Free America's Got Talent Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on America's Got Talent sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other AGT fans who subscribe to Pure AGT for FREE!

Pure America’s Got Talent Season 12 Live Show #1: Power Rankings

The Quarter-Finals have FINALLY started (this is actually the latest the first live show of the season has ever been scheduled) which means the fate of the performers is now in the audience’s hands…well, mostly. We’ve still got the Judges’ Choice at the end of the Wednesday episodes (plus the red buzzers are still in effect, but, well, they might not always leave the impression the judges are hoping for) but the rest of the outcome is up to us. Who will move on from our first group of hopefuls? Here’s the vibe I’m getting from the audience right now. (And remember, this is based on the general reactions I’ve seen from viewers, and not a ranking of my personal opinions on the quality of the acts.)

1. Darci Lynne: I have to say I was a little disappointed that it seems like there’s going to be a set formula for all of Darci’s AGT performances, since having watched her on YouTube I know she is capable of a lot different things with her ventriloquism. I did enjoy her new puppet last night, and I think bringing the adorable Oscar the Mouse on showed good vocal range in both speaking and singing, as well as more of her natural chemistry with her little friends (and those coming after her about “stolen material” can either shut it or call out everyone in the cast for the same thing, since when it comes down to it pretty much every act on this show has taken inspiration from somewhere else). This performance made me realize I think I prefer her banter with the puppets more than the songs, although her closed-mouth singing ability is definitely impressive. I would love to see an act where she’s just doing a comedy routine with a character for a few minutes, but it seems the focus is going to continue to be on the singing. Either way, it doesn’t really matter since she’s still a lock for the Finals and one of the top contenders for the grand prize.

2. Angelica Hale: Looking at the comments around this internet, this was probably the least-objectionable performance of the night. Even I, who usually has a problem with Angelica’s unhealthy style of singing, thought this performance was appropriate for her. I think both she and Darci are locks for this week’s top 5 (aka the “do not pass go, do not campaign for the Dunkin’ Save” group) but I have Angelica below her because the anti-singer brigade seems to have warmed to Darci’s multi-talent act more than Angelica’s straight-up vocal performances. I wouldn’t say she’s a 100% lock for the Finals quite yet, but I still think she’s one of the three acts in the live shows with the best chance of winning.

3. Bello Nock: This was the act that won the night for me, and Bello certainly seems to have a lot of people rooting for him. Last night I posted a rant about the Golden Buzzers, and one of my major complaints was that there seems to be little purpose in having them if they’re just going to be used for acts that would easily pass through Judge Cuts anyway. However, I’ve thought about that and I think their main function as of now is for the judges (and host) to select acts to be “hyped up” throughout the season. The “marquee” performers, if you will. It doesn’t work with every Golden Buzzer act, but it’s worth noting in both of the previous seasons Golden Buzzers have been present, the winners have been Golden Buzzed. And if the GB’s are a way to get people invested in an act by billing them as the “stars” of the season, Wildcards are a way to get them invested by billing acts as the season’s “underdogs”. The audience loves when an act proves the judges (I think Simon in particular) wrong, and when an act gets “robbed” in Judge Cuts, there is nothing more satisfying then seeing them return and kill it in the live shows. This, coupled with an act that stood out in a sea of singers this week, is why Bello is likely to pass through tonight. Yes, there were a few complaints about him “stealing the idea from the circus” (like other acts don’t “steal” from famous singers/pop culture/YouTube?) but I don’t think that’s going to have any major negative effect on his chances this round. Since Bello doesn’t have much competition in his genre, if he keeps up the variety and high performance quality I could see him as a contender for the Finale.

4. Preacher Lawson: Speaking of contestants with virtually no competition in their genre, we have Preacher. As the “last comic standing” this season, Preacher will stand out in pretty much any group they put him in. The response to comedians is never universally positive, since everyone has a different sense of humor, and some simply aren’t fans of stand-up. However, in Preacher’s case I saw many more fans than detractors last night, and when I looked at the “I voted” posts, I saw more from him than most other acts. I figure at worst he’ll be in the Dunkin’ Save group, but my first guess would be top 5 of the week.

5. Puddles Pity Party: I had a hard time settling on who to put in the last “home free” spot, and to be honest whenever I picture tonight’s episode I see Puddles in Dunkin’ Save territory. But he’s here because I really can’t tell who would beat him in votes besides the four I already talked about. His act seemed to get a mixed response, mostly regarding the song choice of “Royals” which I found surprising given that people were BEGGING him to do that one (it’s his most viewed video on YouTube). But yeah, his segment seemed to be one of the ones that generated the most BUZZ last night (HAHA GET IT?) and I think that will help him in the end (as I said earlier, the audience loves to prove Simon wrong). If he does end up as an option for the Dunkin’ Save I think he’s pretty likely to win that vote, seeing as the act that gets it tends to be whichever is the most internet-friendly of the three (Puddles has a big following on YouTube). Either way, I honestly can’t imagine this week’s performance being his last on AGT.

6. Christian Guardino: I’m kind of surprised at how little I’ve heard about Christian since last night, him being a Golden Buzzer and all, but I guess when 8/9 of the GB’s go to singers, some re bound to get lost in the shuffle. Also not helping is the fact that both songs he’s performed on the show have been done by someone else this season (Yoli did “Make it Rain” as her second audition song, and Darci performed “Who’s Loving You” last night). I like his down-to-Earth personality-as I’ve seen several people mention, unlike some of the others he doesn’t seem like someone trained from a young age fro stardom, which is refreshing-but the vibe I’m getting is that a lot of people just sort of forgot about him by the end of the show. His story might help him, but he wasn’t the only act to have one last night so that might be kind of a wash. I guess Christian could realistically end up anywhere tonight, but I’m gonna leave him here in Dunkin’ Save territory for now.

