Quick update – new video posted on the America’s Got Talent YouTube page, with more quick previews of the acts themselves:
I see a few ballroom couples, some breakdancers, some dogs doing tricks, another guy playing janitorial equipment as musical instruments (ugh), some gladiators (or Spartans…?) flexing their pecs, some more cloggers, a ventriloquist, some acrobats doing silhouettes, a magician or two, and some guy playing with a rattlesnake (probably the same one mentioned in the San Antonio audition post). Looks like a good variety of acts! I also think Mel B’s antics and Heidi’s misinterpretations of the English language have the potential to inject some much-needed comedy into this season Less than 24 hours till showtime!
Less than a week ago, Timothy Poe brought America to tears with his story.
Now, Poe is the one in tears.
In an interview released last night by WFAA-TV, a local news channel for Dallas/Fort Worth, Poe apologized for what his story. Poe had his fiancee, Carrie Morris, by his side throughout the interview. Despite apologizing, Poe did not admit to lying.
I mean, as far as everything I said, I believe it wholeheartedly myself. But I feel like I’m going crazy.
It appears that Poe might soon be claiming insanity caused by service in the military. He said:
I don’t know. I’m thinking, why have I for the last, over two years, believed things have happend to me and they might not have? . . . I don’t feel like I’ve lied. That’s what’s driving me crazy, because I truly thought things have happened to me.
Throughout the interview, Poe still had the stutter that he said he developed as a result of a brain injury while in Afghanistan, a story he is still sticking to. However, this may be fabricated as well. In the first post about Timothy Poe, I mentioned a golf tournament for injured soldiers he participated in a few months ago. However, WFAA-TV also interviewed Donna Cranston, the founder for Defenders of Freedom, an organization that helps wounded and injured troops financially. Cranston claimed that Poe is a liar:
I believe he’s a liar, and I hate to say that. I know we’re not supposed to call people liars, but I believe he’s a liar. I’m not angry for me, but angry that he would slap the brothers and sisters that he served alongside in the face like he has done.
Poe had several bills paid by Defenders of Freedom and also received gas and restaurant gift cards. During an interview she conducted (which can be heard in the video I’ve posted at the end of this post), Poe had no identifiable stutter.
Well, I’m glad that Poe has admitted to some things, but I’m still waiting for the words “I lied” to come out of his mouth. Will that ever happen? Who knows. He did say he will be getting help at a VA hospital though, so that’s one step closer.
A big question swirling around the Internet is . . . Will he participate in America’s Got Talent competition?
According to a Fox News report, he won’t. Anthony Anderson, Jr., manager of Stolen Valor, a Facebook community, told FOX11.com:
I have been told by a very reliable source that Mr. Poe gets eliminated anyways, and very soon, and that is possibly why NBC hasn’t pushed the subject.
Let’s hope this is true, and that NBC will look more carefully into contestant’s back stories in the future. Stolen Valor is a group that “out[s] people who falsely claim military service and/or claim unuthorized medals.” Anderson revealed some of the things they found out:
We have found out that (Poe) only served one month in Afghanistan, and left due to an ear infection.
Fox News also reported that the photo he used for the show was not of him, but Staff Sgt. Norman Bone. TMZ said that Bone is “livid about the misuse of his photoraph, and is consulting the Army legal department to explore his options.” Apparently, Poe apologized for this and blames the show for “pressuring him to produce photographs quickly.”
I must have sent the wrong pictures from my hard drive to ‘AGT’. (Show producers) kept pushing me and pushing me saying ‘You need to put these out. You need to put these out.’ Well I had deleted a lot of photographs because because I wanted nothing to remind me of things that had happened to the past.
A rep from the company behind AGT, Freemantle, has issued an apology statement from Bone and removed the photo from circulation.
Part of me feels bad for this guy. If he truly is suffering from brain damage that has caused him to not be able to discern reality from fiction, then I hope he can find the help he needs. He did serve in the military for several years, and maybe he is suffering from PTSD. On the other hand, it’s hard to believe anything that comes out of his mouth. He seems to put the blame on everyone but himself. Maybe he is just a pathological liar. Either way, hopefully he can resolve his issues and find peace with the situation (and hope that those he has deceived can forgive him.)
Here is news report from WFAA-TV. The raw, unedited interview can be watched here.
The premiere of Season 7 of America’s Got Talent is here. Need something to entertain you until the next episode?
The promo released a few weeks ago for AGT big move to New York took a lot of planning and effort. Not only check out the making of this clever promo, but some playful banter between Nick Cannon and the judges.
I’ve been a fan of Nick Cannon since his days on “All That”. As the host of America’s Got Talent, I think he is incredibly entertaining. He was recently interview on Jimmy Fallon and revealed a recent medical problem, as well as compared what his children’s recent first birthday to his. Paris? I think that’s just a bit overkill for a birthday celebration, but I suppose when you are the offspring of two celebrities, it’s to be expected. Anyways, Nick also gives a little bit of the scoop on AGT this season. I’m even more excited for the premiere tonight!
