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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 16, 2017 I Written By

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

Pure America’s Got Talent Judge Cuts Rounds 1 and 2: Power Rankings

We’re onto the Judge Cuts episodes of Season 12, which means a bit of a format change on this blog! For this round (and probably the rest of the season) I’ll be listing which acts I think are most to least likely to continue on past the next round in the weekly “Power Rankings”. Since this is Judge Cuts and there aren’t any Results Shows yet, I’m only going to include the acts that were sent through to the live shows, though in the near future I’ll be doing a post noting any acts I think could potentially end up being one of the Wildcards.

Another change I’m going to try to implement on this blog is to make a strong effort to focus on the talent and performances of the contestants instead of their backstories, since a lot of other articles I’ve seen lately have been doing the opposite. So right now, my plan is to only discuss backstories if they are relevant to the actual acts the competitors are performing.

And, of course, like last year, please keep in mind that the order the acts appear on this list reflects what I think the majority of the audience will think, not necessarily my own personal opinions.

With all that said…

1. Angelica Hale: Charming child? Check. Tragic backstory? Check. Powerful voice? Check. If you have any of these things going for you, you are likely going to get a lot of the focus this season, and since Angelica has all three down pat, I think it’s safe to say she’ll be sticking around for awhile. The fact that she got a Golden Buzzer also helps her case, as I’m sure we’ll be reminded of that moment whenever she performs in the live shows. Right now I’m predicting her to make it to the finale, and she’s probably one of the top 5 most likely to take it home at this point.

2. Puddles Pity Party: Okay, so he’s not a cute kid, and his “tragic backstory” was more for comedic effect than to rise any real sympathy from people, but he has a great voice, and also already has a supportive following on YouTube. But I think the main thing Puddles has going for himself right now is that he seems to be the only real “oddball” we’ve seen so far this season. I’ve noticed a lot of the people that tend to go for the off-the-wall acts rallying their support behind him (and this crowd mostly consists of people who are generally opposed to singers competing on this show) and he even seems to appeal to people who enjoy the more “standard” acts as well. I don’t think he’ll win, but I think he has a good shot at making it to the Finale. Puddles may be another drop in the sea of singers, but in a season that looks to be dominated by underage contestants with tragic backstories, I’ll take any variety I can get.

3. Colin Cloud: In my personal opinion (and I’ve seen many other echo this sentiment) the first two Judge Cuts episodes were relatively boring for AGT. However, this guy (and the very brief montage clips of the other magicians) were the saving grace of the second night. I’ve seen people comment they know how some of the mentalist tricks are done, but as we saw last week, with magic, presentation is half the battle, and I think Colin has mastered that aspect more than any of the other magicians this season. For that reason, I see him going pretty far. I’m guessing he at least makes it past the first round of live shows, and he might even have a shot at the Finale if he can keep changing things up enough to keep the audience interested.

4. Yoli Mayor: Here’s where I start to get a little fuzzy in my predictions, because starting with Yoli most of the acts for the rest of this list kind of fall into the “meh” category for me, but I’m not entirely sure how others are going to feel about them. Yoli has an amazing voice going for her-though I think she was over-singing quite a bit in her latest performance-as well as a backstory a lot of people can relate to. I’m just not sure if either of those things will be enough to sustain her longevity in the competition all the way to the Finals, because her beautiful voice is one in a sea of many this season, and her story, while relateable, might get lost among some of the more gut-wrenching ones (ie. the ones involving some kind of illness). I think she’ll probably make it past the Quarterfinals but I’m feeling like she might be a Semifinals elimination unless she manages to really stand out from the crowd.

5. Evie Clair: Evie is similar to several other acts this season, Yoli included, but as a singer alone, she’s one of the less memorable ones in my opinion. on voice alone I don’t think she holds a candle to the likes of people like Angelica, Yoli, and Christian. Also, unlike two out of three of that group, she didn’t get a Golden Buzzer, which gives all the singers who did a leg up on her. What will probably make her stand out in others’ minds is her father’s illness, which is currently looking to be terminal. I hate to say it, but I think her standing in the competition might hinge on how her dad fares, and just how much focus in Evie’s segments is on her family’s journey in facing it.

6. Demian Aditya: So far, this has been the only “danger act” to advance to the live shows, and I think Demian might benefit in votes from the lack of competition. However, if he wants to make it to the end, he needs to start changing up his act, because I’ve seen a lot of comments on how similar his “role switcheroo” act in the Judge Cuts was to the trick he did back in his audition. Basically, I think his chances of sticking around will hinge on how many other danger acts end up in the live shows (which, judging by the mass exodus of most of the ones we’ve seen so far, isn’t looking to be a lot right now).

