chance at the grand prize.

I think it is going to be the quick change magic act to win unless they are disqualified for already being a professional act.

To actually answer the OP,
Bianca is really good for a kid. She is very talented but raw. she needs to be taught how to control her voice and her breathing. She has a very big voice but isn’t always on the note and is at the point that if she continues to sing like this she could damge her voice.

Rappin granny has lots of pesonality and is lots of fun but is basically one trick.

Miller Brothers are quite good but I don’ think harmonica playing has a wide enough appeal, i.e. there aren’t enough people who understand how good the kid is to vote them in.

Taylor is bright and cute and will probeably be an act in a lots of fairs but again yodeling is not big enough to have a fan base to say wow she is the best.

At last, I just can’t see a band rousing the enthusiasm to put them over the top of these other eight. I watched all the shows so far and I cna’t even remember them.

Realis, really awesome moves but the pacing is not professional.

and that last part is I think where all of these so far fall down, they ae not posihed professionally presented acts. The quick change artists are increible at what they do and they present it well. I think they should have been disqualified. Link to thier webpage.

Well, a few of the acts on the show could be called ‘professional’ The Miller Brothers are part of the Clayton Miller Band, and they’ve been touring for years. A lot of the magicians are professional magicians on local circuits. Taylor Ware has performed in Dollywood and won some Yahoo kid’s talent contest and toured around a bit promoting it. “Realis” performs profesionally, I believe, and they have won gymnastic competitions. I believe Bianca Ryan has been picked to play a young Janice Joplin in a major motion picture biography, which is probably why she chose to do “Piece of my Heart”.

I haven’t even seen the quick-change artists. Have they been in the semi-finals yet?

It still seems to me that a show like this is about spotting new talent - someone who may not yet be polished, but who displays so much ability that you can tell they are going to go places. For my money, the only two that really qualify are Bianca Ryan and LD Miller. The rest may be good, but they aren’t good enough to make you jump out of your seat and go, “Holy Cow! I just saw something for the first time I’m going to be hearing about for years.”

Watch the judges when LD and Bianca perform. Especially their first performances. Listen to the audience. Both performances have everyone on their feet at the end, and the judges wide-eyed and talking to each other while it goes on. With Bianca, you can see Hasselhoff siting back at first, thinking to himself, “Jeez, another kid singer. Can I go home yet?” As the performance goes on, he first sits up a bit. Then he leans forward. Then he’s shaking his head, and finally he’s pounding the desk and cheering. Brandy spontaneously gets up at one point and just stands there, looking transfixed. By the end, the audience is on its feet cheering and yelling.

When LD Miller start playing, Hasselhoff threw himself back in his chair with a ‘holy crap!’ expression on his face. He too just blew the judges and the audience away.