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America’s Got Talent Auditions “Best Of” Special and Some Fun Videos!

Hello for the second time this week! I forgot to mention this on Tuesday, but NBC is currently airing an hour-long “Best of Auditions” special featuring acts we’ve seen so far this season. I’m not going to liveblog it, but will be back later to update with a list of who appeared. Take note of these names, because I have a feeling appearing on this special may indicate who’s most likely making it through the next round and moving on to the live shows.

I also wanted to share these fun videos of YouTube star Colleen Ballinger (aka “Miranda Sings”) and AGT Season 11 winner Grace VanderWaal! (They’ve been out for a few weeks but I never got around to posting them here.) Enjoy!

July 13, 2017 I Written By

I'm obssessed with the entertainment industry, especially offbeat and nerdy things as well as those that involve live performance. The only thing I love more than geeking out over the things that entertain me is sharing in my excitement with others who share the same passions. America may have talent, but Canada has an up-and-coming blogger who is ready to take the internet by storm!

Pure America’s Got Talent Season 12 Auditions Episode 3: Live Blog and Sofie Dossi Appears on Ellen

Hey everyone! Welcome to another live blog of America’s Got Talent!

I’m starting this post early because I wanted to share a video! I know a lot of you might have seen it by now, but AGT Season 11 Top 10 Finalist Sofie Dossi appeared on Ellen last week and showed off some of her contortionist skills! You can watch the clip below, and keep checking back for updates throughout tonight’s episode!

Wow I love Oscar! Great dancer and performer! Love how he really got into the performance. I don’t see him making it past Judge Cuts, unfortunately, but I kinda hope he does because imagine that performance with him in costume and an awesome set!

So according to the preview we’re getting MEMES as acts now???

These two are so funny! And I love the pole and hoop balancing act! Can’t believe she was afraid of heights! Glad they got through!

The random people finding the green room though. XD

A limbo dancer! That’s pretty unique for this show. Shemika and her mom are such a cute duo. I believe she was on Ellen’s show sometime in the last year or so; I’ll have to go check once the show is over!

Oh this clip was on YouTube! Kechi is a great singer, but like with most of the singers on this show, I think The Voice would be a better fit for her. I know the judges sometimes get caught up in the stories, but I appreciate Mel B and Simon giving her a legitimate critique (not that she wasn’t good, but I like when the judges give pointers to help the acts become that much better in the future).

Um, so did this woman come on just to flirt with Simon? I front of her husband, no less? I think her dream was to just get a kiss from Simon, so I guess she got her dream. Nice that her husband was such a good sport, and he even got a Heidi kiss!

Now we’re getting an entire MONTAGE of old ladies flirting with Simon??? XD

AWWWW YEAH IT’S MAGIC TIME!

It looks like we’ve got a cloning act with a screen! That’s different! Love the 2D/3D storyline combo here!

Oh, okay it’s twins. Pretty cool that they put this together! I hope they go far!

I love “In the Stairwell”! they remind me of the Warblers from Glee! (They were my equivalent of a boy band back in high school.) Now THIS is the kind of singing I enjoy on AGT; stuff that wouldn’t work on other reality talent shows!

So two nervous guys going one after the other…my guess is one gets through and the other doesn’t.

Aw, I feel bad for him, but I think it was good that Howie encouraged him to continue with comedy if it was his passion.

Oh wow another singing act I can get behind! Love the impressions and the variety of them! Great job!

Looks like we’re filling this week’s animal act quota with some poodles-both in the canine and skirt variety! Love the balancing and jump rope! If any of the animal acts we’ve seen so far make it to the Live Shows, my money’s on the “Pompeyo Family Dogs”! Though apparently there was a similar trick on a Got Talent at some point; I’ll have to go look that up!

