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America’s Got Talent Season 7: First Semifinals Top Three

Wow… I have to say that even though I agree with the Top Three in some capacity or another… all the possibilities didn’t really match up. I mean this episode was literally up in the air in a lot of ways. So let’s start at the beginning:

Last week I posted a poll asking our reads whom their Top Ten acts were

Of the poll’s Top Ten… eight of them were in the first semifinal… that can not bode well. In fact the three that made it through to the finals placed third (William Close), fourth (Tom Cotter) and sixth (Joe Castillo). So within the Top Six, not too bad.

Looking at Katie’s impressions of the acts that participated in the first semifinal she notated who she thought was going to be going through and who might go through:

My Top Three:
1. Todd Oliver
2. Dittleman
3. Donovan and Rebecca

Who I Think Will Go Through:
1. Tom Cotter
2. William Close
3. Academy of Evil

She got two of the three acts right, but in her “top six” as opposed to her “top three”. Not too bad.
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August 30, 2012 I Written By

America’s Got Talent Season 7 Full Episode Streaming

I’m told that many of those people not on the west coast got America’s Got Talent interrupted by the Republican National Convention. Since, that’s the case, I decided to share with Pure AGT readers a link to last night’s full stream of America’s Got Talent Semifinals and also videos of each of the acts in case you just want to watch the AGT semifinal acts that you missed.

For those that missed it, it was a really amazing night of quality entertainment.

Andrew De Leon: Semifinals

Fan favorite Andrew De Leon performs, hoping to move one step closer to the AGT finals.

Todd Oliver: Semifinals

Ventriloquist Todd Oliver and his dog Irving take the stage to prove that they have what it takes to make it to the finals.

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August 29, 2012 I Written By

America’s Got Talent Season 7: Semifinal Music List

SEMIFINALS GROUP ONE
Andrew De Leon: Franz Schubert – Ave Maria Ave Maria - Piano (Franz Schubert) - Ave Maria - Piano (Franz Schubert)

Donovan & Rebecca: Angus and Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane Big Jet Plane - Down the Way (Bonus Track Version)

Edon: One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful What Makes You Beautiful - Up All Night (Deluxe Version)

Turf: Chris Brown – Yeah 3x Yeah 3X - Yeah 3X - Single

Bria Kelly: P!nk – Perfect F**kin' Perfect - F**kin' Perfect (Perfect) - Single

Joe Castillo: The Youngbloods – Get Together Get Together - The Best of the Youngbloods

William Close: Muse – Starlight Starlight - Black Holes and Revelations

Academy of Villains: Skrillex – Cinema and One Republic – Secrets Secrets - Waking Up (Deluxe Version)

I Written By

AGT Final Top 48 Performances Commentary – 7/24/2012

I think that many of the best were saved for the last. There were quite of a few acts I really enjoyed, and I’m at a loss for who I think is absolutely staying. I guess it comes down to separating the really good acts, from the spectacular ones. I like to think that my predictions are usually pretty accurate, but tonight, I’m not so sure if I’ll be guessing the correct ones. With that, here’s my thoughts and power rankings on tonight’s performances:

David “The Bullet” Smith: This act was interesting in the auditions. Definitely dangerous. But I always have wondered, what more can he do? Sure he can fly through the air, but there’s only so much you can do with that. I felt like the cheerleaders were a little ridiculous, and the fireworks just were there to make the act seem cooler, but in the end, it was pretty much the same act we saw when he auditioned. I do not think he should go forward after tonight.  The cannon cam was pretty neat though.

All That!: They were cool, but not as good as some of the other dance acts, which, as we’ve been told time and time again, is the hardest category this year. I like the shirt colors. They looked like they were having a lot of fun up there though. I did enjoy them but we will see how they fare against some other acts tonight. It sounded like this was going to be a tough night to be performing in.

Ulysses:  I was shocked when he got through initially, and I’m going to be even more shocked if he gets through tonight. He’s a nice guy…but that’s not what this show is about. I think the triple X’s from the Judges says it all. And the dancers? It’s like they were trying to take away from his badness.

Joe Castillo, Sand Artist: What this man does is very powerful, and he does it with such zest.  I’ve been excited to see his performance tonight, and I wasn’t let down. I loved the images he created, and I feel like the possibilities are endless for his act. This act is something that should be appreciated, and I hope people who do appreciate it will take the time to call in and vote.

Eric & Olivia: An any other night of the Top 48, I think they would have had a good chance. However, tonight, the competition was tough, as I already mentioned. Olivia has a good voice, there is no denying that, but I really don’t think they will get through to the next round. Even though they were good, there were even better performances tonight that I think will push them out of the competiion.

Eric Dittelman: It blows my mind how he does this. My husband is convinced he has an ear piece in his ear, but I feel like they would have discovered that by now. Who knows. I love it though, and I’m curious to see what else he can do. It seems like it could be a bit repetitive after awhile, but I do like how he switched it up tonight with the mock “Deal or No Deal”. I’m not sure how he did it. It seemed more like he predicted the future though, rather than reading their minds. My friend suggested that maybe he gave the case to the most attractive girl, betting that Howie would pick her in the end. I really hope he goes through.

