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PureAGT Season 8, Top 12 – Power Rankings

Well, to those of you who didn’t join myself, Matt B. and Matt W. in the live discussion post/”Matt Chat” during the show last night – you missed out on some great discussion :-) And I’m planning on resurrecting the “Matt Chat” for next week’s finale…so plan on joining us, k? ;-)

Overall, last night was a night that the judges seemed to do a LOT of gushing and giving of standing ovations – and I’m not sure they were all deserved.  Seems like the judges have decided who they do and don’t want in the finale, and are critiquing accordingly.  Will be interesting to see who’s still standing when the dust settles tonight…

1.) Forte – As I mentioned in the live discussion post last night, I actually thought last night was one of their weaker performances – that song has just been done to death, and I actually don’t think the arrangement had enough “light and shade” to really showcase the guys’ voices well.  The whole thing just felt a bit “meh…it’s ok” to me.  That said, I think they long ago solidified their place in the finals, and are one of the few remaining acts who can afford to have a bit of a stumble and still make it through safely.

2.) Kenichi Ebina – Another usually top-notch performer that left me feeling a bit “meh” last night.  I get what he was going for – a more emotional, artsy performance – but up until the part with him leaping through the dark with the strobe light, I just felt a bit lost, as he seemed to be a little all-over-the-place with his movements.  Again, another act that long ago secured his place in the finale – but I think if he wants a shot of displacing Forte for the win, he should stick with what has really worked well for him in the past: very cool, fun, upbeat performances that show off his full repertoire of skills.

3.) Kristef Brothers – Highlight of the evening for me, and I think they reached a Kenichi-level of creativity with their performance last night.  An infomercial on how to be a Kristef Brother? HILARIOUS.  And they still did all of their tricks well – color me entertained.  And can I just say how RAD Kris’ dad is? I think I may have to rewatch just the little blurb with him later, cause he had me laughing pretty hard.  I think these guys and Cami have been the biggest surprises of the season for me – I never would have guessed they would make it this far.

4.) Collins Key – *sigh* I was really, really hoping that Collins would both clean up his delivery AND come up with something totally different for the top 12 – and I guess he succeeded, but only minimally.  Yeah, he trimmed down a lot of the confusing fluff from his last trick, and the “pick a bag for me to smash” premise was probably the most innovation we could expect from the type of magic he does; but last night, I saw the “man behind the curtain” a bit, and it detracted from my enjoyment of the trick.  There was just wayyyy too much funny business with the bags – Howard chose bag #2 for him to put Nick’s watch in, but all Collins did was take the 2nd bag and switch it with the first one…the watch was still going in bag #1.  Then when he was “mixing up” the bags, he was really keeping the same bag with Nick’s watch in the same hand the whole time.  Then watch his face when he’s asking Heidi to pick bag 1, bag 2, or bag 3 – he smiles broadly when he says “bag #3″, which to me could have easily been a signal to Mel & Heidi that Nick’s watch was in that bag and they needed to pick the other two.  And really, the bags were never sealed, and Nick’s quite obviously was much larger & heavier than the two cheap ones…so Collins knew the whole time where Nick’s watch was, which enabled him to “coach” the ladies.  Then there was the whole debacle with the time on Howie’s watch – I don’t think Collins considered that Howie’s watch doesn’t have well-defined second marks, and that Mel is sometimes a bit of a dipsh*t, so once again the trick lost its magic a bit when Collins asked if the time “was rounded or not”.  I like the kid, I really do – but each time I see him perform, he loses a little bit more of the magic that made me enjoy him so much the first few times we saw him.  That said, I think he has the teenybopper vote, and should make it through without any problems.  I’m just not confident he can win the whole thing, though.

5.) Jimmy Rose – I think last night was actually my favorite performance we’ve seen from Jimmy – was nice to see him sing something a tad more uptempo.  But the judges just weren’t feeling it – has the luster worn off the rose with their favorite country boy? Or have they just decided he’s not finale material? I just found the whole critique to be rather strange – granted, Jimmy did have a few wobbly notes, but I don’t think it was any worse than any of his other performances…which the judges GUSHED about.  I’m guessing that he still has enough fan support to secure himself a place in the finale…even though I think I’d rather see Cami there.