Aaaaaand here’s the meme. It’s the “Dancing Pumpkin Man” from the internet (originally from the CW bumpers)! (Though I don’t actually know if this guy is THE “Dancing Pumpkin Man”. :P)

FUCK NO NOT ANOTHER GOLDEN BUZZER SINGER WHYWHYWHYWHYWHY HOWIE BETWEEN THIS AND YOU BUZZING THE A CAPELLA GUYS YOU ARE NO LONGER MY FAVORITE JUDGE CONGRATS MEL B YOU’RE MOVING ON UP IN THE RANKS!

And also THIS IS THE SECOND WEEK IN A ROW THAT IT’S GONE TO A SINGER WITH LOSS OF ONE OF THEIR SENSES. I MEAN REALLY? VARIETY WOULD BE NICE PLEASE!!!! ESPECIALLY ON WHAT YOU PEOPLE CALL A VARIETY SHOW!!!

Okay, to be honest I thought Christian was great, but this is just getting way too repetitive. It’s making the show boring and predictable. So I was happy he got through, but not as a Golden Buzzer.

Anyway, comment below who you liked and disliked tonight, and I’ll be back next week!

STOP👏GIVING👏ONLY👏SINGERS👏THE👏GOLDEN👏BUZZER

June 13, 2017 I Written By

I'm obssessed with the entertainment industry, especially offbeat and nerdy things as well as those that involve live performance. The only thing I love more than geeking out over the things that entertain me is sharing in my excitement with others who share the same passions. America may have talent, but Canada has an up-and-coming blogger who is ready to take the internet by storm!

America’s Got Talent Season 11

Our apologies on not being able to keep this site up to date the past couple seasons. The day job has kept us pretty busy. We almost posted about Simon Cowell coming on as a judge this season. If you’d ever seen Simon as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, then you knew he’d be great and he has been great for the show. He brings a great energy to the show.

I’m also excited to share that we have a new writer who’s going to be posting about this season of America’s Got Talent. Her name is Julia and she’s done some work with me on Pure Dancing with the Stars. I think she’ll do a really excellent job.

I’ll just finish off this little intro to us blogging about America’s Got Talent season 11 with how glad I am that the Russian Bar Trio is back on America’s Got Talent. Back in 2008, I posted about how much I love the Russian Bar Trio. I even talked about wanting the Russian Bar Trio back the season after they first performed. Plus, in case you missed it, here were a few of the details of the accident that prevented the Russian Bar Trio from performing on America’s Got Talent. To be clear, the accident didn’t happen on the show. It happened separate from the show and so they got replaced in the live shows.

Needless to say, I’m still a huge fan of the Russian Bar Trio. Christine is fantastic. When she did the double backflip tonight it was just as exciting and incredible as when I first saw them perform. The handstand was pretty incredible as well.

Not sure if I can call them the favorite. I think there are some people that will bore of their act, but I never will. It’s such an incredible talent. Love it.

Anyway, while we wait for Julia to start posting, what do you think of America’s Got Talent season 11?

June 14, 2016 I Written By

Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America’s Got Talent

Congratulations to the Winner of America’s Got Talent! What a season of talent. With the season being over, I’m sure many of you will be like me and need something to fill the AGT void. That’s why I’m pleased to let you know about a new book about America’s Got Talent called: Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America’s Got Talent(Kindle Edition).

This book is a delicious mix of behind the scenes insights from past contestants and updates from some of your favorite America’s Got Talent acts. Once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. If you’re a fan of the show, then you’ll find this book a delightful read.

I’m not sure how the author of the book got access to so many past contestants (more than 65), but it must have taken a really extraordinary effort. With that many, you’re sure to find updates on some of your favorites. Here are a few examples of what you’ll find in the book:
* Which runner-up says he contemplated suicide after a painful spinal injury
* How accused “fake soldier” Timothy Poe ended up saving the life of a stranger in his hometown
* Why one winner gave away all of his prize money
* Which finalist used to rob people’s houses “for fun” before appearing on the show
* How one act got tricked into moving to Branson, Missouri by a fake show promoter
* Which winner forgot to claim his $1 million prize

I don’t say this about many books, but Inside AGTis a must read for any fan of AGT. Yes, if you’re reading this site, you’re probably a fan.