7. Just Jerk: I’m not really sure what the general consensus regarding this group is after last night. Most people I saw mildly enjoyed them and sent them a few votes. Being the only dance troupe of the week might have helped them a bit, but it’s hard to tell how much. I doubt they’re making top 5 tonight (though I would love it if they did!) but I think they might have a shot at the Dunkin’ Save/Judges’ Choice (most likely the latter).

8. Billy & Emily: I think the most common reaction to these two was “amazing talent, but not something I’d pay to see a full show of”. I think after three performances we may have seen the limit of their abilities, but I’ve seen some people send them votes for the sake of variety (mainly those who don’t want the Semi-Finals to consist mainly of singing acts). I’d be surprised if they got through automatically, but Dunkin’ Save/Judges Choice seems to be a potential position for them to be in tonight (again, most likely the latter).

9. Yoli Mayor: Despite the mixed reviews from the judges (and my general disdain for pop singers on AGT) I actually enjoyed her performance last night, but her mixed comments plus her lack of pre-live show hype (8 singers-including three of the ones in this week’s group-got a Golden Buzzer, but she did not, and she doesn’t have a fun persona like Puddles or even Singing Tump) puts her in a tough position. I think she will ultimately be eliminated tonight, just not sure whether it will be automatically or a loss of the Judges’ Choice.

10. The Singing Trump: I was originally going to have him lower, but I actually saw more people vote for him than several others so he’s here. I think having him be on this week was poorly timed (even though the AGT producers had no way of knowing what would happen over the weekend) and some of the judges’ comments also seemed to be a viewer turn-off. I guess he’d have a shot at the Judges’ Choice if put in that position, but I don’t even think he’s going to make it that far.

11. In the Stairwell: I really like these guys, but I had to disagree with everyone saying how this was their best performance yet. They seemed to be out of tune quite a bit and had a running order position that tends to get an act lost in the shuffle by the end of the night. I didn’t see very many people voting for them, but I may be underestimating the military vote. I think they’re probably goners tonight but for auditioning on a dare, they haven’t done half bad in the competition by making it this far!

12. Artyon & Paige: These two were at the bottom of my previous Power Rankings, and here they are again. But this time, I don’t want to see them go! Their act is definitely one that has improved exponentially with every performance they’ve given us. I was shocked at how well they could hang with the other last night! Unfortunately, not a lot of people seemed to agree with me, and I didn’t see very much voting support from them, so I predict their AGT journey ends here. But I’ve seen some commentary from people in the dance world, and if what they say is to be believed, Artyon and Paige have a very bright future in their craft. Way to go!

August 16, 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!

6 Things Wrong With the Judge Cuts and Golden Buzzer Format of America’s Got Talent

1. The Episodes Take Up too Much Time

The “Judge Cuts” edition of the round held between auditions and the live shows has only been a thing since Season 10. Before that, they had “Vegas Week” to choose the acts to perform in the live rounds, hich from what I remembered only took up one or two episodes, allowing the live episodes to start much earlier in the season. Judge Cuts runs for FOUR WEEKS, leaving a lot less time for live episodes. Which leads us to the next point….

2. Only 28 Acts Are Sent Through

Looking at the number on its own, 28 acts for the live shows doesn’t actually sound that bad, especially when you add in Wildcards and Golden Buzzers to get 36. After all, that’s way more than the top 10 or 12 most commonly seen on reality competition shows. But when you realize the old format resulted in 48 acts performing live (a number that was cut down presumably because they currently air a MONTH’s worth of Judge Cuts episodes) it’s disappointing to think about the potential lost. To put things in perspective, a 48-act live show pool in AGT‘s current format would mean an extra Quarter-Final episode, and maybe an extra Semi-Final as well. Yes, we would probably lose more acts per episode, but it would also give the audience more choice in who made it far and allow for more variety in the acts that we were able to vote on. Which brings me to…

3. The “Luck of the Draw” Nature Makes it Very Imbalanced in Terms of Quality Control

The Vegas Week format of cutting the number of acts down allowed the judges to look at all of the acts at once, and craft a live show group from the best of each category of performance (singers, dancers, magicians, daredevils, etc.). Judge Cuts splits 80 acts into four groups who the judges only compare to each other. This might actually make sense if they put similar acts together to be judged against each other, but in all three seasons we’ve seen the Judge Cuts round, there have been singers, magicians, and dancers in pretty much every group. Since it’s seemingly randomized, there are usually some episodes with overall stronger acts than others. Since they choose 7/20 from each show instead of any 28/80 of those competing in the round, we often see mediocre acts from a weak episode move forward while stronger acts from a competitive episode get cut. The “heats” format is reasonable when it comes to the live shows, since they cant have an episode with 30+ acts for the audience to vote on, but there has to be a better way to select acts than putting them into what seem to be randomized groups. There is one thing that could have made this worth it, but…

4. The Editing Makes the Judge Cuts Episode Have Little to No Suspense

This is perhaps the biggest problem I have with the Judge Cuts format, and it’s especially frustrating because it could be easily fixed. Each episode has about an hour and a half of content (plus commercials). Each act is given 90 seconds to perform for the judges, which with 20 acts is a grand total of 30 minutes worth of performances. The other hour of time could be used for judge comments, behind-the-scenes footage, and results. Instead, we get to see about 9/20 performances in full, about half of which have backstory packages longer than the act itself. Meanwhile, the rest of the acts get relegated to montages, and regular viewers can quickly figure out that anyone who suffers this fate is definitely not advancing. That’s why it’s laughable at the end when they show an act who got the “full package” next to someone who barely showed up in a montage and expect us to be on the edge of our seats in suspense. This is pointless since as I said before they could easily fit all 20 performances into this episode, and the packages we see for acts in the Judge Cuts are usually very similar to what we’re shown in the live shows anyway. I know they want us to get invested in the acts, but I think the majority of viewers come for the talent and would be happy to sacrifice package time to see more of the actual performances. But maybe they want us to get caught up in the backstories and drama of it all so we don’t notice they’re sending through…

