Everything you need to know about the America's Got Talent season 14 finalists
With the two-night finale close at hand (airing Sept. 17 and 18 on NBC), this season of America’s Got Talent has been whittled down to 10 finalists. These acts will vie for the approval of judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Julianne Hough, and Gabrielle Union, along with the viewing audience, to earn the grand prize of $1 million and a headlining show in Las Vegas. This season’s lineup features a typically AGT assortment of child prodigies, musicians, choirs, and dance acts, along with a stray stand-up comedian. Read on for a rundown of every act in the finals.
Bryant, just 14 years old, wowed the judges with his performance of Brandi Carlile‘s “The Joke” at his audition, going on to perform a series of original songs in subsequent rounds. A native of Maple Valley, Wash. — not far from Carlile’s own hometown of Ravensdale — Bryant built his profile through a YouTube channel, competing on Germany’s The Voice Kids, and previously performing “The Joke” as a duet with Carlile, first at a fundraiser at her high school alma mater, then on Late Night with Seth Meyers in June 2018. And his audition made a substantial impression on the notoriously hard-to-please Cowell: the judge said Bryant reminded him of “the very first time [he] auditioned Harry Styles” for The X Factor in 2010.
Detroit Youth Choir
Led by director Anthony T. White, this group brings high energy to each of their performances, which feature singing, rapping, and exuberant choreography. As their moniker implies, the choir is made up of kids from Detroit, many of whom come from underprivileged communities (“We give them something positive to come and be a part of,” White said in their introductory video). At their audition, the group earned a coveted Golden Buzzer from emotional host Terry Crews (a Michigan native himself), advancing directly to quarterfinals and skipping the “Judge Cuts” round.
One might experience cognitive dissonance watching 10-year-old Beasha sing, given the power of her voice and her operatic performances. After auditioning with a Puccini aria and advancing steadily through the rounds, Beasha surprised everyone in the semifinals with the choice to perform Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” in Italian. And, as the video above shows, she pulled it off.
If there’s a fan favorite going into the finals, it’s probably pianist-singer Kodi Lee. Lee, who is blind and autistic, has repeatedly turned in emotional performances over the course of the season, beginning with a rendition of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” at his audition that moved Hough to tears and earned a Golden Buzzer from Union. His soulful voice and performing style make all of his performances — which include covers of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and Calum Scott’s “You Are the Reason” — worth watching.
Light Balance Kids
An offshoot of the Ukrainian light-up dance troupe Light Balance, which placed third in AGT‘s 12th season, this act is another group of kids with big dreams. And they know how to deliver on spectacle, with impressive use of LED light costumes, backdrops, and effects to enhance their already-impressive dancing.
Ndlovu Youth Choir
Hailing from a small, impoverished community in South Africa, this choir is another endeavor aiming to improve kids’ lives through creative expression. The group combines a decidedly African vocal style with varied, uplifting song choices, including U2’s “Beautiful Day,” Shakira’s “Waka Waka,” and Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love.” And, also like the Detroit Youth Choir, they combine powerhouse vocals and choreography for performances that have repeatedly brought down the house.
A comedian from Indianapolis, Niemiller made his way to the finals with a series of charming routines, unafraid to mine his disability for humor (“I used to juggle chainsaws,” he quipped in his audition), dubbing himself the “Cripple Threat of Comedy.”
Diagnosed with leukemia at age four, Butler-Figueroa later took up the violin after being bullied for having cancer. His virtuosic performances of recent pop hits, coupled with a strong sense of showmanship, have impressed crowd and judges alike, with his audition earning a Golden Buzzer stamp of approval from none other than Cowell.
This Mumbai-based dance group combines high-energy choreography with acrobatics, with members flying through the air, bouncing off of trampolines, and flipping off chairs, just to name a few of their jaw-dropping moves. And those stunts are no laughing matter — the “V” in the group’s name stands for Vikas, a member who died after an accident during a rehearsal. The group has dedicated their work and performances to Vikas, hoping to fulfill his dream of success for the group.
Voices of Service
Consisting of three veterans and one active-duty servicewoman, this quartet uses music to help veterans cope with PTSD. Like any good quartet, Voices of Service makes superb use of harmonies and complementary vocal lines, with inspirational song performances such as Katy Perry‘s “Rise” and Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth‘s “See You Again” impressing judges and audiences alike.