Free America's Got Talent Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on America's Got Talent sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other AGT fans who subscribe to Pure AGT for FREE!

6 Things Wrong With the Judge Cuts and Golden Buzzer Format of America’s Got Talent

1. The Episodes Take Up too Much Time

The “Judge Cuts” edition of the round held between auditions and the live shows has only been a thing since Season 10. Before that, they had “Vegas Week” to choose the acts to perform in the live rounds, hich from what I remembered only took up one or two episodes, allowing the live episodes to start much earlier in the season. Judge Cuts runs for FOUR WEEKS, leaving a lot less time for live episodes. Which leads us to the next point….

2. Only 28 Acts Are Sent Through

Looking at the number on its own, 28 acts for the live shows doesn’t actually sound that bad, especially when you add in Wildcards and Golden Buzzers to get 36. After all, that’s way more than the top 10 or 12 most commonly seen on reality competition shows. But when you realize the old format resulted in 48 acts performing live (a number that was cut down presumably because they currently air a MONTH’s worth of Judge Cuts episodes) it’s disappointing to think about the potential lost. To put things in perspective, a 48-act live show pool in AGT‘s current format would mean an extra Quarter-Final episode, and maybe an extra Semi-Final as well. Yes, we would probably lose more acts per episode, but it would also give the audience more choice in who made it far and allow for more variety in the acts that we were able to vote on. Which brings me to…

3. The “Luck of the Draw” Nature Makes it Very Imbalanced in Terms of Quality Control

The Vegas Week format of cutting the number of acts down allowed the judges to look at all of the acts at once, and craft a live show group from the best of each category of performance (singers, dancers, magicians, daredevils, etc.). Judge Cuts splits 80 acts into four groups who the judges only compare to each other. This might actually make sense if they put similar acts together to be judged against each other, but in all three seasons we’ve seen the Judge Cuts round, there have been singers, magicians, and dancers in pretty much every group. Since it’s seemingly randomized, there are usually some episodes with overall stronger acts than others. Since they choose 7/20 from each show instead of any 28/80 of those competing in the round, we often see mediocre acts from a weak episode move forward while stronger acts from a competitive episode get cut. The “heats” format is reasonable when it comes to the live shows, since they cant have an episode with 30+ acts for the audience to vote on, but there has to be a better way to select acts than putting them into what seem to be randomized groups. There is one thing that could have made this worth it, but…

4. The Editing Makes the Judge Cuts Episode Have Little to No Suspense

This is perhaps the biggest problem I have with the Judge Cuts format, and it’s especially frustrating because it could be easily fixed. Each episode has about an hour and a half of content (plus commercials). Each act is given 90 seconds to perform for the judges, which with 20 acts is a grand total of 30 minutes worth of performances. The other hour of time could be used for judge comments, behind-the-scenes footage, and results. Instead, we get to see about 9/20 performances in full, about half of which have backstory packages longer than the act itself. Meanwhile, the rest of the acts get relegated to montages, and regular viewers can quickly figure out that anyone who suffers this fate is definitely not advancing. That’s why it’s laughable at the end when they show an act who got the “full package” next to someone who barely showed up in a montage and expect us to be on the edge of our seats in suspense. This is pointless since as I said before they could easily fit all 20 performances into this episode, and the packages we see for acts in the Judge Cuts are usually very similar to what we’re shown in the live shows anyway. I know they want us to get invested in the acts, but I think the majority of viewers come for the talent and would be happy to sacrifice package time to see more of the actual performances. But maybe they want us to get caught up in the backstories and drama of it all so we don’t notice they’re sending through…

5. So. Many Singers.

Kind of a sub-topic of #3, but since the acts aren’t judged based on “best of the genre” anymore, the favoritism from the judges when it comes to the types of acts we see move forward becomes very obvious. Every Season 12 Judge Cuts episode saw multiple singers advance, but two of them had zero magic acts moving forward. I guess it’s supposed to be a “quality over quantity” thing, but even regardless of my opinion that quite a few of this year’s singers are pretty mediocre, this is still supposed to be a variety show. Presumably 18/36 acts in the live shows involving singing, a handful involving magic, and only one with comedy creates a clear imbalance. And speaking of imbalance…

