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The 10 Best Performances of America’s Got Talent Season 12

Before I start this, I wanted to give a quick shout-out to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund GoFundMe campaign. Any massacre is horrific of course but especially with the connection AGT has with the city I thought it’d be good to share.

I’ve thought a lot about what to do with this blog during the off-season. I know I don’t want it to go completely dormant like last year, so I’m going to try to post at least twice per month. One post will be a roundup of any notable alumni updates and the other will vary a bit. For this month I recently grabbed a copy of Mandy Harvey’s book “Sensing the Rhythm” which was released last week, so I’ll get a review of that up once I’ve finished reading it!

For now, let’s get to the top 10 list! Note that I didn’t allow myself to include multiple performances from the same act so I wouldn’t run out of things to say. 😛

10. Preacher Lawson Proves Himself to be a “Driving” Force in the Competition (Auditions)

While I’ve made it clear I didn’t agree with some of the representation of certain act genres we had in the Season 12 live shows, I think Preacher Lawson was definitely the best comedian of all those we saw by miles, so if we could only have one make it through, I’m glad it was him. Most of his performances were on a similar level for me – all around solid, with a couple laugh-out-loud jokes and good personality to make the lesser material palatable. After re-watching each of them, I still think his best performance was his very first audition.

He started by easing into the jokes by answering each question from the judges with a hint of humor, which made a nice segue into the set itself. As the season went on, Preacher slowly began incorporating more and more of his “over-the-top” bits into his performances, culminating in one long joke in the Finals that lasted about 30 seconds (you know the one :P). But here, we don’t get it until late in the act, giving us time to warm up to his style of humor before taking it to the next level with the grandma impression.

This performance was so good that even though it was one of the very first acts shown in the season premiere, it stuck out in my mind through the following weeks of auditions, and by the time we got to Preacher’s next set in the third episode of the Judge Cuts round, I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation to see what he would bring us next.

9. Billy & Emily England Go for a Spin, Game of Thrones-style (Semi-Finals)

Like most danger performers who’ve gone on AGT, Billy & Emily England were certainly one of the more controversial acts of Season 12. Some people loved them, others feared them, and a few thought their act was more suited to a “redneck family reunion” than a primetime TV talent show (Facebook’s words, not mine).

I was concerned early on that the “wow” factor of the extreme roller-skating would wear off a little too quickly, but in a surprise result (at least to me) they avoided Quarter-Finals Dunkin’ Save territory and spun on straight to the Semis. By the time their second live show rolled around, not only had there been many a comment stating they needed to “step it up” but also many questioning their relationship as siblings. I don’t know if the concept for their Semi-Finals performance was an intentional nod to the speculation of incest, but either way, the Game of Thrones-esque set-up added an extra sense of intensity to the act.

Of course, the theme wasn’t the only thing that made this performance epic; Billy and Emily started out somewhat slow, but that helped them build tension and suspense as they kept adding to the danger with each passing trick. They even maintained strong showmanship whenever they had to pause the actual spinning to maintain their balance. It all culminated in one final daring move we hadn’t seen from them in any of their previous AGT showings; Billy tossing Emily off the platform, ending as the victor of the storyline.

8. Sara & Hero are “Walking on Sunshine” at the Beach (Semi-Finals)

Sara & Hero had kind of a rough start to the season, narrowly making it to the Judge Cuts round. But from there, they charmed the judges and viewers enough to make it all the way the 5th place without ever being on the Dunkin’ Save bubble! I really love Sara’s commitment to training dogs using positive reinforcement, and she managed to raise the bar with pretty much every AGT performance.

The Semi-Finals act is the one that I think worked the best. The beach theme was very well-suited to the “girl and her dogs” storyline and it had the biggest variety of tricks we hadn’t seen from them yet. The beginning with the CPR was arguably the best part since it was the only real “story” section of the performance, but the level of the tricks that followed made up for it. (The volleyball stuff was particularly impressive.) None of them went on for too long, and most of the transitions were smooth enough for Hero and Loki to keep up nicely. There were a couple of mistakes but none of the prevented the routine from progressing as it should (I really liked how Sara just kind of rolled with everything). I would have to say this was probably the most uplifting performance of the season, and it was no surprise for them to make the Finals as a result!