5. So. Many Singers.

Kind of a sub-topic of #3, but since the acts aren’t judged based on “best of the genre” anymore, the favoritism from the judges when it comes to the types of acts we see move forward becomes very obvious. Every Season 12 Judge Cuts episode saw multiple singers advance, but two of them had zero magic acts moving forward. I guess it’s supposed to be a “quality over quantity” thing, but even regardless of my opinion that quite a few of this year’s singers are pretty mediocre, this is still supposed to be a variety show. Presumably 18/36 acts in the live shows involving singing, a handful involving magic, and only one with comedy creates a clear imbalance. And speaking of imbalance…

6. The Golden Buzzer Has Basically Been Rendered Pointless

Man, I thought 5/9 Golden Buzzers used on singers in Season 11 was excessive, but in Season 12 a whopping 8/9 of the Golden Buzzers are singing acts, including every single one used by a judge. I can forgive the guest judges for it because it’s their first time seeing the acts and most of them probably don’t know as much about the show as the main judges, but the regulars should know better. They know perfectly well that most of the acts they chose would be very likely to make it to the live shows anyway. For instance, Simon used his this season on Mandy Harvey, who would clearly have made it to the live shows even if she’d had to endure the Judge Cuts round. Same with Mel using hers on Darci. Both those judges used their GB’s on shoo-ins and we later saw them begging other judges to change their votes to ensure acts they were passionate about advanced. I’d really like to see the Golden Buzzer be used on performances that a judge may feel passionate about that not all the others agree on. It can be their power to veto the disagreement of the others and make some bold choices about acts that might not be universally loved. I think Simon using his on Sara & Hero, who he clearly vouched for throughout the cutting process, would have been really interesting and a cause for discussion among fans. Heck, Mel could have used hers on Dancing Pumpkin Man! The audience might not have been happy about it, but it’d be a chance for the judges to show their affinity for a performer they feel has potential to improve, or even a “joke” act they just have a special place in their heart for.

Do you agree on the issues I mentioned or have any others to share?

August 15, 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!

*SPOILERS* Who is the Wildcard on the Season 12 Quarter-Finals #1?

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the August 15 episode’s Wildcard identity and performance.

Okay, so I know I messed up with the Merrick Golden Buzzer thing last week, but I have a couple of direct sources for today’s little tidbit. I don’t have permission to reveal said source’s identity at the moment, but I have been informed about today’s contestant pre-tape I mentioned a few days ago. As I suspected, it was indeed this week’s Wildcard, and I can now inform you that this act is…

Bello Nock!

I know there has been some speculation that he had yet to hear about his fate, since he’s been tweeting the #BringBelloBack hashtag all week, but I can assure you that it’s all part of the surprise and he is fully aware that he’s back on the show. Not too surprising IMO, especially since I’ve heard he was personally asked by producers to audition in the first place.

Now, like I said, I know I got some of you excited for nothing with the Merrick prediction from last week. Just to assure you that I know what I’m talking about in this case, I can also reveal that his performance that will be aired tomorrow is called the “Wheel of Death” and involved him spinning around on a giant contraption. Not sure if it’ll be enough to get him through, but I’m sure a lot of people will be happy he got to return for at least one performance. Oh, and the act was filmed inside the Dolby, not outdoors like some speculated, so I assume the reasoning for filming it in advance was because the set would take to long to set up and tear down during a live show with such a limited time frame.

That’s about it for now, but I can also announce that I will FINALLY be posting my rant about the auditions and Judge Cuts before showtime tomorrow. So check back soon for that! 🙂

August 14, 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 Live Shows Masterpost

For the rest of the season, this will be the page updated about upcoming show lineups and advancing/eliminated acts. Once the performance episode has aired, I’ll link each act’s performance here as well. I’ll still post things like Power Rankings and general commentary on the show separately, but when it comes to information about the competition schedule and results, this will now be your one-stop shop!

Quarter-Finals Week #1: August 15-16 2017
Angelica Hale
Aryton & Paige
Bello Nock (Wildcard)
Billy & Emily England
Christian Guardino (Won Dunkin’ Save)
Darci Lynne Farmer
In the Stairwell
Just Jerk (Lost Judges’ Choice Tiebreaker)
Preacher Lawson
Puddles Pity Party
The Singing Trump
Yoli Mayor (Won Judges’ Choice Tiebreaker)

Quarter-Finals Week #2: August 22-23 2017
Brobots & Mandroidz
Celine Tam
Demian Aditya
Eric Jones
Evie Clair
Johnny Manuel
Light Balance
Mandy Harvey
The Masqueraders
Merrick Hanna
Mirror Image
Pompeyo Family Dogs

Quarter-Finals Week #3: August 29-30 2017
Angelina Green
Chase Goehring
Colin Cloud
DaNell Daymon & Greater Works
Diavolo
Junior & Emily
Kechi Okwuchi
Mike Yung
Oscar Hernandez
Sara & Hero
WILDCARD #2
WILDCARD #3

August 12, 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 12 Quarter-Finals Show 1: Act Lineup

We’re just days away from the start of the Season 12 live shows, and I have to admit I’m pretty relieved we’re past the messy and questionable Judge Cuts portion of the season. After last night’s “Road to the Finals” episode, the AGT twitter page released a preview of next week’s performers.

