America’s Got Talent 10 – Live Blog and Recap – Finale Performance (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap of America’s Got Talent 10! The finals are here, as the Top 10 acts perform in the finale to determine who will win the million dollars and the headlining show in Las Vegas! Judges Howard Stern, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and host Nick Cannon are on-hand as we go LIVE to Radio City Music Hall to find a winner!
The 10 acts performing on tonight’s show are:
Benton Blount, Country Singer/Guitarist
Derek Hughes, Magician/Comedian
Drew Lynch, Stand-up Comedian
Gary Vider, Stand-up Comedian
Oz Pearlman, Mentalist
Paul Zerdin, Ventriloquist
Piff the Magic Dragon, Magician/Comedian
The CraigLewis Band, R&B Vocal Duo
The Professional Regurgitator, Regurgitator
Uzeyer Novruzov, Ladder Acrobat
Keep it locked right here as I’ll be updating with commentary and videos as the night rolls on!
Let’s get this show on the road!
-So this is an historic finale for a variety of reasons. Not only does this finale have the most comedians of any AGT final in history, it’s also the first all-male finale. Granted, that latter part isn’t exactly something to be proud of, necessarily, considering there were women who deserved to be here far more than some of the acts who are actually performing tonight (which is not to take anything away from some of the finalists. But come on. Gary Vider?). But I digress, as we get right into a major guest performance.
FLO RIDA performs with THE ROCKETTES!
-So Flo Rida is here to perform his new single, “I Don’t Like It, I Love It”. It’s a fun performance, and honestly, there’s not much more I can say about it than that. I liked this for what it was, and it was a nice way to kick off the evening’s festivities. That said, I’m anxious to get to the finalists to see what they have up their sleeves.
-Afterwards, we get an introduction to the judges, and Mel B looks AMAZING in her dark blue dress with what looks to be a diamond necklace to match. I make absolutely no apologies for my crush on her. After the break, Nick talks about how AGT is blowing up on social media, and Howie comments that people are really anxious to see if Uzeyer will survive this week, after falling last week. He also states that there’s a lot of anticipation for his golden buzzer act, Drew Lynch. I can attest to that. He’s one of the acts I’m looking forward to the most. But he’s not the one kicking off tonight’s show…
OZ PEARLMAN opens the show!
-Oz talks about leaving his former career on Wall Street behind in order to pursue his dream. He feels the pressure, since screwing up here means the world sees it. But this is his chance to change his life and making walking away from his past career worth it. I like Oz, but his last routine was probably his weakest so far. Hopefully, he really brings it this week.
-Oz asks the judges to swear that they haven’t colluded with him for this act. But their word isn’t good enough, so he has them each swear on a loved one. They then reveal that loved one to Oz: Howard picked his deceased bulldog Bianca, Heidi picks her “partner-in-crime” Jennifer Love, Mel B picks husband Stephen Belafonte (after being unable to choose between her children), and Howie picks one of Mel B’s daughters, Angel. So Oz has the judges go onstage and basically play musical chairs. They each choose, and then switch, chairs. Then Oz hands them each an envelope of their choice, keeping one for himself. Oz’s envelope includes a photo of himself, proving it was always meant for him. But that’s not all, as each judge opens their envelope to find a paper of a certain color, which matches the chair they chose! And then, in the final, mind-blowing revelation, the back of Oz’s picture reveals the predictions for each of the judges’ loved ones, with Oz having correctly picked each of the loved ones the judges would pick! AMAZING! I have no freaking clue how he did this.
-Howie says there is nothing more amazing he’s ever seen on AGT than this. Heidi declares, “Oz My God!” She then tells Oz this act was his best yet. Mel B is in shock, and then says he would make the best husband. “I don’t know how you do it. Amazing!” And…we skip over Howard. Awww, I actually wanted to hear his thoughts. But I suppose we’re already a bit pressed for time. This is what happens when you add a random Flo Rida to the proceedings, I guess.
UZEYER NOVRUZOV is up next!
