The four finalists performed Tuesday night in the final competition for the $1 Million prize. Prince Poppycock lead the way, with Michael Grimm, Jackie Evancho, and Fighting Gravity following close behind. This is how I rank their performances on Tuesday and how I would rank their potential as a Las Vegas act.
Coming in last on Tuesday was Prince Poppycock. His performance lost most of the entertainment value as he chose to perform a more serious stage act rather than his more lighthearted routine which carried him throughout the competition. In addition to losing the “magic,” his stage show was lacking reason. He started on the steps wearing a headpiece that was taller than him (and might have caused his reoccurring earpiece malfunction), singing towards a woman hanging over the stage in chains. As he walked down to the fog-covered stage, he drew a sword and held it in front of him while standing relatively still. He backed away as the stage doors opened behind him, with two men pulling a white chariot into view … but for what purpose? He never addressed the woman, made no movement towards the chariot, and his sword-handling was nonexistent. In all, it was a fairly dull set.
In third, I would rank Michael Grimm. Channeling his inner Bruce Springsteen, Grimm belted out another raspy soul number on stage. There weren’t many errors, but I find the quality of his tone to be hard to listen to after a while, especially compared to the other singers in the competition.
Fighting Gravity comes in second with their most impressive performance to date. Acting out a “good vs evil” routine on a three-tiered platform, the college guys from Virginia Tech put together a very technical display in just a weeks time. Unfortunately, those few days denied the crew enough time to practice their act, leading up to two obvious errors. The first error was when one of the characters was being pulled through one door on the first level and through a second door just above the first. As one person tugged on the characters feet, the upper half of the body would disappear on the level above/below. However, there was a breakdown in timing, with the whole body of the character flew through the door on the first level while the feet of the same character were still being held on the level above. The other error came when one of the crew members was trying to change clothes quickly on the main level while the black screen was held open.
Coming in first was the little angel Jackie Evancho. Singing a heavenly tune in front of a live band, the little opera singer performed nearly perfectly. She did have a few missed or “nervous” notes, but they were difficult to pick out if you weren’t listening for them.
Las Vegas potential
The least-likely person to have a Vegas act in my view is Michael Grimm. I think Grimm has a future as a singer, and might even start up a small band, however, I don’t see how he could maintain a Vegas show. Besides, there might be more money in store for him as a touring performer anyway.
The next least-likely would be Prince Poppycock. This guy is fantastic and could have a Vegas act, but I think he might find better success on or off Broadway. With the recent success of shows like the stage adaptation of Monty Pythons’ “Holy Grail,” he could easily land in a show that is both whimsical as well as musically entertaining.
In second, I place Jackie Evancho. She is a song bird and would definitely be a Vegas draw (especially if she sings as well as she matures). However, like Poppycock, she might find better opportunities on Broadway.In some ways, she reminds me of Charlotte Church. Like Charlotte, she could easily cut many albums and become an international sensation.
The most “Vegas” act has to be Fighting Gravity. Their act is quite unique – a quality sought after on the Vegas circuit. They could become the new Blue Man Group. Without having any individual star in the act, they could rotate performers in and out of their rotation without interrupting the act.
4th – Prince Poppycock
3rd – Fighting Gravity
2nd – Jackie Evancho
1st – Michael Grimm