There’s been a bit of confusion as to who is actually on next week’s roster. Eleven acts have been confirmed by pretty much every source, and they are:

Angelica Hale (child singer who received Chris Hardwick’s Golden Buzzer)
Artyon & Paige (child dance duo who Simone red-buzzed during the audition round)
Billy & Emily England (roller-skating siblings who previously competed on Britain’s Got Talent)
Christian Guardino (teen singer who received Howie’s Golden Buzzer)
Darci Lynne Farmer (child ventriloquist who received Mel’s Golden Buzzer)
In the Stairwell (military a capella group)
Just Jerk (South Korean hip-hop dance crew)
Preacher Lawson (the only stand-up comedian to make it past Judge Cuts this season)
Puddles Pity Party (singing sad clown)
The Singing Trump (singing/dancing Donald Trump impersonator)
Yoli Mayor (singer)

There has also been some speculation that Kechi is also part of this episode’s lineup, as she appeared for a split second in one of the previews, but I think that was simply an editing error since there seems to be no evidence pointing to her being on. Seeing as we have singing acts taking up 18 of 36 spots in the live shows (which makes exactly half of the remaining acts singers unless we have a Wildcard singer, which I’m highly doubting) and there are already seven (over 1/3) of them confirmed for Tuesday’s show, I’m assuming they’re going to spread them out somewhat evenly over the three Quarter-Finals episodes which would mean no Kechi next week.

Speaking of spreading things out evenly, note that we have three out of nine Golden Buzzers up this week, and I assume that’s how it will be in each group this round. We also have three Wildcards that as of this posting have yet to be announced, and I’m guessing they might be spread out evenly as well, which would make one per Quarter-Finals episode. Last year they actually had an episode with one, another with two, and then one with zero, so I guess they’re not guaranteed to have them spread out evenly, but the empty spot for Tuesday’s show probably means we’re getting one this week. And the Wildcard hype this season is so strong I have a feeling they might give us one each week to keep the speculation and buzz going. Now, none of the remaining magic acts are performing next week, so I’m expecting a magician Wildcard to take up that last spot (I have to assume there will be at least one magic act as a Wildcard). Not sure who it will be, especially since after the results this week there are even more acts to add to the “potential Wildcard” list, but I still think Tom London has a good chance, as well as Henry Richardson, Jeki Yoo, and maybe even Will Tsai.

The Quarter-Finals are generally when we say goodbye to most of the “fodder” acts, so it’s usually pretty straightforward and easy to tell who will advance and who will be eliminated. Darci and Angelica are locks to sail through this round (they’re actually the current top two favorites to win the whole thing over on Goldderby) and Singing Trump and Artyon & Paige are very likely to be sent packing, with In the Stairwell most likely joining them. Preacher, Just Jerk, and Puddles will probably end up advancing, whether it be from Tuesday night votes, the Dunkin’ Save, or the Judges’ Choice.

Which means the last acts moving forward are probably going to be two of Christian, Yoli, Billy & Emily, and whatever magician ends up on this episode. On paper Christian may seem like a lock, with his inspiring backstory and Golden Buzzer under his belt, but a lot of people have already seemed to forget about him. It’s tough to call where he’ll end up on Wednesday but think he’ll probably be a Dunkin’ Save candidate unless they put him on at the end up the show and/or really play up the “almost going blind” thing in his package. I doubt either Billy & Emily or Yoli will be in the top five and if they’re in the Dunkin’ Save zone I think they might be on thin ice. I have a feeling unless the Wildcard magician bombs they’ll end up in DS territory at worst, since there is quite the crowd for magicians on this show and everyone loves a good redemption arc.

So I guess my preliminary predictions for next week’s “winners” are:

Angelica Hale
Christian Guardino
Darci Lynne Farmer
Just Jerk
Preacher Lawson
Puddles Pity Party
*Wildcard*

Let me know you’re thoughts and I’ll be back soon when I will FINALLY give my rundown on the current pre-live show format!

August 10, 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 Judges Cuts 3 and 4: Power Rankings

It’s funny: while these last two groups for Judge Cuts were noticeably stronger than the first and second, I found myself disagreeing with quite a few of the choices and I actually think most of the acts that made it through aren’t as likely to make it to the end (potential Wildcards notwithstanding). I really wish we could trade some of these acts for the rejected ones but today I’m going to get right to it and save the ranting about the results and overall format of the auditions and Judge Cuts rounds for a few days from now. Remember, this list starts with who I THINK will get the farthest in the competition and goes down from there; I’ll share my opinions on each act of course but the order they’re in is reflective of how I’m predicting the general audience will react to them, not necessarily how much I’ve personally enjoyed them.

1. Diavolo: I didn’t understand Laverne’s comment about not seeing how they’d fit into the Vegas scene, because truth be told out of every act this season I think this is probably the one that is best suited to carry a full Vegas show. There are several strong dance groups this season, but Diavolo is the one I’m thinking will provide the most variety and is the most likely to keep the audience on their toes. I fear a lot of the other dance groups (and non-dance acts, come to think of it) are going to grow stale pretty quickly if they can’t step it up, but I don’t have that worry with Diavolo, which is why I think they have a good shot at the Finals.

2. Merrick Hanna: Okay…so…awkward moment there with that Golden Buzzer prediction, huh? (Seriously though, why did Seal press it in such an odd fashion for a fairly basic pop singer?) Anyway, despite not getting the coveted GB, I think Merrick is probably going to do well in the competition. He’s built up quite the following in his short time on AGT so far, and he seems to be someone a lot of people in the anti-singer brigade have really latched onto. I definitely think he’ll get past the Quarter-Finals but my concern is that his act might start to feel tired after that. His dancing mainly seems to be robotic-style, and there are only so many ways that can be kept fresh after several performances. I think the trick here is going to be heartstring-pulling (in his dancing, not his pre-performance packages). If he can keep telling stories like he did back in his audition, he might have a decent shot at the Finals.

3. Preacher Lawson: Being the only comedian left this season, Preacher essentially has an entire sub-market of the AGT audience all to himself right now. He’s also another performer the fans itching to support something other than vocal talents seem to have really taken to, not to mention the general viewing audience. There was a little backlash towards his Judge Cuts routine for ablest material, but even some of those detractors seemed more mixed than totally negative (they seemed to like that the person with a disability in question got a happy ending). Of course, most comedy is going to be somewhat controversial (and really, the backlash for Preacher was NOTHING compared to that of the political jokes from Lori Mae last season) but if Preacher can continue t deliver routines that will entertain more people than not, I could see him making it far.

