'America's Got Talent' final 6 recap

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

"America's Got Talent" has only six acts but NBC stretched things out to two hours by having the finalists spend hour one reprising a past performance.

Fortunately, this is a solid final group of acts. I'm having a hard time deciding who will win it all but I will go for who I think the producers are signaling by placing her at the end: Emily West.

Why? She has the majestic beauty, the maturity and the soaring voice necessary to take this home. Sure, she's old fashioned and not remotely current but "AGT" isn't really designed to look for the next pop star, just someone who could draw a crowd in Vegas. She can do it.

My predictions of how the six will finish, in order, though honestly, I find quality in all of them. Several of them will be able to make a living from their skills. If Mat's last act had been better, I would have moved him up and I also gave Miguel a higher ranking than I otherwise would have thanks to a strong "Billie Jean."

1. Emily Rose

2. Quintavious Johnson

3. Acro Army

4. Miguel Dakota

5. Mat Franco

6. Sons of Serendip

The reprises

Quintavious Johnson (singer) - "I'd Rather Go Blind" from semifinals. Again, a 12 year old brings maturity and surprising weight to an Etta James classic. I am sure he will get plenty of votes.

Mat Franco (magician)  - While it's easy for singers to just sing the same song again, as a magician, he decided to twist things up by using balls this time instead of cards. And given the poem he offered up, a story about the judges, he was charming as ever. If there's a year a magician could win this entire competition, Mat could be the one.

Emily West (singer) - She brings back Sia's "Chandelier" in a ridiculously large dress. She has a big heart and a big voice. She's very much in the running to win. (Mel B didn't think it was quite as good as the first time.)

Miguel Dakota (singer) - He has a good voice and he's cute. That alone will get him votes. But he is not quite the charismatic rock god he wants to be. Bringing back "Seven Nation Army," he puts together one of his better performances. We'll see how he does hour two. (Howard Stern doesn't think he is going to win.)

Sons of Serendip (singing group) - This is very pretty but this performance is way too subtle to inspire votes.  I find them very charming, though. Again, they are going to have to kill it next hour. Howard Stern says they are a bit retro but they have superior talent.

Acro Army (dance troupe)  - Sure, we've seen this routine before but the flying acrobats are fabulous.

Hour two, original performances

This is when things will really matter.

Mat Franco - He creates a "human playing card" trick where Mel B picks which folks holding cards will be on the "red" side and which one on the "black" side. Howard does the same thing with a "regular" deck of cards. Of course, the results match up. I found this trick mildly tedious in its execution and less entertaining than his first hour act. I don't think it will win him $1 million. Grade: B

Sons of Serendip -  I respect these guys for thinking outside the box in terms of song choices. Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life" is certainly not obvious. His voice is nothing like that of Amy Lee. He gives it a gospel spin. Again, this may be a bit too subtle for $1 million but gorgeous. Grade: B-plus/A-minus

Quintavious Johnson - What an angelic voice from a kid with braces. He kills the Beatles classic "Let It Be." I wanted more! That could help him pocket $1 million. "A true superstar," Mel B said. Grade: A/A-minus

Miguel Dakota - He pulls off a wonderfully bracing singer songwriter version of "Billie Jean" (cue David Cook circa 2008 on "American Idol'). He was a lot better than I had expected. "This was your best performance," said Howard Stern, a tough critic of his. Grade: A-minus/B-plus

Acro Army - The choreography and skills here are so top notch. Vegas is theirs, win or lose. They pull off such amazing stunts. "You really topped yourself," Heidi Klum said. "Jaw dropping." Grade: A

Emily Rose - Pimp spot! No pressure! The producers made an editorial decision to close with the person they think is likeliest to win. She goes for a classic Robert FLack song "First Time I Ever Saw Your Face." She is top notch, hits it out of the park. Grade: A

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