6.) Taylor Williamson – Taylor just gets funnier and funnier to me, the edgier and more inappropriate his humor gets :-P And I love that Howard & Howie get it and are on board with it – because I feel like both Heidi & Mel have missed the bus at different points, and last night it was Mel’s turn.  I could tell Mel soured on the act the minute the word “racist” passed Taylor’s lips – I remember reading that she demanded that one of the comedians we saw in Vegas not have his audition performance aired because she thought it was racist & offensive, so she’s quite touchy about that particular subject.  I actually didn’t find Taylor’s joke to be particularly offensive – it was pretty darn innocent, as far as “racist” jokes go, and ended up being more ageist than racist, really.  But I could tell Mel had written the act off based on that joke alone – so I’m actually a little glad Howard & Howie managed to keep her from critiquing the act, because I have a feeling she would have torn him a new one.

7.) Catapult Entertainment – I’ll just put it out there: I’m sick to death of Catapult, and I’m totally over the main guy’s preachy attitude and tendency to go for the “schmaltz factor” in order to get his group to advance. Aside from their initial audition (which I still think was their best performance), the one time they DIDN’T go for some sappy storyline, they kind of lost both the judges’ and America’s interest.  Do they really think they’re going to be able to craft an entire Vegas show out of sappy vignettes like the one they did last night? I about wanted to slap the leader in the face when he pulled out the whole “we need to protect our kids from bullies” line and acted like he was doing such a noble thing by announcing that to the world and sharing his group’s performance…as if he was single-handedly going to stop bullying by doing a few shadow puppets.  And mediocre shadow puppets, at that – some of the shapes they were making kinda made me go “Wait, what is that? Is that supposed to be a dog? It’s a crappy-looking dog…oh, I guess it’s a dog.  Whatever.” I’m over the “look at us, we’re so touching and socially-conscious that you simply MUST put us through to the next round!” act.

8.) Cami Bradley – Cami was my 2nd favorite act of the evening – loved her rendition of “Living on a Prayer” and thought she was the only singer last night that really did something fresh and unexpected.  And as I said earlier – she has pleasantly surprised me each round she performs.  That said – I worry she’s going to get lost in the shuffle between all the country fans trying like hell to save Jimmy Rose and all the opera fans duking it out between Forte & Branden James.  I think she DESERVES a spot in the finale, but I’m not sure if she’ll actually GET a spot in the finale…too many sheeple voters that are blinded by Collins, country, & opera.

9.) Branden James – *shrug* I just don’t know what to make of this guy anymore.  He reverted back to his usual “I’m going to sing a touching song that’s been done wayyyy too many times because I know America just eats this sh*t up!” strategy, and gave a schmaltzy, average performance to “Hallelujah”.  And of course – the judges gush.  I give up…but I guess I just hope Forte has enough clout to edge him out of the finals.

10.) Innovative Force – Anyone else find it a bit funny that they had all 3 acrobatic acts basically go back-to-back-to-back at the beginning of the show, as if to force America to see them side-by-side and pick just 1 to go through? I think this likely benefitted Kristef Brothers, but hurt Innovative Force & Chicago Boyz – because both paled in comparison.  Innovative Force are great at what they do – I think their tricks are a lot more cleanly-executed than Chicago Boyz, and their the most “artistic” of the 3 acrobatic acts in the top 12…but I feel like they’re getting a bit repetitive.  Each performance, it’s the same intense, classical music; the same tricks (we saw the “throw the girls around in star formation” trick in their audition); and the same type of costuming.  I just think they’ve run their course on this show, unfortunately.

11.) D’Angelo & Amanda – I’m not sure there was really anything that D’Angelo & Amanda could have done to earn themselves a place in the finale – I feel like America is so country, opera, and Collins-crazy that they just don’t have time to really care about these two very talented dancers.  I was thrilled that they did samba – it’s the “party dance”, and was probably their best bet at making a splash (no pun intended, considering their performance last week) in the top 12.  I thought they did great – they moved big, they added in an interesting new element (dancing around the judges’ table), and had a great energy about them.  I don’t think it will get them into the finale, but I think it was a great way to go out with a bang.

12.) Chicago Boyz – Poor Chicago Boyz.  I don’t think they did terrible, by any means; I just think they had the unfortunate distinction of being really the only act that made very noticeable mistakes last night.  I do applaud them for stepping up the danger level each week (jump-roping a 3-tired pyramid formation??!!), but I think the fact that they lost one of their key stuntmen to a leg injury really crippled them this week – I’m fairly certain I saw his replacement involved in both bungled jump rope tricks I saw. I have enjoyed their journey on the show, but I’m fairly certain we’ve seen the last of the Chicago Boyz :-(

So what are your thoughts on last night’s performances? Who do you think will advance to the finale next week?

