The America’s Got Talent Season 17 finals took place Tuesday, with some of the 11 contestants rising to the challenge — like Australian pole dancer/multimedia storyteller Kristy Sellars, whom judge Howie Mandel described as “perfection,” and Lebanese dance troupe me Mayyas, whom Howie said were “so great for women, female empowerment, and your culture” and Heidi Klum called a “million-dollar act.” Others, however, sadly fell short of their previous high expectations, like Dolly Parton-championed country music trio Chapel Hart, whose original song “American Pride” showcased their surprising vocal shortcomings and likely doomed their chances.
But it’s looking like all of those contestants could get upstaged and outranked by an augmented-reality gimmick contestant, MetaPhysic. Two weeks ago, Simon Cowell hyperbolically declared MetaPhysic the greatest act in AGT history. Of course, Simon is probably biased, since MetaPhysic have always made Simon — or at least a creepy cyborg Simon — part of their shtick, reimagining him as a world-class opera tenor. Later, a deepfake Howie and Terry Crews joined in for an artificially intelligent quarterfinals performance of “Nessun Dorma,” and this week, MetaPhysic further curried the judges’ favor by including Uncanny Valley fembot facsimiles of Heidi and Sofia Vergara as backup singers alongside the faux Simon.
But Sofia and Heidi aren’t what gave MetaPhysic the edge this week. What could actually secure MetaPhysic the Season 17 championship was another special “guest performer.” For their final number, MetaPhysic made good on their promise to digitally resurrect “the greatest rock act ever,” and they brought Elvis Presley back to life onstage. Viva Las Vegas, indeed.
AGT viewers have been divided over MetaPhysic in the past, wondering if it was truly fair for them to compete against flesh-and-blood acts with “real talent.” But the judges were “blown away” and all shook up by MetaPhysic’s Elvis routine Tueaday. Heidi called MetaPhysic “beyond good,” Sofia called them “amazing,” and Simon noted, “Let's remember what this night is all about: It's about winning, it's about the money, and more importantly, it's about being in Vegas. This, in my opinion, is probably the most incredible, original act we've ever had. You're so creative. You're going to have your own show in Vegas, no question about it, at the Luxor Hotel. Get ready.”
And many viewers were in agreement with Simon this time around, with one fan, John Clark, tweeting, “MetaPhysic should win #AGT. Think of the money in Vegas bringing back old acts to feature in concert. Unbelievable act." Considering the current blockbuster success of London’s dazzling augmented reality spectacular ABBA Voyage, Simon and John might be onto something here. This could be the future of live entertainment — or at least the future of America’s Got Talent, if MetaPhysic are crowned the million-dollar champs on Wednesday.
But can the reanimated AR Elvis prevail over standouts like Kristy Sellars or Mayyas? Find out, when the grand finale — featuring guest stars Darius Rucker, Jon Pardi, Black Eyed Peas, and obvious Elvis disciple Henry “The Fonz” Winkler — takes place Wednesday.
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