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AGT Season 12 Contestant Updates (including Darci Lynne’s Ellen appearance!)

Looks like Darci has been doing the press rounds this week. She has appeared on a few shows since her win on Wednesday, including yesterday’s episode of Ellen! Check it out below.

As longtime readers will know, I love that America’s Got Talent welcomes all kinds of performers and gives many of them a career boost. I’m a big fan of the TV dance world and the people who cover those shows are always encouraging fans to support the dancers in their other projects and live performances. Likewise, I’d like to start doing this for some of our AGT alumni on here. They’ve shared their talents with us, so I’m only too glad to support/promote them when I am able! Yesterday I shared some info about the upcoming AGT Planet Hollywood show in Las Vegas featuring Season 12 finalists Darci Lynne Farmer, Angelica Hale, Light Balance, and Preacher Lawson, but I’ve been looking to see where else some of the contestants will be performing next as well. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

I know we have a lot of Pure AGT readers who became fans of acrobatic dance group Diavolo over the summer, and I have some good new for you guys: they’re going on tour! They’ll be heading to nearly 20 US cities between now and March 2018. This is the 25th anniversary celebration for the dance company, so this show is sure to be an extra special one!

Image result for diavolo dance

Preacher Lawson may be part of the AGT Vegas show in November, but that’s far from the only place he’ll be performing this fall. He has a list of show dates on his website, which currently lists shows for Oklahoma, Alberta, Alabama, Washington, Arkansas, and New York before the end of the year.

Image result for preacher lawson

I know a lot of AGT fans were disappointed in the lack of magic acts this season, so I wanted to tell you guys a bit about a show called The Illusionists. Some of you may have heard of the show or even seen a performance before, but for those who are unaware it is the world’s biggest touring magic show, and has several versions going on at once around the globe. Each production has a handful of various performers – mostly magicians – each with a different skillset in the art of illusion and title to match it – ex. “The Grand Illusionist” or “The Daredevil” – making for a show featuring a wide variety of magic.

Several alums from various Got Talent programs have appeared in this show, like how last year saw Season 11 runners-up The Clairvoyants pop in for a stint in the Broadway production. Another AGT contestant who is no stranger to this show is Season 12 Semi-Finalist Colin Cloud (aka “The Deductionist”) who has toured with the show to several continents over the past couple of years and is set to appear in quite a few of the 2017-18 North American stops (and I believe South Africa as well). I was very disappointed to miss this show when it came to Toronto last year (which might have turned out to be a good thing for Pure AGT, since I’m pretty sure if I had seen Mr. Deductionist before he was on AGT this would have become a Colin Cloud stan blog for the season. :P) but I am delighted that it’s coming back this holiday season and if I am able to go I might just review it for you guys! 😉

Image result for the illusionists 2017

Finally, Season 12 fourth-place finisher Mandy Harvey has quite a bit of music available for purchase, as well as some upcoming tour dates across the US. Most of them are set for Winter-Spring 2018, but she does have a couple shows in California and Indiana this October.

Mandy has also written a book that can be pre-ordered here. It’s her autobiography which focuses on coming to terms with her loss of hearing while figuring out how to realize her musician dreams. I’m really excited to read about her journey when the book is released in just a few days on September 26.

Image result for mandy harvey sensing the rhythm

That’s all for now, but if I see any more noteworthy updates from AGT alumni I’ll be sure to inform you guys! And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the top Season 12 performances countdown, I just really felt like it deserved its own post, so that’ll be coming up very soon! 🙂

September 23, 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 Show #6 ( THE FINALS!!!): Power Rankings

For this special Finale edition of the Power Rankings, I’m going to go backwards, beginning with the act I think is LEAST likely to win, and going up (down?) from there.

10. Sara & Hero: Going into last night’s show I knew there was no way they’d win, but they had an outside shot at cracking top 5 as long as they continued their upward trajectory. Alas, that didn’t happen, as there were a lot of mistakes and recycled tricks (that jumping bit at the end was amazing though, and I did like the inclusion of Loki and Marvel). All in all, this performance was pretty basic compared to what we’ve seen them do in previous live shows. And personal preference, but with the name “The Super Collies”, I was kind of disappointed we never got a superhero-themed act from them.

9. Kechi: This was one of the segments that followed my “advice” (only not really because I wrote it long after they’d had everything prepared for the segment) and involved family of the people lost in the plane crash. The way the package was set up felt very strange, as if Kechi was the “Chosen One” to fulfill some sort of prophecy. I wish we could have just seen her as a human being who went through something instead of some spiritual entity. As for her song, I barely remember it, but considering there seems to be a clear top 4 and uncertainty about the other acts she – and everyone else above her – could very well wind up in 5th place.

8. Chase Goehring: More than most of the other Finalists, I think Chase truly put in the effort to give the audience what they were looking for and showed his growth as an artist last night. He finally sang about something other than how he’s a “nice guy” and girls should go out with him, and while the lyrics were still pretty generic I got the sense they were at least genuine. He also took the rapping to a whole new level! It seems pretty unlikely he’ll make the top 5 with his running order spot and having been on the bubble last round, but it’s nice to see someone improve their craft over the season.

7. Diavolo: If I had my choice of who would get that last spot in the top 5, it would definitely be Diavolo. This – like all their performances – was a true masterpiece. I like how they mixed some familiar and new elements to create a  tribute of sorts to their time on the AGT. If anyone from Season 12 deserves a Vegas show, it’s certainly them. However, this show isn’t really about finding a “Vegas” act anymore, and while I’m seeing more support for them than I did last week, I’m still not sure it’s going to be enough to get them to the top 5.

6. Evie Clair: I really have to hand it to AGT – they may be messy at times, but when it comes to handling serous issues like the one they were handed last night, they come through. (I was shocked they didn’t directly mention her father’s passing until the judge comments, but I think that was probably the best way to handle things so she could perform at her best. The package was tasteful, thankfully, and the performance…well, it was still bland, but it was better than most of her other AGT performances. I know I said I was concerned she’d have an outside chance of winning tonight but those fears have been washed away, though I do think the sympathy voters still have a chance of helping her squeeze into the top 5.

