‘Robot Boy’ Merrick Hanna falls short of ‘AGT’ finals

Share this article:

By Ken Stone

Updated at 9:40 p.m. Sept. 13, 2017

Merrick Hanna failed to make the finals as viewers chose 10-year-old singer Angelica Hale over Merrick and singer Christian Guardino in one group that stood to hear the verdict.

Merrick Hanna freezes at end of his semifinal dance on “America’s Got Talent.” Image via YouTube.com
The other four finalists chosen Wednesday night were deaf singer Mandy Harvey, dance-acrobat group Diavolo, singer and lone plane-crash survivor Ketchi and electronic light dance troupe Light Balance.

On Twitter, Merrick said: “Thank you all for your amazing support! Can’t wait to see what’s next! @AGT”

“America’s Got Talent” replied: “You are proof that our future is bright.”

Original story:

Merrick Hanna soared — literally — in his fourth performance on “America’s Got Talent” as a wire lifted him high above a Hollywood stage Tuesday night in the show’s second semifinal.

Wearing a letterman’s jacket with an “R” on it, the Encinitas middle-schooler did another “robot boy” dance to “iRobot” by 26-year-old Jon Bellion.

(Hanna likes tunes of young songwriters. But the high-wire act was his first, he said.)

But the the 12-year-old son of Shawn and Aletha Hanna has more than a passing interest in robots, according to an 80-second pretaped video. Merrick said he didn’t talk until age 3 and didn’t make eye contact.

But through his small toy robots, he opened up enough to make friends at school and “come out of his shell,” Aletha said.

After his 90-second dance, where judge Mel B gave him a standing ovation, the youngster with “Local Champ” stenciled on the back of his jacket heard judge Heidi Klum say: “You really commanded. You raised the bar even higher.”

Show creator Simon Cowell said he hoped Merrick would be voted into the NBC reality show’s finals — “You’ve done amazing.”

His fate will be determined by online and telephone vote, with results to be revealed Wednesday night. Five of 11 acts Tuesday would be voted into the final.

Going into the show, the 12-year-old son of Shawn and Aletha Hanna was given 50-1 odds of winning, according to GoldDerby.com.

But first viewers have to advance the youngster to the Sept. 19 final at the Academy Awards-hosting Dolby Theatre.

GoldDerby gives 12-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer of Oklahoma “overwhelming 4/5 odds to win Seaso n 12 of “AGT.” She advanced to the finals after last week’s show.

“Right now it looks like Darci’s job to lose, but she still has tough competition out there,” said Gina Carbone of moviefone.com.

But early this month, Marcus James Dixon of GoldDerby.com gave three reasons why Merrick deserved to win,

  • He’s uniquely talented: “If ‘AGT’ voters end up crowning just another singer this year, they’ll end up looking foolish for failing to recognize Hanna’s truly one-of-a-kind talent.”
  • He’s a storyteller: “Where might Hanna’s imagination take us if he had a Las Vegas show all to himself (as a winner)?”
  • It’s time for another dance winner: “Four years ago, Japanese entertainer Kenichi Ebina became the first and so far only dance act to win the competition. To compare, there have been a whopping six singers to take home the title out of 11 seasons.”

“America’s Got Talent” is due for another dance champ, Dixon said, “and Hanna fits the mold of other talented children to win, like Season 1’s Bianca Ryan and Season 11’s Grace VanderWaal.”

Sportsbettingexperts.com ranked him as No. 8 among the show’s remaining acts, vying for the $1 million grand prize.

Merrick again sought votes via Twitter.

His fans flocked to Twitter as well.

>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!

Follow us: