The remaining 10 contestants on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent performed for the final time on Tuesday night (Sept. 19). And while there were kid ventriloquists, beloved dog acts and amazing dance troupes, half of the finalists performing in the finale for judges Mel B, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell were singers: Mandy Harvey, Angelica Hale, Kechi, Chase Goehring and Evie Clair.
Ten-year-old Hale is the youngest of the vocalists, and for her final performance she chose to cover “Symphony” by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson. Hale wore a glittery gold dress and stood in front of flowery graphics as she sang, in part, “So, if you want the truth/ I just want to be part of your symphony /Will you hold me tight and not let go?”
Chase Goehring stood simply on a dark stage with his acoustic guitar. Goehring performed an original song titled “Mirror.” For the first minute of the song, he sang softly on top of the acoustics before transitioning into a rap delivered with an Eminem-type stutter: “Yeah, I know, what a lot of people think when they look in the mirror every single day of they life/ Why can’t I be this? Why can’t I be that? Why do I look this way?/ I wish that I could fix everything that makes me who I am/ Wish that I could be something different, but it’s not in the plan.” The overall message of the song was about the struggle people face when looking at themselves in the mirror, and in the song, he asked, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, why you got to hurt them all?”
The performance earned a standing ovation from Mel B and Cowell.
When Kechi took the stage, she performed “Conqueror” by Estelle. It was intimated that Kechi’s song choice was a nod toward her hometown Houston and the devastation it faces after Hurricane Harvey. Kechi herself has a story of resilience as she is a plane crash survivor. “I’d rather stand tall,” she sang, “then live on my knees/ ‘Cause I am a conqueror, and I won’t accept defeat.” The song was part of FOX television series Empire‘s soundtrack in 2015.
Teenager Evie Clair ambitiously chose the classic made famous by Louis Armstrong, “What A Wonderful World” as her final song. She sang it in a high register and stood still in a long glimmering dress with smoke at her feet. Her performance earned a standing ovation from all four judges.
And finally, Mandy Harvey. Harvey is one of this season’s Golden Buzzer recipients and has garnered lots of buzz because of her perfect pitch despite losing her hearing a decade ago at age 18, from a connective tissue disorder. To make her last impression, Harvey played a ukulele and sang an original song, “This Time.” Her lyrics appeared through graphics on large screens behind her. In part, her song imparts, “Seconds turn into minutes/ Wasting time instead of living/ Please, don’t stand in my way.”
After she sang her final note, the crowd roared and Cowell stood. Mel B did the sign language for applause. Harvey then told host Tyra Banks, “There’s really not much you can do if you stay on the ground. Time will pass you by, life will pass you by. I just didn’t want to give up.”
The other five contestants included “Kid Ventriloquist” Darci Lynne, comedian Preacher Lawson, dog-and-trainer duo Sara and Hero, dance group Diavolo and light-up dance crew Light Balance.
The winner of AGT Season 12 will be announced during Wednesday (Sept. 20) night’s show beginning at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.