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PureAGT Season 8 Vegas Week Predictions – Novelty/Kid Acts

I’m down to my last set of predictions before Vegas week starts airing tonight – be sure to check out my analysis of the singers, dancers & acrobats, and danger acts & comedians to catch up.

Novelty acts:

Kid the Wiz: A long shot.  I don’t know that there’s a whole lot more that he can do with this act – and I have a feeling the novelty of it will wear thin in Vegas.

Megan Piphus: Looking likely.  A young, gorgeous ventriloquist that’s incredibly skilled – she’s a novelty, and that works in her favor.

Steven “Sprice” Price: A sure thing.  Just like they fell in love with the Kinetic King 2 years ago, I think they’ll fall in love with Sprice – plus he’s one of the more grandiose acts, requiring a lot of stage space, which they seem to enjoy.

Rong Niu: Looking likely.  She’s exciting and likeable, and I bet she’s got more up her sleeve that just flipping bowls.

Kelsey & Bailey: Could go either way. It’s a cute act, but it’s no Olate Dogs…and how many more tricks can Bailey do? We may have already seen the best they can do.

Spintacular: Could go either way.  It’s cool that they’re a large family that performs together, and they do have some cool stuff – but I can’t shake the feeling that their act looks too busy when they’re on the stage all at once, and it can distract from all the cool stuff they’re doing.

Tummy Talk: Could go either way.  I guess this is this season’s Horse – an act that people either love or hate.  It’s creative, no doubt, but a tad gross.

Aquanauts: Looking likely. As I mentioned before, they do seem to pick a handful of acts each season that require the judges to venture outside of the regular theater…and this one was pretty cool.

 

Kid Acts:

Anna Christine: A sure thing.  She’s the second coming of Anna Graceman – only better.  Plus they seem to really like kids that can play piano and sing.

Pacific Boys’ Choir: Looking likely.  I don’t know that we’ve ever had an all-boys choir – that uniqueness could be their ticket into the live shows.

Jonas & Ruby: Could go either way.  My gut tells me that they’re probably only going to take one ballroom kid couple this season for the live shows, but I also can’t shake the feeling that they LOVE the fact that they’ve got siblings competing against one another.  If they take 2 couples – I’d say Jonas & Ruby are in.

D’Angelo & Amanda: A sure thing.  If they only take one ballroom act this season, I’d put money on it being D’Angelo & Amanda – they’re the most polished of the kid ballroom couples, and they know how to really perform.

Struck Boyz: Could go either way.  They’re cute, but when you compare them to some of the other adult dance acts? They look a bit weak.  Then again, they seem like they could really appeal to adolescent girls…I just don’t know.

Lil Demon: Looking likely.  If they liked Future Funk in season 5, this kid is right up that alley.  He’s adorable, he’s got mad skills, and there’s not really anyone else like him this season.

Sophia Lucia: Looking likely.  Adorable little girl with an insane amount of dance skill for her age.

Izzy & Aaralyn: A long shot.  As I’ve said since their audition aired – I really think they were put through just because they thought the little girl was kind of unique, and that they’re probably going to get cut pretty quickly once they get to Vegas.  I would be very, very surprised if they got sent to the live shows.

2Unique: A long shot.  Nothing terribly unique (no pun intended) about their act – one girl is singing along rap songs, and the other is fiddling around with a turntable.  I don’t know that the rapper is all that talented, and that the audience can fully appreciate what the DJ is doing.

Ciana Pelekani: Could go either way.  There’s a lot of competition for the young female singers this season, and I think Ciana may have some work to do if she wants to catch up to Olivia & Skilyr vocally.  Then again, she is the only young soul singer this season…who knows.

Olivia Rox: Could go either way.  I think she’s got some big competition in Skilyr, and Mel did seem a bit skeptical about some of her vocal skills.  She’s cute & marketable, but she may have some work to do.

Fresh Faces: Looking likely.  Another adorable dance/gymnastics act, and we don’t have a small group of dancers like this.

Yasha & Daniela: A long shot.  I personally find them to be the weakest of the three ballroom kid couples we’ve seen – I think both D’Angelo & Amanda and Jonas & Ruby have stronger technique and better stage presence…plus I just don’t see them taking three ballroom kid couples to the live shows.

Chloe Chanel: Could go either way.  A good voice, but a bit lacking in stage presence.  She may be one act that just needs another year or two of experience before coming back to try again.