5. Preacher Lawson: Preacher’s final performance was polarizing, and he knew it. It’s been a running joke on his social media that he knows he’s going to lose to Darci and has accepted it, so I think he just decided to pick one of his personal favorite routines and go all out with the zaniness for this last episode. Leading up to last night’s Finals, I was seriously thinking he’d be in the top 5, but now I’m kind of up in the air about it. Like I’ve been saying, it seems the top 4 are so far ahead of everyone else in support that trying to guess who the last spot in the top 5 is going to is a bit of a crapshoot. In the end, I put Preacher here because I think he has the most passionate supporters out of the likely bottom 6.

4. Mandy Harvey: I was thinking Angelica would be the Brian Justin Crum of the seaon and place lower than generally anticipated, but I fear Mandy may end up in this position since last night was pretty underwhelming compared to her amazing Semi-Finals showing. This one just felt like a re-tread of her Quarter-Finals performance, both content-wise and aesthetically. I think if she had done this one last week and “Release Me” for the Finale she might have been one of the last two standing, but this performance may have knocked her down a few pegs, especially being sandwiched between two of the most impressive acts of the night.

3. Light Balance: This was probably the only act that gave us their best performance of the season last night, and I think peaking at the right time is going to help them. Getting the Finale week pimp spot – which I was sure was going to Darci with a small outside chance of Evie/Mandy – leads me to believe they’re getting a lot of audience support; before last night I was thinking they’d get 5th place at best and now I’m anticipating a top 3 finish for them. And while I know a lot of people who read this blog want Light Balance to win, keep in mind that a group act whose Golden Buzzer moment got glossed over and whose Quarter-Finals performance almost didn’t happen placing this high is a huge accomplishment.

2. Angelica Hale: Her performance of “Symphony” was a step up from last week, but still not nearly as strong as “Clarity” from the first live show. But I know a lot of people LOVED it and she’s been a frontrunner all season so I still think she’s likely to be one of the top finishers tonight. I think all the seasons with 10-act Finales had the show-opener finish in the top 5 without winning, and I’d be surprised if Angelica didn’t continue that tradition, but I’m not entirely sure where she’ll end up. The runner-up spot seems to be the most logical place to put her, since she’s probably the most likely to win if Darci doesn’t take it, but as I said before, I’ve started getting some Brian Justin Crum vibes from her in the recent weeks, so she could finish a little lower.

1. Darci Lynne Farmer: After last season I thought there was no way we would have a front-runner as obvious as Grace VanderWaal ever again, but here we are at the end of the very next season and Darci’s victory is arguably somehow even more inevitable. I think that might be because she’s the “perfect storm” of an act most viewers can agree on; she’s a young performer with a great voice which gives The Voice viewers something to tide them over until the new season starts up, but her act also incorporates puppetry and strong elements of comedy to appeal to the variety-loving crowd who still tune in to AGT to see Vegas-style acts do their thing. She also got a Golden Buzzer, which was obviously a major factor in her hype and popularity. Darci may not have one of those emotional backstories AGT has become notorious for, but when you think about it, even though many people with those stories have gotten far in the competition, the majority of the winners don’t have one. At the end of the day, talent (usually) tops all else, and I’m sure this will be proven once again when Darci is announced as the Season 12 champion tonight.

September 20, 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!

How to Win America’s Got Talent Season 12

So I may have stolen this idea from dwtsfun on tumblr….. 😛 Even though there are a few clear frontrunners in this group of Finalists, we have seen some upsets on this show before, so even some of the biggest long-shots might still have the ability to pull it out. (Probably not, but it’s technically possible. :P) So this post is going to be the advice I would give to each of the 10 acts we have left in order to give them the best possible chance at winning.

Darci Lynne Farmer: Darci has been the odds-on favorite to win all season, but that means she has even more pressure than the others to deliver. In order to stay ahead of the pack, she’ll have to do something to really put herself over the top. So far, she’s proven she can do a variety of voices, as well as sing and do comedy while switching “characters” on a dime. For this last performance, I think she should add another element to things like she has each time. I would think either two puppets (or maybe a two-headed puppet if that’s physically impossible…LOL) or something extremely impressive for a ventriloquist to do. I know she can sing opera and yodel with her mouth closed, so probably one of those. But whatever it is, it’ll have to be EPICLY impressive.

Mandy Harvey: Like Darci, she has followed an upward path throughout the season, with each performance being more polished than the one before, and each song feeling distinct enough to feel like something new while still fitting in with her “brand”. Last week she even signed the lyrics. I think in order to win, Mandy will have to do something even more powerful than that. I’m thinking something dedicated to the Deaf community, but not sure what that could be (and as a member of that circle, she’d probably have a better idea than I would!).

Light Balance: Being a group will probably give them somewhat of a disadvantage, but they made it this far without ever being in danger, so maybe they have more dedicated fans than I thought! In order to have a shot at the title, they’ll need to go bigger. Adding more characters/lights to really fill the stage or telling an epic story would definitely help their final act be a step up from their previous ones. My favorite thing they’ve done all season is still that transition into the Wolfman segment in the Quarter-Finals, so if they can pull out more tricks like that tonight I think they’ll really wow the viewers.

Chase Goehring: In comparison to Mandy, who’s songs are memorable and distinct from one other, most of Chase’s pieces so far have sounded the same to me. The only one that’s stood out was “Acapella”, which I think was the very first one he did. That song had a lot of rapping in it, and I know that’s something the audience has been waiting for more of from him, so let’s hope we get more of it tonight! Apparently, he’s written a brand new song specifically for tonight’s show, so hopefully he’s listened to the feedback from the judges and his fans and pulls out something special that stands out as his best performance of the season.