6. The Golden Buzzer Has Basically Been Rendered Pointless

Man, I thought 5/9 Golden Buzzers used on singers in Season 11 was excessive, but in Season 12 a whopping 8/9 of the Golden Buzzers are singing acts, including every single one used by a judge. I can forgive the guest judges for it because it’s their first time seeing the acts and most of them probably don’t know as much about the show as the main judges, but the regulars should know better. They know perfectly well that most of the acts they chose would be very likely to make it to the live shows anyway. For instance, Simon used his this season on Mandy Harvey, who would clearly have made it to the live shows even if she’d had to endure the Judge Cuts round. Same with Mel using hers on Darci. Both those judges used their GB’s on shoo-ins and we later saw them begging other judges to change their votes to ensure acts they were passionate about advanced. I’d really like to see the Golden Buzzer be used on performances that a judge may feel passionate about that not all the others agree on. It can be their power to veto the disagreement of the others and make some bold choices about acts that might not be universally loved. I think Simon using his on Sara & Hero, who he clearly vouched for throughout the cutting process, would have been really interesting and a cause for discussion among fans. Heck, Mel could have used hers on Dancing Pumpkin Man! The audience might not have been happy about it, but it’d be a chance for the judges to show their affinity for a performer they feel has potential to improve, or even a “joke” act they just have a special place in their heart for.

Do you agree on the issues I mentioned or have any others to share?

August 15, 2017 I Written By

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

America’s Got Talent Season 12 Judge Cuts 4: Who Received Seal’s Golden Buzzer? And who else might have made the cut?

Hey everyone! I was going to do Power Rankings for last week’s episode (I’ll still do them, just combined with tomorrow night’s acts) but something bigger came along, and that something is a bit of detective work from AGT fans! The rumor mill has been abuzz about who received the final Golden Buzzer of the season, but I think we may have cracked this case thanks to a promo for tomorrow’s episode on the AGT YouTube Channel. Check it out!

Did you see the clue? Play the video back and watch for the moment when Seal presses the Golden Buzzer. He does so in an interesting fashion…one that some might even describe as…robotic.

So what does this mean? Judging by this week’s lineup, it’s looking like dancer Merrick Hanna got the coveted final Golden Buzzer! If this theory is true, that would make seven singing acts and two dance acts as our Season 12 Golden Buzzers, which goes with the trends of the rest of the live shows lineup so far, which is set to be very singing and dancing-heavy.

If Merrick does indeed get the GB, there will still be six other spots to fill, and I’m pretty sure we can already mark down another one as “taken”! Each week of the show so far this season, an act’s performance has been featured on the AGT YouTube channel a few days before the episode it’s featured in airs on TV, and guess what? All of them have advanced to the next round! So, who was the lucky act this week? None other than the Pompeyo Family Dogs!

In terms of who else I think might move forward, I definitely see at least one if not both magicians in this group making the cut (I’m pretty sure Will Tsai is going to advance but I’m currently on the fence regarding Henry Richardson).  There are four other dance acts besides Merrick, and based on the sheer number of them I’d assume at least one would move on, but I’m looking at these acts and either don’t remember them or don’t think they have a good shot, and let’s not forget the Great Magician Massacre of last week’s episode. Could we see the dance acts suffer a similar fate this week?

Of course, because this is AGT, we’ll probably see at least one singing act move forward. My first thought was Kechi Okwuchi, but given that the judges seemed kind of lukewarm on her in the auditions I think there’s a chance she might not make it (possible Wildcard?). I’ve been hearing rumors about a stand-off between vocalists Johnny Manuel and the late Brandon Rogers, so I have a feeling one or both of them got sent through. Based on promo editing I’m guessing if only one moved on it was Johnny, but if Brandon did there will most likely be an extra Wildcard spot for the live shows (I know I talk about the Wildcards a lot but in the last week I have seen way more campaigning from acts and fans alike than ever before).