Mestizo Ballet Folklorico: A long shot.  I think they made it through to Vegas based more on cuteness than anything else – the act itself is pretty basic and they probably don’t have a whole lot more they can do in Vegas.

Skilyr Hicks: A sure thing.  A mature-beyond-her-years singer/songwriter/musician that looks like a young Selena Gomez.  Totally marketable.

So there we have it…the last of my predictions before the show tonight.  What do you guys think of the Novelty & Kid acts this year?

July 16, 2013 I Written By

Ultrasound specialist by day, entertainment blogger by night - with some amateur dancer, hair & makeup enthusiast, crazy cat lady, recreational chef, and Donnie Wahlberg/Norman Reedus fangirl peppered in to make things interesting ;-) Check out some of my other work over at puredwts.com!

PureAGT Season 8 Vegas Week Roster

To help jog everyone’s memory before the first Vegas episode on Tuesday, here’s the list of all the acts we saw make it through to Vegas from the audition rounds – keep in mind that we might not see all of these acts in Vegas, as there’s usually a handful of acts that either don’t come to Vegas (for whatever reason) or just aren’t shown on camera.  There are 86 acts listed here – 38 of them won’t make it to the live show.  I’ve done my best to try and put them into the categories I think they’ll be placed into once they reach Vegas – acts with a * next to them are acts that fit into more than one category, and I’m not positive which one they’ll end up being placed in.  The “kid acts” in particular are a bit ambiguous – not sure what the age cutoff is going to be. 

Also keep in mind that (if we’re following the pattern of previous seasons), these acts will be further divided into “judges favorites” (group A), “stand-by acts” (group B), and “instant decisions” (group C).  The judges favorites are the acts that the judges think have the best chance of making it to the live shows, and will perform the first day of the Vegas rounds; the stand-by acts are the acts that will perform if there are any spots that remain after the judges favorites have performed; and the “instant decision” acts will either get a free pass to the live shows (without having to perform in Vegas), or will get sent home (without having to perform in Vegas). 

Singers:

Marty Brown (country)
Tone the Chiefrocca (rapper)
Paul Thomas Mitchell (acoustic rock)
Deanna DellaCioppa (R&B/soul)
David Fenley (acoustic rock)
Lil Mike & Funny Bone (rappers)
Cami Bradley (country)
Sully Dunn (alternative rock)
Jimmy Rose (country)
Milton Patton (country)

Classical Singers:

Travis Pratt (tenor)
Jonathan Allen (baritone)
Forte (opera trio)
Branden James (tenor)

Bands/Musical Groups:

3Penny Chorus & Orchestra (orchestra)
Mariachi Nuevo Estilo AVM (mariachi)
American Military Spouses Choir (choir)
University of Virginia Gospel Chorale (gospel choir)
Brandon & Savannah (pop rock band)*
The American Hit Men (rock band)
212 Green (pop rock band)

Dancers:

Ron & Liza (ballroom)
Kenichi Ebina (hip-hop/robotics)
Bones & the Machine (bone breaking)
Dylan Wilson (animation/hip hop)

Dance groups:

Catapult Entertainment (silhouette performers)*
The Academy (Irish step dancers)
Hype (hip-hop)
B-Extreme (hip hop/stunts)
Hammerstep (Irish step dancing/hip hop)
The Rock Dance Project (jazz/ballet/modern)
Studio 19 Dance Complex (jazz/ballet)
Tellavision (LCD screen dancers)
Mitsi Dancing School (Chinese folk dancing)
SensEtion (video projection dancers)

Acrobats:

Tristan Jih (aerialist)
Duo Resonance (acrobalance)
Kyle & Darby (cheerleading stunts)*
Kristef Brothers (hand balancing)
Chicago Boyz (jump rope/tumbling)
Innovative Force (dance/acrobatics)*
Aerial Ice (figure skaters/aerialists)
Aerosphere (balloon aerialist)
Tavi & Antonio (aerialists)
Timber Brown (aerial pole)

Danger acts:

David “The Cobra Kid” Weathers (snake handler)
Brad Byers (sword swallower)
Alexanderia the Great (escape artist)
Slackwire Sam (swaypole artist)
Omega Force Strength Team (strongman act)
Team Rock (martial arts)
David Ferman (dangerous juggler)
Alex Magala (sword-swallowing breakdancer)*

Magicians:

Special Head (levitator)
Collins Key (up-close magic)
Leon Etienne (illusionist)
Naathan Phan (escape artist/card tricks)