Sara & Hero: Definitely the most improved act of the season BY FAR and I have no doubt they’re going to be at their very best tonight. They’ve become an unexpected crowd favorite, so if they add in new tricks like they have been and do another fun storyline I’m sure people will love this last performance. My one note for them would be to polish things up a little more; there were a few times last week when tricks went wrong (though they recovered exceptionally well) and I’m not sure that’s going to go over so well on a night with such prestige as the Finals.

Evie Clair: I’m going to preface this one by saying I don’t want her to actually do this,  but this post is about how to win the show and unfortunately I think this is the only way she’ll have a shot. She needs to play up her father’s death as much as possible. Talk about him in the package, shed some tears, dedicate the song to him the whole shebang. Like I’ve said before, I truly hope this isn’t exploited by the show and that she can use this an a method of catharsis and a source of positivity in her life, but to be honest I think it’s the only scenario that might lead to her pulling out the win.

Kechi: My “advice” to her would be the same as Evie: crank the backstory up to an 11. Dedicate the song to the lives lost in the plane crash, involve their families in some way if you can, you know the drill. That’s pretty much the only way she’ll have a shot at winning.

Angelica Hale: Again, I hate this “advice” because it’s really not healthy for her, but this is about how to win, not how to please Julia the Pure AGT blogger. Angelica’s best path to victory would involve choosing a powerhouse “diva” anthem with as much belting as possible (I warned you this wouldn’t be healthy for a 10-year-old). It’d preferably be a big emotional number, since she has to compete with the mother of all inspirational backstories. (And who’s would that be? That’s up to you, reader. :P)

Diavolo: I’m really not sure what advice I’d give to them, since their performance last week was one of the best things I’ve seen all season and they still ended up in the Judges’ Save. I suppose I’d suggest doing another big, multi-layered spectacle, but this time have the theme be emotionally resonant or just easier for the audience to understand. I really don’t like how the acts have to play down to the lowest common denominator sometimes (and I do think the reason some really good acts have gone home or been in danger was because the general audience just “didn’t get it” which is a real shame).

Preacher Lawson: This last one is just going to be something I personally want to see from him, because I doubt he can win. (Though to be honest, I doubt most of these acts have a real shot at this point.) What I really want to see Preacher do is get up there and roast AGT. Maybe not to the level you’d see on, say, Reddit, but I think it’d be really fun for him to tease the judges like he did Tyra last week, or make fun of the abundance of singing acts. 😛

What do YOU think the acts need to do in order to win Season 12 of America’s Got Talent?

September 19, 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!

Pre-Show Predictions for the AGT Season 12 Final Placements

I’ve been mulling over this pretty much since the second Wednesday’s results show ended, but today something clicked in my mind and I now feel confident enough to set my pre-show predictions.

Bottom 5 (6th-10th Place) in alphabetical order: Chase Goehring, Diavolo, Evie Clair*, Kechi, Sara & Hero
Four of these acts were on the bubble in the Semi-Finals, which usually points to a lower finish in the Finals. And I have a bad feeling Sara & Hero are suddenly going to face backlash for being “undeserving” of the Finals seeing as their act is less precise and polished than most of the others, even though everyone was in love with them two weeks ago. 🙁

5th Place: Light Balance
They’re one of the most popular acts of the season, but I don’t think they have quite as much momentum as the four above them since they haven’t really changed their performances up much (given how much backlash similar acts have gotten in the past, I’m surprised they’ve remained unscathed this long). They’re also a group, which has proven to be a bit of a detriment in recent seasons.
* If they play up Evie’s father’s death and put her at or close to the end of the show, I see her possibly taking this spot and Light Balance being bumped down to Bottom 5.

4th Place: Angelica Hale
Angelica’s journey reminds me of that of Brian Justin Crum last year; a singer re-imagining various songs and having strong momentum throughout the season only to lose a bit of steam towards the end. Angelica took a bit of a step back in the Semi-Finals while Mandy and Darci continued to up the bar, and since I don’t see three female singers making the top 3, it seems like Angelica might be the one bumped back a bit.

3rd Place: Preacher Lawson
It seems Preacher may have more support than I was thinking he did; apparently he’s the go-to act for people who don’t want a singer of any kind to support. I guess this makes sense, since comedians on AGT have often placed very high without winning.

2nd Place: Mandy Harvey
Mandy has upped her game every single week this season. While some thought she was fading into the background, she showed everyone she was still in it when she gave a dark, powerful performance in the Semi-Finals. I think with three female cover singers (and that’s not even including Darci) in the Finals, Mandy’s original music will stand out in contrast and in the end will probably result in a nice high placement for her.

1st Place: Darci Lynne Farmer
While I don’t think this is a done deal like many seem to (remember, everyone thought Grace would steamroll the competition and then the top 3 ended up being less than 1% apart from each other) Darci is the clear frontrunner at the moment, and what I think will keep her there is her ability to build on her act and change it up. I’ve been watching a lot of her clips on YouTube lately and she can do so many things with her voice that we still haven’t seen on AGT, so there are several avenues she could go down – opera, yodelling, etc. – to up the ante even further than she already has been and keep herself ahead of the rest of the pack in this last week.

September 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!

Pure AGT Season 12 Finale Breakdown AND a Surprise Announcement!

