Unless William Close, or to a lesser extent, Lightwire Theater, is the eventual overall winner, this season of America’s Got Talent is only going to be remembered for one thing and one thing only:
How much it sucked royally.
Almost everything about this episode was maddening, both in terms of the acts that will be competing at the finale, but even more so in the way they were chosen.
For the results, Nick Cannon brought out the top four in the usual elimination format: Sets of three with one being confirmed into the top four.
Which is kind of like saying to that fourth and final act: “Hey, guess what? You would have been a Top 10 act if we didn’t butcher the living crap out of this season’s format on you.”
First called out were Turf, Joe Castillo and the Scott Brothers, with the first spot in the Top 4, predictably enough, going to Castillo.
Next out were Andrew De Leon, William Close, and Academy of Villains.
Compared to anyone else, Andrew De Leon’s elimination would have been shocking. The producers must have been aware of this, because after William Close was announced into the Top 4, the camera switched to get De Leon’s reaction (but not the Academy’s).
Now comes the part where it got infuriating.
Called out next were three veterans of the judges’ choice: Donovan & Rebecca, Todd Oliver, and Edon.
And since this was the part where it got infuriating, you can probably guess who it was. Todd Oliver, the man for whom jokes about neutering never get old, made it into the Top 4.
The only silver lining to this reveal was the hope that, since Todd Oliver was in the Top 4, there probably weren’t enough votes for Tom Cotter to make it through as well.
Those hopes were promptly dashed. Against Dittelman and Bria Kelly, Tom Cotter was the last confirmed in the Top 4.
At this point, I started to consider breaking out the liquor, seeing as this struck me with the realization that, no matter what happened, I would be forced to write a finale review of at least one of these two 100% unoriginal hacks.
Either 99% of the viewers cast all of their votes all for William Close, leaving the dumbest 1% to decide who the other two finalists would be, or there are actually enough idiots in America to support both of them.
I pray it’s the former, because that latter theory is horrifying to consider, especially during an election year.
But this wasn’t even the worst part. As stupid as the American audience was revealed to be tonight, the AGT production crew somehow managed to top that.
After revealing the Top 4, Cannon announced the finalists one by one. First into the finals was William Close, followed by Tom Cotter.
But instead of revealing who the final act in the Top 3 was, Nick Cannon said “And the judges will decide!”
You read that correctly. The AGT production, in their infinite wisdom, decided to let a judges’ choice determine who would perform at the finale.
This is dumb on so many levels it hurts.
After completely butchering the format for this season, the AGT production crew is now on the path to completely discrediting one third of their finale set by confirming them to have come in behind the other four, effectively negating a huge chunk of, if not all desire to vote for them.
But more than that, it thrusts an absolutely crucial decision into the hands of three people with nary an intelligent thought between them.
Not since the very first season of America’s Got Talent have the judges been able to select an America’s Got Talent finalist.
And the last time they were given that right, they made Rappin’ Granny a finalist. That’s why they haven’t been allowed to pick a finalist since.
Stern voted first, and after lecturing Joe Castillo for the similarities in his acts, made his choice for the guy who has told nothing but stupid dog jokes.
Osbourne, on the other hand, complimented Castillo as an act that could potentially work with any other act and voted for him.
This left Mandel as the tiebreaker, and at this point, both Stern and Osbourne started arguing at him over who he should choose.
This actually culminated in Sharon Osbourne putting Howard Stern in a headlock. I kid you not.
Mandel eventually managed to get his vote in, for Castillo. And when the camera cut back to the table, Osbourne was staring down Stern with her fists up.
Yet another reason she will absolutely not be missed.
This season had so much potential, only for one episode to come to some of the most disastrous conclusions possible all at once. No matter what happens next week in the second round or the week after at the finale, the utter incompetence by the AGT production crew, and by the AGT audience, has ensured that this is now a season which will not be fondly remembered by anyone.