We also have two vocal groups: Gospel choir DaNell Daymon & Greater Works and all-male a capella group In the Stairwell. Based on the previous comments from the judges about those two acts, I’d wager Greater Works is the more likely of them to continue. The rest of the performances lined up for tomorrow’s episode mostly fall under the “variety” genre, and it’s hard to tell who might advance from that crop. Based on what we’ve seen so far, my personal favorites are scientist Nick Uhas and balancer-contortionist Maria Popazov, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up for them to go through.

Do you agree with the theory of Merrick getting Seal’s Golden Buzzer? And who do you want to see move forward tomorrow night?

August 7, 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 AGT) 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 others echo this sentiment) the first two Judge Cuts episodes were relatively boring for AGT. However, this guy (along with Puddles and the very brief montage with clips of the other magicians) was 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 their 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 leading 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 their’s 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 Week 6: Live Blog!

Hey all! I’m back for another week of live-blogging! This is the last week of auditions and will feature Heidi’s Golden Buzzer, so I’ll have all my info for my upcoming post about those.

I didn’t catch their name, but I really liked the boy band that started the night off, especially the fact that they formed on their own and still sounded so good together!

The tango group was nice, but not particularly interesting. Unless they add some more excitement, I don’t see them going very far.

Hmmmm I’m pretty sure we’ve heard “I’ll Stand By You” on this show recently. Seems to be a lot of repeated songs lately; I think they might have a list the auditionees have to pick from. I tuned out of the backstory (sorry) but she has a nice voice and all.

Okay, that was probably the least remarkable Golden Buzzer act I’ve seen since I stared watching the show. Angie is a good singer, but she doesn’t stick out to me as some of the others. (Also I don’t think she really NEEDED it; like she wasn’t in danger of not being sent through or anything, but that’s for another post……)

So we got a full five-minute segment of a child singer with a tragic backstory but the unique and exciting acts get relegated to a montage. Sounds about right. :/

YAY A COMEDIAN! This guy seems adorable and funny. I’m so glad he’s going through!

Oh wow. This anti-gravity act is AMAZING! Now THIS is what I tune into AGT for! Truly something I could see in Vegas. WHERE’S HER GOLDEN BUZZER, HUH?

I loved the husband/wife balancing duo! The creativity with the skateboards was great, and I laughed at “guess my mom knows we’re married now”. I’m concerned that the act isn’t long for this show, since balancers don’t usually seem to go very far, but I’ll enjoy this one while it lasts.

Hey! A male singer who’s bit older than the ones we usually see on AGT! That’s pretty cool. He did a great job and I’m glad he got through. With the age restrictions on some of the other singing shows, I’m glad he’s here and I think I’d like to see him go far.

Fun dance act with the animation to bring us back from commercial break! Lol at Simon seeing two people dancing. XD

Totally here for this father-son dance/gymnastics act! (With more evidence that there might be a set song list, since we’ve heard “Sax” several times over the past two seasons now.) Legitimately one of my favorites of the night. Can’t wait to see them again!

Oooo “Mirror Image”…sounds like a pretty cool act, even though I have no idea what they’re going to do yet!

Wow, they sound really good together and dance like no one is watching! I’m here for this. They definitely have star quality!

Oh man. What even is this….props to them for working food into an AGT act, but it seemed kind of miessily executed. They might be onto something, though.

“I haven’t got a Golden Buzzer so I can’t help you.” I hope moments like this makes the judges wake up and realize they may have lost sight on the true purpose of the GB.

Oh man…..we’re ending on a posthumous airing of an audition? Oh man……(don’t worry, I won’t snark on this one).

So cool that he sang to his patients! I bet it really brightened heir day, because his voice was lovely.

Rest in Peace, Brandon Rogers. Everyone else, I’ll see you soon.

July 11, 2017 I Written By

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

Pure AGT Season 11 – Auditions Week 4 Recap

This was another week of Preliminary auditions in front of the judges, and I believe it was the last one of the season. All four judges have now used their Golden Buzzer privileges, which means four acts have already taken spots for the live shows! Let’s take a look at this week’s performances, including Simon’s Golden Buzzer choice!