Horse: I’m sorry, but I hate this act. Ever since I first saw it, I was disgusted. I don’t think he deserved to even make it to the initial auditions. This isn’t a talent, no matter how much he, or the judges, want to believe it. Acts like this just get through to get a rise out of the audience, that I am sure. Maybe I’m missing something, but could someone please tell me what the allure of this act is?

Lindsey Norton: Here’s the thing — I really like her. I think she’s an excellent dancer. However, I’m not sure if I want her to go through. There are SO many dance acts in this competition, and quite a few seem similar to this. The audience seemed to love her though, and maybe what she does is different from everyone else. It was very beautiful, and she has a great presence about her.

Olate Dogs: Well, Britain’s Got Talent just had a dog act win, maybe AGT will too. I think this act is so much fun, and definitely sets it self apart from the other groups. I was watching the show with quite a few family members tonight, and everyone, from my nephew who is almost 2, to my grandparents, were loving it. I’d love to see something so different from the typical singing/musical act win this year, and I think the Olate Dogs could be major contenders in the competition.

Sebastien “El Charro de Oro”: There is sure an abundance of younger kids in the Top 48 this year, hasn’t there? I think this was one of my favorites though, probably because he’s so dang cute. I kind of felt like I was being serenaded in a Mexican restaurant, but that’s okay, because I love when that happens! He has a great voice. I thought the rose at the end was rather classy though. My grandma commented that this little boy sounded like a full grown man — I have to agree. He definitely has an old soul, as Howie said. Was he the best of the night? I don’t think so. But he was adorable!

Unity in Motion: I really, really loved these girls. I feel like dance fans will have difficulty voting between them and Lindsay Norton tonight. They are definitely one of the best dance acts in the competition, and I hope they go through.

William Close:  Another home run act for the night. I love the instruments and vocals that were added to the performance. It was just an over all awesome act. It’s so different from a typical musical instrument act, and he seems to do with it such class and precision. He got a standing ovation, from the audience and the judges. I imagine that it takes a lot of time and talent to play the earth harp. It seems like the judges have already deemed him the winner, what does everyone think?

Staying:

1. William Close

2. Joe Castillo

I could see any of these staying:

3. Eric Dittelman

4. Olate Dogs

5. Unity in Motion

6. Lindsey Norton

I think they are going home, but it could be a surprise: 

7. Sebastien

8. All That!

9. Eric and Olivia

10. David “The Bullet” Smith

Definitely Leaving: 

11. Horse

12. Ulysses

July 24, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

William and the Earth Harp: An Act Good Enough to Go Straight to New York

Last Tuesday night, as the contestants who made it to Vegas searched their names on either the “favorites” or the “stand-by” list, I couldn’t believe it when William Close wasn’t on the list. If you need a refresher on his act, watch this video:

However, as we all soon found out, the Close and his Earth Harp had impressed the judges so much, he was automatically advanced to New York. I enjoyed this act right off and was looking forward to seeing him in the advanced stages of this season. This wind harp is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and I’d love to see something this different win the competition.

The “Earth Harp” was invented by Close himself back in 1999. Its strings go up to 1,000 feet in length, which makes it the world’s longest stringed instrument. Since its first debut where it was “mounted on one side of a valley with the strings stretehced nearly 1,000 feet to other side,” hundreds of Earth Harp have been installed across the world by Close and MASS Ensemble, including at the Grand Theater of Shanghai and Seattle’s Space Needle. According to a website about the Earth Harp,  an Earth Harp installation is:

. . . Celebrates the architecture and landscape of its surroundings. The environment and architecture are transformed by the strings, forever changing the perception of those lucky enough to see the installation.

The Earth Harp and MASS have performed at numerous festivals and performing arts center, such as The Coliseum in Rome for La Notte Bianca, Miami Sleepless Nights, the Kennedy Center, and a permanent installation at Cirque du Soleil’s show in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.

It’s pretty incredible how the Earth Harp works. The website explains the process as follows:

The Earth Harp is played using violin resin on cotton gloves and musical bows. The performer’s hands are run along the strings to create beautiful cello like tones. The act of rubbing the strings creates a longitudinal compression wave. This vibration is similar to the vibration patterns that produce tones when you run your finger around the edge of a wine glass.

So now that you have a little bit of background on the Earth Harp, how about something about the man behind the masterpiece?

He attended the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied sculpture and sound design. He has worked to closely explore connections between music and architecture. According to his Facebook page, the quote “architecture is frozen in music” inspires his work. In addition to the Earth Harp, he worked with architects to develop two “Symphonic houses”, where essentially, the houses are musical instruments. He has also created more than 100 new musical instruments throughout his career.

I mentioned the “MASS Ensemble” earlier on, which is an acronym for “music architecture sound and sculpture”, which was founded by Close. Many of the performances with the Earth Harp include the MASS ensemble who “work with Closes unique designs to create music based stage shows that push the envelope of the musical experience.”

Here are a few of Close’s performances, the first at Jerusalem’s Festival of Lights, and the second at the Lucidity Festival 2012 in Santa Barbara:

To learn more about William, his work, and the Earth Harp, visit his website here. I look forward to seeing how America takes to this very unique act.

June 28, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.