7. Just Jerk Dance Crew: This was my favorite act of the first Judge Cuts show and, like Demian, I think being one of the few acts of their kind this season is probably going to be a bit of an asset. The thing is, a lot of the dance crews tend to get cut early during the live shows, and we already have another one that got much more buzz and fanfare being Tyra’s Golden Buzzer, plus I’m pretty sure Diavolo is going to make it through next week and they’re a very innovative act. I don’t see JJ beating either of those two groups unless they pull out something AMAZING in the near future (or they play up they’re story a lot more, since right now they seem to be much more matter-of-fact when discussing their situation than most of the other contestants). Right now, they’re a solid act, but you need to be more than “solid” to win the AGT million.

8. Eric Jones: I found Eric’s performance last week good, but kind of forgettable. However, he’s one of only a few magicians in the live shows so far, and has a sad backstory that does somewhat tie into his craft so I think he could last another round. Not much else to say right now.

9. Chase Goehring: Okay, I’ll be honest, I found Chase completely forgettable both times we saw him (did they even air his full audition?) and the only reason he’s not lower on this list is because he got a Golden Buzzer. He wasn’t really bad or anything, but what worries me is that despite getting the GB, I barely heard any talk of him from fans once the show was over. All that fanfare to such a relatively small response is not a good sign, and at this point I’m questioning if he’ll even get through the first round of live shows.

10. Sara and Hero: I was thinking these two were going to get eliminated in JC after their first audition, since the judges clearly had mixed opinions on it, but I’m glad they turned it around and managed to make the cut because I don’t have much hope in most of the other animal acts this season except the family with the poodles. Speaking of the poodles, I think they could be Sara and Hero’s downfall going forward because while Sara changed up the act enough to keep it fresh for this round, there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to go from here, and I fear we may have already seen the best tricks Hero can do. With the poodles I just feel like there’s so much more they’re going to be able to do to impress voters, especially with their flashier set-up and all. Even if the poodles don’t make the live shows, I doubt Sara and Hero are getting anywhere near the Finale, but I think they maaaaaaay have a shot at the Semi-Finals depending on who else is in their first live show.

11. The Masqueraders: I was happy to see these guys get through, and was pleasantly surprised to see that quite a few others were rooting pretty hard for them! They definitely fill the country niche this season, but I worry they might get lost among acts with more fanfare surrounding them, especially since their style of singing is more “chilled out” while others have really been focusing on belting as many notes as possible. I think their story of getting another chance to live their dream could help them a bit, but again, there are quite a few more memorable backstories this season so the impact of theirs might not take them as far.

12. Singing Trump: I actually thought he stepped up his game quite a bit in the Judge Cuts, and I think I would have also sent him through. However, there is a big problem with getting political on this show. As we saw last season with teenage comedian Lori Mae, taking a clear political stance alienates half your audience right off the bat, but I think Singing Trump’s approach of not taking a stance may be even more harmful in the voting department; Trump supporters will see his act as a disrespectful way of making fun of him, while Trump opposers are just sick of seeing him everywhere, an probably watch AGT as an escape from his media dominance. I’m just not sure where his voters are going to come from, and for that reason I think he might be out pretty quickly. Right now, I think he at best has a chance of being one of the acts vying for a “save” in his Quarter-Finals results show and we’ll see how it goes from there.

13: Mirror Image: And now we’re getting into the acts I’m actually shocked made the cut…unlike most people, I actually enjoy the antics of these two (though I wish both them AND the Quiddlers had advanced) but even I’m well aware that if they were put into a stronger group for Judge Cuts they wouldn’t have made it through (but the general unevenness of the Judge Cuts round is a post for another day). I’m pretty sure they’re going to get buzzed by Simon again in the live shows, and I don’t think that will bode well for their votes. I did see a small amount of passionate support for them, so I guess depending on who else ends up in their Quarter-Finals show they might have a shot at being one of the acts up for Dunkin’ Save, but even if they are I honestly don’t see them advancing past the first round of live shows.

14: Junior and Emily: This is the one act so far I don’t think even has a decent shot at making it to the Dunkin’ Save zone. They’re great at what they do…they just don’t do much. I can appreciate the difficulty of their craft, but after the initial amazement there’s not much else to their performances. They have an inspirational backstory, but again, it’s one of the more forgettable ones, so I don’t think it’s going to do much for them. Unless these two really step up their game and add some variety to their performance, I don’t see them moving forward.