Alfredo and Anna Silva: We started the night off with a married couple who performed a knife-throwing act consisting of Alfredo throwing knives at a board while Anna posed in front of it in various ways, with him twirling her around before each transition. Anna’s poses soon turned to leaps from side to side as Alfredo threw the knives, and they finished with fire lit knives being thrown! The audience was in simultaneous fear and awe (Mel spent the performances peeking through her fingers) which made sense since before the performance Alfredo revealed he’d accidentally hit Anna with a knife while performing twice in the past. Thankfully that didn’t happen here! Howie said the danger in this act was a level above over other knife-throwing acts. Heidi loved it and Simon found it refreshing and interesting that in this act, the person in front of the target was the main focus, rather than the person throwing the knives.
The Verdict: Alfredo and Anna promised the act would be even more dangerous if they were to make it through, and they did with 4 yes’s!

Elias and Zion: 9-year-old twins who played a piano duet. Audience members and judges alike seemed to find them quite endearing, but probably moreso because of their stage presence than the act itself (they were very talkative). Regardless, their act was well-performed and entertaining.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s from the judges.

Next up was a montage of various kid acts, fittingly set to One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young”. First we saw a dance group get through, followed by another dancer who got a no from Simon to everyone’s shock…but it turned out to be fake and he advanced. Finally we saw a kid do a dangerous balancing act. “Where can you take this act?” asked Simon after the performance, to which the kid replied, “You’re just gonna have to pass me to find out.” And I guess we will, because he was sent through!

Jayna Brown: A 14-year-old who sang “Summertime”. Her voice is clearly still developing but the level of maturity she exudes onstage is well beyond her years. She seems to have that “star quality” and lots of stage presence. During this performance I noticed lots of smiles from pretty much everyone, and at the end she got a standing ovation! And for the second week in a row we got a “I didn’t like it…I loved it!” from Simon.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s!

Sos and Victoria Petrosyan: Another married couple! This act was a runway-style costume quick-change performance, with all costumes designed by the Petrosyans themselves! Sos had Victoria step into various contraptions and she’d come out with a completely different-looking outfit on in a matter of seconds! I have no idea what I’d compare this act to, as it’s certainly something I can’t recall seeing anything similar to on AGT in the past. The closest thing I can think of was a video of a Katy Perry performance I saw a few years ago. Anyway, someone in the audience yelled “Now THAT’S talent” at the end, and I think that pretty much said it all.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s from the judges!

This was followed by a montage of buzzed and rejected acts including a group of people moving pianos around the stage, a duo of dancers, and a dance troupe who Simon claimed was uncomfortable because the performers were smiling too much. Oh yeah, that was the “theme” of this montage; there were various clips featuring discussion of smiles in some way interspersed between the performance bits, which served as a segue to…

Robert “The Compliment Man” Drlicka: Before this guy stepped out onstage he announced hismain goal was to make the judges and audience members smile. His act? Complimenting everyone, or as Robert described it, “trading stress for smiles created by compliments”. This didn’t exactly sound like a winning act but it at least seemed like it was going to be cute. Instead, it was extremely awkward. He started off by complimenting the audience for parking their cars correctly, and then proceeded to compliment each of the judges individually on various things. Robert didn’t seem to make very many people smile like he’d hoped to; most of them just seemed uncomfortable.
The Verdict: All the judges buzzed him (Mel B held out for a bit, claiming afterwards that she was waiting for Robert to give her more compliments) which meant he was automatically rejected. After he left the stage, Heidi said that she “[she could not] believe someone waited in line all day! ALL DAY to do THAT!”

John Dorenbos: This contestant was already famous even before his audition! John is a Philadelphia Eagles player who did a magic act. His trick consisted of pulling out a set of cards in order by doing seemingly random things and then the whole suits together in order. He was very charismatic and entertaining (even if I didn’t fully unerstand what he was doing). Heidi was impressed, Simon was speechless, and Mel B just couldn’t get over it. Howie said John had a gift and that it was an “amazing moment”.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s!

Vello Vaher: 52-year-old Contortionist from Estonia who balanced on brick while knocking them off a table, walked and jumped on his hands, and climbed a rope in an unusual fashion. The act finished with Vello hanging from the rope by only his mouth, and the judges were absolutely amazed.
The Verdict: Vello received an unsurprising 4 yes’s.