7. Colin Cloud Goes Undercover (Semi-Finals)

I feel like illusion-based acts are always at least a little controversial (“it’s not REAL magic”) but mentalism tends to stir up particularly heated debates. A lot of people are convinced there are plants in the audience or the judges are in on the trick (I highly doubt the latter is true, but I know of an instance or two when the host knew what was up). I know how quite a few of the tricks we’ve seen from this genre over the years are done, and there are a variety of different methods the performers have used. I know a lot of people like to make fun of Colin’s label as the “Real-Life Sherlock Holmes” but since the season ended a couple weeks ago I’ve looked up some videos of him online and the claims of forensic studies seem pretty legit and tied to a lot of his tricks. Granted, most of what he did beyond the Judge Cuts round incorporated less of that stuff, but it still helped me understand/appreciate some of his performances (ie. the Quarter-Finals one) more.

I actually almost selected Colin’s Judge Cuts act for his entry on the list, but I decided that while I did like the tricks in that one better, I think his Semi-Finals showing was stronger as an overall performance. Sometimes it’s not only what we’re seeing, but how it’s presented to us. While watching this on the night it aired I was disappointed at first; we’d seen a very similar illusion performed by Tom London earlier in the season, and that hadn’t boded well for his status in the competition. I was so confused. Why would a mentalist who’d shown he could perform all kinds of cool tricks chose to go down the route of doing one that didn’t even involve those skills? (Well, aside from the first bit with Howie’s phone unlock code.)

Just as I was about ready to give up on Colin, the flashback video started. While it didn’t change the essence of the trick, it added a whole new layer to the performance. The amount of effort put behind all those “clues” (especially in the burger place) was very impressive, and the thing with the board at the end was pretty funny (I’d been confused by the seemingly arbitrary “number of possibilities” since the video calling for tweet submissions was posted online a week prior). Suddenly, a disappointingly lackluster performance became one of my favorites of the entire season. Just goes to show that the delivery and presentation of an act can be equally as impactful as the material itself.

6. Merrick Hanna Dances to “I Built a Friend” (Auditions)

Real talk: the Season 12 premiere was probably one of the best AGT audition round episodes I’ve ever seen. Most of the really memorable auditions were shown in those two hours, and they made for a very strong start to the season. One of the acts in this episode that captivated me the most was Merrick Hanna.

I’d seen lots of animation dancing in the past, but rarely any that actually told a story. Merrick chose a great song to use; it wasn’t mainstream (so everyone would associate it with him) and was about a kind an his robot so the dancing really connected to the music well. His acting was also amazing and really sold the performance. In later rounds, we didn’t get this kind of rawness from Merrick (though he was still very good) but I’m glad we at least got to see it once on AGT.

5. Light Balance Stars a Party in the Dolby (Finals)

As the only Golden Buzzer act that didn’t involve singing, I think a lot of the dance and variety fans were really pulling for Light Balance to go far in the competition…and they did! They actually managed to beat all but two of the singing Golden Buzzers, not to mention every other act of the season!

We’ve seen several light-up dance crews over the years, but what I think made Light Balance special was their polished-ness and memorable characters, most noticeably the Abe Lincoln-esque fellow and the Wolfman. They frequently appeared in their performances and the Wolfman in particular gave way to some neat tricks (like the jail cell escape in this act).

The light-up dance acts can get old after awhile, but the trick is to incorporate different levels of movement, character, and tricks to them to keep things from getting stale. That’s exactly what Light Balance gave us this season, and it all culminated in this full-out dance party of a performance.

4. Diavolo Takes Us on a Journey Through Time and Space (Semi-Finals)

Diavolo is a great example of an act utilizing set pieces well without letting them take over the whole show. Their scenery is carefully selected to showcase what the dancers can do, and what I loved about this performance in particular was the variety of things they incorporated into it. They used several set pieces – each in a different way – and the transitions between each segment were seamless which made the whole act flow very naturally. I’m not entirely sure what the “story” of this performance was supposed to be, but I have a feeling it may have been purposefully vague in order to try to get the audience’s minds working to try to come up with their own unique interpretations.