Once you get a chance to read it, I hope you’ll come back and let us know what you think in the comments. Who was missing from the book?

September 18, 2013 I Written By

PureAGT Season 8 POLL: Did Catapult “Rip Off” Silhouettes?

Whilst browsing around on YouTube for a clip of Catapult’s performance on last week’s premiere, I noticed something odd: almost every video of them posted had a slew of comments from angry viewers claiming that they had “ripped off” season 6 runner-up Silhouettes.  Here’s a video of them to jog your memory:

A few overseas viewers also accused Catapult of copying Attraction, the winner of the most recent season of Britain’s Got Talent:

Now while I agree that all three acts are very similar, I also think that there’s very, very few acts on any of the Talent franchises that are truly original anymore – I think it’s all been done before, and everyone’s just trying to make their mark and somehow put a fresh spin on their act.  So to really accuse any of the three of “ripping off” one another? Not really fair, IMO.  If you’re going to call out Catapult for copying Silhouettes, then you may as well call out Lightwire Theater from last season for copying Team iLuminate from season 6, and Angela Hoover for copying season 6’s Melissa Villasenor.  Almost every act shares some similarities with a previous act.

Truth be told, I was never really wowed by what Silhouettes did – just seemed like a lot of running from place to place making shapes while some schmaltzy song played.  What I like about Catapult, though, is that they actually create pictures that move, and tend to tell a story – Silhouettes seemed like they just went with a theme, as opposed to an actual narrative with a beginning, middle, and end.  Haven’t really had a chance to compare either of the two to Attraction, beyond the video I posted above, but all three appear to have different strengths & weaknesses.  But what do you think?

June 10, 2013 I Written By

Ultrasound specialist by day, entertainment blogger by night - with some amateur dancer, hair & makeup enthusiast, crazy cat lady, recreational chef, and Donnie Wahlberg/Norman Reedus fangirl peppered in to make things interesting ;-) Check out some of my other work over at puredwts.com!

AGT Blast to the Past: Lindsey Stirling – Now a YouTube Sensation

Remember the hip-hop violinist from AGT Season 5? She made it to the quarter-finals where she was ultimately eliminated. However, that wasn’t the end for her.

Before I get into that though, here is her Top 48 performance from Season 5.

This probably wasn’t my favorite performance, but it was pretty cool. However, leaving America’s Got Talent early in the competition ended up being a good thing for her. Devin Graham, a cinemetographer, approached Stirling about making a YouTube video with him, and from there, her career took off. The YouTube channel she started in 2007 took off after that video debuted, and has done very well since then. As of this month, she has over 100 million views, and her music has been on Last FM and Pandora. In addition, it is anticipated that she will release a CD later this year.

In an article written about her in BYU Magazine, where she is currently an undergrad, Stirling made this interesting statement after she posted her first video on 2011 on YouTube:

My music quadrupled in sales overnight. YouTube did more for me than America’s Got Talent. I realized there’s something to this.

This shows just how powerful YouTube is. I think it’s pretty cool that she was able to find a lot of success, even though she didn’t make it to the finals of AGT. It sounds like that was the catalyst for her career, but that YouTube is really what helped her become popular. Has anyone heard of any other former AGT contestants that were YouTube sensations as well?

The article also provided some interesting insight into what she’s been up to, as well as how she almost missed out on learning the violin. Apparently, her older sister wanted to play an instrument, and so Stirling wanted to as well. All her parents had was a trumpet, but she really wanted to play a violin. So they let her, although they could only afford for one 15 minute lesson a week, which some of the teachers scoffed at, believing there was no way she could learn. She obviously proved them wrong!

Her videos feature her in a variety of situations and places, including in Africa and New Zealand. I spent some time watching some of her videos tonight, and I have to say, I’m very impressed. They are so much fun, and this girl has some serious talent. I’ve never seen a violinist like her! I posted a few of her videos below, including the one filmed in Africa. It was the first time many of the people in the video had seen a violin. Whenever her album gets released, I think I will purchase it. She seems to be very successful, and is also on track to graduate from Brigham Young University with a degree in therapeutic recreation in 2013.