This was followed by a montage of youth singing acts, including a trio of young girls, a young guy with a piano, and a guitar-playing girl. They were all rejected but not completely raked over the coals, with the judges giving them constructive advice and encouragement to improve in the future.

Ronee Martin: In contrast to the montage of youth we’d just seen, the next performer was a 62-year-old singing law firm assistant. She started singing one song then Simon told her to choose a different one and try again. Ronee chose “Natural Woman” and did much better.
The Verdict: The judges looked so amazed that I was expecting her to be Simon’s Golden Buzzer. But 4 yes’s and a lot of praise wasn’t bad either!

Next was yet another montage of various odd acts which all got rejected, but none of them compared to…

The Baron of the Universe: I didn’t catch what his real name was, but his act consisted of hooking chains to his nose, eyes, and nipples and then swinging them around. Many people had to look away during the one (including myself) since it looked so painful. ___ didn’t seem to be bothered at all though!
The Verdict: ¾ judges were grossed out but said yes. (Heidi buzzed and gave a no.)
Side Note: This guy holds the Guinness World Record for “Heaviest Weight Lifted with Nipples” (72 pounds!)

Julia Scotti: Julia announced herself as a stand-up comic from New Jersey who wanted to show everyone “age is just a number” (which seemed to be a theme this week). Her set was mainly about her age and what it’s like for her to be an older person in today’s society. The audience seemed to enjoy it well enough but then she threw a curse word in their and they went absolutely wild with laughter (which I’ve personally never understood). After her set, Julia revealed she used to do stand-up when she was younger but job issues and a sex change caused her to take a long hiatus from performing.
The Verdict: The judges loved it and gave her 4 yes’s!

Calysta Bevier: The final act of the night was a 16-year-old cancer survivor who sang “Fight Song”.  I actually liked her version more than the original, since I felt it had more power and soul behind it. Calysta impressed the audience, and even got a standing ovation in the middle of the number! Mel complimented her musical technicality, and the other judges loved it as well.
The Verdict: Simon gave her his GOLDEN BUZZER so Calysta will definitely be in the live show round!

So, there you have it. We’re now four weeks into the season and all four of the judges’ Golden Buzzers have been used on singers, which I’m a little disappointed by, but I’ve also noticed they’re all pretty young (the oldest is Sal Valentinetti, who is 20) which is kind of cool. There are still lots of spots in the live shows remaining for all kinds of acts to claim, plus Nick still has a chance to use the coveted GB so my fingers are crossed he’ll use it on a non-singing act.

What did you think of this week’s episode, and who do you think will survive the next round? Be sure to comment below and hopefully we can have a nice discussion as we await next week’s episode. (And remember: the show will start one hour later next week than it has so far this season, so make sure to check your listings so you don’t miss it!)

June 23, 2016 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!

PureAGT Season 11 – Auditions Week 3 Recap

Hello! My name is Julia and I’m excited to be writing for the PureAGT this season! I’ve written for various other sites about various entertainment news,  but never about AGT, so this should be a fun new endeavour!

This past Tuesday was the third episode of auditions and I couldn’t help but notice the night’s lineup seemed to consist mainly of singers. While I tend to enjoy a lot of these acts, I prefer to see a bit more variety in the audition episodes, especially since most talent competitions on TV seem to focus solely on singing and the “anything goes” theme of AGT (and the other shows in the Got Talent franchise) is what makes it be so exciting and stand out. However, I will say that at least the singing acts shown this week spanned a wide variety of genres which kept things from getting too stale. Let’s take a look at them along with the rest of the Week 3 auditions!

Good Girl: A group of four best friends who claimed that their dream was to be the “American Spice Girls”. I think that goal did sort of go with their image since I felt their performance seemed very reminiscent of several 90’s girl groups. Simon said they seemed like a “copycat” of other famous acts but in a good way, and that they needed to take it to the next level in order to set themselves apart. Heidi said she loved their attitude, and apparently so did the audience, who immediately gave them a standing ovation as soon as they started their song and cheered throughout. Definite crowd-pleasers!
The Verdict: 4 yes’s, so they moved on to the next round!

