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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 Finale – SPOILERS!!! Who Won???

Jee-zass…almost an hour and a half into the show before we get a single result??? And I have to wonder just what the producers were on when they decided it would be a good idea to have Hoda & Kathie Lee be a part of Collins’ trick…oy vey.  On a good day, I find those women irritating – on a crap day like today, I think I’d rather fellate a hot curling iron than listen to them cackle.  8-O And for the love of god, reality tv shows, enough with that silly ass Icona Pop song!!! Read more..

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!

PureAGT Season 8 – Finale Power Rankings

So I daresay last night’s performance show changed my mind about who I think is going to win – and when I
called in my votes for the particular act I think deserves to win, I got a busy signal for at least 30 minutes after the show wrapped…so I’ve got my fingers crossed ;-) I’m gonna do things in reverse order tonight, just to keep things interesting…

6.) Cami Bradley – Really and truly, if we’re going off of performance alone, it should be Jimmy at the bottom of the board – but something tells me the country nuts are going to get him to at least 5th place.  I wouldn’t say Cami did badly last night, per se – I just think she wasn’t as memorable as she possibly could have been.  Loved that she repeated “Believe”, which I think is the strongest performance we saw from her all season; not wild about “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, though, as I found it rather sing-songy – and I think Cami does best with songs that are a bit more heartfelt and poignant.  Overall, she’s been my biggest surprise of the season – would never have guessed from the brief snippet we saw of her audition that she would be a finalist this season.  Glad we got to see her journey on the show :-)

5.) Jimmy Rose – Probably the weakest performer of last night – his repeat song was decent, but I’m completely drawing a blank on his 2nd performance…seriously, I can’t remember anything about it.  Likely because it wasn’t terribly different than any of the other performances we’ve seen from him all season long.  Seems like the judges have also soured a bit on Jimmy, as I can’t remember them offering up any of their usual over-the-top praise – they might have said “it was good!” but I don’t recall them gushing.  Not much else to add about Jimmy – I think he’s a good guy, but if I’m being honest, he should have never made it to the finale…he’s just not vocally at the same level as some of the others we’ve seen.

4.) Collins Key – I know people seem to love this kid, but really? He has basically performed the same trick several times, just with the set-up and props changed slightly.  I will give him props for his “repeat” trick (which really wasn’t), since he almost got Mel & Heidi to make out on national television; but the delivery did still seem a little clumsy to me, and I’m not sure that I really bought his 2nd trick – the three individuals he “had never met before” seemed to be trying just a little too hard to act surprised when he predicted what they were wearing and what sign they’d be holding.  Like the girl from the date trick, I think they were plants, picked out far ahead of time and told to act surprised.  Sorry, but the luster has just worn off the rose for me where Collins is concerned – I think he needs to broaden his repertoire of tricks before he can really be a contender.  That said – I think his legion of teenage fans will probably pull him to at least 4th place (maybe 3rd, if enough people have jumped off the Forte bandwagon).

3.) Forte – Prior to last night, I thought these guys had the win in the bag – now I’m not sure they can even manage 3rd place.  I just think Forte has the unfortunate problem of not being a very diverse act: they sing opera, and that’s about it.  Each performance kinda starts to sound the same after the 3rd or 4th time – and that’s unfortunately what happened last night.  Yes, they’re fantastic singers – but they kind of bore me now. Neither of their performances last night really struck a chord with me – all I really remember was all of the lights during their repeat performance, and that’s more of a credit to the set designer than anyone else.  Great guys, but I’m just not feeling the “$1 million dollar Vegas show” vibe from them anymore.

