Got Talent

Merrick Hanna: This Year’s Dark Horse Contestant

Young Merrick Hanna was picked for the semi-final round on America’s Got Talent and it’s easy to see why. In the early days, he didn’t make huge ripples but he’s exploded as a real contender for the final. This is due in no small part to Simon Cowell‘s enthusiastic support.

Talent competition shows, even variety showcases like America’s Got Talent, are often dominated by singers. Sure, there are dancers, comedians, and magicians doing their thing as well, but it tends to be the singers that get the most attention. That’s possibly why previous to now, Merrick Hanna wasn’t getting as much attention as some of his fellow performers. Simon has been in his corner since the beginning and it’s easy to see why. The kid is incredible.

He doesn’t do free form dancing. His routines aren’t just a bunch of cool movements with no cohesion. The beauty of his act is that he tells a story with dance. Not only that, but the story is very clear. Can you imagine how hard it is to tell a story using only your body? Merrick employs a pop-and-lock/robot dance style that is a throwback to the breakdancers of the 80’s with a totally fresh take on narrative movement. Mel B said it best when she called him “mesmerizing”.

The question now becomes if he has what it takes to make it until the very end. It’s hard to say. The strange nature of America’s Got Talent is that you have different kinds of acts going against each other. How do you compare a dancer against a singer or comedian? There is no doubting he’s highly talented. It will come down, finally, on how well his semi-final performance goes. Simon certainly has faith in him and Simon believing in anyone is kind of a miracle.