Comedians:

Dave Shirley (LCD screen comedian)
Angela Hoover (celebrity impressionist)
Taylor Williamson (stand-up comedy)
Jim Meskimen (celebrity impressionist)
Kevin Downey Jr. (stand-up comedy)

Novelty acts:

Kid the Wiz (hat trick artist)*
Megan Piphus (ventriloquist)
Steven “Sprice” Price (Rube Goldberg machines)
Rong Niu (bowl juggler)
Kelsey & Bailey (dog tricks)
Spintacular (basketball tricks)
Tummy Talk (human drum act)
Aquanauts (synchronized swimming)

Kid Acts:

Anna Christine (singer/pianist)
Pacific Boys’ Choir (choir)
Jonas & Ruby (ballroom dancers)
D’Angelo & Amanda (ballroom dancers)
Struck Boyz (hip hop)
Lil Demon (breakdancer)
Sophia Lucia (jazz/ballet)
Izzy & Aaralyn (death metal band)
2Unique (rapper/DJ)
Ciana Pelekani (singer)
Olivia Rox (singer/guitarist)*
Fresh Faces (dancers/gymnasts)
Yasha & Daniela (ballroom dancers)
Chloe Chanel (singer)
Mestizo Ballet Folklorico (mariachi dancers)
Skilyr Hicks (singer)*

July 12, 2013 I Written By

Ultrasound specialist by day, entertainment blogger by night - with some amateur dancer, hair & makeup enthusiast, crazy cat lady, recreational chef, and Donnie Wahlberg/Norman Reedus fangirl peppered in to make things interesting ;-) Check out some of my other work over at puredwts.com!

PureAGT Season 8 Audition Round Rundown #6 – L.A./New Orleans/New York Auditionss

Well, if nothing else, tonight saw the greatest amount of dissent amongst the judges as we’ve seen all season – seems like we had a lot of 3-against-1 situations when it came down to the vote, and Howie was often the lone dissenter.  He also showed up late to the L.A. auditions, and spent an awful lot of time wandering around the venue, pretending to be lost.  He’s special :-)

Gonna go ahead and do the L.A. auditions tonight; look for the New Orleans and New York ones tomorrow.

Los Angeles:

Olivia Rox – age 14
The actSang and played an acoustic cover of Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me”.
The verdictAll three judges (minus Howie, who was still MIA at that point) said yes, but Mel cautioned her to be careful not to get too crazy when covering a song.
Court’s thoughts: Wow…she had the coolest-sounding, gravelly voice.  It’s what I might have imagined Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine might have sounded like as a teenager.  Loved the fact that she took a pretty lame song and turned it into a cool, edgy one.  But I do agree with Mel a bit – she did seem to really vacillate a lot between barely whispering the song and then belting it out full force.  Maybe tone it down just a bit.  I get the feeling we’re going to see her pitted against Anna Christine for a spot in the live shows.

Ronald Farnham – age 44
The actHe threw toilet plungers at a line of men with no shirts off, hoping to make them stick.
The verdictOnly one plunger actually stuck to its intended target, and Howard, Heidi, & Mel all said no…but they did remark that, had Howie been there, he probably would have said yes.
Court’s thoughts: I think this was nothing more than a case of “Hmmm, I want to be on tv.  What’s the quickest and easiest way to accomplish that goal? I KNOW! I just need to come up with some stupid act for AGT.” It’s acts like these that leave me a bit chagrined to the fact that AGT’s format is a bit of a double-edged sword: it leaves the door open for cool, unique acts to get some exposure, but it also tends to inadvertently invite bozos like this guy to come and just waste time and say they’ve been on national television.

Harry Kurtz – age 62
The actHe was rapping…about something.  Lord knows what.
The verdict: 3 no’s.
Court’s thoughts: Just another time-killer.

Mr. Television
The act: A guy telling corny puns behind a tv screen.
The verdictNo X 3.
Court’s thoughts: Was tonight the night of the bad pun? They seemed to be everywhere I turned.  Ack.

Tummy Talk – ages 26-31
The actThree guys rhythmically slapping a shirtless sumo wrestler as if he were a drum.
The verdictHoward wasn’t feeling it and said no, but the other 3 said yes.
Court’s thoughts: As ridiculous as this act sounds on paper, I actually found it pretty entertaining.  I get the feeling the guys doing the slapping probably have some sort of drumming experience, because they were actually creating some pretty complex patterns and rhythms – it sounded cool, even if it was the sound of hands slapping against jiggly flesh.  :-P I guess I just kind of feel sorry for the guy being slapped, although he didn’t look too much worse for the wear after it was all over.  A little red, maybe, but not upset.  I doubt these guys will make it to the live shows, but I don’t mid watching them one more time in Vegas.

