'America's Got Singers'? Viewers outraged by lack of variety this 'AGT' season

Lyndsey Parker
·Editor in Chief, Yahoo Music
·4 mins read

Judge Simon Cowell has had to sit out much of this America’s Got Talent season due to a back injury, but when he watches next week’s finale from the comfort of his home, he’ll probably experience some déjà vu flashbacks to his past singing competitions, American Idol and The X Factor.

On Wednesday’s AGT second semifinals results show determining who will perform in next week’s finals, R&B diva Cristina Rae, Russian tween singer Daneliya Tuleshova, and another tween, country crooner Kenadi Dodds, all advanced, along with hand-balancing trio the Bello Sisters and Indian ballroom duo Bad Salsa. Meanwhile, among Wednesday’s eliminated contestants were magicians Max Major and Brett Loudermilk, danger act Jonathan Goodwin, and hip-hop dance troupe W.A.F.F.L.E. Crew. The only two vocal acts that didn’t make the cut Wednesday were Voices of Our City Choir and, in a bit of a surprise, androgynous pop belter Celina.

Singers Daneliya Tuleshova, Cristina Rae, and Kenadi Dodds edge out variety acts for the 'America's Got Talent' Season 15 finals. (Photo: NBC)
Singers Daneliya Tuleshova, Cristina Rae, and Kenadi Dodds edge out variety acts for the 'America's Got Talent' Season 15 finals. (Photo: NBC)

So, the above-mentioned contestants will join the five finalists who made it through last week — poet Brandon Leake, aerialist Alan Silva, country music duo Broken Roots, soul stylist Archie Williams, and yet another preteen-girl vocalist, Roberta Battaglia — for next week’s two-night Season 15 finale. If you’re keeping track and doing the math, that means a whopping six of this season’s 10 finalists are singers. And while these contestants were in fact selected by America, that didn’t stop many viewers from complaining on Twitter about this lack of variety on what is supposed to be a variety show.

Perhaps viewers shouldn’t be so shocked by this outcome, since seven of the past 14 AGT winners have actually been singers. But who will win this season — and who should win? I believe that this current crop of singers could all cancel each other out, and that the votes might also get split between Alan Silva, Bad Salsa, and the Bellos. That would clear the way for Brandon Leake, the first and only spoken-word contestant in AGT history. So, that is my prediction — and my pick, too. Every powerful performance by Brandon this season has been heart-stoppingly beautiful as well as very topical — so it seems like it’s the right time for a champion like him.

Tune in next Tuesday and Wednesday to find out what happens. And in the meantime, check out a flawless Universal Studios lot performance by the real winners of America’s Got Talent this week, Wednesday night’s special singing guests, K-pop superstars BTS:

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