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Fighting Gravity America's Got Talent Predictions

Updated on August 30, 2010

Will a Non-Singing Act Finally Win AGT?

Fighting Gravity has achieved national attention as a contestant on the fifth season of America's Got Talent. The group performs a kind of glow-in-the-dark act which makes it look like people, balls and other objects are floating in the air. It is a rather unique mix of magic and dance-like choreography. While Fighting Gravity (fraternity brothers from Virginia Tech University) is not the first group to perform this act, they may well be the best of all the groups on YouTube to perform it. Nonetheless, the act is so unique compared to the competition that Fighting Gravity has emerged as a clear favorite. However, no non-singing act has ever won America's Got Talent in its first four seasons (although ventriloquist Terry Fator combined many other skills with singing). This article analyzes Fighting Gravity's chances of making history as the first non-singing act to win AGT.

To be sure, uniqueness is a powerful factor in all types of acts. This is probably even more important in the non-singing acts, as singers do so well on AGT because singing tends to evoke a more emotional response than other forms of entertainment. For an act that doesn't strictly sing to win America's Got Talent, uniqueness is most likely the one thing that can catapult an act to the championship. Fighting Gravity has this factor in the bag among the non-singing acts. This type of act has apparently never reached a truly national stage. Because this is the first time such an act has been seen widely, it has a very positive freshness factor that gets fans to vote. If the competition were based solely on uniqueness, Fighting Gravity would probably have this in the bag. However, more may be needed for the act to win during the finale.

One problem that Fighting Gravity may run into is that the act will have to perform four times to win. The first time the guys performed, the freshness factor was at its peak. As a non-singing act progresses on AGT, however, it generally needs to raise the bar and do something even bigger and better as it proceeds through to the finals. Fighting Gravity may have a problem on its hands. While the group MARGINALLY upped its game in the quarterfinals by adding scuba equipment and bubbles to its floating items, budget and time constraints are against them. To continue to up its game, the act needs a more elaborate setup and time to develop and rehearse new ideas.

Sharon Osbourne keeps saying their possibilities are endless, but that doesn't seem to be the case at this point (at least over this short period of time). There was little progression from the first to the second performance, and Fighting Gravity will have to improve dramatically to ensure that the act doesn't go stale. The reason singing acts have the advantage is because the average viewer doesn't start to get bored with singing. Humans, for whatever reason, generally enjoy watching other people sit or stand there and sing as long as the singer changes the song. Other acts, however, tend to go stale. Fighting Gravity faces this challlenge and must overcome it to win America's Got Talent.

As I am not an expert in this art form, I certainly don't know how they can continue to up their game. But this is probably a necessity because the act will go stale if the guys come back and do almost the same exact thing in the semifinals.

Is This Really Talent?

If you really analyze what this act has done so far, it is very impressive due to its uniqueness but rather limited up to this point. Fighting Gravity uses its hands or other gripping or hanging devices to make props seem to float in the dark. This is hardly an amazing magic trick after you see it a couple of times because the darkness provides ample cover for the trick. It is sort of like a magician slowly doing a disappearing act behind a curtain. There is no sleight of hand or other quick techniques involved that actually take talent. Just learning how to hold or maneuver props with the safe cover of darkness keeping the audience from seeing what is going on. Sure, this takes some talent. But it's the kind of talent that can be taught to random people. They aren't professional dancers or magicians. Yet, this random group of college frat boys can perform this act. This suggests that, instead of talent, Fighting Gravity is based more on basic knowledge of how to do the trick and preparation and rehearsal.

What is the bottom line on Fighting Gravity? It is a very unique act that will not be unique much longer. Once that uniqueness wears off, all you really have left is a very basic magic trick with too much cover and no advanced skill requirements to pull off. The boys deserve to be here, but they don't have much "talent."

The only question is when the freshness factor will wear off. This is hard to answer. I believe Fighting Gravity is a lock for the finals no matter what happens during their semifinal performance. It is a still a fun act to watch because the novelty factor is still in effect. However, once the finals hit, sufficient voters will have seen that it's rather limited in its scope and doesn't really involve that much talent to perform. As such, just like other seasons, Michael Grimm or another singer will ride home with the America's Got Talent trophy. Fighting Gravity will make the finals but fail to make history as the first completely non-singing act to win AGT.

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