4. Kechi Okwuchi: I’m kind of torn as to whether or not Kechi will make it all the way to the end. She has a pleasant voice, but what most people remember about her is her backstory. Now it is a powerful one, but we have so many this season that they may not be enough to take a person far. Also, someone on Reddit today pointed out that while AGT has more than its fair share of tragic backstories, it’s generally the people with the most memorable personalities that go far. Now, I’m absolutely positive that we’re going to have at least a couple people with sad backstories make it to the Finale, but the people that do are probably going to have more than that to fall back on. As I said, Kechi’s voice is great, but there are stronger in the competition, and she hasn’t really gotten to show a lot of personality so far. If she can show her fun side, I think she has a shot at making it to the end.

5. DaNell Daymon & Greater Works: I was originally going to put this group a little lower on the list, but then I remembered what happened when another singing group that I barely paid attention to that had an emotional backstory competed last season: they made the Finals. Greater Works seemed to strike a chord with a lot of people, so I’m not making the mistake of sleeping on them like I did Linkin’ Bridge.

6. Celine Tam: Celine is an interesting case because she’s someone I could see going very, very far…in another season. I think this live show group not only has the most singing acts we’ve ever had, but the most child singing acts we’ve ever had, and I’m already seeing people closely comparing some of them. Celine’s “counterpart” in this regard seems to be fellow 9-year-old Judge Cuts Golden Buzzer recipient singer (of presumably Asian heritage, no less) Angelica Hale. And I think those comparisons are exactly what is going to be her downfall in the competition, because most of the comparisons I’ve seen between the two have been in Angelica’s favor; people seem to prefer her =”powerhouse”-style voice over Celine’s more childlike one (which actually bothers me because those people probably don’t realize that the way Angelica sings is probably damaging to her still-developing vocal chords as such a young singer, but unfortunately that’s an issue that’s also been in previous seasons that I doubt is going to go away any time soon). It also won’t help that Angelica’s Quarter-Final is before Celine’s, so I’m sure when she inevitably passes through her first live show with flying colors that Celine will have some hard expectations to match when her turn comes. I still think she’ll probably make it to the Semi-Finals, but I’m doubting her chances at getting the last week at this point.

7. Johnny Manuel: As I mentioned in my last point, the amount of singers this season is probably going to become a roadblock for a lot of the acts that fall under that category. I presume it’s going to be like last season when most of them made it through the first round of live shows pretty easily but then saw a mass exodus in the Semi-Finals, with many early favorites not even making it to Dunkin’ Save territory. I was talking to some other AGT fans on twitter last night about the Golden Buzzer singers alone, and many of those people couldn’t even remember them all. While Johnny obviously wasn’t one of them since we’d just seen him receive his from Seal, I barely remembered him from the auditions until they reminded us of his backstory (and even then I didn’t remember what song he performed the first time). It seems like his story of his failed music career is pretty controversial within the AGT fandom, with some finding his presence in the competition unfair because of it, but if he’s going to compete I’m glad it’s out in the open and not hidden from the audience (Brian Justin Crum, anyone?). At this point, I feel like he might become somewhat forgettable like some of the other singers have seemed to, but I think he’ll probably make it to the Semi-Finals and miiiiiight have a shot at squeezing into the Finale.

8. Billy & Emily England: These two seem to be pretty polarizing in several ways. Some dislike the fact they’ve already competed on a Got Talent show, but again, I appreciate that the show is being open about that instead of sweeping it under the rug (Laura Bretan, anyone?). However, most of the people who don’t like them seem to find their performances and general demeanor overly sexual (I don’t find them or the act I’m about to mention to be that way, but I find it weird that these two are getting tons of accusations of incest and Junior and Emily aren’t). If I had to guess, I’d say they’re probably gone next week but if they can squeeze into the Dunkin’ Save zone I think they miiiiiiiight have a shot at the Judges’ Save depending on who’s there with them.

9. In the Stairwell: I was pleasantly surprised to see these guys make the live shows, but I think they’re most likely goners next week unless maybe they really play up the military angle. (American audiences do love their veterans!) Either way, they’ve already made it farther than I thought they would, so I’m going to enjoy them for however long they last!

10. Mike Yung: Mike is one of the singers I think a lot of people have kind of forgotten about. I actually enjoy his voice more than most others this season, but there seems to be a trend of older singers being eliminated early in the live shows, and I have a feeling this might be the case with Mike. I guess he could POSSIBLY make the Semi-Finals, but I HIGHLY doubt he’s going all the way to the Finale.

11. Pompeyo Family Dogs: I love these dogs and this family so much, but it’s clear a lot of others feel differently. Many people were disappointed by some of last night’s results, and this act took a lot of the heat from that. I would love to see them at least make it to the Semi-Finals, but that seems kind of unlikely right now.

12. Brobots & Mandriods: I really like these guys, and if they were on a season with less dance acts I think they could make it somewhat far. However, they’re going to up against giants like Diavolo and Light Balance and I don’t think they’re going to be able to grab viewers in the same way those acts might. From the looks of it, it seems likely that they’ll be in the same Quarter-Final as one of those two groups and I fear that might spell the end for our Brobots and Mandroidz.

13. Oscar Hernandez: Okay, I LOVE this guy, and he was one of the acts I thought really stepped up his game in the Judge Cuts. However, he’s another performer that took a lot of heat for the decisions made in his JC episode, and it doesn’t look like a lot of people have him as their favorite right now. I’d love if he could somehow make it to the Semi-Finals, but yeah, I’m doubting that’s actually going to happen.

14. Artyon & Paige: I think these two are great and would love to see them stick together as a duo for a long, long time. However, I was quite confused when they announced they’d advanced over some of the other acts last night, and it seems a heck of a lot of others agreed with me. Judging by who else is in their live show next week (which I’ll be talking more about in the next few days) I’d be shocked if they even made it to Dunkin’ Save territory.

