America's Got Talent: Down to Final Four!

Ending the summer with shadow dance teams and young rock groups.

By , Contributor

The final performance round for America’s Got Talent will air on NBC on Tuesday, September 13 at 9/8c. The season finale, when the winner of the million dollars and a Las Vegas act is announced, will air on Wednesday, September 14 at 8/7c.

All I can say is, "Whew!"

I’ve watched this show wearing two hats and at times the hats became twisted and tangled and all a muddle. This is a competitive reality series that I’ve enjoyed with great relish for the full six years now that it’s been around. AGT has variety and then some.

One hat was worn by me as viewer. Like its singing counterpart, American Idol, the early shows for this series get a bit silly in that the acts could be serious contenders for the crown or ridiculous skits by America’s talentless who want more to make us laugh and giggle across the fruited plains than convince us that there’s talent hidden behind wearing watermelons and skidding down a sliding board.

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Then there was my granddaughter, and right away you're wondering what my granddaughter has to do with anything. America’s Got Talent is a show that young children can watch mostly with no concern about inappropriate words or questionable TV sights. Further, my seven-year-old granddaughter enjoys AGT very much and here’s a show that a family of all ages can enjoy. Add a bowl of popcorn and you might think it was 1955.

Another hat I wore was that of a reality TV columnist for The Morton Report and the swanky people across the fruited plains often relied heavily upon me for updates and, of course, my vaunted opinions. Now yanking tongue out of cheek, I can only say that I got so confused with what was going on that it once took three columns to get it all right.

AGT, like its namesake, America, is a very free, liberty-loving competition. So the show visits many of the country’s big cities that the talented and the nuts may try out in person. If a talented American is unable to get to a city on the tour, they can apply via YouTube from the convenience of their own home.

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Since the talent on AGT can be anything and of any size, you might have a zany fellow diving from on high into a shallow pool of water, motorcyclists who drive around in circles while enclosed in a mini-dome, sometimes even a singer or two. If there’s a method to the madness of how the acts are arranged for competition it eludes me.

The judges on AGT have great power. As the over 100 acts that finally make it to Las Vegas when the show begins to get serious compete with each other, the judges are often casting a deciding vote on the bottom rung by audience votes as to which of the two lowest will go on.

It’s now down to the final four, the finale is next week, so let’s do a review.

Poplyfe is a group of youngsters, none over age 18 as the hype goes. This is a very talented group of young ones, also adored by my granddaughter.  Which is not to say their music appeals to children. It’s their very youth that appeals to the young, but their music is timeless.

This past episode, Poplyfe sang a terrific medley of Michael Jackson/Jackson Five songs that captured my fancy for the duration. The lead singer was urged by the judges from time to time to think of going off on her own but she refused. She is definitely the most talented of the group but the band is top notch to my pop-loving ears. Poplyfe has its tale of woe, as is often the case in reality TV competitions when unknowns seek fame, fortune, love, and the sympathy of the audience.

Silhouettes is an unusual dance troupe also with a story of angst. It’s a large group and their act is mesmerizing. The group dances, but behind a screen that leaves only the shadows of the dancers cast upon a screen. The individuals in the group not only dance with the leaps and bounds of the craft, they form, comparable to a huge game of shadow art, works of art to include the White House, the Statue of Liberty, and various other elements as part of their act.

While I enjoy watching this artistic endeavor, it’s not something I’d likely pay to see. Silhouettes would be a wonderful lead-in performance.

Team iLuminate is a show of wonder. This is also a dance group only with some high technology applied for effect. The dancers are wired with colorful lights. In a darkened theater, the dance is exquisitely intriguing. The dancers’ lighted costumes might whirl prettily with the dance moves, become objects from the effect, or seem to float completely in the air.

If I were in Las Vegas I might make it a point to see this show if nearby. This would again be a great lead-in performance. The judges assure us out here across the fruited plains that Team iLuminate’s show is geometrically more amazing in person than what we see on our TV screens.

I would make extra effort to, please note, to see Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. This is a fellow with a most wonderful voice. He sounds like Frank Sinatra and, beyond the dreadlocks, he looks like he stepped right out of a Rat Pack movie.

I think that Landau is going to win this thing.

I think Team iLuminate will come in second.

I think Poplyfe will come in third.

I think Silhouettes will come in fourth.

Watch this coming Tuesday and Wednesday and see how I do.

If you've got an insight to share, email me: pat.fish@themortonreport.com.

Check in every day for new columns and updates.

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Pat Fish has been a blogger for almost ten years. She has been published numerous times in the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort book series and wrote for Blogcritics. She has written a few books and vows to write till death does part her from the keyboard. Pat loves to write about current…

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