September 11, 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 – Top 12 Live Discussion Post

You don’t have to wait until I post my power rankings in order to discuss the show – go ahead and do it here, live :-) Tell us what you think – which acts performed well tonight? Which acts stunk? Which acts surprised you the most? Who do you think is going through to the finale?  TELL US!!! :-D

September 10, 2013 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 8 – Roster for Top 12 Airing September 10

Just in case you’ve forgotten in the last week or so ;-), here are the 12 acts competing for a spot in the finals next week:

Collins Key
Catapult Entertainment
Cami Bradley
Taylor Williamson
Innovative Force
Forte
Branden James
Chicago Boyz
Kristef Brothers
Jimmy Rose
Kenichi Ebina
D’Angelo & Amanda

Looking at this list – sh*t just got real.  Only four are going to advance to the finale…and I think Forte & Kenichi are a lock, regardless of how well they actually perform, and Collins probably is as well (thanks to his teenybopper following).  That basically leaves one spot open – I think the Chicago Boyz deserve it, but I think the judges may really try to shove Catapult down our throats.  I think Branden James is gonna get eaten alive, and everyone else is basically just going to be filler entertainment in between the heavy-hitters.  Will be an interesting show, for sure. What do you guys think?

September 4, 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, Semifinal #2 – SPOILERS!!! Who Made it Through to the Next Round?

Anyone else totally OVER the judges’ choice and how they continually cop out on actually making a choice? I think they’ve only not done the dreaded 2-2 split twice this season – once for Chicago Boyz in quarterfinal #3, and once for Catapult in last week’s semifinal.  Why even have a judges’ choice when they’re just gonna throw it right back to America???
Read more..

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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, Semifinal #2 – Power Rankings

Once again, I apologize that these are so late – as some of you know, I also blog for PureDWTS, and today was the announcement of the new cast…which means heavy traffic and a lot of guarding the site for trolls! It was also a long, busy day at work, and I didn’t have much of a chance to sit down and actually think about last night’s show until now…but rest assured, I did not forget about you guys ;-)

Overall, I think last night was a much stronger semifinal than last week’s, although we had already kind of predicted that based on what acts performed this week.  I think I’m most interested to see if America puts through TWO country singers into the top 12 – I’m hoping they only put through one, but I’m bracing myself for the unfortunate event that we get two.  Other than that, I’m fairly confident that Kenichi, Chicago Boyz, & Anna will make it through without any problems.

1.) Kenichi Ebina – Just…wow.  I think the thing I love most about Kenichi’s act is that I’m always at a bit of a loss how to explain it to those who haven’t seen it, because it’s always so unique.  Loved the “living video game” theme he had going during the quarterfinals, and I loved the “duel with the mirror” he did last night.  Of all the acts in last night’s semifinal, he’s the one that I could really see creating a successful 90-minute live show in Vegas.  I think Forte has got some serious competition in Kenichi for the win this season…

2.) Chicago Boyz – I would have never guessed that they were performing without one of their strongest members, because this routine was INSANELY good.  One thing I really enjoy about Chicago Boyz is that they really do up their game each & every week – I think the jump roping with the 3 guys stacked on top of each other was absolutely genius, and the synchronized jump roping and tricks they were doing with it were really impressive.  I think they proved last night that they are, indeed, contenders, and could even snag a spot in the finale.

3.) Kristef Brothers – Another act that showed no signs of stopping despite an injury. If you had told me during their audition that these guys would be contenders for the top 12, I would have probably thought you were nuts – but these guys seem to have cracked into a niche that we really haven’t seen on the show: they’re skilled acrobats that are really, really funny.  As predicted, I think they succeeded where Duo Resonance failed because they were able to really endear themselves to their audience.  I think they may struggle in the top 12, but I think they ought to make it through tonight without any problems.

4.) Anna Christine – I think Anna recovered nicely from her stutter in the quarterfinals – I feel like “Wild Horses” suited her much better than “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and ditching the piano and focusing entirely on her vocals was a wise choice.  I think she ought to make it through tonight without any issues, but once she makes it to the top 12 – I fear she may pale in comparison to Cami Bradley, who has a more mature, controlled quality to her voice and a better stage presence.

