America’s Got Talent: Meet the Five Finalists
Minutes after the America’s Got Talent finalists were named on Wednesday’s show, the lucky five (not four, as were intended) spoke with PEOPLE about the competition. The lineup includes a trio of singing singers from New York, a country singer from Kentucky, a quintet of dancing moms, a grandma stand-up comic, and a trio of Texan opera/country crooners. The disappointed eliminated acts went home in tears (at least Drew Thomas’s daughter did) and long-faced (Acrodunk). Only four acts were supposed to go through, but the judges couldn’t make up their minds and elected to send both Voices of Glory and Fab Five to the finals. Softies. –Nicholas White
Kevin Skinner Did you sleep last night?Actually, I didn’t really sleep at all last night. I was practicing. A lot of said you should have got a little sleep, but I’m a perfectionist. I wanted everything perfect. I wanted to walk out onstage and give the best performance I could. There are some parts of my song that were not major but that needed to be tweaked. If I could work on it, I would feel comfortable and give the best performance. I believe I did. The crowd seemed to like it and get into it.
What song are you doing for the final?I have to put a lot of thought into it. I want to pick a song that connects to . That’s the whole reason I’m walking out there, is to connect. If I can do that, it makes me feel real good.
How do you celebrate?I’m going to celebrate when I come off that stage. When I hear that roar of the crowd, that’s a big celebration to me right now. Just to know that I’m going through to the next round, that’s more than words can say.
Grandma Lee Where do your jokes come from?All my material is based on the truth. I go up there and wing it. But I practiced it to myself. One of my sons will help and time me and say different things. Like last night, I was going to say, “God bless America. God save the King. Thank you Jesus.” He said, “Don’t say, ‘thank you Jesus,’ you don’t want to offend somebody and risk it.’ I don’t think it would have made a difference but I don’t want to risk it.
How long have you done comedy?About 11 or 12 years. I have traveled all over the country doing comedy. But I had to clean it up for the show. I won’t say a cuss word or anything to jeopardize myself. I can do clean or edgy.
Who of your fellow competitors do you like?Kevin and I started hanging out a little bit in Vegas. Having a cigarette on break and talking. I love Voices of Glory. I didn’t know the Fab Five until this week, but they’re awesome too.
Voices of Glory Being one of the last two acts selected, what was that like?Avery: What I was thinking was just to stay strong through the whole competition, you never know what could happen. Whatever happens, happens for a reason. It was a little nerve-wracking when we got onstage. It felt great because we got to know each other.
Is there sibling rivalry?Michael II: Not at all. Piers Morgan for the past few times has said that Nadia is the star. Even though they’re saying that now, we all have strong points and weak points. We try to overcome those weak spots and lift each other up. The Texas Tenors were telling us that if they were talking about Nadia, no matter how much they gave her accolades, we are a group and they were talking about the group. No matter what happens, we will always stay a group.
Nadia, do you feel like the star?Nadia: I don’t really feel extra pressure. I know all the judges say I’m a diva and everything, but I couldn’t have done this without my brothers. It’s mostly a family group. If they call me diva it matters to me, because they’re real famous .
Are the odds stacked against you because you’re kids?Michael II: Even though it seems they pick more adult acts, like David Hasselhoff says, we have a long way to go and have a future in this. If we start off now, we could grow and branch off in so many ways. I think it would be a great thing for us to win.
The Texas Tenors What’s the latest with Sharon Osbourne, who has a crush on you? Have you talked with offstage?Marcus: We did actually, we did. We had a conversation. The thing about Sharon is that she is beautiful and talented, gracious and cordial there are so many things I could say about Sharon.
What song is coming up for the final?JC: We narrowed it down to at least 10 numbers. Marcus: We want to make it as cheesy as possible for Piers. We know he likes cheese.
What kind of help has David Hasselhoff been for you?John: He’s so respected in the music industry. A lot of Americans don’t realize how massive he is in Europe. Germany loves him. Everybody thinks of Baywatch, but his singing is incredible. We really know him. When he says something, we believe it. Offstage, he’s given us good advice. He said, “Congratulations guys. I want to be the fourth tenor.”
Fab Five You have a visitor helping out with your training?Shaundalee: He’s our childhood coach. We told him what was going on. He got so excited. He has give literally. He has paid for himself to come down her and paid for all of his own expenses. I don’t know how he’s doing with work and doing so much for us. He’s the one that says this is working, this isn’t working.
You’re going to change up your act for next time?Ayrion: I think it will be a pretty much a new act — completely different than what we have done. Veva: We have got to make Piers happy and change it up, man.
Who do you like out of your fellow competitors?Cambria: We love Voices of Glory. We have gotten really attached to those little ones. I was ready to cry when I saw the two of us together onstage.
Tell us: Who deserves to win America’s Got Talent? Did the judges make the right decision in picking five acts?