Hey readers! Gonna try something different later this week! I’m going to attempt a live discussion chat with fellow AGT fan Sophie sometimes this weekend. Not sure when we’re going to do it yet, but even if it’s at an odd time we plan to record it so you can watch later! We also want to take questions/discussion topics from Pure AGT readers, so please send those in ASAP! Sophie has actually had the pleasure of attending several AGT live shows over the past few seasons (including this year’s first Quarter-Final) so I’m sure she’d love to dish on those experiences! Leave your questions and topics in the comment section, and we’ll update you on this little project soon! 🙂

In the meantime, I’m gonna continue this posting streak with a little look at the Finale! While I think the overall quality of Season 12’s talent has been a bit below par (in the live shows, anyway; it might have been stronger had some of the Judge Cuts choices been more diverse) I think we’re left with a pretty solid lineup. The AGT Season 12 Finalists are:

Angelica Hale
Chase Goehring
Darci Lynne Farmer
Diavolo
Evie Clair
Kechi Okwuhi
Light Balance
Mandy Harvey
Preacher Lawson
Sara & Hero

While I believe this is the most singing acts we’ve ever seen in an AGT Finale, only three of them are cover (or “karaoke”) singers (most of the others were cut in the Semi-Finals, as predicted). We also have two singer-songwriters and Darci, who I consider more of a variety act. While the complete lack of magic creates a giant void that I’m sure will be felt during next week’s shows (I tried to get Colin there I really did) all of the variety acts fall under categories that weren’t represented during last year’s Finals. Darci is fighting to bring home a third win for the ventriloquism community, Preacher is representing for the stand-up world, and I can’t even remember the last time an animal act made it this far. Perhaps most surprisingly of all is the fact that both of this season’s artistic dance groups managed to survive this week’s slaughterhouse of a Semi-Final (I think this was the first time I was actually happy to see an act in the Dunkin’ Save, since I was convinced Diavolo was automatically toast after the crap I heard about Tuesday night) in sharp contrast to last season which saw zero dance acts advance beyond the Quarters.

Once again, we seem to have a pretty obvious 12-year-old winner, but performing what is probably the most multi-layered act of the season Darci does deserve it. If someone were to play spoiler to this it’d probably be Mandy, who also has gotten a lot of fanfare throughout the summer. I thought Angelica might’ve had a shot to overtake both of them but after last night I’m thinking that’s not very likely. But I’ll get more into THAT in a few days, along with some polls!

September 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 AGT Season 12 Live Show #5: Power Rankings

LAST SEMI-FINAL OF THE SEASON! I have to admit, even with how messy Season 12 has been, I’m actually pretty sad it’s almost over…but in the meantime, I’m going to try to get up a post on here every day from now until the Finale! I’m also considering covering Britain’s Got Talent on here next spring (I think?) as well as actually doing a write-up about the Christmas special if they do one this year. In addition to this, I want to include more stuff on here about AGT alumni and what they’re up to-there’s been a few I’ve heard a lot from since their time on the show-but I’m not sure how much interest there’d be for all that. None of this would be as frequent as what I’m doing now (until BGT starts).

But for now, I know you’re all here for the Power Rankings. This week is particularly hard to predict because there wasn’t one act that seemed to blow everyone out of the water, and very few really dropped the ball. Also, the show started an hour later than usual, and the late end time-especially we’re now into the school year and a lot of kids and parents are on stricter weeknight schedules-could have affected voting patterns. Also, based on last night alone there really doesn’t seem to be a frontrunner in this group, though I definitely think some will benefit from being one of the “stars” of their Quarter-Final.

1. Mandy Harvey: I think this is the first time all season I’ve put someone who performed in the middle of the show at the top of the Power Rankings, but she headlined her Quarter-Final and her spot in the running order this week was probably the best one she could have gotten; performing at the change of the hour meant she was likely the last act seen by people who tuned out at the usual time, but late enough in the show to still be well-remembered by the end for those sticking around the whole night. Her package might actually have been more of a selling point than the song itself, but it was still a very solid performance (loved the inclusion of sign language!) and just enough of a departure from her previous songs with the ukulele to be different without losing the essence that made people drawn to her in the first place.

2. Angelica Hale: Color me shocked that the judges actually criticized her a bit last night-I thought she was pretty much untouchable in that regard by this point-but this was still a nice way to end off the night. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Angelica since Celine also performed last night, and as I’ve mentioned are often compared very closely by fans of the show. I think Angelica still has a bit of an edge with her story and POSSIBLY the pimp spot (but again, we don’t know if that provided as much of a boost as it usually does). Either way, I don’t see her going home tonight because she’s definitely in the top 6 and there’s no way she’d lose a Dunkin’ Save unless Mandy was one of her opponents.

3. Light Balance: I suppose these guys are my best guess for the third automatic spot tonight, since pretty much everyone seems to like them (even if it’s debatable whether or not performing second last will actually help this week). Their main competition is Diavolo, and I doubt we’re getting both in the finals since it seems like voters-especially this late in the game-tend to be more emotionally attached to (and inclined to vote for) individual performers or pairs than larger groups. However, I still think one of the dance groups will make the Finale and I think LB has the clear edge because their appeal is more “universal” (more on that below).

4. In the Stairwell: This might be surprising since I just said groups tend to be disadvantaged on this show at this point (and I’ll probably do a write-up about that sometime between now and next week) but I think the main reason for this is because it’s much more difficult for the audience to connect to them in comparison to a solo performer. However, the constant reminders of ITS’s military service probably remedies this issue. While I could have done without the name-dropping of a national tragedy (I want them out tonight for that alone) the Armed Forces mean a lot to many people, especially in America. Even though I thought the performance itself was probably one of the weaker ones of the night, ITS filled a niche of the episode as the only singing group, and that + military background will probably be enough to get them into Dunkin’ Save territory. Keep in mind the order of this list is based on who I think got the most Tuesday night votes, so while I’m expecting to see them on the bubble, they’ll probably be the act to lose out since I get the feeling the majority of their voting base is not part of the online crowd.

5. Celine Tam: I was originally going to have Celine as an immediate elimination, but she seemed to take less heat from being on the same show as Angelica than I thought, and now I’m thinking there might even be room for both girls in next week’s Finale. Like Angelica, she got a pretty positive response from the judges, with only a few minor critiques. I have a feeling as long as Celine manages to stay above the abyss (AKA the bottom 5) she’ll probably get through to the Finals.