5.) Jimmy Rose – Hmmm.  Another song from Jimmy Rose that I’m not really wild about – although to be honest, I was really wild about Marty’s song choice, either.  I guess I was hoping that, rather than just performing a country song, he and Marty would take a more mainstream song and give it a country twist; that is one area where I have to give Marty credit over Jimmy – he did a more mainstream song for his initial audition, where Jimmy has been straight country all the way.  However, I think Jimmy must be raking in the votes, because there’s a reason they put him last…and I have a feeling if it came down to it, the judges would rather have Jimmy in the top 12 than Marty.  Guess we’ll have to see how things pan out…

6/7.) TIE: D’Angelo & Amanda and Marty Brown – This one’s hard for me to call, because I can’t decide whether we’re going to end up with (god forbid) TWO country singers in the top 12.  My gut says no, but stranger things have happened, and Marty did improve last night. Is the voting audience persistent enough to vote 2 country singers through? If not, then I think D’Angelo & Amanda might have a decent shot at making it through to the top 12 - while their performance last night wasn’t their best, I daresay it was still much stronger than others we saw last night, and probably quite of few of last week’s acts, too.  I think the problem they had was that they wanted to “step up their game” and didn’t quite know how – loved the water, but I kind of agree with Mel that the routine had been a bit boring up until the water portion…just a lot of dips and displays of flexibility from Amanda.  If it comes down to these two acts in the judges’ choice – I’m definitely interested to see who would come out on top.  I think the judges might put D’Angelo & Amanda through because they already have so many singers, but who knows…they’ve made their fair share of dumb choices this season.

8.) Leon Etienne & Romy Low – Admittedly, I actually enjoyed their act tonight.  I liked that they did work on the areas that the judges criticized in their first performance – mainly the trick taking too long and being too confusing.  Doing rapid-fire, simple tricks was definitely a smart move.  For what its worth, I think Howard’s wild card pick actually ended up being the most successful – but last night was a much stronger semifinal than last week, and I’m not sure they can overcome some of the stronger acts to nab a spot.  Kinda sucks, but I think they probably would have stood a decent shot of advancing if they performed last week instead of this week.

9.) Timber Brown – *sigh* Poor Timber – I think he had a bit of a misstep last night, in that he did an act that seemed to take a lot longer to get to the good part and he fumbled a little with the rope.  I know Timber’s got a lot of tricks up his sleeve – a friend from work actually remembered seeing him in Peep Show in Vegas a few years back, and was saying that she remembered him climbing all sorts of crazy stuff, spinning on ropes, doing backflips, etc.  I think he unfortunately just picked a trick that really didn’t translate well to TV – I think it would have fit in perfectly with one of the Cirque shows like Le Reve with the water (D’Angelo & Amanda’s would be perfect for Le Reve as well), but it was hard to appreciate the art and difficulty of it through the television.  I don’t think his act was bad, but I do worry that he got lost in the shuffle.

10.) Branden James – The one week I actually enjoy the song Branden sings, is the week he will likely get sent home :-P “Alone” is probably one of my top 10 favorite songs of all time, so I think that alone kind of colored my opinion of his performance – I actually enjoyed it.  But I do agree that he had a few wobbly, off-key spots, and he wasn’t as strong this week has he’s been in previous weeks.  I daresay he’s a real longshot to make it to the next round – especially if the audience still has Forte on the brain like I think they do.  If he advances, he’s toast – Forte can sing circles around him.

11.) American Military Spouses Choir – These poor ladies – I think their weaknesses as a choir really showed through last night, and made them realize that they were maybe a bit out of their element amongst some of the other acts.  Once again, it seemed to be the same 3-4 women carrying the bulk of the singing weight, while the others swayed & hummed in the background – and for once, the “leading ladies” seemed to struggle a bit themselves, and once again I didn’t particularly enjoy the arrangement of their song.  I have to wonder if the absence of one of their lead singers (who had given birth the previous week) really hurt them.  I also kind of appreciate that Howie seemed to reinforce the point that these ladies should be judged by their TALENT, and not their sappy backstory – I think there’s been far too much sappy backstory-driven judging AND voting this season, and it’s resulted in some weaker acts making it through over stronger ones.  I don’t see them making it through tonight, but I do commend them for the work they do.

12.) John Wing – Not terrible, but not terribly funny, either.  Most of his jokes just made me give a small smile, as opposed to the laughing out loud I did to Taylor’s comedy last week.  I think John is just so droll that you really have to have the right, dry sense of humor in order to really appreciate (and remember) him – and he really was just a non-event for me last night.

