Singer Alice Tan Ridley America's Got Talent Predictions
Can the Subway Singer Pull Out a Win on AGT?
Alice Tan Ridley has been a singer for a long time. However, she has mostly been relegated to singing in the New York City subways for the last 20 years or so. However, Alice has finally surfaced to national attention upon auditioning for and being accepted on the fifth season of America's Got Talent. Other than the subway backstory, it has also been pointed out on the show that Alice is the mom of Oscar-nominated Gabourey Sidibe ("Gabby"), the actress who played the title role in the movie "Precious."
Alice has some substantial qualities that definitely make her one of the favorites on America's Got Talent. She has power, control and great stage presence. Alice also knows how to inject some personal style in her performances by changing up the phrasing in parts of her songs. Her performance of "At Last" showed that she is more than just a karaoke singer. Nonetheless, history is not on Alice's side. She will likely make the finals due to her substantial talent. However, due to voting tendencies on the show, Alice will likely fail to win once she makes the finals of America's Got Talent.
From my personal perspective, I would place Alice in the Top 3 among this year's contestants. I currently have her in 2nd place behind Michael Grimm. In fact, there are times when I think Alice can outsing Michael. When it comes to choosing between these two, it comes down to consistency for me. From what I have seen, Michael is a bit more consistent. Alice has very high "highs" but sometimes tends to "send in" a performance. She is a bit more likely to come across as a screamer in spots compared to Michael.
However, there is more bad news for Alice. The show doesn't seem to want her to win. Certainly, while the show cannot definitely determine the outcome of the contest, it can "nudge" the voters in certain directions. Alice does not seem to be the prime choice by the producers to win. I was rather surprised that they placed her in the second spot in the performance order for her quarterfinals round. It is well known that an earlier spot in the order is a bad spot, while the later spots have a tendency to help an act get more votes. The fact that Alice was placed second is somewhat odd, as they almost certainly want Alice Tan Ridley for the finals. She is a dynamic performer and will draw in lots of viewers. But looking at what has happened so far, don't expect a lot of favors from the producers in terms of manipulation.
When it comes to a backstory, I no longer see Alice's backstory as something that would garner sympathy votes. If the show had really wanted Ridley to win, it certainly should have hidden the fact that she is the mom of Gabby Sidibe. This is hardly the stuff of sympathy anymore. There is little reason to root for Alice anymore, as she now has a famous daughter with a bright future that can help if necessary. The subway story is interesting, but it is sort of canceled out by the fact that the family has now "made it."
In the end, Alice will likely be judged by two factors--her raw talent and her perceived genre and the song choices that she makes (or possibly the choices forced on her by the producers). From a genre perspective, there is even more bad news for Alice. Singers like Alice are consistently labeled by some as Aretha wannabes. Fair or not, they are perceived as having less uniqueness than a singer like Michael Grimm. This makes Grimm a favorite over Alice Tan Ridley as long as he continues to perform at a high level. She also has potentially more popular competition in the likes of Fighting Gravity, Jackie Evancho and Prince Poppycock. If the rumor of a finals with only four contestants is true, Alice could easily fail to make that Final 4. Of course, she should easily make the Top 10, though.
So from a raw-talent perspective, Alice is clearly one of the best and will make it to the finals based on that talent. Other factors besides raw talent also play a part. Unfortunately for Alice Tan Ridley, the other factors weigh against her. Alice will likely sail through easily to the Top 10 but fall short during the finals of America's Got Talent.