-Uzeyer talks about his fall last week, and how devastated he was to have blown his shot at the million dollars. He says he just showed up for the results last week to stand onstage and be eliminated. But when he heard his name called, he was in disbelief. Now, he has new confidence, and plans to do “whatever it takes” to win for his family. I’m rooting like hell for Uzeyer. He’s my sentimental favorite.
-Uzeyer starts out by juggling a hat in the air with two sticks. He then uses a ladder as a pogo stick and leaps up a flight of stairs, as I hold my breath the entire time, worrying he’s going to fall at any moment. But he makes it to the top. And then, the big finale, as a ladder drops from the ceiling as if dropped from a helicopter. Uzeyer basically yo-yos himself up and down the ladder, and while it’s a bit of an underwhelming end, the guy is hurt, so it’s clear he can’t do everything he really wants to do here. He slips at the end when he puts both feet back on solid ground, but the crowd doesn’t begrudge him the slip-up. The guy still gave a hell of a show, considering his condition. Although this won’t win him the million dollars, I really enjoyed this, just the same.
-Howie says Uzeyer is the epitome of “the show must go on,” since he’s still injured from last week, and couldn’t do everything he wanted to do. But only one person can win, so he wishes Uzeyer the best of luck. Howard commends Uzeyer for his guts, but says it wasn’t his best performance, explaining to the booing audience that it really wasn’t, since he was hurt. But he gave them everything he had, and while it won’t win America’s Got Talent, he thanks Uzeyer for giving them a great season. Heidi praises Uzeyer for giving as much as he did, while Mel B wishes it had been more dangerous (seriously, Mel B?!). After the performance, Uzeyer thanks America for giving him “this beautiful second chance.” He’s not going to win, but I’m proud of Uzeyer for making it this far.
BENTON BLOUNT is up next!
-Benton talks about how big it is to have made it to this point, and his wife tearfully talks about how much Benton loves his family, and how much they love him. She then notes that Benton probably never believed he’d make it this far. Benton pretty much confirms this, saying he wants to make his family as proud of him as possible by the end of this, no matter how high he finishes, although the million dollars would change his and his family’s lives. He’s a likable guy, but I’d think that can only carry you so far. Frankly, I’m still surprised he made it this far.
-Benton sings “Story of My Life” by One Direction, making it three strange song choices in a row. Okay, “Jolene” was a fitting pick, but I still think “Fight Song” was an utterly baffling choice in retrospect (then again, it got him through to the finals, so what the hell do I know?). Benton has a good voice, but he’s not a million dollar act. Love his tone, but he always sounds like he’s just below the pitch, and I think it’s kept me from ever truly loving anything he does. Still, I can’t front on how likable he is. This is a guy who loves his family, and who fights like hell to give them a good life. And I respect him like crazy, even if I don’t love him as an act.
-Howard says Benton rose to the occasion, and looked like a star up there. However, he notes that Benton was flat in places (drawing boos from the audience). But he does add that watching Benton’s growth has been great. Heidi says people have connected with his story, and that he has a heart of gold. Mel B wasn’t a fan last week, but thought he was perfect this week. “People genuinely like you, and that’s why you’re here,” she adds. Howie agrees, saying people really like Benton, and applauds him for the smart song choice. After the performance, Benton says he hopes America votes for him and his family’s future. I still get this strange feeling he’s going to finish far, far higher than he realistically should.
GARY VIDER is up next!
-We get a skit depicting the relationship between Gary and his roommate, Greg, who made him a disgusting breakfast in bed in honor of the finals, and then bought him a suit for the finals…with Gary’s own card. I still have no idea if Greg is Gary’s actual roommate, or if he’s just some actor playing along with this for the sake of a skit. Anyway, the skit ends with Greg pretending to be Gary to get backstage at the finals, only for Gary to end up getting denied entry by the bouncer. Again, likable guy, but I’ve never really liked his act.
