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Spoilers ahead for the September 4 episode of America's Got Talent.
America's Got Talent is almost at an end in Season 14, and the finalists who will have the shot to compete for the $1 million prize are being selected. The first five who will get the chance to perform in the finals have been chosen, and there was a surprise in store with the results show: almost all of the advancing acts are kids. Are too many of them kids?
Here's what happened in the latest episode that revealed the first group of acts heading to the finals. The live results show narrowed the group consisting of eleven acts all the way down to five. Of course, this wouldn't have taken a full hour, so AGT brought back former competitor Preacher Lawson and former champion Darci Lynn Farmer.
Eventually, all the results were in, and the eliminated acts were: the Messoudi Brothers (despite getting freaky with Julianne Hough the previous night), Ansley Burns, Greg Morton, Jackie Fabulous, Robert Finley, and Eric Chien (ruling out Chien succeeding Shin Lim as the magic champion of AGT). Moving on are Benicio Bryant, Light Balance Kids, Kodi Lee, Tyler Butler-Figueroa, and Ndlovu Youth Choir. Four of the five acts moving on are kids.
Now, I do have a heart, and I'm not denying that every single kid who has advanced to the finals is extremely talented. I've loved watching all of them perform and realize their dreams. I don't know if I'd knock any of the acts that are moving on out of competition, although I am going to miss Robert Finley and Eric Chien in particular. I'm just not sure that the finals will be the best they can be if packed almost entirely by kid performers.
Admittedly, Ansley Burns was eliminated and Kodi Lee did advance, so it's not like AGT voters axed all the adults and advanced all the kids. Still, there is the question of whether kids and adults are judged with the same amount of scrutiny by voters. Are the kids always super talented? Absolutely. Are they more talented than the adults who are voted out of competition in every case? Maybe not.
It's worth noting that when the AGT acts were determined by the judges, there were more adults than kids, which makes sense given that there are more polished adult acts than kid acts by far. Now that the votes are in the hands of viewers, the cute kids are advancing pretty far. The elderly acrobats feel like they performed a very long time ago!
Of course, there's nothing wrong with the finals being packed with kids when the kids are as talented as the group that was already advanced. But are the adults and kids being judged by the same standards? Will the finals be packed with acts that are very impressive for their ages rather than some of the eliminated acts that defied belief?
We can't say for sure until the other half of the final ten acts are determined, but at least four of that final ten will be comprised of kids. Of the eleven acts competing to fill the five remaining slots in the final ten,10-year-old Emanne Beasha, Detroit Youth Choir, and V. Unbeatable (which includes some kids) are all in the running. Will AGT voters continue to give kids their votes, or was the first night of finalist voting a fluke?