Fresh Faces
The act5 adolescent girls doing a dance/gymnastics routine to “Die Young” by Ke$ha.
The verdictJudges loved it and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I was actually really impressed with how in sync these girls were – add to that the fact that they were doing some pretty tough shows of flexibility, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them perform again in Vegas.  Very cute girls, very cute act, very AGT-friendly.

Jim Meskimen
The actHe’s an impressionist that imitated Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams, and Ricky Gervais.
The verdictJudges praised how spot-on the impressions were and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I think Angela Hoover just met her biggest competition this season – and unfortunately for her, I think this guy is better.  I think what put him ahead for me was that he really seemed to embrace the mannerisms of the celebs he was imitating – he was pulling faces like DeNiro and flailing around like Robin Williams.  Angela’s good, but I think this guy is GREAT.  I could totally see him in the live shows.

“Sword-Swallowing Breakdancer”Alex Magala
The act: A guy swallowed a sword, then proceeded to breakdance while it was still down his throat.
The verdictJudges loved the danger factor – he’s through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: It was a bit odd for me – I don’t know that the sword swallowing part was significantly improved by the dancing, and vice-versa.  It just seemed like a “I’m gonna swallow a sword before I dance just so I can say I was thinking out of the box and being creative”.  That said, this guy actually seemed like a pretty good dancer – except that he was maybe moving a bit too cautiously due to the sword in his throat.  Not sure if I really think this one is live show-worthy…

“Aerial/Skating act”Aerial Ice
The actTwo couples performing pairs figure skating lifts & tricks, while a third couple did aerial work suspended above the “ice rink”.
The verdictJudges were blown away, especially by the fact that AGT has never had an ice skating act before.  They’re through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: My favorite audition of the night – this really was a genius act.  Sure, we’ve had aerialists and acrobats and couples doing lifts – but none of them were doing it while wearing skates.  Loved the combination of artistry and technique, and I really want them to make it to the live shows.

SenSetion
The actThey’re another “lights out” dance act that incorporates dancing with images projected onto blocks.
The verdictHeidi said it made her bored and said no.  Howard wanted more dance, but along with Mel & Howie, ended up saying yes to put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: *sigh* Ok, the whole “let’s dance in the dark with lasers!” act is getting a bit tired for me.  It was cool when Fighting Gravity did it in season 5; it was still kind of neat when Team iLuminate did it in season 6; it was getting a little old when Lightwire Theater did it last season; and now? I’m not sure America really wants another dance/optics act.  It was cool and fun to watch, no doubt – but I do agree with Howard that there could have been more dancing, and that they really need to work on their act a bit more.  They have a good idea; they just need to really flesh it out more.  Unless they blow the judges out of the water in Vegas, I don’t see them moving onto the live rounds.

New Orleans:

Yasha & Daniela – ages 9 & 8
The act: They’re ballroom dancing kids that performed a samba/jive medley to “Shake Senora” by Pitbull and “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner.
The verdict: Judges thought they were adorable and put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Ok, here’s another opinion of mine that probably won’t be popular: I actually thought these two were kind of sloppy compared to D’Angelo & Amanda and Jonas & Ruby. Very cute, and good stage presence, but I don’t think their skill level is up to snuff with what the Castros are doing this season. And I still think that only one ballroom act is going to make it through to the live shows this season – and my money’s on D’Angelo & Amanda.

Aerosphere
The act:A girl in an aerial balloon floated over the audience, do all sorts of twists & turns.
The verdict: Judges praised her uniqueness and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: We only got to see a brief clip, so I’m not sure if she did more than what was shown, but it just seemed to me like she’s another aerialist…just doing the same stuff while hanging from a balloon. It was cool, but I don’t know that the balloon made it particularly special.

Jimmy Rose – age 32, from Pikeville, KY
The act: Jimmy played the guitar and sang an original song called “Coal Keeps the Lights On”.
The verdict: Judges were amazed at his talent and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: What a beautiful, vulnerable performance. This year is quickly becoming the year of the original song, and I thought this one was fantastic – loved how he incorporated his coal mining background into his music. I also loved his voice – it was a little shaky at times, but it’s the kind of country vocal that is sought after by so many and I feel like this guy is a natural. At this point, I’d actually pick Jimmy over Marty Brown for the live shows – I feel like Jimmy’s a bit more organic and has more of a natural talent.