-Gary makes a joke about North Korea paying off all his debt, and then actually lands a pretty funny joke about Bruce Jenner on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. “They corrected me and said, ‘He’s Caitlyn Jenner now!'” to which he then says, “Well, I’m only on Season 3!” He also adds a joke about losing his ex-girlfriend over a misunderstanding about Ryan Gosling’s attractiveness, and how his newest relationship is long distance — he has to stay 100 yards away from her at all times. Gary then closes with a bit about going to Israel, and being screened to prove he’s Jewish. “I’m trying to get a free trip, aren’t I?” Okay, that was actually his best performance yet. But he’s still a tenth-place finisher, to me.
-Howie liked it, saying that while Gary is likely to get letters from Jewish groups over this, he’s basically the new Woody Allen. He then states that maybe one day Gary will marry his stepdaughter too (Nick warns: “YOU’RE gonna get some letters too!”). Heidi says she’s really happy for Gary, and adds that America has really liked him. Mel B tells Gary she loves him, while Howard congratulates him on making it to the finals. He calls Gary the “nebbish everyman.” Gary should totally adopt that as his moniker. After the performance, Gary says he thinks he deserves the million dollars, and I can’t tell if he’s joking or not. Good on him for being confident in his talents either way.
PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON is up next!
-Piff lays on a bed of gold with a beautiful maiden, dreaming of Nick declaring him the winner of America’s Got Talent, only to be woken up by a producer asking him about the finals. Piff decides to go campaigning for the win, and ends up annoying practically everyone in New York with his obnoxious megaphone. The police officers look like they’re having absolutely none of this. Cute.
-Piff has Howie right his name on a $20 bill. He then folds it, blows on it a bit, and somehow turns it into a voucher for $20. Then an assistant brings Mr. Piffles out, and Piff borrows Heidi’s ring to place on the dog for luck. And he’ll need it, because Piff reveals he’s going to shoot Mr. Piffles out of a tiny cannon. “Mr. Piffles” gets shot out of the cannon, and Piff fails to catch him. Of course, it’s not really Piffles, it’s just a tiny robot dog. So Piff tries to get Piff to jump up into his arms, but the robot dog falls over. Piff throws a sheet over Piffles, and turns him back into the real dog. The judges are pleased, but the crowd doesn’t seem that amazed. Piff returns Heidi’s ring, and then has her open the pouch around Piffles’s neck. Inside are a bunch of walnuts. He asks Heidi to pick one. She chooses the largest one, and inside is the $20 bill Howie signed. NOW the crowd comes to life. I’d still argue this was his weakest performance though.
-Mel B says Piff has a dry sense of humor that doesn’t always make sense, but he’s just so silly and funny that she loves him. Howard, however, doesn’t think Piff put his best foot forward here. That said, he does congratulate Piff on his efforts tonight. Howie believes tonight is a night for comedy, and that the million dollars will end up with someone funny. Heidi says it’s surprising to think that an English bloke in a dragon costume would win America’s heart. Throughout this, Piff is eating a donut. A confused Nick asks how important this competition even is to him, and Piff says it’s so important that he’s willing to give Nick the other half of his donut if it’ll help in any way. I like Piff, but I don’t think this was the performance to win him the million.
-Back from break with Neil Patrick Harris promoting Best Time Ever, and stating that he nearly broke his wrist practicing stunts. I’m actually looking forward to the premiere.
PAUL ZERDIN is up next!
-We see Paul’s various dummies singing his praises, while Paul takes them out on the town to lunch, a picnic, and karaoke. This is absolutely adorable. For my money, Paul is my pick for the win. Granted, a lot of that will depend on the strength of his act tonight, since there’s a lot of competition here.
-Paul has a new puppet this time: Albert, an elderly man with bad hearing. Albert accidentally gets his hearing aid and his suppository mixed up, and then hits on Heidi, in a funny moment. Then the baby puppet comes out and demands that Paul sing to him, so he does, in a moment that probably seemed better in theory than in execution. He then brings out Sam for a trick in which he and the puppet switch voices. But Sam refuses to go along with it, saying he wishes he could speak for himself. Halfway through the alphabet song, Paul reaches into Sam’s throat and “switches voices” with him. He gets some laughs from the audience with this, and it gets even better when they switch back, as Paul’s voice lands in his bum, prompting Sam to declare that Paul is talking out his–(and then Paul cuts him off). Albert returns to the stage to complain about being left out of the show, leading to a terrific three-way argument that ends with Paul shutting up in order to shut the puppets up. I loved this.