I really don’t know what else to say about this. How does one even describe Diavolo? “Dance troupe” certainly doesn’t cover it, and neither does “acrobatics group”. I guess the best way to explain Diavolo in a nutshell would simply be “art”.

3. Bello Nock Conquerors the “Wheel of Death” (Quarter-Finals)

Bello Nock may be a seasoned professional at daredevil performances (let’s be real, a lot of the variety acts on AGT are) but that didn’t change the fear we all faced when he took a spin on the “Wheel of Death” for us in the Quarter-Finals.

When Sophie – who was at the live shows that week – first told me what Bello’s act was, I was kind of disappointed. It just didn’t seem very exciting. How could spinning on a giant wheel keep people entertained for three minutes? It just seemed like the awe factor would disappear very quickly. Luckily, Bello managed to create enough intrigue and suspense to keep us on our toes for the entire performance. He started by doing some fun tricks inside the wheel, then suddenly made things much more dramatic by climbing onto the outside of it and slowed things down, making it seem like he might fall off.

The tone change came at just the right time; as soon as the first segment was starting to wear out its welcome, a sudden shift in stakes brought the excitement back. Bello wasn’t just entertaining the audience anymore, but making them root for him. He built the tension at just the right pace and ended with a nail-biting but ultimately satisfying conclusion.

I really thought this performance played into the “fan-favorite Wildcard” storyline quite nicely, and was baffled it sent him packing. (I know some viewers have a disdain for danger acts, but remember, this was the same week that resulted in Billy & Emily making the top 5, so I’m still confused about Bello’s elimination.)

2. Mandy Harvey Semi-Finals: “Release Me” (Semi-Finals)

At first, Mandy’s AGT journey seemed oddly familiar…she came out with a ukulele at the end of the second episode, performed an original song, and received a Golden Buzzer. It felt like she was the second coming of Grace VanderWaal, only with a tragic backstory tacked on for good measure, which – fair or not – made me feel more weary than excited.

Her next showing in the Quarter-Finals was quite nice, but it was her Semi-Finals performance that really got me on board the Mandy train. Her first two songs were light, pretty, and overall pleasant, but in this performance, Mandy shed the sweetness (and the ukulele) and got raw. “Release Me” showed a much darker side of Mandy that we hadn’t yet seen, and there seemed to be so much weight behind every note she sang. Without the ukulele, her body language was much more expressive; the decision to sign the lyrics reminded us of her roadblock in life, but also was a way to use her body to express the sentiment behind the music, and her face was also much more expressive than we’d seen in her previous AGT showings.

Everything came together and made for a powerful performance that dramatically stood out from all the other solo singing acts in Season 12, and I really wish she’d saved this for the last week since her actual performance in the Finals felt like the wall that had been torn down in this one had been rebuilt to a degree.

1. Darci Lynne Farmer Helps Edna Doorknocker Serenade Simon (Semi-Finals)

Darci Lynne Farmer was one of the rare AGT acts that combined three very distinct talents, and I think her showing in the Semi-Finals was her best combination of her ventriloquism, comedy, and singing skills.

Right from when she opened the box, it was clear how dedicated Darci was to making Edna seem like a separate being from herself. The speaking voice was clearly distinct from her own, and when it came time for the song she not only had to nail the complexities of the vocal performance (which involved belting) but had to do it in the character’s voice, which she nailed.

Darci’s comedic chops were as strong as ever, not only in the delivery of the material (especially the hilarious meta AGT references) but also in her facial expressions, even when she was doing the ventriloquism. The best example of this was when she was walking over to Simon while singing. Her voice as Edna was passionate, but her own facial expression was clearly reluctant. It takes a lot of skill for someone to perform one way with their voice and the opposite way with their face, and she had it down pat.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism for Darci’s victory, most of it not actually having anything to do with her or the act itself, but for being “too obvious”. While I found it annoying that the champions of both Seasons 11 and 12 felt determined pretty early on and get wanting to be surprised, that’s more on the producers than the actual talent. I think Darci fully deserved her win, being one of those rare acts that can appeal to music fans and variety-lovers alike.