Abel Marillo – age 50
The act: Yet another “homemade instrument” act.
The verdict: No’s across the board.
Court’s thoughts: Not only am I kind of over the whole “hey, let’s make instruments out of household items!” act, but it seemed like half this guy’s instruments didn’t even really work.

Captain Explosion – age 65
The act: He exploded a box…while he was inside of it.
The verdict: Judges were split – Howie & Mel said yes, Howard & Heidi said no. No Vegas for him.
Court’s thoughts: Was it kind of cool that he managed to survive an explosion? Sure. But I’m not really sure that there was any way this could have been parlayed into an entire Vegas show – what would he do? Just sit in random objects and explode them and then wave at the audience? Cool that he does this, but I think this is better as a one-time thing.

Chloe Chanel – age 11, from Pensacola, FL
The act: Chloe sang “All American Girl” by Carrie Underwood.
The verdict: Judges praised her voice and put her through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I think this girl’s got a very natural, god-given singing voice. Definitely nice to listen to. But I feel like she really has no stage presence whatsoever – she just seemed to stand there, eerily staring at the audience, as she sang. If she wants to get past Vegas, I think she’s going to have to learn to move a bit more naturally onstage – she’s got a great personality offstage, so why not use it when she’s performing?

New York:

Megan Amigo – age 21
The act: She’s a self-described contortionist/belly dancer…and she’s a tad kooky.
The verdict: Judges liked her contortions, but found the belly dancing “corny”. Howie was a yes, the rest were a no.
Court’s thoughts: I admire her optimistic attitude and some of the creative contorting she was doing – but the kooky vibe and equally kooky music were lost on me.

Johnny Jetpack
The act: A puppeteering act where a little boy puppet got swallowed by a giant squirrel puppet.
The verdict: Do you even need to ask?
Court’s thoughts: If I had seen a puppet show like this when I was a kid, I would have been scarred for life.

Distraxion
The act: A “human puppet” and contortion act.
The verdict: I think the judges were having a hard time taking this one seriously, and it was an obvious no.
Court’s thoughts: Again…how do people dream this stuff up???

“Speed ice sculpting group”
The act: Ice sculptors with chain saws that carved ice really, really fast.
The verdict: No.
Court’s thoughts: I actually thought this was kind of cool (no pun intended), and may have fared better if they had put a twist on it like David Garabaldi & His CMYK’s last season.

“Girl Making Animal Noises”
The act: An attractive blonde that was making some alarmingly spot-on animal noises – pigs, donkeys, dogs, etc.
The verdict: No, no, no, no.
Court’s thoughts: Does she get a lot of dates with this act? :-P

212 Green – ages 14-22, from Harlem, NY
The act: A band that performed a rock/soul cover of Adele’s “Rumour Has It”.
The verdict: Judges (especially Mel B, who saw some of herself in the kids) loved them and put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: What a talented, gorgeous group of kids. I know the lead singer was talking about how tough it was growing up biracial and looking different than everyone else, but both she and her sister and brother? STUNNING. And they’ve got this very bohemian, artsy vibe about them – they seem to be a group that fuses different styles together well. Loved the rap section the brother did in the middle, loved the fact that the girls were evoking a sort of Motown girl group-vibe with the choreography they were doing at the mics. One group I’m excited to see in the live show :-)

Al Harris – age 64, from Long Island, NY
The act: The second “corny pun” comedy act of the evening.
The verdict: No’s across the board – but the judges did seem to get a good chuckle out of it.
Court’s thoughts: I was irritated with this guy at first – the puns were corny, and it got old fast. But then, as I watched the judges try in vain to get this guy off the stage, and he just kept going…then I started to laugh. Gotta admire his persistence :-P Normally I have no use for bad acts, but this one did make me grin a bit.

So who were your favorite acts from last night’s episode? Tune in tonight for the last audition show of the season before Vegas!!!

July 9, 2013 I Written By

Ultrasound specialist by day, entertainment blogger by night - with some amateur dancer, hair & makeup enthusiast, crazy cat lady, recreational chef, and Donnie Wahlberg/Norman Reedus fangirl peppered in to make things interesting ;-) Check out some of my other work over at puredwts.com!