What do you think of this group of live show acts and their chances to do well?

August 9, 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 12 Judge Cuts 4: Who Received Seal’s Golden Buzzer? And who else might have made the cut?

Hey everyone! I was going to do Power Rankings for last week’s episode (I’ll still do them, just combined with tomorrow night’s acts) but something bigger came along, and that something is a bit of detective work from AGT fans! The rumor mill has been abuzz about who received the final Golden Buzzer of the season, but I think we may have cracked this case thanks to a promo for tomorrow’s episode on the AGT YouTube Channel. Check it out!

Did you see the clue? Play the video back and watch for the moment when Seal presses the Golden Buzzer. He does so in an interesting fashion…one that some might even describe as…robotic.

So what does this mean? Judging by this week’s lineup, it’s looking like dancer Merrick Hanna got the coveted final Golden Buzzer! If this theory is true, that would make seven singing acts and two dance acts as our Season 12 Golden Buzzers, which goes with the trends of the rest of the live shows lineup so far, which is set to be very singing and dancing-heavy.

If Merrick does indeed get the GB, there will still be six other spots to fill, and I’m pretty sure we can already mark down another one as “taken”! Each week of the show so far this season, an act’s performance has been featured on the AGT YouTube channel a few days before the episode it’s featured in airs on TV, and guess what? All of them have advanced to the next round! So, who was the lucky act this week? None other than the Pompeyo Family Dogs!

In terms of who else I think might move forward, I definitely see at least one if not both magicians in this group making the cut (I’m pretty sure Will Tsai is going to advance but I’m currently on the fence regarding Henry Richardson).  There are four other dance acts besides Merrick, and based on the sheer number of them I’d assume at least one would move on, but I’m looking at these acts and either don’t remember them or don’t think they have a good shot, and let’s not forget the Great Magician Massacre of last week’s episode. Could we see the dance acts suffer a similar fate this week?

Of course, because this is AGT, we’ll probably see at least one singing act move forward. My first thought was Kechi Okwuchi, but given that the judges seemed kind of lukewarm on her in the auditions I think there’s a chance she might not make it (possible Wildcard?). I’ve been hearing rumors about a stand-off between vocalists Johnny Manuel and the late Brandon Rogers, so I have a feeling one or both of them got sent through. Based on promo editing I’m guessing if only one moved on it was Johnny, but if Brandon did there will most likely be an extra Wildcard spot for the live shows (I know I talk about the Wildcards a lot but in the last week I have seen way more campaigning from acts and fans alike than ever before).

We also have two vocal groups: Gospel choir DaNell Daymon & Greater Works and all-male a capella group In the Stairwell. Based on the previous comments from the judges about those two acts, I’d wager Greater Works is the more likely of them to continue. The rest of the performances lined up for tomorrow’s episode mostly fall under the “variety” genre, and it’s hard to tell who might advance from that crop. Based on what we’ve seen so far, my personal favorites are scientist Nick Uhas and balancer-contortionist Maria Popazov, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up for them to go through.

Do you agree with the theory of Merrick getting Seal’s Golden Buzzer? And who do you want to see move forward tomorrow night?

August 7, 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 12 Wildcard Possibilities

So how did everyone like last night’s Judge Cuts? It was another pretty controversial episode, but for different reasons than last week. I’ll save that topic for another post though, because there’s been a lot of talk about potential Wildcards in the AGT community and I wanted to take a look at who might have a realistic shot at being one of them, even though the factors I’m looking at might not end up even mattering in some cases, as I seem to recall one or two of the choices from last season seeming pretty random……

“Wildcards” are acts that have already been eliminated that are chosen to fill the remaining spot in the appear in the live shows. Much like last season, there will be three of these that will appear in the Quarter-Finals. Or maybe four. This is kin of an awkward situation, but it depends on whether the dearly departed Brandon Rogers was chosen as one of the seven in his Judge Cuts group. If he was, they’ll most likely replace him with another act, hence the potential fourth Wildcard spot. There will also be one more Wildcard later on in the season; an act that is eliminated in the Quarter-Finals but brought back for the Semi-Finals.

This’ll be like the Power Rankings I did last week, except this time it’ll be starting with who’s most likely to be one of the Quarter-Finals Wildcards and going down from there. Also I won’t be including every single act eliminated in Judge Cuts so far, only the ones I think have a good shot at actually being brought back.

1. Bello Nock: His elimination was pretty surprising to myself and many others last night; after delivering on his promise to be shot out of a canon and showing versatility between his first and second performances, he still doesn’t advance? I think if he had been in one of the first two Judge Cuts groups he would have easily advanced (another issue to discuss at a later date) but keep in mind that the Judge Cuts episodes were filmed before any of the initial auditions had even aired on TV. The editors knew he’d been cut when they put together the TV version of his first audition, and the way they’ve been editing him since then screams “Wildcard storyline”. His entire audition being aired, his full Judge Cuts performance being shown, and the fact that the AGT social media has put up extra bonus clips of him online (something that’s usually reserved for advancing acts) make it very obvious they’re setting him up for a triumphant return in the Quarter-Finals. I will be legitimately shocked if we don’t see him again in the next few weeks.

2. Tom London: Like Bello, Tom got a full edit in both the auditions and Judge Cuts rounds, and many were surprised and disappointed to learn he’d been eliminated (even though the show actually did a good job of explaining why Eric was kept around and he wasn’t). They seem to be more tough than usual on the magicians this season, but then again, I feel like we’re seeing the same tricks from multiple performers, so I guess I understand the fatigue the judges might be feeling. Anyway, it seems quite a few people are clamoring for Tom’s return to AGT, and because of this campaign I think he might have a decent shot depending on how many magician’s we’re left with once Judge Cuts are over next week.

