So which of the final 10 contestants will win Suburban Chicago's Got Talent? And which act will claim the title of Fan Favorite?
It all comes down to the penultimate performance of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4. That will be the last time for the 10 finalists to impress the judges and audience members in this summer-long competition presented by the Daily Herald, produced by the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre and sponsored by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.
Suburban Chicago's Got TalentLocation: Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com
Showtime: 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4
Other: Contest winner and Fan Favorite announced after performances from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Taste of Arlington Heights in downtown Arlington Heights on Saturday, Aug. 10.
As in past rounds that narrowed the competition field down, the audience at the Metropolis will have a say in the scoring of contestants in addition to the rankings compiled by the judging panel of Metropolis executive director Charlie Beck, Metropolis music director Micky York, College of DuPage director of theater Connie Canaday Howard and Daily Herald writer Barbara Vitello, who reviews theater.
"One of the most important things to see in a performer is passion," said Canaday Howard, reflecting on her time this summer as a new judge for the competition. "The people that seem the most genuine in what they're doing are the people that I enjoy watching the most."
Videos of the finalists' performances will be online by 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at dailyherald.com/contest/talent. Online fans have three days to vote for their favorites. The ultimate Fan Favorite -- chosen from votes tallied during this and the previous round -- wins a Funjet Vacation for two, while the overall winner of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent gets an expenses-paid trip to audition next season for producers of NBC's "America's Got Talent."
The winners of both prizes will be announced following a performance of the Top 10 at the Taste of Arlington Heights from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. Last year, the beatboxing duo iLLest Vocals comprised of Sanu John and Shawn Kurian won both the grand prize and the Fan Favorite.
Here are the top 10 acts of the 2013 edition of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent:
Occupation: Vocal/guitar/piano teacher
Future hopes if a winner: I'm honestly not thinking about the prizes. There are so many amazing acts, I have no idea who is going to win this one. But in the meantime, I have a stage to perform on, an audience to hear me, and professional judges to point out things I can improve on and help me to become a better performer. You can't pay for that kind of experience! I'm super-grateful and I'm just going to enjoy every minute of it.
Occupation: Kohl's Department Store freight team member
Talent: Vocal presence/guitar
Future hopes if a winner: That it will overall gain me more exposure and promote positive outcomes for future opportunities.
Occupation: Student at Berklee College of Music in Boston
Future hopes if a winner: I hope that if I win either the top prize or Fan Favorite, I'll be able to share my music with a bigger crowd in the Chicago area and really take my artistry to the next level. I hope to connect to each and every person in the audience and build a strong fan base here in Chicago that I can always count on to support my music.
Future hopes if a winner: My only hope if I come out a winner in this competition is that I will have become a better singer or performer because of it. In my opinion, there is always room to grow, and whether it's a win or a loss, it's an experience that something can be taken away from to better myself and the career I so long to have.
Hometown: Arlington Heights
Occupation: Undergraduate student majoring in biology at Davidson College. Summer research intern at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.
Talent: Jazz piano
Future hopes if a winner: I would be honored to perform on "America's Got Talent" and to represent suburban Chicago.
Band members: Siblings Matt Kania, Meggie Kania, Molly McDermott and Andy Meyers
Hometown: Arlington Heights
Occupations: Students. Matt attends Northwestern University; Meggie attends St. Louis University; Andy attends Loyola University; and Molly attends South Middle School.
Future hopes if a winner: For top prize, we would embrace any new opportunities if it presented itself. If Fan Favorite, we would be excited to use the trip for two as a catalyst for a family vacation.
Future hopes if a winner: To win "America's Got Talent."
Sean and Karen (Slavin)
Future hopes if a winner: Our hopes are that more people will listen to our debut album "Moodswings," and then come to our shows, so we can then play more shows and record more music. We love what we do, and are grateful to have as many good opportunities to do it as possible.
Hometown: Arlington Heights
Occupation: Unemployed. Hire me? please.
Talent: Stand-up comedy
Future hopes if a winner: You know, getting this far in the competition has been its own prize for me. It's given me a lot more confidence as a stand up comedian, to continue writing every day and maybe consider pursuing a career in comedy. If I win the Fan Favorite, I would give the trip to my parents. Hands down. I don't think they have ever experienced a vacation. Ever. Like, ever in their life. They might not actually understand that word -- or that it is a word. If I win the top prize, I would love to have a chance at making even more people laugh. It would be a wonderful present.
Featuring: Tim Shemroske of Bartlett, Mark Glatt of Riverwoods and Dan Shemroske of Bartlett
Occupation: Tim started his own record label that books national tours and works odd jobs. Mark works at a family restaurant. Dan works part time at the Daily Herald printing center.
Future hopes if a winner: To get on TV would be cool and all, but if we don't win, it's not a big deal to us. We'd like to be on late night TV such as "Late Show with David Letterman" or "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," so we'll work toward that regardless.