The “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” finals round is here.
The remaining 10 acts hit the stage Monday – all vying for the chance to be crowned the best of the best. As if the competition were not already stacked, the judges brought back two wild cards, who were given another opportunity to battle for the title.
Ventriloquist sensation Darci Lynne Farmer did not waste her second chance. The Season 12 winner flawlessly sung Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” through her rabbit, Petunia, all without moving her mouth. “This is the best-ever performance you have ever given. I think you may win tonight,” Simon Cowell said. “I think you have a shot at this tonight,” Howie Mandel added.
The second wild card of the night was NFL player-turned-magician Jon Dorenbos. He wowed the judges with his elaborate magic routine, where he guessed which cards the judges selected tonight, incorporating moments from his previous acts throughout his “AGT” journey. “You have a shot. … That was purely fantastic,” Cowell said. Dorenbos also revealed that he experienced some magic of his own: He and his wife are expecting a child.
The field was dominated by singers, including Kechi Okwuchi, Brian Justin Crum, Angelica Hale, and Paul Potts. But one of the most memorable singing performances came from “Britain’s Got Talent” sweetheart Susan Boyle.
Boyle sang “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, the song that turned her into a viral sensation in 2009 when she was auditioning for “BGT.” She received a standing ovation. “The word ‘champion’ isn’t even enough to describe who and how you perform. You are more than a champion,” Mandel said. Heidi Klum added that Boyle’s performance gave her “goose pimples.”
Fellow opera singer Cristina Ramos added her own twist with her act. Standing on a platform right in front of the judges, Ramos belted out Blondie’s “Call Me,” switching her persona from an angelic opera singer to a wild rock star. Cowell called her vocals “insanely good,” adding that “you may have thrown this whole show up in the air because anything can happen after that.”
Singing acts were not the only ones to wow. Magician Shin Lim and sand artist Kseniya Simonova also came to win, executing excellent performances that stunned the judges.
Daredevils Deadly Games kept the competition rolling with the “most dangerous routine of all time,” which was filled extreme knife-throwing from the husband-and-wife duo Alfredo and Anna. Then they did the unthinkable. Deadly Games invited the judges onto the stage to hold balloons, which Alfredo shot all at once with a crossbow. “I’m just happy to be alive,” Mandel exclaimed, while Cowell added: “Under the danger-act category, this is the best in the world.”
Preacher Lawson was the only comedian to make it to the finals. He joked about everything from the gym to women’s fear of being buff. He ended his act by ripping off his shirt (too much applause) to re-enact how a woman feels after lifting one dumbbell. “You guys better laugh at that joke, it cost me $6.95,” he deadpanned. Cowell said, “everything about you has gotten better” and Mel B interjected, “and his body got better.”
The competition is now up to the panel of superfans from 50 states, who will vote to crown the “Champion.” The winner will be revealed during the “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” results in finale on Feb. 18 (NBC, 8 EST/PST).