3. Daniel Ferguson: Tell me if this strikes you as familiar: a quirky guy auditions for AGT with a fairly unique act which ends up going viral online. He then returns for Judge Cuts and is called up at the end alongside a stand-up comedian, then gets eliminated and is visibly emotional about it. Once this airs on TV, his fans on YouTube rally for him to return as a Wildcard. What I’m trying to say here is I think Daniel might be this season’s Steven Brundage (if the name doesn’t ring a bell, think of Rubic’s Cube magic tricks). One notable difference between the two is that Steven’s full Judge Cuts act was televised, while Daniel’s was montaged (which is also the reason I have Tom above him on here). That’s kind of a bad sign, but I’m pretty sure at least one of last season’s Wildcards was also montaged in the second round, so I don’t think it totally rules him out to return. Still, Daniel might be facing a bit of an uphill battle for a Wildcard spot, so if you’re a fan, make sure to let AGT and the judges know. (I’m really pulling for this one in particular to happen, if you couldn’t tell. :P)

4. Jeki Yoo: Color me surprised that he didn’t make it through last night after being the only one of his kind to escape the magic montage! The judges seemed to like him, and the audience did too, so I think he has a shot at coming back. I still think Tom is more likely though because there was more of an outcry when he got cut than when Jeki did.

5. Jay Jay Phillips: This may seem kind of random, especially since he was another act whose Judge Cuts performance got montaged. But surprisingly, I saw a lot of people expressing major disappointment in his elimination and he’d certainly be a change of pace from some of the other acts, so I’m not enitrely ruling him out.

6. Dancing Pumpkin Man: He’s on here because there’s a fan campaign for him to return, but I don’t think they’d being him back over most of the others who also have quite a few people pulling for them. Also, I’m not sure how many more sassy dance acts Simon can take now that both Mirror Image and Oscar are in the live shows. 😛

7. Harrison Greenbaum: I doubt it’ll actually happen for him, but I suppose it’s worth noting that I did see some disappointment from fans after his elimination, and there’s a chance they might want to bring on another stand-up comedian since as of right now Preacher is the only one left and I don’t think there are any more in next week’s lineup.

Keep in mind there’s still next week to consider, even though we don’t know the results yet. The one name that’s jumping out at me right now in that lineup is Merrick Hanna, who went viral after doing the robot dance in the first week of auditions. Judging by who else he’s up against, I’d say he has a pretty good chance of making it through, but if he doesn’t I’d say his chances of being a Wildcard are just as good if not better than the current top three on this list.

Do you think I missed anyone? Let me know and I’ll see you again real soon!

August 2, 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 Judge Cuts Rounds 1 and 2: Power Rankings

We’re onto the Judge Cuts episodes of Season 12, which means a bit of a format change on this blog! For this round (and probably the rest of the season) I’ll be listing which acts I think are most to least likely to continue on past the next round in the weekly “Power Rankings”. Since this is Judge Cuts and there aren’t any Results Shows yet, I’m only going to include the acts that were sent through to the live shows, though in the near future I’ll be doing a post noting any acts I think could potentially end up being one of the Wildcards.

Another change I’m going to try to implement on this blog is to make a strong effort to focus on the talent and performances of the contestants instead of their backstories, since a lot of other articles I’ve seen lately have been doing the opposite. So right now, my plan is to only discuss backstories if they are relevant to the actual acts the competitors are performing.

And, of course, like last year, please keep in mind that the order the acts appear on this list reflects what I think the majority of the audience will think, not necessarily my own personal opinions.

With all that said…

1. Angelica Hale: Charming child? Check. Tragic backstory? Check. Powerful voice? Check. If you have any of these things going for you, you are likely going to get a lot of the focus this season, and since Angelica has all three down pat, I think it’s safe to say she’ll be sticking around for awhile. The fact that she got a Golden Buzzer also helps her case, as I’m sure we’ll be reminded of that moment whenever she performs in the live shows. Right now I’m predicting her to make it to the finale, and she’s probably one of the top 5 most likely to take it home at this point.

2. Puddles Pity Party: Okay, so he’s not a cute kid, and his “tragic backstory” was more for comedic effect than to rise any real sympathy from people, but he has a great voice, and also already has a supportive following on YouTube. But I think the main thing Puddles has going for himself right now is that he seems to be the only real “oddball” we’ve seen so far this season. I’ve noticed a lot of the people that tend to go for the off-the-wall acts rallying their support behind him (and this crowd mostly consists of people who are generally opposed to singers competing on this show) and he even seems to appeal to people who enjoy the more “standard” acts as well. I don’t think he’ll win, but I think he has a good shot at making it to the Finale. Puddles may be another drop in the sea of singers, but in a season that looks to be dominated by underage contestants with tragic backstories, I’ll take any variety I can get.

3. Colin Cloud: In my personal opinion (and I’ve seen many other echo this sentiment) the first two Judge Cuts episodes were relatively boring for AGT. However, this guy (and the very brief montage clips of the other magicians) were the saving grace of the second night. I’ve seen people comment they know how some of the mentalist tricks are done, but as we saw last week, with magic, presentation is half the battle, and I think Colin has mastered that aspect more than any of the other magicians this season. For that reason, I see him going pretty far. I’m guessing he at least makes it past the first round of live shows, and he might even have a shot at the Finale if he can keep changing things up enough to keep the audience interested.

4. Yoli Mayor: Here’s where I start to get a little fuzzy in my predictions, because starting with Yoli most of the acts for the rest of this list kind of fall into the “meh” category for me, but I’m not entirely sure how others are going to feel about them. Yoli has an amazing voice going for her-though I think she was over-singing quite a bit in her latest performance-as well as a backstory a lot of people can relate to. I’m just not sure if either of those things will be enough to sustain her longevity in the competition all the way to the Finals, because her beautiful voice is one in a sea of many this season, and her story, while relateable, might get lost among some of the more gut-wrenching ones (ie. the ones involving some kind of illness). I think she’ll probably make it past the Quarterfinals but I’m feeling like she might be a Semifinals elimination unless she manages to really stand out from the crowd.