So with only 1.5 hours till showtime – what are your predictions? :-)

 

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

PureAGT Season 8 – Roster for 2nd Semifinal Airing September 3

Here’s the semifinalists performing next week:

Kenichi Ebina
Jimmy Rose
Marty Brown
Chicago Boyz
D’Angelo & Amanda
John Wing
Timber Brown
Branden James
American Military Spouses Choir
Anna Christine
Kristef Brothers*
Leon Etienne & Romy Low (Howard’s wild card pick)

*pending healing of the injury Kris sustained while rehearsing for this week’s semifinal.

The one major threat I see to Forte’s apparent monopoly on the win this season? Kenichi Ebina. If he can pull off something as cool as what he did in the quarterfinals, I think he’s gonna be a force to be reckoned with.  Other standouts? I’m guessing Jimmy Rose, Timber Brown, D’Angelo & Amanda, and I’m tentatively going to say the Chicago Boyz & Kristef Brothers, who both have injuries to contend with (one of the Chicago Boyz broke his leg in the 3rd quarterfinal, and obviously Kris from Kristef is still recovering from the injury he sustained this week).  As I said in my spoilers post, I think Leon & Romy don’t stand a chance; I also keep forgetting that Anna Christine is even in this competition, and think Marty Brown’s weaknesses are really going to show next to Jimmy Rose, much the same way that Jonathan Allen’s did next to Forte.  And speaking of opera – so help me god, Branden James better NOT make the top 12…most overrated act this season, IMO.

So who do you guys think will be the ones to watch next week? And what do you think of Howard’s wild card pick?

August 28, 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, Live Show #5 – SPOILERS!!! Who Made it Through to the Next Round?

An interesting results show, to say the least – and I’m not just referring to Train’s odd duet with Ashley Monroe, or the comedic stylings of last season’s runner-up, Tom Cotter.  Someone unexpected made it through to the semifinals, they (of course) pitted the Castro siblings against one another, and it was revealed that each judge gets ONE wild card pick, and two of those acts will be seen in each semifinal round. Read more..

August 21, 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 Live Show #5 – Power Rankings

Kind of a strange night on AGT, if you ask me – only one or two acts seemed to really succeed, and the rest either failed or just got lost in the shuffle.  This definitely seemed like one of the weaker quarterfinals to me, and I’m left wondering who will actually make it through tonight.

Also a little miffed that they apparently did decide to scrap the wild card show this season – biiiiiiiig mistake, if you ask me.  Throwing the wild card into the mix could have helped balance out the disproportionately heavy number of singers we have in the semifinals this season – and could have counteracted flukes like Marty Brown.  *sigh* I guess we can just hope they bring it back next year…

…and just a quick side note: I am actually going to be on vacation in Texas next week, and so I may or may not get a chance to do power rankings for the first round of the semifinals.  But don’t worry – I’ve got a plan in mind ;-) Stay tuned!

1.) Catapult Entertainment – Not my favorite of the night, and I’m beginning to get a bit annoyed for acts who really go in hard for the “schmaltz” factor in order to win votes.  But America appears to fall hook, line, & sinker for it, which is why I think they should have no problem advancing to the semifinals. I actually preferred their audition routine to this one, which wasn’t as difficult and didn’t strike me as particularly original.  It was just ok for me, but with the way the judges were gushing – they’ll make it through.

2.) D’Angelo & Amanda – My favorite act of the night, and the only ones who seemed to really bring their A-game last night.  These two never seem to miss a beat, and they always seem 100% invested in their routine.  There were a few struggles with moving on and off the platform, but I found them to be incredibly trivial in the great scheme of things.  This is one of the few acts that I could actually see having a show in Vegas – I’d pay to see these two just dance for 90 minutes.

3.) Duo Resonance – As I’ve said before, these two are probably the most highly-skilled of the acrobats category – but they just seem to lack a really good stage presence.  I feel like they improved on their stage presence last night, but seemed to let go of doing some of their more impressive tricks.  I think I liked their performance, but it felt a little too much like a schmaltzy contemporary routine I might see on SYTYCD – would have liked a few more stunts and a few less poses.  But since last night was such a weak night, I think these two will probably make it through.

4.) John Wing – Another comedian I only find to be mildly funny, but the audience seemed to respond well to his brand of comedy last night…and so did the judges.  I’m a bit baffled that Heidi finds this guy funny, but not Taylor Williamson – but then again, she seems to be suffering from the delusion that all comedy must be family-appropriate to be funny.  If he makes it through, I think he’s gonna pale in comparison to both Taylor and Angela Hoover – but on a weak night like last night, I think he was a stand-out and has a decent chance of making it through.