 

July 31, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

America’s Got Talent Blast from the Past: Michael Grimm

Now let’s take a look at Season Five’s winner, Michael Grimm.

If a little a refresher about his tenure on America’s Got Talent is needed, here is his audition that sent him straight to Vegas. I have to admit, just like Piers Morgan says in this clip, I wasn’t expecting much when I first saw him, but boy, I was blown away when he started playing and singing. He definitely deserved advancing to the next round.

And here Grimm is during the finale (singing “When a Man Loves a Woman”. Love that song.)

There was some debate as to whether Grimm should have beat out Jackie Evancho, he was charming and seemed like an overall nice guy. I had no qualms with him winning. Personally, I found it quite touching that a portion of the winnings went to his grandparents, whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

So what has Grimm been up to since winning? Well, his self-titled album was released in March of 2011, which made it to #13 on both the US Pop Music Charts and the Billboard Top 200. Not too shabby. Toward the end of 2011, Grimm opened for Stevie Nicks autumn tour.

After doing some research, it seems as if Grimm is doing just fine. I mean, I couldn’t find any juicy gossip…but that’s probably a good thing, right?  Last November, he had a two week gig with his own show at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, and starting in April of this year, he became a permanent headliner at the Ovation Room in Las Vegas.

Grimm’s grandparent’s home was recently finished, which was an exciting moment for him. I’m glad that he is a man of his word and was able to do that for them.

I don’t know, I just like seeing people remain successful after winning a competition like this. What I like even more is when it doesn’t go to the winner’s head, and I don’t see any evidence of that happening to Grimm. What was your opinion on him? Have you bought his most recent album?

July 28, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

America’s Got Talent Blast from the Past: Neal E. Boyd

“The Michael Phelps of the Competition”. This is the title judge Piers Morgan gave  Usually when I hear the word opera, I tune out (is that bad?) So, Boyd wasn’t necessarily my favorite from the season or winner of America’s Got Talent, but that doesn’t discredit his talent at all. The man has an amazing voice. Nonetheless, the following clip of him singing “Somewhere” is definitely my favorite from the season:


He sure knows how to put emotion into his performances, eh?

As I said, I’m not big into opera, but it wasn’t difficult to find out what has been keeping Boyd busy since his time on AGT. I was a little bit surprised, as his most recent endeavor has very little to do with music but more on that later.

Boyd released his first CD a little more than six months after his AGT victory in 2009 and made it into the Billboard Top 200 for awhile. His most notable performances have been for President Obama, and former president’s George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. While dealing with his musical career, Boyd remains the co-owner of an insurance agency and the Vice President of sales for a company called Voluntary Benefit Services.

But what he is most recently up to? Well, Boyd has gotten into politics. Although he dropped out of the election for the Missouri House seat in order to get himself healthier, he recently announced that he is running as the Republican candidate for 149th district in Missouri. In addition, Boyd has lost over 65 pounds and ready for the election.

Successful musical career, weight-loss advocate, owner of an insurance company, and now politician? What’s Boyd going to do next? Only time will tell, but he doesn’t seem to forget where he came from and how lucky he is to be where he is:

My voice has opened the doors to a lot of avenues that a normal little African-American, Southeast Missouri, poor boy never would have gotten to see. It’s a pretty great little American dream story. 1

1. Boyd, Neal. “The Sunday Interview: Neal E. Boyd is raising his voice.” By Lucas Presson. Southeast Missourian. 2011. <http://www.semissourian.com/story/1764132.html>

July 20, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

Blast From the Past: Ali and Christina, the Singing Sisters

After a post written about the “The Singing Sisters”, Christina and Ali,  from Season 5 of America’s Got Talent resurfaced on our Twitter account, a follower asked for an update on them.