-Howie likes Paul a lot, but says if he has one complaint, it’s that there isn’t enough variation in the voices. Howard disagrees, calling Paul a master at work. Heidi thinks Paul was great, and really pulled off the voice swapping tonight. Mel B says Paul is already a well-polished act, and she hopes America votes for him. After the performance, Nick interviews Albert about how Paul did, and he declares that if Paul wins the million dollars, he’ll buy himself a new garter. He’s still my pick for the million, although I think The Professional Regurgitator and Drew Lynch are hot on his heels.
THE CRAIGLEWIS BAND is up next!
-The guys talk about the hardships when trying to make it in the music industry, saying they thought just being talented and having a good work ethic would be enough. But it wasn’t, and they’ve had days where they lived in the dark because they couldn’t pay the electric bill, and they’ve had times where they’ve slept on friends’ floors just to get by. However, it’s been worth it now that they’re in the finals of AGT. I like these guys, and I think they won’t have a far high bar to clear to do a better job than Benton tonight, with all due respect to Mr. Blount.
-The guys sing “Beggin’ You” by Madcon, and this is EXACTLY what they should have been doing for weeks, rather than the old soul songs. This is soulful but also very current, and it’s the kind of song I could easily hear them on the radio with right now. This is without even getting into how well they performed it, as they had some crazy notes here, and had some standout moments, earning the very first standing ovation of the night from the judges. All FOUR of them, PLUS the entire audience! These guys just might have made a HUGE leap towards the win.
-Howard praises the guys for growing so much, and adds that they brought the room to life. “You guys are stars, you did a great job tonight, and you hit the right tone!” he says. He also praises them on their polka dot fashion, saying they even make Nick Cannon look boring. Heidi loves the polka dots, but loved the performance more. Mel B declares the guys brought the house down, and says it was like watching a guest performer on that stage. Howie says, after that, he isn’t so sure comedy is going to win this year. He then makes a joke about them sharing the same suit. In their interview with Nick, the guys thank America. I honestly wouldn’t be the least bit mad if they finished high after that performance.
DEREK HUGHES is up next!
-Derek says he loves performing at Radio City Music Hall, but his favorite audience is his family. His wife talks about how hard he works for them, and it’s the usual pre-performance video about achieving dreams and whatnot, with Derek closing by declaring that this is the closest to a million dollars he’s ever been. I like Derek a lot, so hopefully, he’s got something special planned.
-Derek creates a knot with a piece of rope that turns into a square. He then moves on to his main trick by unveiling three pieces of rope that are all the same length. He then transforms the ropes to make them each different sizes. Throughout, a DJ plays a backing track for him while women gyrate around him, which I suppose is supposed to add to the silly comedy of it all. Unfortunately, the crowd just isn’t having it, and this act is just dying out there. Derek then reveals that the lengths of rope didn’t actually change, keeping with the theme of doing a trick and then revealing it wasn’t really a trick at all. However, Derek does impress Howie by making all three pieces of rope the same size again. He finishes by having Howie cut the pieces with a pair of scissors. Derek then counts down and magically puts the rope back together into one long, uncut piece. He gives it to Howard: “That’s for you. We’re gonna miss you,” he says, referring to Howard’s departure from the series. He then thanks America.
-Howard says Derek has talent, but he’s surprised this is what he went with. He thought Derek was in a position to win, but feels rope tricks won’t get the job done. Derek seems devastated, but I agree with him completely. Howie somewhat agrees, saying he was more drawn to the dancers than Derek himself. Mel B thinks Derek is a nice guy, but didn’t think this worked at all, noting she never looked at him once, she was looking at the dancers. Well, I never particularly bought that Derek was in a position to win, since it’s basically all been downhill since the judge cuts. But I did think he had the potential to place high. But now? I’d be shocked if he finished any higher than 7th or 8th place. And that’s a shame, because he’s a good magician. But this just was NOT the act he should have gone with for the finals.