1/2.) TIE: Kenichi Ebina & Taylor Williamson – Kenichi may have been the most consistent all season, but he kinda choked last night – his “repeat” performance didn’t awe me like it did the first time, and his new performance seemed to lack a whole lot of dance – a lot of time was wasted trying to interact with the other characters.  I still think he stands a good chance of winning, but he’s got some stiff competition in Taylor – really the only finalist to knock both of his performances out of the park last night, while everyone else hit some snags.  I think the advantage Taylor has over Kenichi is that he peaked at the right time – he’s just gotten better and better each week we’ve seen him, and it all culminated last night.  The fact that Howard even tweeted “I think Taylor might win this whole thing” after last night’s show is telling to me, because Howard has been pretty spot-on with his predictions thus far.  So I guess my pick for the winner comes down to two choices: the season-long favorite (Kenichi) vs. the dark horse (Taylor).  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping it was the latter ;-)

So who is your pick to win it all? And who did you vote for last night?

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!

PureAGT Season 8 – Post-Finale Performance Poll: Who Will Win?

We already did this poll after last week’s results – but let’s see if you still feel the same way after tonight’s performances.

I’ll save my opinions for the power rankings in the morning – but let’s just say my mind definitely changed from last week!

September 17, 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!

PureAGT Season 8 – Finale Live Discussion Post/”Matt Chat”

Since it was such a hit last week with me & the two Matts (hence the nickname), I’ve resurrected the live discussion post – so join us, won’t you? :-) Come chat about the show as it goes on, and see what other readers have to say.  Who did well? Who did bad? Who surprised you??? Won’t you join us? We don’t bite…hard ;-)

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!

PureAGT Season 8 – POLL: Who Will Win?

We now have our final six.  So the question is…who’s gonna win it all?

Personally, I think it’s going to come down to Forte & Kenichi – perhaps with Forte having a slight edge.  I think Jimmy or Collins could potentially play spoiler to one of them IF they perform well and can rally their rabid fans to vote…A LOT.  Cami & Taylor? I think they’re the two longshots who should just be happy they made it to the finale.  What do you guys think?

September 11, 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!

PureAGT Season 8, Top 12 – SPOILERS!!! Who Made it Through to the Finale???

Hmmmm….was anyone else not all that impressed with the Olate Dogs or Terry Fator? I guess it kind of put it in perspective for me that this season really might be one of the strongest we’ve had…because I think almost any of the acts in this year’s top 12 could have beat the two returning champs we saw. Read more..

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!

PureAGT Season 8, Top 12 – Power Rankings

Well, to those of you who didn’t join myself, Matt B. and Matt W. in the live discussion post/”Matt Chat” during the show last night – you missed out on some great discussion :-) And I’m planning on resurrecting the “Matt Chat” for next week’s finale…so plan on joining us, k? ;-)

Overall, last night was a night that the judges seemed to do a LOT of gushing and giving of standing ovations – and I’m not sure they were all deserved.  Seems like the judges have decided who they do and don’t want in the finale, and are critiquing accordingly.  Will be interesting to see who’s still standing when the dust settles tonight…

1.) Forte – As I mentioned in the live discussion post last night, I actually thought last night was one of their weaker performances – that song has just been done to death, and I actually don’t think the arrangement had enough “light and shade” to really showcase the guys’ voices well.  The whole thing just felt a bit “meh…it’s ok” to me.  That said, I think they long ago solidified their place in the finals, and are one of the few remaining acts who can afford to have a bit of a stumble and still make it through safely.

2.) Kenichi Ebina – Another usually top-notch performer that left me feeling a bit “meh” last night.  I get what he was going for – a more emotional, artsy performance – but up until the part with him leaping through the dark with the strobe light, I just felt a bit lost, as he seemed to be a little all-over-the-place with his movements.  Again, another act that long ago secured his place in the finale – but I think if he wants a shot of displacing Forte for the win, he should stick with what has really worked well for him in the past: very cool, fun, upbeat performances that show off his full repertoire of skills.

3.) Kristef Brothers – Highlight of the evening for me, and I think they reached a Kenichi-level of creativity with their performance last night.  An infomercial on how to be a Kristef Brother? HILARIOUS.  And they still did all of their tricks well – color me entertained.  And can I just say how RAD Kris’ dad is? I think I may have to rewatch just the little blurb with him later, cause he had me laughing pretty hard.  I think these guys and Cami have been the biggest surprises of the season for me – I never would have guessed they would make it this far.