After the first act, we saw a montage of various dance groups. They didn’t show enough for me to form specific opinions about any of them but they all seemed very good. The judges gave each of them positive comments and they were all sent through to Boot Camp. Included in the montage for behind-the-scenes clips but given a segment of their own were…

John Rothman and his dancers: 79 year-old choreographer (John) and several other dancers who were all ladies above the age of 70; the oldest was 81! Their routine didn’t have much energy to it and it was pretty silly, but to me it seemed to be at least somewhat purposefully tongue-in-cheek. The audience went wild for them-especially when John did the cartwheel-and gave them a standing ovation. called for microphone person to take away and bring back the mic as planned backstage
The Verdict: 3 yes’s from Heidi, Simon, and Mel B. I highly doubt they would have made it through if not for their ages, but I suppose that was part of the charm and the “package” as a whole. However, I must say I find it pointless and a little annoying when the judges put through acts like this which they are obviously not going to send to the live shows.

Diane Barnard: Diane was a returning act who had auditioned for the judges back in Season 9, and was determined to make the cut this time around. Unfortunately, all she did were some pretty amateur-ish hoop tricks and was very quickly buzzed by Simon and Mel B. Nick came onstage to play around with the hoops and actually out-performed Diane before ushering her off stage…yikes. Heidi also got in on the fun after Diane had left.
The Verdict: 2 buzzers, meaning an automatic no.

Russian Bar Trio: Another returning act, this time from way back in Season 3! One of the members got hurt during that season and the group had to drop out of the competition as a result. It was a real shame, but it was so nice to see them back on the show in hopes of redemption! I vaguely remember being impressed by them eight years ago, and I definitely was so again this week! As Simon said, it was simple, yet still suspenseful. It really was amazing that they were able to do so many different tricks with just the bar and minimal props. The audience and judges were holding their breath during this act, but thankfully no one was injured. (Let’s hope things stay that way for the rest of the season!)
The Verdict: 4 yes’s. Well deserved, and good on Christine for getting back out there even after being so severely injured!

Kadie Lynn Roberson: 12-year old Texan country singer (we get a short segment about how she was adopted at birth). Kadie and showed no fear when talking to the judges or during her performance. Her voice sounded much richer and more mature than that of the average 12-year-old, as commented on by the judges. This was the third week in a row we’ve seen an audition from a female singer around this age, and even though Kadie didn’t get the Golden Buzzer like the previous two, I think she could be a serious threat to them if she makes it to the live shows. She exudes confidence, has a sweet and loveable personality, and is likely going to be appealing to the big country fanbase this show’s audience seems to have. Watch out, Laura and Grace!
The Verdict: An unsurprising 4 yes’s.

Duo Guerrerro: This was a married couple who kept the audience on their toes throughout their segment. I found it odd they made a big deal of him stepping on her skirt as they walked onstage because I don’t recall said skirt being present in the actual performance, which turned out to be a tightrope act which they went outside for. judges. Some of the tricks included doing the splits, sitting and standing on a chair, and one of them jumping over and later standing on the back of the other. The judges and live audience were captivated the entire time (lots of audible gasps during this one) and they even put a commercial break in there to build suspense among the television viewers.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s, so we’ll be seeing them again in the next round!

One Voice: This was a 12-member high school a-capella group. All the members had great stage presence and their voices complimented each other well. Simon did the infamous “I didn’t like it…I loved it!” cliché, and the rest of the judges enjoyed it as well. There was also this strange but sweet bit where they were asked about their love lives and one of the guys said he had a crush on another member. After the performance, Mel B pressed on about who it was and he went backstage and surprised the lead singer (I think her name was Hope?) with a prom invitation via a reference from The Office.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s

Following this we get a montage of comedians leading into…

Lori Mae Hernandez: 13-year-old stand-up comedienne. She got a whole backstory bit before her routine about how she wanted to make her dad smile again after he was diagnosed with Bells Palsy. Her jokes were pretty good but it sort of felt like she was reciting them at times and some of the punchlines were oversold. In the end, Lori got a standing ovation and lots of praise from the judges.
The Verdict: Through to the next round with 4 yes’s.