5. Evie Clair: Evie is similar to several other acts this season, Yoli included, but as a singer alone, she’s one of the less memorable ones in my opinion. on voice alone I don’t think she holds a candle to the likes of people like Angelica, Yoli, and Christian. Also, unlike two out of three of that group, she didn’t get a Golden Buzzer, which gives all the singers who did a leg up on her. What will probably make her stand out in others’ minds is her father’s illness, which is currently looking to be terminal. I hate to say it, but I think her standing in the competition might hinge on how her dad fares, and just how much focus in Evie’s segments is on her family’s journey in facing it.

6. Demian Aditya: So far, this has been the only “danger act” to advance to the live shows, and I think Demian might benefit in votes from the lack of competition. However, if he wants to make it to the end, he needs to start changing up his act, because I’ve seen a lot of comments on how similar his “role switcheroo” act in the Judge Cuts was to the trick he did back in his audition. Basically, I think his chances of sticking around will hinge on how many other danger acts end up in the live shows (which, judging by the mass exodus of most of the ones we’ve seen so far, isn’t looking to be a lot right now).

7. Just Jerk Dance Crew: This was my favorite act of the first Judge Cuts show and, like Demian, I think being one of the few acts of their kind this season is probably going to be a bit of an asset. The thing is, a lot of the dance crews tend to get cut early during the live shows, and we already have another one that got much more buzz and fanfare being Tyra’s Golden Buzzer, plus I’m pretty sure Diavolo is going to make it through next week and they’re a very innovative act. I don’t see JJ beating either of those two groups unless they pull out something AMAZING in the near future (or they play up they’re story a lot more, since right now they seem to be much more matter-of-fact when discussing their situation than most of the other contestants). Right now, they’re a solid act, but you need to be more than “solid” to win the AGT million.

8. Eric Jones: I found Eric’s performance last week good, but kind of forgettable. However, he’s one of only a few magicians in the live shows so far, and has a sad backstory that does somewhat tie into his craft so I think he could last another round. Not much else to say right now.

9. Chase Goehring: Okay, I’ll be honest, I found Chase completely forgettable both times we saw him (did they even air his full audition?) and the only reason he’s not lower on this list is because he got a Golden Buzzer. He wasn’t really bad or anything, but what worries me is that despite getting the GB, I barely heard any talk of him from fans once the show was over. All that fanfare to such a relatively small response is not a good sign, and at this point I’m questioning if he’ll even get through the first round of live shows.

10. Sara and Hero: I was thinking these two were going to get eliminated in JC after their first audition, since the judges clearly had mixed opinions on it, but I’m glad they turned it around and managed to make the cut because I don’t have much hope in most of the other animal acts this season except the family with the poodles. Speaking of the poodles, I think they could be Sara and Hero’s downfall going forward because while Sara changed up the act enough to keep it fresh for this round, there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to go from here, and I fear we may have already seen the best tricks Hero can do. With the poodles I just feel like there’s so much more they’re going to be able to do to impress voters, especially with their flashier set-up and all. Even if the poodles don’t make the live shows, I doubt Sara and Hero are getting anywhere near the Finale, but I think they maaaaaaay have a shot at the Semi-Finals depending on who else is in their first live show.

11. The Masqueraders: I was happy to see these guys get through, and was pleasantly surprised to see that quite a few others were rooting pretty hard for them! They definitely fill the country niche this season, but I worry they might get lost among acts with more fanfare surrounding them, especially since their style of singing is more “chilled out” while others have really been focusing on belting as many notes as possible. I think their story of getting another chance to live their dream could help them a bit, but again, there are quite a few more memorable backstories this season so the impact of theirs might not take them as far.

12. Singing Trump: I actually thought he stepped up his game quite a bit in the Judge Cuts, and I think I would have also sent him through. However, there is a big problem with getting political on this show. As we saw last season with teenage comedian Lori Mae, taking a clear political stance alienates half your audience right off the bat, but I think Singing Trump’s approach of not taking a stance may be even more harmful in the voting department; Trump supporters will see his act as a disrespectful way of making fun of him, while Trump opposers are just sick of seeing him everywhere, an probably watch AGT as an escape from his media dominance. I’m just not sure where his voters are going to come from, and for that reason I think he might be out pretty quickly. Right now, I think he at best has a chance of being one of the acts vying for a “save” in his Quarter-Finals results show and we’ll see how it goes from there.

13: Mirror Image: And now we’re getting into the acts I’m actually shocked made the cut…unlike most people, I actually enjoy the antics of these two (though I wish both them AND the Quiddlers had advanced) but even I’m well aware that if they were put into a stronger group for Judge Cuts they wouldn’t have made it through (but the general unevenness of the Judge Cuts round is a post for another day). I’m pretty sure they’re going to get buzzed by Simon again in the live shows, and I don’t think that will bode well for their votes. I did see a small amount of passionate support for them, so I guess depending on who else ends up in their Quarter-Finals show they might have a shot at being one of the acts up for Dunkin’ Save, but even if they are I honestly don’t see them advancing past the first round of live shows.

14: Junior and Emily: This is the one act so far I don’t think even has a decent shot at making it to the Dunkin’ Save zone. They’re great at what they do…they just don’t do much. I can appreciate the difficulty of their craft, but after the initial amazement there’s not much else to their performances. They have an inspirational backstory, but again, it’s one of the more forgettable ones, so I don’t think it’s going to do much for them. Unless these two really step up their game and add some variety to their performance, I don’t see them moving forward.

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back soon with some more thoughts on how the show is being produced this season and how I think it could be improved. Plus I’ll be doing some more Power Rankings next week (which looks infinitely better than either of the first two Judge Cuts episodes) and when Judge Cuts are over I might do a special edition for all of the Golden Buzzers!

July 27, 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 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!