Can you believe this is finally the beginning of the end? Tonight is our recap of the America's Got Talent Finals Week 2 performance episode, meaning this is the remaining six performers' last chance to impress us all before we learn who wins the crown tomorrow. Pressure!
Which acts stood out, and which ones deserve to get tossed out like a soggy playing card? Let's find out!
Tonight, the six remaining finalists — country singer Jimmy Rose, teen magician Collins Key, operatic trio Forte, multimedia-dancer Kenichi Ebina, singer Cami Bradley, and comic Taylor Williamson — will each perform a reprise of a previous performance, followed by something new. Because two performances are better than one!
First up is Jimmy Rose, who does a heartfelt job performing the original song about his coal-mining home town. Howard is impressed and says this emotional impact is what he loves most about Jimmy. Great choice, J-Rose!
Next, Kenichi does his first-ever performance, and the judges are predictably blown away. Howie tells Kenichi that there's "nobody better than you," and Heidi likewise refers to him as her "favorite act of the season." But if you vote for Kenichi, does that mean the robots have won?
Cami Bradley does "Believe," and the judges love it. Howard says she used to be a "hillbilly" — which we think is supposed to be a compliment? — and Heidi says Cami makes her cry. But we're hoping she doesn't mean in the way that onions make you cry.
Collins Key does his close-up magic, which leads to Mel and Heidi almost kissing. Somehow, we think Collins just earned the vote of every straight male in America. The judges aren't overly effusive, but Mel does call him "inspirational." Meanwhile, we're wishing we owned the card that Mel and Heidi had in their mouths, since we're guessing you could get a bajillion dollars for it on eBay.
Forte performs "The Prayer," and Howie isn't impressed with the song choice. And while Howard says they did their best, he's no longer convinced that they'll win it all. Did Forte just take a step a back? Uh-oh.
It's safe to say that comic Taylor Williamson had the toughest task of tonight's first half, since jokes are never funny the second time around. But he stunned the judges with fresh take on his material, adding a camel and a choir. (Uh, don't ask.) Heck, even Heidi was impressed, and she never likes the dude! Way to get over the hump, Taylor. (Get it — "hump"? Because camels have humps?)
Now, it's time for the second half, meaning the new material! Cami dusts off the Lennon-McCartney catalog with a slowed-down "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and we love her version! In praising her, Howie delivers the best of line of the night by saying that the song made him want to hold her hand. As you may recall, Howie is a germaphobe and doesn't do a lot of touching. Nice one, sir.
Collins did a video-based trick involving the judges picking out photos of people holding hashtags. This guy really loves Twitter, doesn't he? Mel's mind continues to explode anytime she even thinks about one of Collins's tricks, but Howard still isn't blown away.
Jimmy does his second song, which does not get the high praise of his first number. Howie says he's no Garth — but c'mon, who is? — while Howard says he didn't deliver a "knockout punch." We think Howard just isn't a country kind of guy.
Taylor kicks off his second act with a funny photo of himself and his dream gal Heidi, both with roses in their mouths. Careful of thorns, you two! Then, Taylor does material about Stonehenge and his skinniness. Howard says he never wants to fast-forward through Taylor's set, and Howie calls him brilliant. Then, Nick Cannon tells Taylor's mom to stand up, calling her "hot." What's wrong, Nick — is Mariah not enough for you?
Wig time! We get about a dozen different costumed Kenichis, who dance together a la an oversized boy band — but alas, there was no 'N Sync-style folding-chair dance. Mel hands Kenichi his (gasp!) worst review ever, saying that she didn't feel the "impact" this time. However, the other judges strongly disagree. Kenichi might just send his robot army after Mel.
Finally, Forte does its final song. Mel calls it "breathtaking," which is also how she described Collins — poor Mel is gonna run out of oxygen soon! — while Howard says he wants to find fault with them but can't.
So there you have it: The final six. But who will win? According to the Las Vegas oddsmakers, Kenichi appears to have a slight margin, and we're inclined to agree with that — but was his final performance a bit too ordinary? We still loved its creativity, but we agree that it wasn't quite as astonishing as his previous stuff.
So does this leave the door open for a Forte upset? It's possible, and we could also see Cami swiping the crown as well. But we'll all find out soon enough tomorrow night! So take that playing card out of your mouth and go vote already.