A few days ago, America’s Got Talent’s newest judge, Howard Stern was featured on Jimmy Fallon. I have to admit, I was among the skeptics who weren’t quite sure how Stern was going to do on this season of AGT. He’s always seemed like a crude and rude radio show host, and I wondered if America’s Got Talent wouldn’t be so family friendly. These clips from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon may have slightly won me over. He wasn’t as crude as I was expecting (though be aware, a few of the things he says aren’t exactly g-rated) and I think he will do a pretty good job. I do appreciate cruel honesty (not like a certain American Idol judge he mentioned in the first clip) in these shows, and I’m sure he will definitely bring that to the table. This will be an interesting season though with some very interesting dynamics. Only a few days left until the premiere!
Pure America’s Got Talent had another chance to interview the America’s Got Talent finalists. This time Marianya took care of the interview. It was a short 10 minutes and so she was only able to talk to half of the finalists: Taylor Matthews, Michael Grasso, Prince Poppycock, Fighting Gravity, Jeremy Vanschoonhoven, and Jackie Evancho. You can hear the interview below which I’ve made into a video so you know which finalist is speaking. Also, sorry for the static in the recording. We’ll work on that for next time.
So John ended up having to meet up with someone in real life for an appointment that he couldn’t delay, so I (Marianya) ended up taking this last interview with Prince Poppycock.
However, it wasn’t Prince Poppycock that I had the pleasure of speaking to, it was John Quale, the man behind the mask.
John didn’t seek out America’s Got Talent initially (although he claims that he may have done so this year regardless). Instead it started when his significant other uploaded a video of John as Prince Poppycock without his permission onto YouTube. The people of America’s Got Talent saw the video and contacted him to be a part of the show. So he flew to New York for his audition and the rest, as they say, is history.
He made a very good point about reality shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent etc… where America in general questions the longetivity of talent “discovered” on these shows. But because of the staying and star power of Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert, it would seem that America is more open to a talent “discovered” via television talent competitions.
Prince Poppycock came to fruition as a one shot gig that John Quale did. He was to sing Largo Al Factotum from The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini, and he was to wear a wig. However, as he pointed to me, most people who sing arias don’t always understand the lyrics of what they are singing. So John took the act a step further and create the character of Prince Poppycock to really fit in with the story of the song… and everything just kind of snowballed from there.
Although John’s passion is opera, he is well versed in a multitude of styles (as evidence of his latest piece from the semifinals Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen) and desires to show America that it isn’t simply opera that he can sing, but other styles as well. So there is a little bit for everyone.
What John enjoys about being Prince Poppycock is that Prince Poppycock is by far more outgoing, extroverted, boisterous while John, by natue, is softspoken, introverted, and a bit shy. As Prince Poppycock he feels that he is able to reach out to the audience a lot more than as himself. His wide span of musical tastes seem to reflect this, as John he would write dark music while as Prince Poppycock the music is much more lighthearted and fun. Obviously, the difficulties of Prince Poppycock is the hours of costuming, makeup and grooming that takes place. A small price to pay for so great a character.
Another advantage that John enjoys when being Prince Poppycock is that when he is around town looking like himself his not as “known” as the Prince Poppycock. He loves working on his music and entertaining the audience and the crowds and the fans… however, the fame aspect of it he could do without. Thus being Prince Poppycock allows him to turn into a new person and could be anonymous when Prince Poppycock isn’t needed.
As a singer/songwriter (he defines himself as a singer rather than specifically an opera singer) he enjoys the classical feeling of the piano and was sad to see the classical pianist leave the competition (Maestro Alexander Bui), because he knows just how much hard work a pianist puts in to get the music perfect and read for live television. Alice Tan Ridley is another act that he was sad to see go. During Vegas Callbacks, John got along well with Chipps Cooney and had looked forward in having more conversations with the comedic magician in the future, alas that never came to pass due to them not being in Los Angeles at the same time. He enjoys the acts that he join in the Top Ten, particularly Michael Grimm and Jackie Evancho. Getting to know the other acts has been a thrill and he looks forward to the ride for however long it lasts.
Being in Hollywood has been a thrill as he was able to connect with other artists, like Adam Lambert. He recently connected with a youth organization that aids in the artistic endeavors of youths within the GLBT community. He hopes that he would be asked to be a part of the tour b/c none of the finalists at the moment are making any money, while as being part of the tour they would be.
Should Poppycock make through the next round then perhaps in the end we would finally be able to see a little bit of the man behind the make up on stage.
Similar to the other dance crew, I only interviewed one member of Fighting Gravity named: Caleb Sharp. He was really articulate and a great representative for Fighting Gravity.
I asked him how they decided to audition for America’s Got Talent. Caleb said Fighting Gravity first did it at Va Tech university for a sorority and fraternity night. Turns out Caleb joined it later and wasn’t part of that first performance. They put the video on YouTube and it did well and they were invited to perform at the Espy’s after party in LA. Then Caleb said they were looking for other places to perform and decided to make the trip to NY to audition for America’s Got Talent.