October 5, 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 Champion Crowned, Vegas Show Line-Up Announced, and an Interesting Observation…

A huge CONGRATULATIONS to the newly-crowned America’s Got Talent Season 12 champion, Darci Lynne Farmer! Check out the Access Hollywood interviews from last night and this morning below! (Love how Terry Fator pops in to congratulate Darci!)

Darci will be headlining this year’s AGT Live! On Stage show in Las Vegas this November 3-4. The pre-sale for tickets is happening now with the code TALENT. Darci will be joined in the show by Season 12 runner-up Angelica Hale, third place finisher Light Balance, and top 10 finalist Preacher Lawson.

Can’t make it to Vegas? Tomorrow I’ll be doing a roundup of other upcoming performances from some of the Season 12 contestants, in addition to a countdown of what I thought were the very best performances of the season. But for now, something has come to my attention I think might make for some interesting discussion. Right after the Season 11 finale last year, Sophie (who you may remember from the livestream we did together last week) posted the following theory on Reddit:

Now, ventriloquism – let alone singing ventriloquism – is not the most common talent. Yes, it’s the second-most common winner category on AGT, but we haven’t had nearly as many ventriloquists on the show as, say, singers or magicians. I think the rarity of it might be the reason people tend to latch onto the ventriloquist acts on AGT, since it’s one of those skills we don’t see many other places in mainstream entertainment. Still, Sophie correctly predicting such a niche act winning Season 12 (before auditions for the season even started) makes me wonder if this “10 year cycle” theory may prove to be true. Let’s look at the winners from Seasons 3-10 to see what might be in store for the next eight years! (And yes, at this rate I do think the show has a good chance of sticking around for that long. Ratings were UP this season; that almost never happens in television these days!)

Season 3: Neal E. Boyd (Pop Opera Singer)
Season 4: Kevin Skinner (Country Singer)
Season 5: Michael Grimm (Singer-Guitarist)
Season 6: Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. (Jazz Singer)
Season 7: Olate Dogs (Dog Act)
Season 8: Kenichi Ebina (Dancing Mime)
Season 9: Mat Franco (Magician)
Season 10: Paul Zerdin (Ventriloquist)

If the pattern continues, it looks like we’re in for a few more years of singers winning, which I’ve kind of been expecting anyway, since so many people are itching to sing for Simon and possibly get signed by SYCO. I think as long as he’s on the judging panel, there will continue to be a lot of singing acts who audition for AGT. At least it’s looking like they’ll come from different genres for the most part. 😛

After that we’d have a dog/animal act win, which would also make sense; Sara & Hero were one of the biggest underdog acts (hehe) going into the live shows this season and they made it all the way to 5th place. And then we’d have a really unique and “out there” winner, followed by another magic act (I seriously can’t believe we’ve only had one win the show so far) and then a fourth ventriloquist champ (I guess by that time the cries of “ventriloquists always win!” will have died down).

Of course, this is all speculation, but it’s kind of an eerie coincidence Season 12 played out just like Sophie said it would! What sort of acts do you think we’ll be getting on AGT in the coming years, and which types do you think the audience might get behind to win?

September 21, 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!

HI HI! IT’S TY-TY! Pure AGT Season 12 Live Show #4: Power Rankings

Yay, I’m getting this up before the eleventh hour for once!

This first group of Semi-Finalists was clearly the weaker one on paper, but some of them really upped their game, and I think tonight turned out to be the best live show of the season yet since the first Quarter-Final. I’m noticing there seems to be a fine line that the acts have to toe at this point in the game; they have to keep upping their game with new elements to each successive performance, but by now they’ve all built a “brand” for themselves that the audience recognizes and by changing things up they risk alienating the fanbase they’ve built this far on the show. I think this is why we’ve often seen (and will likely continue to see) singing acts leave en masse during this round; most of them just don’t have the freedom to play around with their act like the variety performers do. With that in mind, let’s see how the votes seem to be falling this week……

1. Darci Lynne Farmer: With the only act of the season that caters to singing and variety fans alike, it’s no wonder Darci is the odds-on favorite to win the grand prize. Even though she seems to be relegated to the “comedy bit followed by a song” format, I like how she combined the two tonight, as opposed to her previous performance when the song started and the connection with the puppet character dropped a bit. Ventriloquism has actually proven to be the mos successful variety act on AGT, with two representatives in the winner circle from the genre. And in two weeks, we’ll get to see if Darci can be the third member of that exclusive club.

