The 11 finalists this year’s America’s Got Talent had one last chance to prove why they deserve to win the $1 million prize.
Each of the acts took to the stage to try and win America’s vote ahead of Wednesday night’s big results show. While some upped their game, others faltered.
Here’s a look at the top highlights from the finals.
Mayya’s stun with synchronized performance
As one of the favorites to win this season, the dance troupe from Lebanon did not disappoint.
The co-ordinated dance featured white feathered outfits and sparkling globes of light in a moody routine that won them a standing ovation from the judges and the crowd.
“Fabulous,” shouted judge Sofia Vergara, who gave Mayyas her golden buzzer after their first audition. “Another level.”
“This is what a million dollars looks like,” said fellow judge Heidi Klum. “You brought your A game every time you came and tonight it was A plus.”
Simon Cowell called the performance “astonishing”. “Something has happened with you where I’m beginning to feel a buzz beyond the show. This has landed,” he said.
“It’s global. It’s huge. I don’t think you can top that.”
Howie Mandel simply shouted: “Winner, winner, chicken dinner.”
“This is my favorite act ever on AGT,” he continued. “That’s so great for you. It’s great for women, female empowerment, your culture.”
Metaphysic bring back Elvis (and other surprises)
Thanks to artificial intelligence and collaborations with talented singers, AI group Metaphysic have also made themselves frontrunners. For their performance, they brought out an Elvis impersonator along with two female backup singers.
The impersonator began by singing Elvis’ classic hound dog before switching to (You’re The) Devil in Disguisea 1968 duet that the crooner sang with The Jordanaires.
During the performance, the digital backup singers appeared on the big screen as judges Vergara and Klum, much to the delight of the crowd and judges. shaper America’s Got Talent finalist Daniel Emmet came back to once again sing as Cowell in the duet.
“It was amazing,” said Vergara. “I think it’s so much fun when you came into the show because it’s something so different.”
“Can we talk about how good I was?” Klum joked. “I don’t think I ever sounded this good in my life.”
“This is the most incredible and original act we’ve ever had on the show,” said Cowell.
Country acts go head to head
The finals featured two big country acts going head-to-head — these were Drake Milligan and Chapel Hart. Milligan returned to the finals performing the same original song he sang in his audition, Sounds Like Something I’d Do, with his band, which felt more like a concert. He received a standing ovation from all the judges.
“I really think this is going to be the start of your career,” said Cowell.
“You just brought it home, and I think you’re a star,” said Mandel. “That song is going to be No 1 tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Chapel Hart — who were awarded the group golden buzzer — sang a patriotic original tune called American Pride. Wearing a white shirt and jeans ensemble, the trio gave an emotional performance in which Cowell gave them a standing ovation at the end.
“Some of the vocals were a bit off because of nerves. Forget that,” he said. “I really, really like you and I’m really happy that you did what you did tonight. Good for you.”
“I think America’s going to like that song. But the last two songs you did were 10 times better,” said Mandel.
The magicians face off
In addition to the singers, there are also two magicians in the finals: France’s Nicolas Ribs and South Korea’s Yu Hojin.
Ribs’s performance focused on family, where he showed a drawing from his daughter Ema when she was young. Using his sleight of hand, he was able to recreate her childhood drawing while making objects from it appear out of thin air and earned a standing ovation from Mandel, Klum and Vergara.
“You’re giving us a new kind of magic, like you invented a different kind of magic we’ve never seen before and I’m a huge fan,” said Klum.
“Tonight, everybody has to be better than the performance we saw before — I don’t think that was,” Cowell said, to boos from the audience. “The music really bothered me. It reminded me of an aunt playing the piano after lunch.”
Mandel countered by saying that Ribs “made the impossible possible” and called it “amazing”.
Meanwhile, Hojin, who Cowell had originally said no to in the audition, performed with dreams as the theme. He used tricks similar to Ribs, but he had a special twist at the end when it was revealed the objects he stacked during the routine created a silhouette of the Statue of Liberty. He deserves a standing ovation.
“You are amazing,” said Klum. “Your act is always elegant and always full of surprises and you bring the ‘wow’ factor.”
“I sort of said no on purpose because in my mind I envisioned you in the final, and you’re here,” Cowell said. “You are a brilliant showman. You’re very classy. You’re such a gentleman, and, more importantly, you’re a fighter.”
Young singer nails old classic
At only 14, Sara James is the youngest finalist in this year’s competition. She’s also Cowell’s golden buzzer act. She took on Kate Bush’s 1985 classic Running Up That Hill, showing off her powerful but carefully controlled vocals in her final performance. She received a standing ovation.
Cowell said she “nailed one of the most iconic songs in the world”.
“What a song choice, what a special night for you. And you’ve just given yourself a shot after that,” he added.
“You sound like a seasoned pro but you have this freshness, this newness about you,” Klum said. “You already look like a superstar. I feel like you’re one of our greatest discoveries this season.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see more of Lebanese dance group Mayyas
Updated: September 14, 2022, 10:47 AM