5.) Ruby & Jonas – I’m starting to really hate that they pitted sibling against sibling, and seem to be milking it for all its worth on the show.  Poor Ruby & Jonas – I think they’ve got every bit as much heart as D’Angelo & Amanda, but just haven’t been dancing as long and just aren’t quite up to their skill level yet.  I also agree with whichever judge said that they liked D’Angelo & Amanda’s choreography better – I think D’Angelo & Amanda’s was more hardcore dancing, whereas Ruby & Jonas’ routine seemed like a lot of fluff and filler, probably to conceal that they aren’t ready for some of that harder stuff yet.  It’s just not a really fair fight, if you ask me – but I think hearts are gonna break tonight, because I don’t see both acts making it to the semifinals.

6.) Sprice – Oh, Sprice :-) I just love this guy, because he reminds me of so many of the painfully shy engineers I went to college with – fantastic at what they do, but so socially awkward that you have a hard time really connecting with them on anything except their craft.  I actually love watching Sprice’s machines do their thing – and I just think Mel is a bit simple-minded if she found it to be boring.  Sure, he may lack a bit of the comedic panache that the Kinetic King had two seasons ago, but I think his awkwardness itself could be an endearing quality to audiences.  That said – I don’t know that America appreciates this guy like I do, and I think he’s probably a longshot for the semifinals.

7.) Dave Fenley – Dammit Dave – you blew it.  He was probably my favorite vocalist in the competition, and I just think he picked the wrong song.  I think his initial audition and Vegas performance worked out well because the songs he chose fit his voice and musical style well – Ray Lamontagne? Not so much.  I think it was just too “sweet” of a song for him – he didn’t sing it wrong, per se, but I just don’t think it was really in his wheelhouse to begin with.  Really disappointed – I think he probably would have made it through performing another song.

8.) Virginia State University Gospel Chorale – Another group that I had high hopes for, but was left only feeling lukewarm about.  I actually think “Like a Prayer” was a good song choice, but they seemed to jump straight from the slow, haunting opening, right into the upbeat, rocking chorus…I feel like they could have really utilized the way the song really builds, instead of just jumping around.  But I do love the way they create the feel of a “wall of sound” – it’s the one problem I really have with the American Military Spouses Choir: they only have a handful of really strong vocalists, and those swaying in the background only sort of hum.  Unfortunately for this group, I think they may have just gotten lost in the shuffle last night.

9.) Sam Johnson – Was this really all that different than his initial audition? Yeah, he added the part where he swings down and rides the pole like a giant pendulum, but really – what else was different? And could he really make an entire show out of it? I think he would have probably been better off doing something more like his Vegas performance, where he didn’t have to go out and do stuff on the pole.  Rather forgettable in the great scheme of last night.

10.) Melody Caballero – No doubt she’s got major skills – but her performances always seem so slow and sleepy.  I appreciate what she does, but it seems like it takes so long to get into each position that she loses my interest during the transitions.  But I applaud her for throwing a routine together on such short notice, and coming out to fill in for Rong Niu :-)

11.) 2Unique – Haven’t been a fan of this act from the get-go, and thankfully, I think the judges finally opened their eyes last night and said “Wait, this isn’t Vegas show-worthy!”  I feel like the rapping one just kind of yells into the mic and bounces around; the DJ is actually quite talented, but you really can’t appreciate what she’s doing because the other one is just jumping around and yelling.  Very cute girls, no doubt – but they’ve got a lot of maturing to do before they have a bona fide act on their hands.

12.) Selena Mykenzie Gordon – Not really terrible and not really good – just “meh”.  I don’t really know why she picked that Rascal Flatts song…she seemed to really struggle with it vocally.  Granted, it was definitely no Marty Brown-level fail, but it just didn’t really make me care…I was left just going “Eh, whatever.”

So what are your thoughts on the last quarterfinal group?