2. Sara & Hero: Remember when everyone was ripping the judges a new one for letting them advance through the Judge Cuts and now their Semi-Final performance has been getting the most love from viewers on social media (other than Darci of course)? Clearly they’re well liked if they were in the top 5 of their Quarter-Final episode; I guess I just underestimated how much support they’ve been getting. It’s certainly not undeserved-I think they’ve stepped up their game more than most others have at this point-I think I’m just surprised that one dog act was cut immediately without even getting a shot at the Dunkin’ Save and the other is likely going to sail into the Finale without ever being on the bubble.

3. Preacher Lawson: The shade was real tonight on AGT. Of  course, everyone is talking about Darci lampooning the parade of old ladies who flirted with Simon earlier this season, but I think Preacher took the cake for me with his “HI HI! IT’S TY-TY!” moment in his set (if you don’t know what that was referencing, click on any AGT YouTube channel video from this season and skip to the end until you get a Tyra bumper). Preacher’s style of comedy may not be for everyone, but like last round, being the only one of his genre is probably going to give him a boost. And his personality is just so infectious it’s hard not to root for him. If he doesn’t make top 3 tomorrow night, I think he’s probably a lock to get the Dunkin’ Save.

4. Mike Yung: His performance felt quite stagnant tonight, without a lot of range in expression or tone. It felt like a less powerful version of what the Masqueraders did two weeks ago, and we all know how that ended for them. However, Mike still seems to be a favorite of quite a few people, and he did get the pimp spot this week, which could indicate that he’s been getting a lot of audience support (though I do think that may actually have hurt him a bit, since he had to follow frontrunner Darci). In the end, I’m going to guess Dunkin’ Save territory for him tomorrow night.

5. Chase Goehring: I thought Chase would be close to a lock to advance to the Finals, but I think he might have fallen under the radar this week. Nothing about his segment was particularly memorable, which is arguably more dangerous than being outright bad. Luckily, I think he’s gained enough devoted followers to get enough votes to be in Dunkin’ Save territory.

6. Evie Clair: Evie definitely seemed less nervous this time around, and her confidence came through in her performance. I think being the only act left to incorporate a “live” piano might also help people remember her. Still, I think it’s her story carrying her through the most, and, while absolutely heartbreaking, I really don’t want it to be the main reason she makes the Finale.

7. Johnny Manuel: Johnny got some mixed reviews last night, and it seems like he could be one of the singer casualties of the week. He has his fans-as well as those who appreciated the choice to perform an original song-behind him. However, the judges were pretty hard on him, his running order spot was meh, and the hype surrounding him has died down considerably (I don’t even remember them mentioning him-or, come to think of it, anyone else but Darci-getting the Golden Buzzer tonight). I think at best he has a shot at sneaking into Dunkin’ Save territory.

8. Billy & Emily England: They were actually one of my favorite parts of the episode-I could tell they made a strong effort to show us some tricks we hadn’t seen before-but it seems many viewers have grown tired of the spinning in circles thing, even with the new stuff. Having been top 5 after their last performance they might make it into Dunkin’ Save territory, but I think their only hope of moving forward is the Judges’ Save, if they even get that chance.

9. Eric Jones: Eric without a doubt improved over his previous performance, but I think his “casual” delivery is really going to hurt him this time. The trick was great, but he faded into the woodwork because of his lack of stage presence compared to most of the other acts in this group.

10. Danell Daymon & Greater Works: I liked this performance, but I’m looking around Facebook and Twitter and it doesn’t seem like a lot of people agree with me….

11. Yoli Mayor: There seems to be a trend with singing performances on reality shows. Those who go for the high notes and belting get over-the-top praise, and those who go for something in the lower register are deemed lesser performers or are just plain forgotten about. I think the latter type of song is more suited to Yoli’s voice, but it’s not what the viewers for these kinds of shows tend to remember. She managed to hang on by a thread in the Quarter-Finals, but I don’t see her having that luck tonight.