4.) Collins Key – *sigh* I was really, really hoping that Collins would both clean up his delivery AND come up with something totally different for the top 12 – and I guess he succeeded, but only minimally.  Yeah, he trimmed down a lot of the confusing fluff from his last trick, and the “pick a bag for me to smash” premise was probably the most innovation we could expect from the type of magic he does; but last night, I saw the “man behind the curtain” a bit, and it detracted from my enjoyment of the trick.  There was just wayyyy too much funny business with the bags – Howard chose bag #2 for him to put Nick’s watch in, but all Collins did was take the 2nd bag and switch it with the first one…the watch was still going in bag #1.  Then when he was “mixing up” the bags, he was really keeping the same bag with Nick’s watch in the same hand the whole time.  Then watch his face when he’s asking Heidi to pick bag 1, bag 2, or bag 3 – he smiles broadly when he says “bag #3″, which to me could have easily been a signal to Mel & Heidi that Nick’s watch was in that bag and they needed to pick the other two.  And really, the bags were never sealed, and Nick’s quite obviously was much larger & heavier than the two cheap ones…so Collins knew the whole time where Nick’s watch was, which enabled him to “coach” the ladies.  Then there was the whole debacle with the time on Howie’s watch – I don’t think Collins considered that Howie’s watch doesn’t have well-defined second marks, and that Mel is sometimes a bit of a dipsh*t, so once again the trick lost its magic a bit when Collins asked if the time “was rounded or not”.  I like the kid, I really do – but each time I see him perform, he loses a little bit more of the magic that made me enjoy him so much the first few times we saw him.  That said, I think he has the teenybopper vote, and should make it through without any problems.  I’m just not confident he can win the whole thing, though.

5.) Jimmy Rose – I think last night was actually my favorite performance we’ve seen from Jimmy – was nice to see him sing something a tad more uptempo.  But the judges just weren’t feeling it – has the luster worn off the rose with their favorite country boy? Or have they just decided he’s not finale material? I just found the whole critique to be rather strange – granted, Jimmy did have a few wobbly notes, but I don’t think it was any worse than any of his other performances…which the judges GUSHED about.  I’m guessing that he still has enough fan support to secure himself a place in the finale…even though I think I’d rather see Cami there.

6.) Taylor Williamson – Taylor just gets funnier and funnier to me, the edgier and more inappropriate his humor gets :-P And I love that Howard & Howie get it and are on board with it – because I feel like both Heidi & Mel have missed the bus at different points, and last night it was Mel’s turn.  I could tell Mel soured on the act the minute the word “racist” passed Taylor’s lips – I remember reading that she demanded that one of the comedians we saw in Vegas not have his audition performance aired because she thought it was racist & offensive, so she’s quite touchy about that particular subject.  I actually didn’t find Taylor’s joke to be particularly offensive – it was pretty darn innocent, as far as “racist” jokes go, and ended up being more ageist than racist, really.  But I could tell Mel had written the act off based on that joke alone – so I’m actually a little glad Howard & Howie managed to keep her from critiquing the act, because I have a feeling she would have torn him a new one.

7.) Catapult Entertainment – I’ll just put it out there: I’m sick to death of Catapult, and I’m totally over the main guy’s preachy attitude and tendency to go for the “schmaltz factor” in order to get his group to advance. Aside from their initial audition (which I still think was their best performance), the one time they DIDN’T go for some sappy storyline, they kind of lost both the judges’ and America’s interest.  Do they really think they’re going to be able to craft an entire Vegas show out of sappy vignettes like the one they did last night? I about wanted to slap the leader in the face when he pulled out the whole “we need to protect our kids from bullies” line and acted like he was doing such a noble thing by announcing that to the world and sharing his group’s performance…as if he was single-handedly going to stop bullying by doing a few shadow puppets.  And mediocre shadow puppets, at that – some of the shapes they were making kinda made me go “Wait, what is that? Is that supposed to be a dog? It’s a crappy-looking dog…oh, I guess it’s a dog.  Whatever.” I’m over the “look at us, we’re so touching and socially-conscious that you simply MUST put us through to the next round!” act.