6. Colin Cloud: I’m gonna try not to get my hopes up, because he was in the Dunkin’ Save last round and had the historically worst running order spot a reality contestant can have last night, but…….HOLY S*** WAS THAT NOT THE BIGGEST STEP UP WE’VE SEEN THIS SEASON? Yes, as usual the trick was “exposed” 10 seconds after it aired, but the whole presentation of this was NEXT LEVEL. It started off slow, and once the “magic” part happened I thought it was just a re-hash of what Tom London did back in Judge Cuts, but the flashback footage put this performance over the top. I LOVED seeing the reactions to it, both from the judges and online. Colin stood out with this performance, especially as the sole non-singing/dancing act of the night, and I think it just might have been enough to get him into Dunkin’ Save territory again. Maybe. I mean, if Eric could go second last week and still end up there, so can Colin, right? Right? (Please!!!!!)

7. Kechi: After her whole segment I penciled her in for top 3, but then a funny thing happened. When I poked around the interwebs to get a feel of who people were liking (and not liking)…I barely saw Kechi’s name at all. And this is about someone who I believe has gotten the pimp spot for all three of her previous performances, and a decent one near the end last night. She might still wind up in the Dunkin’ Save or even top 3, but it seems she could possibly be a victim of the “Singer Massacre of the Semi-Finals” when a bunch of the singers who were madly hyped in the Quarters suddenly disappear the next round.

8. Diavolo: This was THE performance of the night for me, and cemented my belief that despite what Laverne Cox said back in Judge Cuts, this is the most “Vegas” act of the whole season. However, three things make me think they’re probably goners tonight. 1) Competition against Light Balance (which I already explained). 2) The West Coast airing of the episode suddenly cutting back to Pompeyo halfway through their performance (seriously, WTF? Not cool, technicians!). and 3) Their act just being kinda divisive overall. It was very abstract and circus-esque, which seemed to be strongly appealing for some viewers (myself included) and a total turn-off to others. I hate to say it, but I have a feeling they’re done tonight. 🙁

9. Merrick Hanna: I love Merrick, but last night’s performance seemed to emphasize gimmicks (the giant robot) and tricks (the “flying”) more than what we love him for best-awesome animation dancing. I have a feeling a lot of these additions were producer-driven, but that probably wouldn’t have swayed voters either way. Again, really sad to say it but I think we’re losing Merrick tonight as well. 🙁

10. Christian Guardino: I actually really love listening to Christian sing, and hope he has a long and successful career after this, but while he did have a package custom-designed to tug at the heartstrings, his song was pretty forgettable (remember what I said last week about having to have those “money notes” in order for the audience to remember you?). His running order also wasn’t that great, and I’ve hardly seen any buzz about him since the show, so I’d be very surprised to even see him in the Dunkin’ Save tonight.

11. Pompeyo Family Dogs: Semi-Final Wildcard acts are pretty much fodder no matter how you slice it, but even if they had been voted through last time I’d probably still rank them at the bottom this week…I love their creativity, but the dogs were pretty much unrecognizable and were off their game for at least half of the performance. Besides that, the tricks themselves were pretty much the same ones we’ve seen in their other acts. And to top it all off, they were coming off the heels of fan-favorite Sara & Hero’s amazing beach performance last week. I really hope the daughter doesn’t cry again when they get eliminated tonight. 🙁

September 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!

PureAGT Season 9, Episode #1 – Audition Round Run-Down

I apologize that this has taken so long – apparently a 9-month absence made me forget just how LONG a 2-hour show is, and how many acts we really see!

Just FYI, for anyone looking for the music from last nights show – my full list is here.

Adrian Romoff – age 9, from Atlanta, GA
The act: Played “Flight of the Bumblebee” and “Symphony No. 1 in E Flat Major” on the piano.
The verdict: Howard was dubious about whether or not the boy was actually playing the piano after the first song, so he offered to play a second one. Howard was sold, and he got 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: I may be in the minority here, as I saw quite a few people on Twitter mentioning that they found Adrian “annoying”, but I love precocious kids that are articulate and wise beyond their years…probably because I was the same way at that age 😛 I got a kick at how he was calmly and confidently (and wittily!) conversing with the judges. The piano-playing was good, of course, although I found the arrangements of both pieces he played to be a bit too “busy” – would have liked something a bit simpler and less electronic-sounding, so I could really appreciate his skill.

The Famtastix
The act:: A group of grown siblings (2 brothers, 4 sisters)that clogged to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge.
The verdict: They’re through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Kind of over clogging acts (they all start to look rather similar after awhile), but this one wasn’t bad.

Richard & Ashlee
The act: A male-female duo of classical dancers turned circus performers that did a series of lifts to “Too Close” by Alex Clare.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Gonna be hard to trump the Kristef Brothers in my book. The little we saw was ok – but I hope their next performance is more entertaining.

Tic & Tac Entertainment
The act: An “acrobatic breakdance comedy group” that did a series of flips, tricks, and breakdance moves to “Happy” by Pharell.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Visually, they reminded me of The Chicago Boyz from last season, wearing leftover Team USA sweaters from the Olympics in Sochi 😛 But I think they could potentially be a more well-rounded version of the Chicago Boyz – they seem like they’re able to do a lot more.

3 unnamed comedians
The act: Three very unfunny comedians that preceded Dan Naturman.
The verdict: Fairly certain none of them made it through, judging by all the buzzing that was going on.
Court’s thoughts: Who told any of these 3 guys that it was a good idea to try out for AGT??? None of them even sounded prepared.

Dan Naturman – age 44, from New York City
The act: A stand-up comedian that hit on such topics as marriage, Game of Thrones, and people lying on the Internet.
The verdict:: He got yes’s from all 4 judges (even Heidi), and he’s through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: At first, I found his delivery a bit jarring – could have been nerves, but he started off in a somewhat rushed, rapid-fire rhythm in an accent that can best be described as James Cagney meets Gilbert Godfried 😛 But about 20 seconds in, he settled into a good rhythm, and it flowed well. Loved the material – tackled timeless topics, while giving it more of a current spin. Could be this season’s Taylor Williamson, methinks.