THE PROFESSIONAL REGURGITATOR is up next!
-Stevie Starr talks about how there are millions of people in this world, but only one him. He recalls his childhood in an orphanage, swallowing his pocket money to keep it from being stolen, only to learn he had a talent for this. So he started doing it for attention. Stevie loves what he does, because he knows that when he dies, regurgitation will go to the grave with him, since there’s no one else in the world who can do this. I’m sure that’s not the case, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Stevie is the best in the world at regurgitating.
-Stevie swallows some thumbtacks, along with five pins and a magnet, grossing out the judges (except for Howard, who is delighted). He then asks the judges how many thumbtacks they’d like for him to put on the magnet. They request four, so Stevie does a little jangling in his stomach, and brings up the magnet with four tacks on them! Pretty cool. He then brings out Nick to help him with his next trick. Stevie then warns the audience, with all sincerity, to please not try this at home. And with good reason, as Stevie has a can of lighter gas which he’ll swallow along with some soap. He’ll put the lighter gas inside a bubble, bring up the bubble, and then have Nick use a light to set the bubble on fire and cause it to explode. Nick looks like a kid being forced to eat his vegetables while Stevie is explaining this, making it all the funnier. He gives the judges a tiny preview, and Howie is all but ready to give him a standing ovation right then and there. But it’s not the full act, as that was just a tiny bubble. Stevie does the full thing, and Nick ignites the lighter, causing the bubble to explode. And NOW Stevie says goodnight, earning the second standing ovation of the night from all four judges. Before the judges talk, Stevie quickly thanks America for this incredible opportunity.
-Heidi is enthusiastic about Stevie, saying he’s the million dollar act. Mel B calls Stevie a guaranteed showstopper every time. And…that’s it for the judges’ comments, since we’ve only got nine minutes, one last act, and a commercial break between it all. Bring on Drew Lynch! (Seriously though, unless Drew bombs, I’m beginning to think Stevie might have this in the bag. If he does, it’d probably be the most unconventional act ever to win a Got Talent show. What would he even be classified as? Danger? Comedy? I don’t know)
DREW LYNCH closes the show!
-Drew meets with his family on the eve of the finals, and we see him going out to dinner with his family and his girlfriend, Natalie. He says that years ago, he was just trying to find out who he was after his tragic accident. But now, he’s more confident than ever in his own identity, and that the show has helped him grow so much. Natalie says she feels Drew deserves this, and I’d be hard pressed to disagree with her, particularly after tonight’s hit-or-miss show.
-Drew opens with a joke about how he’s not sexually active because he’s saving himself — some money. He then says he wouldn’t be a very good parent, because he doesn’t have any conviction in his voice. “I’m gonna count to three! ‘Oh good, we have time!'” That draws big laughs from the audience. He follows it up with a solid joke about how, when he first met his girlfriend, it took him forever to give her his number, saying by the time he spelled it all out, it was their anniversary. He then stuttered over all the numbers, leaving her thinking he has 3 eights in his phone number. “What am I? Customer service?!” He closes with a risky joke about his girlfriend’s boobs, and then throws back to Gary Vider’s act last week, saying that when he counts, it’s not Boobissippi, it’s Boobachusetts. Heidi gives Drew a standing ovation. He really was tonight’s only funny comedian. If anything, it was too short.
-Howard is proud of Drew for everything he’s done, while Howie loves Drew so much he wants to build a wall around him, Trump style. Mel B loved it and wanted the act to last longer, and then praises him for having a “chocolate” girlfriend, which Drew admits was for the “Mel B point.” Heidi then states that Drew has inspired them all. Nick asks Drew what he’ll do if he wins the million dollars, and Drew notes that his girlfriend supported him with three jobs so he could make it in comedy. So if he won, he would let her go back down to just two (tremendous). I love Drew and I’m rooting for him to win, even though he’s not my official prediction.
-Aaaaand that’s a wrap on tonight’s show! What did you think of tonight’s finals? Sound off in the comments!
Until tomorrow night, thanks for reading!