8.) Cami Bradley – Cami was my 2nd favorite act of the evening – loved her rendition of “Living on a Prayer” and thought she was the only singer last night that really did something fresh and unexpected.  And as I said earlier – she has pleasantly surprised me each round she performs.  That said – I worry she’s going to get lost in the shuffle between all the country fans trying like hell to save Jimmy Rose and all the opera fans duking it out between Forte & Branden James.  I think she DESERVES a spot in the finale, but I’m not sure if she’ll actually GET a spot in the finale…too many sheeple voters that are blinded by Collins, country, & opera.

9.) Branden James – *shrug* I just don’t know what to make of this guy anymore.  He reverted back to his usual “I’m going to sing a touching song that’s been done wayyyy too many times because I know America just eats this sh*t up!” strategy, and gave a schmaltzy, average performance to “Hallelujah”.  And of course – the judges gush.  I give up…but I guess I just hope Forte has enough clout to edge him out of the finals.

10.) Innovative Force – Anyone else find it a bit funny that they had all 3 acrobatic acts basically go back-to-back-to-back at the beginning of the show, as if to force America to see them side-by-side and pick just 1 to go through? I think this likely benefitted Kristef Brothers, but hurt Innovative Force & Chicago Boyz – because both paled in comparison.  Innovative Force are great at what they do – I think their tricks are a lot more cleanly-executed than Chicago Boyz, and their the most “artistic” of the 3 acrobatic acts in the top 12…but I feel like they’re getting a bit repetitive.  Each performance, it’s the same intense, classical music; the same tricks (we saw the “throw the girls around in star formation” trick in their audition); and the same type of costuming.  I just think they’ve run their course on this show, unfortunately.

11.) D’Angelo & Amanda – I’m not sure there was really anything that D’Angelo & Amanda could have done to earn themselves a place in the finale – I feel like America is so country, opera, and Collins-crazy that they just don’t have time to really care about these two very talented dancers.  I was thrilled that they did samba – it’s the “party dance”, and was probably their best bet at making a splash (no pun intended, considering their performance last week) in the top 12.  I thought they did great – they moved big, they added in an interesting new element (dancing around the judges’ table), and had a great energy about them.  I don’t think it will get them into the finale, but I think it was a great way to go out with a bang.

12.) Chicago Boyz – Poor Chicago Boyz.  I don’t think they did terrible, by any means; I just think they had the unfortunate distinction of being really the only act that made very noticeable mistakes last night.  I do applaud them for stepping up the danger level each week (jump-roping a 3-tired pyramid formation??!!), but I think the fact that they lost one of their key stuntmen to a leg injury really crippled them this week – I’m fairly certain I saw his replacement involved in both bungled jump rope tricks I saw. I have enjoyed their journey on the show, but I’m fairly certain we’ve seen the last of the Chicago Boyz :-(

So what are your thoughts on last night’s performances? Who do you think will advance to the finale next week?

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!

PureAGT Season 8 – Top 12 Live Discussion Post

You don’t have to wait until I post my power rankings in order to discuss the show – go ahead and do it here, live :-) Tell us what you think – which acts performed well tonight? Which acts stunk? Which acts surprised you the most? Who do you think is going through to the finale?  TELL US!!! :-D

September 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!

PureAGT Season 8 – Top 12 Airing Pushed Back Due to POTUS’ Speech

Just a reminder to everyone to set your DVR’s – according to the official AGT Twitter account, the show will air immediately after the President’s speech tonight at 9/8c:

I recommend setting your DVR’s to record an extra 45 minutes or so, just to be safe, since we don’t know how long this speech will be.  Since I likely won’t be able to post my power rankings until tomorrow, I will be posting a sort of “discussion post” where everyone can chat about the show until I can get my rankings up in the morning.  Enjoy the show everyone! 8-)

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!