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back soon with some more thoughts on how the show is being produced this season and how I think it could be improved. Plus I’ll be doing some more Power Rankings next week (which looks infinitely better than either of the first two Judge Cuts episodes) and when Judge Cuts are over I might do a special edition for all of the Golden Buzzers!

July 27, 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 Auditions Episode 2: Live Blog

It’s time for another fun night of AGT auditions, and I’m back to liveblog for you all! Reminder that I’ll be updating this post throughout the episode with my running commentary, so keep checking back every now and then!

Looks like we’re starting things out with an animal act! What an adorable dog! And apparently she can count too…or maybe not. Oh dear…

Took a little time to get started, but little Mia seems to have found her groove! I especially loved the flashcard trick! Congrats to them for getting through, but I do wonder where they’ll be able to go from here. So for it just seems like a cool party trick, albeit a pretty impressive one.

“Architectural movement”? Sounds pretty cool! I like their name, “Diablo”. I’m very excited to see this one!
EDIT: The group’s name is actually “Diavolo, not “Diablo”. Oops!

I’m in awe with what they’re able to do on a moving platform like that. Really hoping they make it to the live shows because I can only imagine what they could do with a full set and lighting arrangement!

Oh great, a singer with a guitar. Never seen THAT before. Pretty generic until the breakdown, which was actually pretty impressive. Somehow I have a feeling this guy wasn’t the only singer-songwriter to audition this season, after the Great Grace VanderWal hype train of last summer.

Montage of dancing couples. They look pretty good, but the very fact that they got relegated to this montage tells me most of them won’t make the live shows.

Okay, so is this doll bit part of the act or does this guy have a REAL dance partner who’s going to come out on stage soon?

Oh it’s supposed to be a joke. Okay. Whatever. I’m kind of split here. I agree with Howie and Mel that it was humorous, but I wouldn’t put it through. It was funny once, but the novelty would have worn off quickly.

WTF SIMON ACTUALLY BUZZED A COUPLE OF DANCING KIDS??? I mean, I don’t want to see a bunch of run-of-the-mill dance acts on this show either, but they did pretty well and seemed to be having the time of their lives! Yay for the other judges sending them through, and also for making sure “Barbie Girl” stays in Simon’s head for the next week! HA!

Ooo, a hot science teacher? I’m here for it! And I LOVE the idea of a science-themed Vegas show! There are a lot of ways this could go; I’m excited to see what he does!

The opposite of helium? Hilarious results! And now an onstage explosion? Well, sort of. A foam-like substance will do just fine! Ah, THERE’S the onstage explosion! Wow, this is another act I really hope to see on a grander scale in the live shows. Just incredible. (And wait, he was on Big Brother? I’ll have to check out some clips of him on there.)

European roller skaters! Apparently they were also on Britain’s Got Talent, hmmmm. I’ll have to look into that. But this is certainly a pretty cool act! Definitely worthy of making it through, but I hope they add some variety to their movement in future performances, rather than just spinning around in one small area.

This Angelica girl needs to go on The Voice in a few years, because if she’s this good at age 9 I can’t imagine how amazing she’ll be by the time she’s old enough to audition over there!

Guessing these two brothers are going to do a “strongman” act or something? Oh, I guess it’s a….hammerhead act? I don’t get it. I think it’s supposed to be balancing?

“That’s what I like about this show: you’re not gonna see this anywhere else!” I agree with Simon’s sentiment, but I’m honestly not sure whether or not I’d send this one through.

Oh, it’s the Sherlock Holmes-esque act! This one was posted on YouTube a few days ago; I think the TV audience in going to like it! (On another note, I have to start posting these “sneak peek” auditions here on the blog!)

One more act to go and it’s another singer with a guitar. Now, they haven’t previewed a Golden Buzzer for tonight but Simon was giving her a lot of praise…

Okay, most of you will probably disagree with this, but while I was amazed by her story and how she can still speak and sing so well despite losing her hearing (and that was such a great song too!)…I wouldn’t have given her the Golden Buzzer, and I’m really tired of it going to singers more often than not. (I also might have ukulele fatigue after last season. 😛 But hopefully I’ll be able to get over that because I know that attitude isn’t fair to Mandy.) Now I definitely would have sent her through to Judge Cuts (and probably the Live Shows from there) but it’s very annoying how singers on this show are treated like the be-all and end-all, while the more unique acts are often passed over from praise that high.

Anyway, I’m going to try to put up a few posts throughout the week about the acts we’ve seen so far. Let me know how you felt about tonight’s show in the comments, and I’ll see you soon!

June 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!