Next was another montage of various out-of-the-norm acts including a woman with a “singing” chihuahua,) a shrill operatic duo, a married couple that used everyday objects as musical instruments (which actually sounded intriguing but turned out to be more “toddlers in the kitchen” than STOMP the Yard) and some act involving a giant bird puppet which had a face that reminded me of the social worker from Follow That Bird. They were all shown to be rejected, and then to close out the montage we got to see…

Miranda Cunha: Seemed to be some sort of burlesque dancer and singer. She brought Simon up onstage and kissed him square in the mouth (which would have provoked a bigger reaction in me had we not seen it several times previously in that night’s “coming up!” clips).
The Verdict: She got through with 3 yes’s, which was quite surprising to me. I’m guessing she’s be another act they put through for the heck of it but clearly won’t be getting anywhere near the live shows.

Viktor Kee: Came out in a sort of “inside out” bodysuit and announced he had been a juggler for the past four decades, first learning the skill at age 5. Juggling acts on this show are usually boring at best and a hot mess at worst, but he did it in an acrobatic way which kept things fairly interesting. The judges were all very impressed, and, like me, Simon said this was one of the few juggling acts he’d actually enjoyed.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s. Definitely deserving, but I’m wondering if Viktor is going to be able to keep this act interesting and fresh enough to be a long-standing competitor this season.

Sal Valentinetti: 1940’s-style singer from New York. Apparently he’s only 20 years old which surprised me. His audition song was “My Way” by Frank Sinatra and the crowd went wild for him. The judges seemed to love him just as much, and he even got a hug and some kisses from Heidi!
The Verdict: GOLDEN BUZZER FROM HEIDI! I would have actually been surprised by this had they not shown Heidi hitting the Golden Buzzer in the teaser bumpers and had the clock not been very close to the 10 pm mark. It was the same situation last week when Grace’s audition was obviously the last of the episode but I guess that’s just how this show works. Maybe it’s because we’d already seen two singers get the GB this season, but I didn’t have that “wow” moment with Sal like I did the others. He was great and was certainly worthy of making it to the next round, but I can’t say I’m quite as excited about him as I am for some of the other acts we’ve seen so far.

So for those keeping score at home, we have now seen three of the Season 11 Golden Buzzer acts: Laura Bretan from Mel B, Grace VanderWaal from Howie, and now Sal Valentinetti from Heidi. Since next week is the final week of auditions (from the first round, anyway) we’ll presumably be seeing Simon’s choice, and for the first time ever Nick also has Golden Buzzer privileges this season so I guess we’ll be seeing his as well? I’m still not entirely sure how the host’s Golden Buzzer powers work…

Another interesting note: All three of the GB acts we’ve seen so far have been singers…will the trend continue? We’ll find out next week, but in the meantime I invite you to share your thoughts on this week in the comments section. Do you have a favorite act so far, or is there anyone we’ve seen you think will go far? I’m also wondering if anyone would like a post covering the first two episodes of this season since we’re starting a little late. It might not be a full recap, but maybe just something covering the highlights of the first two weeks. Let me know if that’s something you’d like to see, and I’ll talk to you in the comments soon!

June 16, 2016 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!

PureAGT Season 9, Episode #1 – Audition Round Run-Down

I apologize that this has taken so long – apparently a 9-month absence made me forget just how LONG a 2-hour show is, and how many acts we really see!

Just FYI, for anyone looking for the music from last nights show – my full list is here.

Adrian Romoff – age 9, from Atlanta, GA
The act: Played “Flight of the Bumblebee” and “Symphony No. 1 in E Flat Major” on the piano.
The verdict: Howard was dubious about whether or not the boy was actually playing the piano after the first song, so he offered to play a second one. Howard was sold, and he got 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: I may be in the minority here, as I saw quite a few people on Twitter mentioning that they found Adrian “annoying”, but I love precocious kids that are articulate and wise beyond their years…probably because I was the same way at that age 😛 I got a kick at how he was calmly and confidently (and wittily!) conversing with the judges. The piano-playing was good, of course, although I found the arrangements of both pieces he played to be a bit too “busy” – would have liked something a bit simpler and less electronic-sounding, so I could really appreciate his skill.