September 6, 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 #3: Power Rankings

Last Quarter-Final of Season 12! I have a lot going on with work this week and yesterday’s episode wasn’t all that interesting, so I’m gonna keep this short and to the point. Here’s who I think got the most to least votes last night, starting with…

1. Kechi: I’ve taken to omitting her last name since that’s how she seems to be branding herself (awesome that what is presumably her legal first name also works as a badass stage name). She got the “pimp spot” (aka the final performance of the show) has an especially emotional/inspiring backstory, and gave one of the few performances of the evening that was solid all the way through, so yeah; she’s not going anywhere this week, and I reckon she’ll be in the Finale in September.

2. Chase Goehring: Chase was a Golden Buzzer, delivered a solid (if not especially awe-inspiring) performance last night in a good running order position, and seems to have gained quite the fanbase over the course of the season. He’s another person who shouldn’t have any problem getting through tonight, and I think he has a decent chance at making it to the Finals (how big of one will depend on who else is in his episode next round, particularly if he’s up against Season 12’s other singing-songwriting superstar, Mandy Harvey).

3. Diavolo: The winners of the night for me; this was one of maybe two acts this episode that didn’t feel boring, stale, or pointless. I was captivated all the way through! They also had a good performance spot which will probably help them out. I really hope if they are in the Semis they get put in the episode Light Balance is not in; I fear that voters may not put two dance groups from one episode through and I think both easily deserve to be in the Finale.

4. Danell Daymon & Greater Works: This was the other act that fully held my attention and made me feel excited. I’m sort of on the fence as to whether they’ll be safe on in Dunkin’ Save territory (they did perform first, after all) but much like America loves veterans (a lot, as we found out two weeks ago), I have a feeling they also love choirs. And I really can’t see them in the Bottom 4 when I look at some of the other performances this week.

5. Angelina Green: Or “Angelica” if you ask Simon (even the judges are getting confused between all the singing acts now!) I toyed between Angelina and the act I ended up putting at #6 as to who would be the last one I’d call safe, because while both seem to have quite a few fans, neither were at their best yesterday. But I’m putting Angelina here because she was a Golden Buzzer and the singers have tended to fare better with votes than the variety this season.

6. Colin Cloud: For the whole week leading up to last night, NBC had a promo for the new episode with the tagline “90 seconds to change your life”. Now, clearly some acts were going to go over that timeframe (and I’m pretty sure the “90 seconds” thing was a rule for Judge Cuts, not the live shows) but the fact that they promoted that aspect so heavily for this particular episode is especially hilarious in hindsight after an EIGHT MINUTE ACT from Colin. Like, wow. Even some of the other contestants-who are usually very supportive of their competition-were commenting on the unfairness of that. And I think that might be what lands Colin in the Dunkin’ Save tonight, because it seems a lot of people on Facebook and Twitter were checking their watches during his segment. The idea was interesting, but perhaps a bit too complicated in execution for the AGT stage. I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing him in the Semi-Finals, though, so hopefully he has a better trick up his sleeve for next time.

7. Mike Yung: I think Mike gave a solid-if somewhat shouty-performance last night. However, he is an older singer, and they haven’t usually done very well on AGT. I think he was lucky to perform in the episode he did, because considering how many weak/unmemorable performances there were last night, I think he might have a chance to continue on from here.

8. Sara & Hero: I thought their performance was cute, and I liked the surprise addition of a second dog at the end! I feel like with her story and lesser competition, Sara and her canine companions will probably get more support than the Pompeyo crew did, just not sure how much or if it will be enough to keep them around for another go at it.

9. Oskar & Gaspar: I thought the technology was cool, but I didn’t see much of a response from people. Acts with videomapping have mostly gotten lukewarm responses on this show, and most of those involved movements from the “human canvases”, so I can’t imagine one with people standing still would do better.

10. Final Draft: When I have to Google an episode that aired less than 24 hours ago to remember they even performed, that might be a bad sign. I think the underwhelmingness of it all might have boiled down to song choice.

