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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. ūüėõ

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!

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 AGT Season 12: Who Will Be the Top 10?

We FINALLY know the scheduled acts for the next two weeks, but there’s barely any time before the first Semi-Final show starts so I’m not going to get to do as deep of an analysis as I was hoping. ūüôĀ But I’ll still quickly predict a top 10 (aka the Finalists!):

Week #1 – September 5-6 2017
Top 3: Darci Lynne Farmer, Chase Goehring, Johnny Manuel
Bottom 5: Yoli Mayor, Eric Jones, Billy & Emily England, Mike Yung, Danell Daymon & Greater Works
Dunkin’ Save: Preacher Lawson
Judges’ Choice:¬†Sara & Hero if it’s a majority/Evie Clair if it’s split and they go to the viewers

Week #2 – September 12-13 2017
Top 3: Angelica Hale, Mandy Harvey, Diavolo
Bottom 5: In the Stairwell, Colin Cloud, Celine Tam, Light Balance, WILDCARD
Dunkin’ Save: Kechi
Judges’ Choice: Between Christian Guardino/Merrick Hanna and they tie so Christian goes through with more audience votes

September 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!

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, someone 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 are 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!

Pure America’s Got Talent Season 12 Live Shows Masterpost

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

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

Quarter-Finals Week #2: August 22-23 2017
Brobots & Mandroidz
Celine Tam
Demian Aditya
Eric Jones (Won Judges’ Choice Tiebreaker via Viewer Votes)
Evie Clair (Dunkin’ Save)
Johnny Manuel
Light Balance
Mandy Harvey
The Masqueraders (Lost Judges’ Choice Tiebreaker)
Merrick Hanna
Mirror Image
Pompeyo Family Dogs

Quarter-Finals Week #3: August 29-30 2017
Angelina Green (Lost Judges’ Choice)
Chase Goehring
Colin Cloud (Dunkin’ Save)
DaNell Daymon & Greater Works (Won Judges’ Choice)
Diavolo
Final Draft (Wildcard)
Junior & Emily
Kechi Okwuchi
Mike Yung
Oscar Hernandez
Oskar & Gaspar (Wildcard)
Sara & Hero

Semi-Finals Week #1: September 5-6 2017
Billy & Emily England
Chase Gohering (Won Judges’ Choice)
Danell Daymon & Greater Works
Darci Lynne Farmer
Eric Jones (Lost Judges’ Choice)
Evie Clair (Dunkin’ Save-first act in the show’s history to win the DS twice)
Johnny Manuel
Mike Yung
Preacher Lawson
Sara & Hero
Yoli Mayor

Semi-Finals Week #2: September 12-13 2017
Angelica Hale
Celine Tam
Christian Guardino
Colin Cloud (Lost Judges’ Choice)
Diavolo (Won Judges’ Choice)
In the Stairwell
Kechi Okwuchi (Dunkin’ Save)
Light Balance
Mandy Harvey
Merrick Hanna
Pompeyo Family Dogs (Semi-Finals Wildcard)

Finals: September 19-20 2017
Angelica Hale (Runner-Up)
Chase Goehring (Top 10)
Darci Lynne Farmer (WINNER)
Diavolo (Top 10)
Evie Clair (Top 10)
Kechi Okwuchi (Top 10)
Light Balance (Third Place)
Mandy Harvey (Fourth Place)
Preacher Lawson (Top 10)
Sara & Hero (Fifth Place)

August 12, 2017 I Written By

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

America’s Got Talent Season 12 Quarter-Finals Show 1: Act Lineup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 10, 2017 I Written By

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

Pure America’s Got Talent Season 12 Judges Cuts 3 and 4: Power Rankings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 9, 2017 I Written By

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