Updated September 25, 2020 - 10:25 am
Alan Silva ascended to previously unreached heights on “America’s Got Talent.” He finished higher, in fact, than anyone whose act doesn’t utilize his or her voice.
The aerialist and acrobat from “Zumanity” finished fifth in the show’s Season 15, announced live Wednesday night on NBC. Spoken-word artist Brandon Leake won the championship. Leake, who has performed his spoken-word poetry around the world, earned judge Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer in an earlier round.
Vocalists otherwise dominated the “AGT” top five. Country duo Broken Roots finished in second, singer Christina Rae was third, and 11-year-old Canadian singer Roberta Battaglia placed fourth.
“It’s a show where aerial and acrobats don’t get very far,” Silva said Thursday afternoon. “So I am happy to be in the top five. I would have been happier to be in the top three (laughs), that was the goal, and to win would have been amazing. But just getting to the top five was great.”
Leake will head up an “AGT” all-star show at Luxor in 2021. Show producer Simon Cowell, who missed all of Season 15 while recovering from back injuries, has been developing an “AGT” series at the Luxor theater to replace Cirque’s short-lived “R.U.N” production. Details on the production’s dates and lineup will be announced later.
In a statement, MGM Resorts International said, “We are thrilled that the winner of this season of America’s Got Talent will perform live at Luxor Las Vegas. Many more details to be shared in the months ahead.”
Silva said he is not sure if he will be in that live show. The topic was not discussed during the finals. But Silva did get some tips about how to expand his performance from one of the competitors.
“Backstage, before the results, I was talking to Brandon about my act,” Silva said. “He was coming up with some different ideas to work on. He is a great guy. I was also happy for Broken Roots to make it to second place. There was just so much incredible talent on that show.”
An original “Zumanity” cast member dating to 2003, Silva topped 44 performers to reach the live-TV finals. His fifth-place finish was the highest of any aerial artist ever in the series. He performed in a rain curtain for his final act Tuesday, spinning high above the stage to “Live Like Legends” by Ruelle.
Silva wants to expand to TV and film work.
“I wish we, as acrobats, would not get put in the box,” Silva said in an interview this month. “We are general artists. I would love to be able to act, show that I can perform in that role. My body type is small, of course, but I am fit, I’m strong and I can expand what I’ve been doing onstage.”
Silva and his brother, Alfredo Silva, from danger act Deadly Games, performed together Wednesday night in a fire-and-aerial act. Deadly Games reached the live broadcasts in Season 11 in 2016. The act remains sidelined in the cast of “Celestia” at The Strat.
Fifth place goes to… pic.twitter.com/O6jiJ71gUc
— America’s Got Talent Finale Tonight! (@AGT) September 24, 2020
Along with Silva, three Las Vegas performers reached the finals: daredevil Jonathan Goodwin, sword swallower Brett Loudermilk and mentalist Max Major.
The two-hour finale featured a performance from Usher and guest collaborations from Ava Max, Blake Shelton and OneRepublic.
Silva said he’s settling down after his inspiring “AGT” run.
“I don’t know what is next, but I will be looking for other opportunities while I wait for COVID to be over,” the acrobat said. “Right now, what is next is just hanging out with my family.”
The Wheel Deal
“Fantasy” singer Lorena Peril and her guitarist/producer Ray Jon Narbaitz have taken their street performances on the road. “The Vegas On Wheels Mobile Music and Truckeoke Show,” a title nearly as long as this road trip, has hit the fair city of Chico, California.
Narbaitz hails from Chico (to disclose, so does yours truly).
The performances run between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on how much of Peril’s life story she recites between songs.
All the music is tracked from mobile speakers being hauled in the rig. The couple reports that they book on the fly, and have more bookings than they know what to do with.
“We have been singing for people who literally have not left their houses since March,” Peril says. “We are big in Chico.”
Saturday, it’s off to Roseville.
Billy … Hinsche!
Billy Hinsche, a member of the pop ensemble Dino, Desi and Billy, opens The Vegas Studio’s livestream free concert series at 7 p.m. Saturday. Hinsche joined Dean Paul Martin (the son of Dean Martin) and Desi Arnaz Jr. (son of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball) in the 1960s vocal group. Hinsche also performed for years with the Beach Boys.
Actor and musician John Stamos, who has toured with the latter version of the Beach Boys, is a special guest. Hinsche promises to learn to knit a sweater, a reference to Stamos’ Geico commercial ad where he is shown knitting a scarf. Knitting this all together, metaphorically, are The Vegas Studio producers Pete Housley and Jonathan Scott.
The performances are available on the Facebook pages of Scott and Hinsche, and also vimeo.com.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.