‘AGT’ finalist Daniel Emmet is ‘gateway drug’ to classical music

Daniel Emmet is a sneaky devil. He’s used Aerosmith to turn us on to “Caruso.”

“My goal, from the beginning, has been to shine a light on classical music, which has had an unfair stigma,” says Emmet, the Las Vegas pop-opera vocalist who has reached this week’s finals of “America’s Got Talent.” “I’m the gateway drug to classical music (laughs), whether it’s rock-inspired classical, or musical theater-inspired classical.”

Emmet has made that strategy sing, as it were, by performing Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in the quarterfinals (singing in Spanish while backed by plumes of fire). He followed that with “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” last week, a performance met with mixed results from the show’s four judges.

Emmet had also sung the traditional Italian opera piece “Caruso” in his trek to the finals.

With that impressive set list, Emmet appears a final time on the NBC competition show at 8 p.m. Tuesday, and the champion will be announced in the season finale at 8 p.m. Wednesday (with Kiss opening that telecast).

Emmet has run the gamut of emotions in surviving to the final. Last week, the 25-year-old singer was saved by the judges, with Howie Mandel shouting Emmet’s name and pointing at the young singer to announce that he’d advanced to the final 10. A week earlier, Emmet was rescued by the show’s Dunkin’ Save, where fans are allowed to vote during the show to save an act.

Emmet described the moment Mandel called out his name “an out-of-body experience.”

“I thought the Dunkin’ Save was stressful, and that it couldn’t’ get any more stressful than that,” Emmet said. “I think I actually blacked out for a minute.”

Emmet is now one performance from the show’s $1 million grand prize and a headlining gig in Las Vegas. He knows what to do.

“I need to give the greatest performance of my life,” he says. “It has to be ‘wow’ from start to finish.”

When the “wow” is over, look for a serious effort to stage Emmet in a Vegas venue. Those details will unspool after his next operatic moment.

What’s announced …

James Taylor is taking up an extended engagement at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, and Smokey Robinson has announced three shows at Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.

Taylor and his nine-piece backing band will play a dozen shows from April 17-May 11. Tickets start at $55 (minus fees) and go on sale at noon Friday.

Robinson performs Feb. 27 and March 1-2. His tickets start at $59.50 (also minus fees) and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. The Motown legend helped bring Human Nature to the Strip, at then-Imperial Palace (now Linq Hotel) in 2009. He still appears in a video clip during HN’s shows at Sands Showroom at The Venetian.

Tatum in town

That guy who looked like Channing Tatum hanging near Nobu at Hard Rock Hotel on Monday was indeed Tatum. The A-lister and co-producer of “Magic Mike Live” was in VegasVille to confer with hotel officials, led by HRH/Virgin Hotel Las Vegas Chief Executive Officer Richard “Boz” Bosworth.

Tatum said he met with the execs discuss the long-term future of the adult revue in the face of widespread hotel renovations. “They want us to stay, and we want to be here,” he said during our quick chat. Bosworth said the show is integral to the development of the Virgin Hotel brand.

“It was an exciting meeting; we discussed expansion to the overall show experience during the property renovation and transformation period,” the exec said. “We knew during the acquisition process how ‘Magic Mike Live’ would fit perfectly within our business plan. Our excitement since has evolved, along with how well the ‘Magic Mike Live’ experience enhances our overall property integration of club, and food-and-beverage activation.”

It all means there are no plans to move “Magic Mike Live.”

Who was where

Canelo Alvarez and his ever-present entourage dined at Lavo at Palazzo on Sunday. Breaking training (or so it seems), he made short work of a 1-pound meatball.

Meantime, his vanquished foe, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and his crew were at Beauty and Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. As reported, GGG had one request — nothing with a Mexican influence be served (Canelo is from Mexico).

After Saturday’s bout, Usher, Dave Chappelle and LeBron James were among the name-checks who descended on Drai’s Nightclub at the Cromwell. Rap star Tip was the night’s (and, morning’s) headliner.

Cool hang alert

The annual fundraiser for American Cancer Society’s Men in Pink campaign begins at 8:45 p.m. Friday, during Kenny Davidsen’s show at Piazza Lounge at Tuscany Suites.

“Fashion Meets Music” is the theme, songs with even a peripheral connection to attire or accessories or even the color pink, with yours truly co-hosting. Davidsen and comic/musician/songwriter/personal friend Dennis Blair kick off the evening, then we shift to the themed performances at 10 p.m.

There is no cover charge (and no parking fees), but we will be passing ye olde hat for donations in the battle against breast cancer.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian and Palazzo.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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