'AGT' Winner Could Be A Music Artist
Season 13 of America’s Got Talent culminates Wednesday night with special guests Bebe Rexha and Kiss – and the crowning of a winner.
Five of the 10 finalists this season are music artists: Electric violinist Brian King Joseph and singers Courtney Hadwin, Daniel Emmet, Glennis Grace, and Michael Ketterer.
The singers are up against acrobatic acts Duo Transcend and Zurcaroh; comedians Samuel J. Comroe and Vicki Barbolak; and Canadian close-up magician Shin Lim.
Although AGT host Tyra Banks will mention the show’s grand prize of “a million dollars” several times throughout the finale, the winner actually receives a 40-year annuity worth $1 million – about $25,000 per year. (The promised “headline show in Las Vegas” part of the prize is nothing more than the closing spot in the AGT live show at the Paris Theater from Nov. 2 to 4.)
Winning AGT, as a music act, also doesn’t guarantee success.
Half of the winners in the show's first 12 seasons were singers – but only one went on to achieve commercial success.
Season 11 winner Grace VanderWaal’s 2016 EP Perfectly Imperfect and 2017 album Just the Beginning had respectable sales, although neither spawned a single that charted. The singer, now 14, collected a Teen Choice Award for Next Big Thing and the Rising Star Award from Billboard Women in Music.
VanderWaal was also the opening act for Imagine Dragon’s summer tour dates in the U.S. and Canada.
Her singing predecessors were not so lucky.
Season 1 winner Bianca Ryan’s only studio album, released in 2006, peaked at No. 57 on the Billboard 200. Last year she was slammed by critics for her performances in a holiday revue on Broadway.
Pop-opera singer Neal E. Boyd, who won Season 3 of AGT, sold a mere 6,000 copies of his debut album. He died this past June at age 42.
Season 4 winner Kevin Skinner, a country artist, released albums in 2010 and 2011 that flopped.
Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. put out a pair of albums and a Christmas collection in the years since his Season 5 victory. Only his 2011 debut, That’s Life, managed to hit No. 34 on the U.S. chart with sales of about 150,000.
Here are the music acts who could win AGT Season 13:
Daniel Emmet – A 25-year-old pop-opera singer based in Las Vegas, he is a native of Rochester, NY. He first auditioned for Season 6 of AGT but didn’t make it to the televised rounds – and he was eliminated this season during the Judge Cuts but brought back as a Wild Card competitor.
Glennis Grace – The 40-year-old Dutch recording artist (born Glenda Batta) won the Soundmixshow talent competition in 1994 and went on to represented the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005. Grace topped the charts in her home country in 2011 with “Afscheid” and was a founding member of the Dutch supergroup Ladies of Soul from 2012 until 2017. She has released seven solo albums, including a live collection that went double-platinum in Netherlands.
Courtney Hadwin – This 14-year-old singer is a fan of classic rock and her performing style has been compared to Janis Joplin and Mick Jagger. Last year she was a finalist on the inaugural season of The Voice Kids in her native UK.
Brian King Joseph – A native of Washington, DC who now calls San Francisco home, this 27-year-old electric violin player has performed on stages with acts like Machine Gun Kelly and George Clinton. The first winner of MTV’s Cover of The Month, he toured with reggae band Lucky Dub and has appeared in commercials and on the MTV series Real World.
Michael Ketterer – This 40-year-old from Anaheim, California is part of faith-based record label Influence Music, and is featured on the album Touching Heaven, which was released in May. While living in Tennessee, he released five albums with another faith-based group, United Pursuit. A part-time “worship leader” and paediatric mental health nurse, Ketterer is a father of six.