Rokardy – age 49, from Cuba
The act: He’s a hand-balancer that managed to balance on a narrow stand high enough above the stage that he actually was hidden behind the judges’ X’s, then climbed down and landed in a split. Brought along his son Carlos, who assisted by throwing him pieces of the stand, which he assembled as he climbed it.
The verdict: 4 yes’s. And Howard wants to make a movie about Carlos. 😛
Court’s thoughts: Anyone else find it just a bit odd that Rokardy didn’t introduce Carlos as his son right off the bat? Just was a bit funny to me that he started off by saying “This is my assistant” and it wasn’t until much later that he was like “Oh yeah, he’s my son.” Weird little nitpick, and I’m probably the only one that honed in on it 😛 But anyway!!! A hand-balancer that is possibly more skilled than the Kristef Brothers…but I don’t know that he’s got the variety or the showmanship that made them so appealing. Hope he’s got some other tricks up his sleeve. Looks fan-freaking-tastic for pushing 50!!!

Donnie Valentine – from Champaign, IL
The act: He sang a cover of “You Make Me Feel Brand New” in a painful falsetto.
The verdict: 4 very quick X’s…quite possibly the quickest anyone’s ever gotten them, according to Howard.
Court’s thoughts: This dude is like an unholy trinity of creepy: bizarre at-home perm, eyes that don’t blink nearly enough, and pants that make him look like he’s about to swashbuckle. Yikes.

Juli Moody
The act: I guess it was some sort of strong woman act – she did some squats with Nick on her back.
The verdict: I’m assuming no – even though it took awhile (because the judges were enjoying watching Nick look uncomfortable on her back), most of the judges buzzed her.
Court’s thoughts: Had she gotten a bit more creative with this and not just relied on squatting Nick, I think she might have actually had something…we don’t see too many StrongWoman acts. But alas, no.

Bald Man Bongos
The act: 4 bald dudes smacking each other in the head in rhythm. Basically, last season’s Tummy Talk, just tweaked slightly.
The verdict: Howie was the only one that didn’t buzz – and he briefly joined the group onstage. But we won’t see them in Boot Camp.
Court’s thoughts: Tummy Talk wasn’t that great of an act, so why did someone feel the need to rehash it? Just DUMB.

Unnamed hula hooping act
The act: A middle-aged woman in a red flapper costume hula-hoooping…awkwardly.
The verdict: It’s a no – although the act improved dramatically when Nick joined her onstage to share his hula hoop skills 😛
Court’s thoughts: The way this woman moved is how I would imagine an ostrich trying to hula hoop would look.

Unnamed kick-line dance group
The act: From the very brief clip we saw, they appear to be an all-female jazz dance group – that does kick lines.
The verdict: Not shown – although they seem pretty good, and Mel looked impressed.
Court’s thoughts: Was part of the rapid-fire montage of acts right before Mighty Atom, so we only saw a few seconds. Looked decent, though.

Unnamed knife-throwing act
The act: A male-female knife-throwing duo.
The verdict: Not shown.
Court’s thoughts: Looked like a pretty garden-variety knife-throwing act…nothing too special.

Unnamed ping pong act
The act: A girl hitting a ping pong ball into a guys mouth…and him spitting it back out. Repeat.
The verdict: Unknown – but I have a hard time believing this one made it through, given how bored the judges looked.
Court’s thoughts: Just…why???

Unnamed bell-ringing musician
The act: A snazzy-dress middle-aged woman playing “Like A Virgin” with hand bells.
The verdict: Yet another unknown…but the judges looked very unimpressed.
Court’s thoughts: She looked like a top-selling Avon lady circa 1987. And probably watches a lot of Wheel of Fortune in her spare time.

Mike Greenstein, aka “Mighty Atom Jr.” – age 93
The act: He’s a strongman that pulled a station wagon carrying 3 people WITH HIS TEETH.
The verdict: 3 yes’s, and 1 no from Howard, who thought he act “needed more showmanship”.
Court’s thoughts: First off, I just thought he was the most adorable thing we’ve seen on the show so far – loved how he chomped his teeth like Iceman from Top Gun, and referred to his “84-year-old kid brother”. Clearly this man did not get the memo that he is 93 years old 😛 Thought the act was impressive, but not sure there’s a whole lot else he can do with it…but I’m glad he’s had this opportunity to show America that you don’t have to sit around and do nothing after you retire!

Acte II – ages 32 & 29, from New Orleans
The act: A female opera duo that sang “The Flower Duet”.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts:: I don’t particularly like opera, but I enjoyed this – I can’t recall another time on AGT that we’ve had a female opera duo or group. So I find this act intriguing 🙂 I know a lot of folks on Twitter were of the opinion “Whatever, they’re no Forte!!!” but I really think the two are apples & oranges – they’re just different from Forte. Not sure how many more opera duets are written for two females – “The Flower Duet” was the only one I was familiar with – but I’m hoping these two can sing things other than just opera. It sounds like they can – they seemed to indicate that they like singing more contemporary music, too.

Unnamed J-setting dance group
The act: A group of drag queens in gold costumes performing “J-setting”, a style of dance inspired by the 8-counts typically done in cheerleading.
The verdict: Unknown – Mel & Heidi seemed to be enjoying it, Howie buzzed them but didn’t say anything, and Howard was a big fat “NO!”
Court’s thoughts: I’m actually a big fan of J-setting, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea…so I doubt it would make a very good Vegas show :-/

Unnamed male hip-hop dancer
The act: A young Asian man doing a pretty impressive sequence of spins and turns incorporated into turfing, jooking, and some other hip-hop styles.
The verdict: 3 yes’s, and one no from Howard.
Court’s thoughts: I was impressed by what I saw, and I don’t think we’ve had a really impressive street dancer since Turf back in season 6. I’m ready for another good solo hip-hop dancer!

