It's hard to believe that the “America's Got Talent” finals finish off Season 12 next week. Ten gifted and aspiring artists out of all those thousands standing in front of producers have been plucked to give the performance of a lifetime. The last five in that chosen group were given the good news on Wednesday. From now on, the remaining talents can be sure their futures will be changed.

For anyone out there wondering, Season 12 has been the most actively supported season in years for the most eclectic and “out-of-the-box” TV talent competition.

Tyra Banks announced during the September 13 results show that 2 billion votes have been cast since voting opened.

Getting to the verdict

Results shows are always bittersweet in “America's Got Talent” history because time is too short, and feelings are too raw, to allow much comfort to those not moving onward. Even the elite talents chosen for the finals hardly have a moment to process the dream come true.

Colin Cloud, Diavolo, and Kechi got the word in the first few moments of the night that they were the performers up for the save vote and had to sit out the time for the final tally.

It didn't take long for Christian Guardino, dancer Merrick Hanna, and the showstopper in this week's performances, Angelica Hale, to find out their fate.

All of these young talents have truly grown into stage-ready performers through the competition and the singers shined especially bright this week.

Angelica Hale was the name called from the envelope and she could not restrain her tears of joy. In a very touching, silent gesture, Christian Guardino stopped to give Angelica a kiss on her head as he left the stage.

Those are the kind of moments that make this competition different and memorable, as the judges would say.

Singers Celine Tam and Mandy Harvey made their way forward, along with the talented dog-loving and dog training relations, The Pompeyo Family. Mandy Harvey had made such an impression this week that Simon Cowell compared her performance to the first time he heard Adele.

Harvey, who is deaf, will have her chance in the finals to steal more limelight, taking this vote. Simon insisted that she needed no advice and that her unique talent and instinct to make people feel her music would guide her. She seemed genuinely sad to see her friends leave the stage, saying she was “heartbroken and thankful” at the same time.

There was a pause of nonsense and fun between the stress, with performers from Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas showing off the adult circus show, Absinthe. A cute session with Tyra Banks talking to kids about “America's Got Talent” brought Simon Cowell out to face some hard truths from his young critics. The judge even pledged to put on a leopard print!

The panel had some fun reading tweets from viewers before going back to the serious stuff.

Illumination artists, Light Balance were put head-to-head with Air Force Academy singing group, In the Stairwell. This was a contest of patriotic support and pure sincerity versus technical wizardry, and once again, the public voted for what can be designed to go on a screen. Light Balance will be in the finals, and the departing servicemen showed such class in their congratulations. Howie Mandel was much happier over this vote than fellow judge, Mel B, who had to say goodbye to her favorite singing and dancing guys.

The final decisions

When the time came to announce the last “save” vote of the season, the nerves were abundantly visible among the three standing contenders.

This competition has always been about so much beyond mere talent, and heart was as much of a winner as voice when Kechi captured the vote. The plane crash survivor gushed that it was “unbelievable” to feel this dream as reality. Her voice is a gift from heaven, and her story of strength and reciprocating goodness is so desperately needed in these times. The world needs her hope in song, and Kechi has waited a long time for the kind of love she deserves.

The judges had their last chance of the season to decide between “construction” acrobatic dancers, Diavolo, and forensic mind-reader, Colin Cloud. There didn't seem to be any of the usual debate, as Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, and Mel B, all sided with casting their vote for “something different” and gave support to Diavolo. A

Feel free to leave comments below about any favorites in the coming finals!