13-year-old Anna Graceman steals ‘America’s Got Talent Live’ at Palazzo

Las Vegas Sun - February 26, 2013


Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 | 1:32 p.m.

An unexpected teenage star was born Monday when “America’s Got Talent Live” returned to Palazzo: Anna Graceman, just 13, stole the show!

The triple-threat talent hails from the wilds of Alaska, but she sings well enough to rival Alicia Keys. She also plays piano as grand as Sir Elton John and writes songs as gifted as Adele and her idol, Taylor Swift.

Incredibly, it’s her second starring spot on The Strip. As an 11-year old on Season 6 of the top-rated NBC series, Anna was part of the touring version when it stopped for two nights at Caesars Palace in 2011. Her debut album was released last year.

It was an incredible performance Monday night. It won her wild applause and a standing ovation. The pint-sized charmer is one giant talent and here now for seven weeks. I know she will one day return to The Strip headlining in her own right.

Comedian Tom Cotter was even funnier than the first time he performed in “AGT” at Palazzo last year. The incredible Olate Dogs, who won Season 7’s $1-million grand prize, also dazzled with new tricks. Las Vegas magicians Jarrett and Raja performed two extraordinary illusions, including the curtain call where every member of the cast mysteriously appeared altogether in an empty, oversized hanging box. It’s mind-blowing!

Jarrett told me: “We are reproducing in the live show what people saw on TV, so they will experience the magic live. That ending is a total surprise — it’s our orchestra production piece from the Las Vegas week episode but with the really interesting twist.

Raja added: “We can’t tell you how amazing it is to be in this show because we have been touring for the past 10 years. For us to actually be at home, where we live, in our house, and go to The Strip to work and come back home at night and have a nice glass of wine is the most amazing thing.

“And not just go to The Strip to work, but go to The Strip to work at the Palazzo in the ‘America’s Got Talent’ show headlining. We never knew a year ago when we first auditioned in San Francisco, we never could have imagined that here we are, we’ve made the Top Six acts of the entire season and have been invited to represent Season 7 in the live show at the Palazzo. It is a dream come true and of course for us, hopefully, a step to the next big step of headlining our own show.”

Our full interview with the magic duo will be posted later.

The spellbinding performing group Lightwire Theater, with their electro-luminescent creations with new characters combining dance and puppetry, created unforgettable glow-in-the-dark performances. Additionally, artist David Garibaldi and his performance artists crew produced stunning images at high speed to exhilarating up-tempo beats.

The new live show stars a diverse cast of Season 7 talent and past fan favorites. The 38 kids ages 9 to 18 from Denver who make up shadow dance ensemble The Silhouettes join the Palazzo show next week.

Next up, Palazzo presents “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” after “America’s Got Talent” completes its run.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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