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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 16, 2017 I Written By

I'm obssessed with the entertainment industry, especially offbeat and nerdy things as well as those that involve live performance. The only thing I love more than geeking out over the things that entertain me is sharing in my excitement with others who share the same passions. America may have talent, but Canada has an up-and-coming blogger who is ready to take the internet by storm!

America’s Got Talent Season 12 Wildcard Possibilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 2, 2017 I Written By

I'm obssessed with the entertainment industry, especially offbeat and nerdy things as well as those that involve live performance. The only thing I love more than geeking out over the things that entertain me is sharing in my excitement with others who share the same passions. America may have talent, but Canada has an up-and-coming blogger who is ready to take the internet by storm!