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

PureAGT Season 8 – Roster for 5th Live Show Airing August 20

By process of elimination, here’s the last group of acts performing in the quarterfinals next week:

Sprice (Rube Goldberg machines)
Catapult Entertainment (silhouette dance group)
The VSU Gospel Chorale (gospel choir)
D’Angelo & Amanda (kid ballroom dancers)
Dave Fenley (singer)
Duo Resonance (acrobalance act)
John Wing (comedian)
The Amazing Red Panda (Rong Niu) (unicycle bowl juggling act) Melody Caballeros (kid acrobat/contortionist)
Ruby & Jonas (kid ballroom dancers)
2Unique (kid DJ/rapping act)
Slackwire Sam (Sam Johnson) (daredevil balancing act)
Selena Mykenzie Gordon (singer)

Surprise,  surprise, they’ve pitted the siblings (D’Angelo & Ruby) against each other for dramatic effect…or to try and ensure that only one ballroom act makes the semifinals.  I worry that they might split votes and both get eliminated.  Thanks, AGT masterminds!!! Word on the interwebs is that Slackwire Sam had to pre-tape his act, which always bugs me a bit – half the challenge of the AGT live shows is that you HAVE TO PERFORM LIVE.  I think Dave Fenley will likely do well, and Catapult also probably will.  I think 2Unique, Selena, & John Wing have an uphill battle to face – probably the three weakest acts of this group.  The rest could go either way – would love to see Sprice in the semifinals, but not sure if he’ll be well-received or not.  What are your thoughts?

UPDATE: As evidenced by Nick’s announcement of next week’s acts at the end of tonight’s results show, Rong Niu is apparently not going to be performing, and has been replaced by Melody Caballeros, who was eliminated in Vegas.  I don’t know why – yet – but I’ll see if I can hunt around and find out why she has withdrawn from the competition.  We (myself and reader Will) think she might have exacerbated the back injury that bothered her in Vegas…if so, best wishes for a speedy recovery, Red Panda! :-)

August 14, 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, Episode #8, 9, & 10 Music List – Vegas Week

Please bear with me as I compile the Vegas week music list – there was a LOT of it in each episode! And a lot of the orchestral stuff is tripping me up…I promise the music from the second night of Vegas week AND the recap special (there was some new footage in it) will be up by the end of this weekend.  Thanks for sticking with me, guys! :-D

Night #1:

“Too Close” by Alex ClareToo Close - The Lateness of the Hour (opening montage)
“Stars (Hold On)” by Youngblood HawkeStars (Hold On) - Wake Up (contestants arrive in Vegas)
“Feel Again” by OneRepublicFeel Again - Native (Deluxe Version) (instant decision round)
“Hall of Fame” by The Script feat. will.i.amHall of Fame (Original Version) - #3 (Deluxe Version) (instant decision round)
“Violent Running” by Tobias Marberger; only version I could find was on Youtube, 2:22 mark (David Ferman performance)
“In the House – In a Heartbeat” by London Music Works28 Days Later - In the House-In a Heartbeat - The Definitive Horror Music Collection (Brad Byers performance)
“The Third Temple” by Nexus Trix & Oswin McIntosh (Alex Magala performance)
“Falling Angels” by Nexus Trix (Slackwire Sam performance)
“Realm of Power” by Two Steps from Hell Realm of Power - SkyWorld(Rong Niu performance)
“Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno MarsLocked Out of Heaven - Unorthodox Jukebox (singers intro)
“Without You” by AstonWithout You - Aston II (Forte intro)
“The Prayer” by Andrea BocelliThe Prayer - The Best of Andrea Bocelli - Vivere (Bonus Track Version) (cover performed by Forte)
“Home” by Phillip PhillipsHome - The World from the Side of the Moon (Deluxe) (Brandon & Savannah intro)
“Little Talks” by Of Monsters and MenLittle Talks - My Head Is An Animal (cover performed by Brandon & Savannah)
“House of the Rising Sun” by The AnimalsHouse of the Rising Sun - Retrospective (cover by The American Hit Men)
“Brighter Than the Sun” by Colbie CaillatBrighter Than the Sun - All of You (kid acts intro)
“Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley CyrusParty In the U.S.A. - Party In the U.S.A. - Single (cover performed by 2Unique)
“Don’t Stop the Party” by Pitbull feat. TJRDon't Stop the Party (feat. TJR) - Global Warming (Deluxe Version) (Lil Demon performance)
“Blizzard” by Two Steps from HellBlizzard - SkyWorld (Melody Caballeros performance)
“Moves like Jagger” by Maroon 5 Moves Like Jagger (Studio Recording from (D’Angelo & Amanda performance)
“Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)” by Gotan Project Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre) - Shall We Dance? (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)(Jonas & Ruby performance)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by QueenBohemian Rhapsody - Classic Queen (Hype performance)
“The Ender (Remix)” by Kid the Wiz; YouTube (Kid the Wiz performance)
“Ghosts N Stuff” by deadmau5 Ghosts N Stuff - Ghosts N Stuff - Single(Dylan Wilson performance)
“If My Heart Had Wings” by Faith Hill If My Heart Had Wings - Breathe(Tavi & Antonio performance)
“Me & You” by NeroMe and You - Welcome Reality (Deluxe Version) (Brandon Rosario performance)
“Too Close” by Alex ClareToo Close - The Lateness of the Hour (Duo Resonance performance)
“The Cowboy in Me” by Tim McGrawThe Cowboy In Me - Tim McGraw: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (Timber Brown performance)
“Boom Shack-a-Lak” by Apache IndianBoom Shack-A-Lak - Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (Original Soundtrack) (Kristef Brothers performance)
“Beneath Your Beautiful” by Labrinth feat. Emeli SandeBeneath Your Beautiful (feat. Emeli Sandé) - Beneath Your Beautiful (feat. Emeli Sandé) - Single (Deanna Dellacioppa intro)
“A Thousand Years” by Christina PerriA Thousand Years - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Version] (Skilyr talks with the judges after performing; Selena M. Gordon intro)
“A Broken Wing” by Martina McBrideA Broken Wing - Greatest Hits (cover performed by Selena Gordon)
“Summertime” by Janis Joplin Summertime - Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits (cover performed by Cami Bradley)
“I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal FlattsI Won't Let Go - Nothing Like This (cover performed by Deanna Dellacioppa)