11. Junior & Emily: They performed in the second place “death slot”, but they did up their game a little to include a bit more than just spinning in their routine. Unfortunately, I don’t think it was enough to make them stand out in enough people’s minds and garner the support they needed to stay in the game.

12. Oscar Hernandez: I actually love him, but his running order slot coupled with the fact that Mel B just HAD to point out the forgotten choreography-even in a compliment-is probably not going to bode well for him.

August 30, 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 #2: Power Rankings

So, last night was….a time. As Mel B put it, the show was a rollercoaster. With multiple malfunctions, buzzers, and jokes that were meant to ease the tension but ended up making things even more awkward, the actual performances seemed to be a sideshow to all the malfunctions behind the scenes and antics at the judges’ table. I thought there was no sinking lower than “Judge Cuts #2”, but last night’s s***show might have given it a run for its money as a contender for “Worst Episode of Season 12”. And since, as I said, the response to the acts seems to have taken a backseat to the buzz about all the drama, and the relatively little commentary I have seen on the performances has been pretty negative. Still, seven acts will be going through to the next round tomorrow, so I guess I’ll take a stab at trying to figure out who they might be, starting with…

1. Mandy Harvey: I was expecting a lot more hype about Mandy from people tonight, but unfortunately I think her thunder was stolen by all the craziness that had already happened throughout the night, so by the time it was her turn to perform, I think the audience was just kind of drained and not really excited for anything anymore. Regardless, even if she didn’t exactly bring the house down, she still managed to end the show on a pleasant note and received one of the few overall positive reactions of the evening so I don’t think the sideshow will bring her down. Mandy is the only act I’m 100% sure is automatically advancing tomorrow night, and to be honest I think she’s probably the only one in this Quarter-Final group with a real shot at the grand prize.

2. Johnny Manuel: Okay, so I wouldn’t put MONEY on Johnny getting this much support, but since the general reaction to everyone from here down has been lukewarm to extremely negative I have to go with what I’ve got, and from what I’ve seen, Johnny was one of the only acts to overall please the Facebook crowd (aka the toughest critics but most likely the closest way to see what the general audience at home thinks). I do wonder if having a history in professional entertainment will hurt him in votes, since I think that might have been Bello’s downfall last week, but I’m leaning towards it not being that big of a dealbreaker for voters in comparison to certain aspects of some of the other acts in this episode.

3. Evie Clair: If Evie is not one of the five acts automatically advancing tonight I’m sure she’ll be in the Dunkin’ Save group. Regardless of the method of her safety, I doubt she’s going anywhere this week, moreso because of her story than her performance. Yes, the situation with her father is heartbreaking and I wish him and the family all the best, but her singing was clearly off in some places (though I did like the candle setup and her shaking things up a bit by bringing the piano in). A lot of people seem to recognize this, but I think all the malfunctions in the surrounding acts may have made her look better to the audience by comparison. As for myself, I really wouldn’t mind losing her at this stage, but I doubt that’s happening.

4. Light Balance: I was so sad that these guys didn’t get to perform for the crowd last night, but was so happy we still got to see their act! They definitely won the night for me, especially with that amazing transition to the Wolfman! I think LB got an overall positive reaction based on the act itself, but I’ve seen quite a few people upset over the performance technically not being “live”. I would brush that off, but last week seemed to prove that some viewers have strange motivations for voting (or more accurately, NOT voting) for an act. Since they weren’t forgettable or a trainwreck I’d say they’re probably going to get through, just not not sure whether it’ll be automatically or from the middle zone.

5. Merrick Hanna: Again, not sure whether Merrick is actually going to end up in top five, but I’m confident he’ll at least have a chance at going through tonight. Some have commented that his robot dancing is getting repetitive, and that the production of the act overshadowed his performance this round (I wish they’d put a light on him….LOL). But I think being a child act may be an asset here; many viewers seem to find him cute and charming, and I think he’s gained quite a few fans during his time on the show. But if he does end up in Dunkin’ Save I think he has a pretty good shot at getting it, since he’s one of the internet’s favorite acts of the week.