Caleb made an interesting point about what it’s been like for them being on a show that’s been seen by millions of people. He said they’re unlike other acts since they’re kind of anonymous in their performance. So, when they go out in public no one realizes that they’re members of Fighting Gravity. Unless of course they’re wearing the Fighting Gravity shirts and then they get a little flavor of what it must be like for the other contestants on the show.
Caleb did acknowledge openly that they’re not the first dark light theater group even though the show kind of made it out to seem that way. However, he said that most of it is not in the US. Plus, he said that most of the dark light theater is comedy and Fighting Gravity is doing more of a dance style and trying to provide a fresh new take on it.
When asked about leaving school to be on the show he said school can wait. They’ll be going back. He then commented that it’s amazing to think that 6 months ago he would have thought he’d be in a math class doing problems he didn’t know the answer to. Now he’s in LA on America’s Got Talent, but that the chance only comes once in a lifetime and so they had to seize the opportunity.
I also couldn’t help but ask Caleb to pick the winner of the best opening week college football game: Va Tech vs. Boise St. He predictably took Va Tech. Although, he said it’s kind of funny because Christina and Ali have a connection with Boise St and so there’s a bit of a competition between them and the boys from Morgantown. Caleb even said that many of them had tickets to the game that they wouldn’t be using and that would be hard to miss. Since Va Tech lost to Boise St, I’m pretty sure Fighting Gravity is glad they’re in LA doing their thing.
I’ll be interested to see how they take this to the next level. They’re a definite fan favorite and the concept is unique and fantastic. They certainly have a decent chance of winning.
Michael Grasso was a really great interview. It’s really unfortunate that I don’t have the audio from the interview since he did a great job discussing things about Magic and performing magic on TV. I’ll do my best to summarize what he shared.
A reader asked me to ask him whether he’d be returning to Magic X (a group of Magicians) or going solo after his time on America’s Got Talent. Michael Grasso said he does not plan to go back to Magic X after the show, but plans to go solo and would love to incorporate some of the people from Magic X in his acts if he goes on tour and in his future acts.
Michael loves to do the slight of hand magic since it’s really the core of magic. When asked about being passed up in Las Vegas for an act like Chips Cooney he said it was really hard for him to not make it through in Las Vegas. Michael said he wanted to mix it up and show them something different in Vegas. He’d done the big Magic Trick in his audition and he wanted to show the more subtle side of his magic in Las Vegas, but he learned they want the big stuff.
Michael also mentioned that he’d done magic in big colloseum size venues in Asia and done the slight of hand tricks with no problems. The key was that these arenas have the big jumbotrons where the up close video of what he’s doing can be shown for everyone to see.
Michael said the hard part of America’s Got Talent for magicians is that you have to do a big “closing act” every single time you perform. Plus, you have 6 days to put it all together, build the set and at some pretty major expense (he said he had to pay for the sets).
I asked him about magic on TV and how it felt unauthentic to just use the camera switches to hide the way the trick is done. Michael said that some people are using that and other methods to do their magic, but he didn’t understand why since there wasn’t any need to do it that way. He said, magic on TV has to be done right and usually with one camera that continuously shows the shot and doesn’t cut away.
I also asked him about the girl that we always see with him and never have had a chance to learn about. He said her name and she was from the East Coast (sorry I don’t remember exactly where). He said that she was a theater arts performer. Michael said that he didn’t just want a girl that looked good up there, but always wanted his assistants to bring something special to the stage, to have a presence on stage. He gave her a lot of credit for being a part of the performance and also telling the story and selling the trick as well.
I could tell that Michael Grasso had a lot more stories to tell and experiences with Magic. It was unfortunate that I only had 10 minutes to get to know him.
I only had a short time with Anna and Patryk, but they were just about as I expected. Anna is the dominate one and Patryk is a little more reserved.
I asked Anna what her future plans and goals were with dancing. Anna quickly said the she wanted to one day be on Dancing with the Stars. I suggested to her that it would be really cool for them to have a kid star on Dancing with the Stars and she could be their partner. How cool would that be? In fact, I’m planning to write about this idea on my DWTS site.
They told me that their parents suggested that they audition for America’s Got Talent and see how it went.
Anna told a story about them going to dinner once and someone noticed that they were Anny and Patryk from America’s Got Talent. Turns out Patryk had his shoes in his hands and so the people realized they were the ballroom dancers from America’s Got Talent because of the shoes.
Patryk said that if they won the million dollars, he would want to use the money to pay for dance classes cause they’re so expensive. Then, Anna said, “And for Charity.”
Their favorite act in the top 10 besides their own was Fighting Gravity.
Anna’s comment about Charity was so cute. I’ll never forget how matter of fact she said it. Ballroom dancing on TV has definitely been very popular with Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. It’s great that Anna and Patryk have brought it to America’s Got Talent as well.