Unnamed female singing group
The act: A group of 4 young ladies singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.
The verdict: Howard liked it, but the other 3 didn’t…so probably didn’t make it, but not shown for sure.
Court’s thoughts: Sounded kinda off-key, from the short blurb I saw.

Unnamed band
The act: 4 young, decently good-looking guys with guitars – we didn’t actually get to see them perform.
The verdict: Howie & Heidi liked it, but Howard didn’t…but again, no verdict actually shown.
Court’s thoughts: All these unknown decisions are gonna drive me nuts when it comes time to compile my Boot Camp week list later this season. Grrrr…

Dustin’s Dojo – ages 30 & 35, from Indianapolis
The act: Two guys performing a comedic parody of what it’s like to attend karate school, complete with punches, board breaking, and high kicks.
The verdict: Mel & Heidi (particularly Heidi) didn’t think it was funny at all, but Howard and Howie loved it and gave it two yes’s…when the girls said “no”, Howard invoked his one-time Golden Buzzer privileges and sent them through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: I already talked about this act a bit in my poll post from earlier today (if you haven’t already, tell us what you thought about Dustin’s Dojo!), but I’m in the camp that loved it – thought it was pretty clever and an a pretty apt parody of what happens in martial arts school. I’ve noticed that the act seems to be more popular with men than with women, maybe owing to the slapstick nature of the act. Probably won’t make it past the next round, but I’m ok with it right now – just a fun, space-filling act.

Unnamed female dance group
The act: Another all-female dance group doing vaguely jazzy, hip-hopping stuff.
The verdict: By the positive response from the judges and their happy squeals as they left the stage, I’m gonna venture a guess that they made it through.
Court’s thoughts: Gettin’ real tired of this no-names, short clips sh*t…

Unnamed male stepping group
The act: A group of steppers, who also through in some acrobatic moves in between stepping moves.
The verdict: They made it through.
Court’s thoughts:Glad to see another stepping group – the one we saw last season got very little attention, and was kinda lame. Hope this one makes it further!

Unnammed male hip-hop/acrobatic dance group
The act: 7 young men doing a combination of hip-hop and acrobatic tricks.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Loved the cute little guy with the locks they had up front – reminds me of the cute lil guy from Chicago Boyz last year 😛

Blue Journey – ages 18 & 33
The act: A contemporary dance duo that incorporated a projection screen into their routine, along with elements of silhouettes & video technology.
The verdict: Despite an awkward initial interview, the performance pleased the judges and they got 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: On paper, I probably should have hated this routine – it had several elements I’m tired of seeing on AGT: silhouettes, LCD screens, animations, and blacklight effect incorporated into dance routines. But it was so well-put-together that I couldn’t help but enjoy it – both the dancers were technically strong, as was the choreography itself and the overall staging. Looking forward to seeing what else they have to bring to the table.

Larry the Mime (Nick in disguise)
The act: A fairly terrible French mime act, complete with poorly-executed invisible box, invisible rope, and more.
The verdict: 4 resounding no’s from the judges, and one very sad-looking mime who launched into a diatribe shortly thereafter.
Court’s thoughts: I honestly feel a bit stupid that I didn’t realize sooner that it was Nick underneath that makeup – but with as kooky as some of the acts have gotten in recent years, I didn’t think it was completely off-the-wall to have a disgruntled mime on the show. So touché, Nick…touché 😉

Jaycob Curlee – from Daphne, AL
The act: He sang and played an acoustic version of “Waiting on the World to Change”.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: It was pretty good – nothing terribly special, though. Kind of your garden-variety guy with a guitar and a soft voice trying to be John Mayer. I have a feeling America will feel for his sad backstory, though, and he’ll likely last much longer than he should, a la Jimmy Rose. Yes, I’m cynical. 😛

So those were my thoughts on the acts we saw last night…what are yours? Do you have an early favorites?

May 28, 2014 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 Live Show #3 – Power Rankings

I think after tonight’s show, my fear that season 8 will turn into a battle of the singers (with only a few other unique acts thrown in) seems to be coming true – and I partially blame the judges, who seemed to lavish over-the-top praise on even the most mediocre singers tonight.  I really hope some of the singers cancel each other out in the semifinals – because if not, I fear this season could get REALLY dull, really quick.

1.) Kenichi Ebina – Most unique and creative act of the night for me, and I love that this guy’s skills extend beyond dancing into martial arts and animation.  I just love watching him! I would say he’s probably the only act from last night that’s a sure thing – if he doesn’t make it through, something is seriously wrong with America.

2.) Chicago Boyz – Best energy of any act of the night, for sure.  Loved that they had some new tricks to show off – they really upped the ante this time – and that they never were sitting still: if they weren’t doing a stunt, they were hyping up the crowd.  And best of all: they looked like they were having the time of their lives out there.  Hopefully America thought so too.

3.) Deanna Dellacioppa – Deanna was better last night than she was at her initial audition and her Vegas performance, I’ll give her that.  But I still don’t think she’s as stellar a vocalist as the judges (and she herself) seem to think she is.  Something about the texture of her voice just bugs me – some of the notes sound thin and choppy, and others come across as too sharp and forceful. On top of that, I just get this diva-ish air from her – the way she gets overdramatic when talking about how she’s always been looked over due to her weight, the freaking out about her backing track in Vegas, the cheesy Beyonce-esque hand gestures during her performance.  You’re not there yet, honey.  However, I think the gushing from the judges (and the fact that she’s one of the only female solo vocalists left in the competition) give her a decent shot of advancing to the next round.  I’d be fine if she didn’t…but I said the same thing about Marty Brown, and I’m still eating crow about that one.

