Singer Michael Grimm America's Got Talent Predictions
Grimm the Clear Favorite to Win AGT 5
It is hardly going out on a limb for veteran watchers of America's Got Talent to predict that Michael Grimm will win this season of the popular summer talent contest. Of course, the fact that Michael is a singer gives him a leg up just to start. However, the next question comes down to whether Grimm has the qualities to set himself apart from the other singers. Due to his engaging vocal tone and other singing qualities, I believe Michael Grimm stands out from the crowd and is the odds-on favorite to win America's Got Talent.
Out of the first four seasons of America's Got Talent, all but one winner has strictly been a singer. Even ventriloquist Terry Fator incorporated singing into his act. This makes singers the overwhelming favorite group to produce a winner for this particular talent show. However, the difficulty in predicting a winner comes in deciding who can captivate enough voters to win the popularity contest that this show becomes by the time of the finale.
There is an additional difficulty this season that usually doesn't occur. And that is the presence of a dynamic non-singing act that could potentially mesmerize the viewing audience enough to disappoint Michael Grimm and all the other singers in the competition. That group is Fighting Gravity, the "dance" group that uses fluorescent balls and clothing to seemingly float in the dark. No act in the history of America's Got Talent has had quite the same visual effect.
The fact remains, though, that Fighting Gravity is a rather limited act at this point in time. And the reason singers have the edge over other acts is the perceived emotional content of their performances. While Fighting Gravity probably has the best shot to win among non-singing groups, many voters will probably abandon them by the fourth time of seeing practically the same thing. Fighting Gravity will likely finish between second and fourth place but fail to upset all of the singers on this season of America's Got Talent.
Next, we need to compare Michael Grimm to the other top singers. His chief rivals are singers Jackie Evancho (the 10-year-old opera singer), Prince Poppycock (the more unique opera singer in terms of stage performance), and Alice Tan Ridley (the pop/soul singer). For the reasons stated below, Michael Grimm is a likely favorite over all of these other top singers:
1. Opera singers have trouble getting votes from the general viewing public. While opera singers like Jackie and Prince Poppycock are arguably technically superior to Michael Grimm, the opera style of singing is a rather small niche that has never gained wide acceptance compared to other styles of music.
2. Prince Poppycock is an excellent showman. But again, he is trying to win votes by singing opera. In the end, he must win largely based on his singing. And while Poppycock has an excellent vocal tone, he is far from an accomplished singer from a power and dynamics perspective. Poppycock has a rather weak voice for an opera singer, and the high points you would expect from an opera singer are just not there in his performances. He lacks the power necessary to compare to top opera singers, and his great stage skills. while significant, mostly amount to nothing but nice costumes and makeup. This doesn't make up for a lack of dynamic singing that lacks punch and high points. As a singer, Poppycock is flash over substance compared to Michael Grimm.
3. Jackie Evancho is amazing for her age. But she is still developing as a singer. Unless sufficient numbers of voters give her a "handicap" vote, her singing is not quite to the level it needs to be to win this contest. However, she could easily finish in the Top 3 and possibly steal the title from Michael Grimm. But the reason this is unlikely is because most voters don't give child acts handicap votes. These "amazing for her age" contestants tend to make it to the finals but fall short in the last round unless they truly have the skills to outshine the competition.
But Jackie would not be considered phenomenal just yet compared to top opera singers. Michael Grimm, on the other hand, is comparable to top soul singers. He has a strong Michael Bolton vibe and oozes soul like a seasoned professional. The level of Michael Grimm's soul can't be taught. It's all natural and comes from the power and vocal tone that he displays in his performances. This is subjective to say the least, but seasoned music fans can instantly spot how soulful Michael's voice is. It pierces straight through to the soul.
And to top that off, Michael has significant power and vocal control to go along with his soulful vocal tone. Only Alice Tan Ridley arguably has these same traits among the current America's Got Talent singers. As a soul singer, Michael Grimm simply rates higher than Jackie rates as an opera singer. She could win, but it's not likely unless she gets an abnormally high amount of "handicap" votes of people overimpressed due to her age.
4. Alice Tan Ridley is an excellent singer, but she tends to come off more as a screamer than Michael Grimm. Looking at her YouTube clips, Alice is at least arguably better than Michael when she brings her A game. But for whatever reason, Alice doesn't always bring her A game. She is sometimes a bit lazy in her subway performances but excellent at other times.
In addition, the show wants Michael Grimm to win and will probably give him advantages over Alice. He will get better placement in the performance order. It is virtually certain that Alice will perform near the beginning in the finals and that Michael will perform near the end. This was already done in the quarterfinals. The show was willing to risk losing Alice by placing her second, a very bad spot to be in because many people don't tune in at the beginning of the show.
Another thing is this -- it seems that singers like Alice come off more like copycats than singers like Michael Grimm. No doubt, Alice is a very soulful singer. And she does try hard and sometimes succeeds very well at spicing up her performances and introducing originality into her renditions. In the end, though, singers like Alice, fairly or unfairly, tend to be perceived as Aretha or Whitney wannabees or screaming "church singers." Ironically, the claim by many that black church singers are so great makes singers like Alice seem less unique. This actually can hurt them because uniqueness is an important component in singing and talent contests. Simply put, Michael Grimm, rightly or wrongly, is perceived as more unique than Alice Tan Ridley even though both are pegged as very soulful singers.
In the end, Michael Grimm does have some competition, especially from Fighting Gravity, Jackie Evancho and Alice Tan Ridley. But his combination of soulful qualities (and more perceived uniqueness than Alice) stands to attract more votes than his competitors. Michael Grimm is the favorite to win the fifth season of America's Got Talent.