After hundreds of auditions and hundreds more of performances, the final 10 acts have been decided for the 11th season of NBC's America's Got Talent (AGT). Tears of both joy and sadness were shared during last night's live results show and we finally have the top 10 finalists: Jon Dorenbos, Viktor Kee, Sofie Dossi, Laura Bretan, Linkin' Bridge, The Clairvoyants, Brian Justin Crum, Sal Valentinetti, Grace VanderWaal, and Tape Face. But who are these people really?
Laura Bretan: Opera Singer
At just 13 years of age, Bretan stole the show when she auditioned in May of this year. Judge Mel B. was so impressed that she pressed the "Golden Buzzer" which allowed the singer to bypass other audition episodes and go straight to the live shows. She was the first contestant to receive the gold buzzer advance. However, a new controversy is starting to brew about the AGT singer. According to Reality Blurred, Bretan is already a winner. Laura was the finalist of Romania's Got Talent on June 3. For AGT, all contestants have to be either a U.S. citizen or be in the States legally at the time of their audition. Bretan is a U.S. citizen, but she is also of Romanian descent and auditioned in Romania in January while attending the funeral of her grandfather. When asked if it was fair that she competed in two different versions of the show, she said, "There are like 96 versions of the show, and there have been previous contestants that have participated in more than one Got Talent."
Sal Valentinetti: Crooner
Does Sal look familiar to you? That might be because you've seen him before. Before AGT, Valentinetti made it as far as Hollywood Week on American Idol's 14th season. The 21-year-old is from Bethpage and has been dubbed "The Voice." Sal has been a favorite of Judge Heidi Klum, who spent her Golden Buzzer privileges on the crooner. Afterward, she jumped on stage and said, "I'm so happy for you! You might win this whole thing!" to which he sort of shrugged and said, "Who knows?" Things were looking rosy for Valentinetti up until the quarter finals when he failed to receive America's vote, but he did win the coveted "Dunkin' Save" and said, "I didn't know I could dream this big. Now look where I am!"
Jon Dorenbos: Magician
Jon Dorenbos will look familiar to many people but for an entirely different reason. Dorenbos is a retired football long snapper for the Philadelphia Eagles, then played with the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans. Now he does card tricks. Before AGT though, Jon has performed magic in numerous cities including Las Vegas and Hollywood according to Earn the Necklace. He too received the Golden Buzzer from guest judge Ne-Yo. Whether or not Dorenbos wins the contest, he will still be doing well financially as it is estimated that he is worth $2,473,500 in addition to his endorsements.
Viktor Kee: Juggler
The Ukrainian juggler Viktor Kee is more than "just a juggler." Though it does take a lot of talent to juggle, it takes even more to impress the judges on AGT who are notorious for not advancing juggling acts through. In Kee's case, he dazzled them with his added artistic acrobat moves. According to his website, Kee has been performing since he was 6 years old and is a graduate of the professional Circus School in Kiev. He has performed in numerous locations including the Moulin Rouge, Cirque du Soleil, and the Royal Albert Hall in London. When he is not performing, he is concentrating on giving back to various communities creating charity missions.
Sofie Dossi: Contortionist
Like Viktor Kee, Sofie's contortionist skills are enhanced beyond her signature skill. She can shoot a bow and arrow with her feet and not miss the target. Dossi comes from Cypress, California, and is just 15 years of age. Sofie was a competitive gymnast who took up contortion at the age of 12 after watching a YouTube video. She too won advancement due to the Golden Buzzer when she competed for the first time on AGT. Today, she has more than 40,000 followers on her Instagram account, according to Earn the Necklace.
Linkin' Bridge: Quartet Singers
Linkin' Bridge are just four everyday guys from West Louisville. Montre Davis is a cashier at a local grocery store who used to get in trouble for singing when he worked in the deli department. Shon "China" Lacy is the manager of Chicken King and has been known to sing a tune or two while working the drive-through. Rome Kimbrough is a youth counselor at the Boys and Girls Haven and is the only married man of the group. The fourth member, Ekoe Alexandra, told Wave 3 News that he feels like this is the start of his life and is happy that America has embraced the quartet. "Maybe they can sense the rawness of group, the emotion," Ekoe said. "That we are all everyday people. And I think they kind of connect with that a little bit."
The Clairvoyants: Clairvoyant Magic
The Clairvoyants are Thommy Ten and Amelie van Tass who have come from Vienna, Austria, to compete on AGT. Ten believes that his skill is an "entertainment for a new generation." At the World Championships of Magic in 2015, the pair were chosen as the "World Champions of Mentalism" reports Earn the Necklace. Amelie says that she is the only legitimate female clairvoyant in the world and says her ability lies in the strength of her intuition. While The Clairvoyants are popular, they do have a few haters as well who claim that the pair are either using a tool used by magicians called a Thumper, but that has yet to be proven.
Brian Justin Crum: Broadway Singer
Many believe that Crum could walk away as this season's AGT winner, but what many don't know is this singer isn't new to singing. At age 17, Crum joined the cast of Wicked, then performed in an off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz and then appeared on Broadway in Grease. He has also performed in regional productions of Tarzan, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Snapshots. This is a far cry from the shy persona he has shown on the show, but certainly doesn't take anything away from his incredible singing talent. Now living in Los Angeles, Crum hopes to pursue a career in pop music and many don't doubt that he'll get there.
Grace VanderWaal: Ukulele player and singer
Not only is Grace VanderWaal the youngest of the 10 finalists, but she just might be the most unique. The 12-year-old plays her own original songs on ukulele with an even more unique voice. Simon Cowell said that she could be the next Taylor Swift, and Howie Mandel upped the ante, stating that she would be "the biggest star to ever come out of this show," reports The Wrap.
Tape Face: Comedian
Tape Face's real name is Sam Willis and comes from New Zealand. The 38-year-old comedian is married to a burlesque performer and he is also a father to a 3-year-old boy. His own website describes him as follows: "New Zealand's foremost funny freak presents a show with more stunts, more mayhem and more stupidity than you can shake a juggler at. With cucumbers, orange juice and various weapons of (not so) mass destruction, Sam is a one man recipe for disaster that will have you in stitches…no really, he may actually have you in stitches. Seriously." Tape Face began his career at age 13 as an apprentice clown. In 2002, he moved to Auckland and became a regular performer at the SkyCity Casino.
The America's Got Talent finals begin next Tuesday, September 13, on NBC.
[Image via NBC]