4.) The American Military Spouses Choir – Sometimes I wonder if the judges hear something completely different while in the live audience at Radio City than we the viewers do at home – because I found myself feeling only lukewarm about this performance.  Once again, I felt like there were one or two women doing all the heavy vocal lifting, and those in the backround were only managing to contribute some off-key humming.  I really disliked the arrangement of the song – I could barely tell that it was “Hero”, because of some of the pitch changes they made.  Do these ladies do great work and have a heartwarming backstory? Absolutely.  But do they have the talent to stick around and hang with some of the stronger acts this season? I’m not so sure.  I think their backstory will probably carry them through to the next round (much like Marty Brown’s did last week), but I think they’re probably going to stick out like a sore thumb next to some of the really strong acts in the semifinals.

5.) Jonathan Allen – I’ll admit – Jonathan sounded good last night, save for one dodgy note at the very end of his performance.  But I’m left a bit on-the-fence about him: do we really need a THIRD opera act in the semifinals? Will America put a third opera act into the semifinals? That’s the big question mark of the evening for me.  I actually think Jonathan sounded better than both Deanna & AMSC last night, but I don’t feel like he got as hyped by the judges – probably because they already have opera crushes on Forte and Branden James (who I’m still not all that impressed with). He seems like a good kid with legitimate talent – but if it comes down to him and another act in the judges’ choice (a more appropriate name seems to be the “judges’ cop-out”), I think they’ll pick the other act, simply because we have 2 opera acts already.

6.) Jim Meskimen – He’s another act that did fairly well last night, but I’m just not sure what America is going to make of him.  I definitely think he’s better than Angela Hoover, but I also think he had tougher competition last night than Angela did – and some of his impersonations were only so-so (I didn’t really “get” the Clooney and Woody Allen ones).  My gut feeling is that he’ll probably get lost in the sea of singers from last night, but I think there’s still a slim chance he could advance to the next round…guess we’ll have to wait and see.

7.) Mitsi Dancing School – What they do is really spellbinding to watch – the precision with which they dance is just amazing to me.  But I worry that their routine may have gotten a bit repetitive, and the ease with which they did some of those precise moves may not get appreciated as much as it should by the audience.  Had they thrown in some more acrobatic stuff, I think they would have stood a better chance of making it through – but unfortunately, I think they’re going to end up one of those “pleasant to watch” acts that doesn’t really leave a lasting impression.

8.) Dave “The Cobra Kid” Weathers – I think Howard actually summed up the problem with this act the best: the act depends heavily on the snake, and the snake didn’t deliver.  No doubt cobras are extremely dangerous animals – but I think Dave’s problem last night was that his cobra seemed more in the mood for flight than fight, and kept slithering away…which diminished the dangerous feel of his act.  On top of that, I think the fact that he didn’t really have a specific goal to his act made it feel a bit aimless – in his first audition, the goal was to get the rattlesnake to pop the balloon in his mouth; what was the goal this time? Taunt the snake and then shove it back into a box? I like the guy, but I think his act has hit its plateau on AGT.

9.) Leon Etienne & Romy Low – I think in the struggle to do something cool & unique, Leon & Romy may have confused their audience a bit – which hurt them even though their trick was quite impressive for those who were able to keep up with it.  The whole “deliberately show the audience that we’re faking trick A so that they aren’t paying attention to trick B” scheme would have been genuis, had it been explained better from the get-go – and if they hadn’t wasted so much time trying to distract us with the first trick, I think the act would have been far better received by both the audience and the judges.  I don’t see them making it through tonight, but I could see them asked back for the wild card round.

10.) Brandon & Savannah – I think these two are proof positive that song choice is crucial at this point – and they picked the wrong one, I’m afraid.  I don’t think this song suited either of their voices well, but Savannah in particular sounded off-key and flat to me tonight, which is strange considering that she’s usually the stronger of the two for me.  Overall, unimpresive and forgettable for me last night. 

11.) Kelsey & Bailey – I don’t think Kelsey & Bailey really benefitted too much from the fact that Olate Dogs won last season…and I think they just kind of stick out like a sore thumb as a very mediocre pet trick act.  I agree with Mel that this seemed to get very repetitive and that Bailey seems to have a rather limited repertoire of tricks.  He’s adorable, yes – but I feel like we saw MUCH more impressive stuff from Olate last season.

12.) Aerosphere – Just a big snoozefest for me – too slow-moving and it seemed to take forever to really get started.  I think I only saw one acrobatic trick.  Just…no.

So what are your thoughts on last night’s acts?

August 7, 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 – Roster for 2nd Live Show Airing July 30

I’m sure Nick will annouce the acts for next week’s show at the end of the results show tonight, but so far we know a few of the acts we’ll be seeing next week:

ciana

Ciana also tweeted that she just arrived in New York a few hours ago, so it looks like all of the week 2 acts are making their way there now…

tone

According to Marty Brown’s Facebook, he also arrived in New York last night; and according to Brad Byers’ website, he will be performing at RCMH next Tuesday.

UPDATED: Here’s the complete roster for next week, announced by Nick at the end of this week’s results show.

Ciana Pelekai (child singer)
Tone the Chiefrocca (rapper)
Marty Brown (country singer)
Brad Byers (sword swallower)
Struck Boyz (child hip-hop group)
Forte (opera trio)
Aquanauts (synchronized swimmers)
Angela Hoover (comedic impressionist)
Alexander Magala (sword-swallowing dancer/aerialist)
Kid the Wiz (hat trick dancer)
Dave Shirley (comedian)
Innovative Force (dance/acrobatics group)

Well, I think it’s safe to say that Forte has one of the 4 spots in the semifinals on lock – and I think Marty Brown probably has one, too.  Will be interesting to see who gets the other two…I’m personally rooting for Tone and maybe Ciana too, but I don’t really feel particularly strongly about this group of acts.  The one interesting act here? Aquanauts, who we did not see at all in Vegas – which tells me that some other act that DID make it through to the live shows had to withdraw.  Hmmm…wonder who it could be.  What do you guys think of next week’s acts?

July 24, 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!