6. Celine Tam: Buzz about Celine was pretty mum last night, especially considering she’s a Golden Buzzer act and a child singer. I think her running order spot, Mel B’s comment about the song choice, and the continuous comparisons between she and Angelica might put her in a bad spot this week. She seems to have a lot of fans, but it looks like most of the following she’s gained has come from places other than America, which is cool….except AGT voting is banned outside of America. (There are ways of doing it, but I doubt they’re widely known.) I’m going to say she ends up in Dunkin’ Save territory tonight and I’m not sure what happens from there.

7. Pompeyo Family Dogs: After a string of controversial performances, seeing these adorable poodles (I think?) come out and strut their stuff was probably a nice palate cleanser for the audience, and I think that helped them escape some of the criticism they would have faced otherwise (remember: after their Judge Cuts episode people were not happy about them making it to the live shows). I also think their running order spot of second last might help them the way it did Billy & Emily last week.  However, I kind of doubt they’ll move on even if they make the Dunkin’ Save, since it seems like the audience feels more connected to several other acts that performed last night.

8. Eric Jones: I have no idea how the average at-home viewer reacted to Eric’s performance last night. The trick was cool but something we’ve seen a lot of, and instead of being a “showman” he was very casual about it all. I personally found this somewhat refreshing, but I fear it may have made him forgettable to viewers. The internet seems determined to “expose” acts (aka show how they’re done) and a lot of people immediately jumped on Eric for his somewhat sloppy delivery of his trick this week, but it’s hard to tell whether or not the casual viewer would have noticed the little giveaways. The main thing Eric has going for him is that he’s not only the only traditional magician of the week, but of all the live shows (yes, I’m pretty sure we’re getting Tom back as a Wildcard next week, but the general audience doesn’t know that) so he might squeeze through tonight by being an outlier in a sea of musical acts.

9. The Masqueraders: And speaking of acts that people are determined to “expose”……the main storyline of this trio is that they’re finally hitting the big time and living out their dreams after half a century of getting rejected by record companies. However, as some have found, they seem to have recorded and released at least a few songs to moderate success about 50 years ago. I know the show is allowed to tamper with the backstories as much as they want, but if this is true, things just got reaaaaaally awkward. However, I think the vast majority of the AGT audience is unaware of this and are basing their votes solely on what the show airs of the acts. I was actually very impressed with these guys last night. It was clear they were very grateful to be performing together and just overall having a blast. I think they have an okay shot at getting into Dunkin’ Save territory-and maybe even cracking top five-but I have a feeling they’re probably done tonight.

10. Brobots & Mandroidz: I actually enjoyed these guys quite a bit, but the majority of people seemed to either forget they even performed  or view them as the Wal-Mart version of Just Jerk. Like Celine, I think their chances got diminished by performing after an act they’ve been closely compared to (especially since both B&M and Celine have generally been regarded as the “lesser” act when matched up against their respective counterparts). Performing alongside Golden Buzzer Light Balance and viral hit Merrick Hanna probably didn’t help either, and same with their running order. Unfortunately, I just don’t see these guys moving on tonight.

11. Mirror Image: Much like the Masqueraders, Colton and Trent seemed to be having the time of their lives up their on the Dolby stage. For me, this performance wasn’t as “so bad it’s good” as their Judge Cuts one, but I still , and I couldn’t help but be happy for them (and I thought it was sweet of Heidi to hold Simon’s hand away from the buzzer…..only for him to buzz after the performance was finished). I know Reddit and 4chan have a campaign going to get the to the Finale as revenge for Simon putting down other variety acts, but their collective power likely doesn’t hold a candle to that of the average viewing audience, and the vast majority of that crowd seems to despise this act.

12. Demian Aditya: As repetitive as Demian’s act has become, I felt so bad that he was unable to finish his performance last night. His act more than any of the others was overshadowed by all the drama with the judges, and like Light Balance, many viewers are actually blaming him for the technical difficulties. I guess he might pick up a couple sympathy votes, but if he did, I haven’t seen very many. However, I do think after all the craziness with his segment last night he might end up being the Semi-Finals Wildcard.

August 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 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!