“Best of Auditions” Recap Special:

(NOTE: I did not include songs from clips of auditions that we’ve seen previously – those can be found on the music lists for the auditions.  The only exception was the song performed by The Robotix, since this is the first time we see them.)

“America the Beautiful” America the Beautiful - Patriotic Songs of America(opening montage)
“Miserlou” by Dick DaleMiserlou - Guitar Legend: The Very Best of Dick Dale (judges intro montage)
“God Put a Smile on Your Face” by Mark RonsonGod Put a Smile On Your Face - Version (New Orleans intro)
“Feelin’ Alright” by Joe CockerFeelin' Alright - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Joe Cocker (montage of good auditions)
“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Santa EsmereldaDon't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Santa Esmeralda - Hits Anthology (San Antonio intro & montage of auditions)
“Heartbreaker” by Pat BenetarHeartbreaker - Pat Benatar: Greatest Hits (cover performed by The Robotix)
“Miss Movin’ On” by Fifth HarmonyMiss Movin' On - Miss Movin' On - Single (montage of San Antonio auditions)
“Marry You” by Bruno MarsMarry You - Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Travis Pratt recap and montage from San Antonio auditions)
“It’s Your Thing” by The Isley BrothersIt's Your Thing - The Ultimate Isley Brothers (Chicago intro)
“Wild Ones” by Flo Rida feat. SiaWild Ones (feat. Sia) - Wild Ones (montage of good Chicago auditions)
“New York State of Mind” by Billy JoelNew York State of Mind - The Essential Billy Joel (New York intro)
“Apache” by the Sugarhill GangApache - The Sugar Hill Records Story (montage of good New York auditions)
“Hollywood Swinging (Wild)” by Kool & the GangHollywood Swinging (Single Version) - The Very Best of Kool & the Gang (Los Angeles intro & montage of auditions)
“I Love It” by Icona PopI Love It (feat. Charli XCX) - Iconic - EP (montage of L.A. auditions)
“Senorita” by BondSeñorita - Classified (Mel & Howard dance)
“Nobody But Me” by The Human BeinzNobody But Me - The Departed (Music from the Motion Picture) (montage of bad auditions)
“War” by Edwin StarrWar - The Very Best of Edwin Starr (montage of bad auditions)
“Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Terry SnyderPuttin' On the Ritz - Ultra-Lounge: Space-Capades, Vol. 3 (montage of bizarre auditions)
“Nero” by Two Steps from HellNero - Archangel (montage of Vegas performances)
“Feel Again” by OneRepublicFeel Again - Native (Deluxe Version) (montage of Vegas performances)
“Violent Running” by Tobias Marberger(see link in Night #1 section) (montage of Vegas danger acts)
“String Quartet #3: Mishima/Closing” by Kronos QuartetString Quartet No. 3 (Mishima): Mishima/Closing - Kronos Quartet Performs Philip Glass (montage of Vegas performances)

July 19, 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!