And just for anyone who is unfamiliar with Christina and Ali, here’s a little background on them:

These two beautiful girls from Idaho Falls made it to the top 10 on Season 5 of America’s Got Talent as a singing duo. One of the things that made them stand out is that they both have cystic fibrosis. After the season, they went on a 25-city tour with AGT. Christina has a “huge voice” and Ali is a “vocal Swiss Army knife,” according to their website, and together, were a vocal phenomenon. Here is a video of them on America’s Got Talent:

These girls truly have an amazing story of overcoming such obstacles. Since America’s Got Talent, they have written and produced a song called “Love is Gonna Find You” in 2011 with a Dove Award-winning and Grammy-nominated producer/songwriting team that worked with big names like Kelly Clarkson and Michael Jackson, which was featured in their 5-song EP that was released this past Valentine’s Day. Sadly, their older sister passed away last year, and the girls sang at her funeral. I can’t even imagine how hard that would be!

Christina just finished up her sophomore year of high school, and Ali most recently was taking a break from school at Brigham Young University-Idaho to help promote the EP. One of the seconds on the EP is an anti-bullying song, in honor of a friend who committed suicide in 2009 because of bullying. They have been interviewed by several magazines, including Twist Magazine and Seventeen earlier this year. In the Seventeen article, the girls talked about Cystic Fibrosis, and how it affects their every day life:

Ali: For me personally, I get really worn out and really tired throughout the day. It’s a struggle sometimes to remember all the medicine I have to take. Every time I eat, I have to take pills and I often have to undergo treatments. It’s a lot of time and hard work.

Christina: I always have a lot of treatments to do and I like to hang out with my friends which is hard when I have treatments.

For those unfamiliar with what Cystic Fibrosis is, it’s a genetic disease that affects digestion, weight gain, and the lungs. The lungs have a rally thick and sticky mucus that builds up and can cause infection and a general decline in function of the years. In the Twist Magazine article, the girls said that the disease affects their singing voices at times. The fact that they singing, despite that added challenge, shows what strong and talented girls they are.

These girls have every reason in the world to complain about the life card they’ve been dealt, but they seem to keep going forward with a great attitude, and seem to having a lot of success recently in their music career. I listened to a few of the songs on the EP, and it is a very uplifting, positive album with a good message. I really hope to see more of these two girls, because really, they are great role models of overcoming trials and just being good people over all. They are great examples, especially to young girls everywhere. I’ve obviously never met them, but beyond their incredible voices, seem very sweet. I’d love to talk with these girls someday!

Be sure to check out their website here for updates, pictures, videos, and more. Their album can be downloaded on iTunes here. And, to finish off, here is the music video of their song, Love is Gonna Find You:

July 12, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

America’s Got Talent Blast to the Past: Bianca Ryan

Before she was even a teenager, Bianca Ryan was the first winner of America’s Got Talent six years ago. Because of versatility in music choices and powerful voice, Simon Cowell once said she was “potentially one of the best singers [he has] ever heard in [his life.]” Now, six years later, what is Ryan doing now as a 17 year old?

Well first, lets visit her journey on America’s Got Talent:

(compare first season to the current season..SO much has changed, agreed? Personally, I like the judges and host a lot better now.)

That girl has some serious talent. Probably why she won, right? And the fact that she was 11 is even more incredible. What was I doing at 11? Um, I think I was performing in my 6th grade musical rendition of Tom Sawyer. Not quite the same.

Soon after winning, Ryan produced and released a self-titled album that debuted at #57 on the Billboard Top 200. Although that is the only CD she has released since AGT, she has still kept busy. She has released two EPs and done a little bit of touring.

Currently, Ryan is now 17-years-old and attending a performing arts school in Philadelphia. She is also preparing for a starring role in a feature film titled “We Be Kings.” Ryan has definitely had a good career so far, and is on the road to even more stardom. Quincy Jones, a global music producer, said that he believes Ryan will be “The next revolution in music.”

I really like her. She has genuine talent (unlike a lot of popular musicians that are her same age). I hope to see more of her in the future!

And just for fun, here is one of her most recent songs, “In My Head”.

July 6, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.