The Famtastix
The act:: A group of grown siblings (2 brothers, 4 sisters)that clogged to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge.
The verdict: They’re through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Kind of over clogging acts (they all start to look rather similar after awhile), but this one wasn’t bad.

Richard & Ashlee
The act: A male-female duo of classical dancers turned circus performers that did a series of lifts to “Too Close” by Alex Clare.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Gonna be hard to trump the Kristef Brothers in my book. The little we saw was ok – but I hope their next performance is more entertaining.

Tic & Tac Entertainment
The act: An “acrobatic breakdance comedy group” that did a series of flips, tricks, and breakdance moves to “Happy” by Pharell.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Visually, they reminded me of The Chicago Boyz from last season, wearing leftover Team USA sweaters from the Olympics in Sochi 😛 But I think they could potentially be a more well-rounded version of the Chicago Boyz – they seem like they’re able to do a lot more.

3 unnamed comedians
The act: Three very unfunny comedians that preceded Dan Naturman.
The verdict: Fairly certain none of them made it through, judging by all the buzzing that was going on.
Court’s thoughts: Who told any of these 3 guys that it was a good idea to try out for AGT??? None of them even sounded prepared.

Dan Naturman – age 44, from New York City
The act: A stand-up comedian that hit on such topics as marriage, Game of Thrones, and people lying on the Internet.
The verdict:: He got yes’s from all 4 judges (even Heidi), and he’s through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: At first, I found his delivery a bit jarring – could have been nerves, but he started off in a somewhat rushed, rapid-fire rhythm in an accent that can best be described as James Cagney meets Gilbert Godfried 😛 But about 20 seconds in, he settled into a good rhythm, and it flowed well. Loved the material – tackled timeless topics, while giving it more of a current spin. Could be this season’s Taylor Williamson, methinks.

Rokardy – age 49, from Cuba
The act: He’s a hand-balancer that managed to balance on a narrow stand high enough above the stage that he actually was hidden behind the judges’ X’s, then climbed down and landed in a split. Brought along his son Carlos, who assisted by throwing him pieces of the stand, which he assembled as he climbed it.
The verdict: 4 yes’s. And Howard wants to make a movie about Carlos. 😛
Court’s thoughts: Anyone else find it just a bit odd that Rokardy didn’t introduce Carlos as his son right off the bat? Just was a bit funny to me that he started off by saying “This is my assistant” and it wasn’t until much later that he was like “Oh yeah, he’s my son.” Weird little nitpick, and I’m probably the only one that honed in on it 😛 But anyway!!! A hand-balancer that is possibly more skilled than the Kristef Brothers…but I don’t know that he’s got the variety or the showmanship that made them so appealing. Hope he’s got some other tricks up his sleeve. Looks fan-freaking-tastic for pushing 50!!!

Donnie Valentine – from Champaign, IL
The act: He sang a cover of “You Make Me Feel Brand New” in a painful falsetto.
The verdict: 4 very quick X’s…quite possibly the quickest anyone’s ever gotten them, according to Howard.
Court’s thoughts: This dude is like an unholy trinity of creepy: bizarre at-home perm, eyes that don’t blink nearly enough, and pants that make him look like he’s about to swashbuckle. Yikes.

Juli Moody
The act: I guess it was some sort of strong woman act – she did some squats with Nick on her back.
The verdict: I’m assuming no – even though it took awhile (because the judges were enjoying watching Nick look uncomfortable on her back), most of the judges buzzed her.
Court’s thoughts: Had she gotten a bit more creative with this and not just relied on squatting Nick, I think she might have actually had something…we don’t see too many StrongWoman acts. But alas, no.

Bald Man Bongos
The act: 4 bald dudes smacking each other in the head in rhythm. Basically, last season’s Tummy Talk, just tweaked slightly.
The verdict: Howie was the only one that didn’t buzz – and he briefly joined the group onstage. But we won’t see them in Boot Camp.
Court’s thoughts: Tummy Talk wasn’t that great of an act, so why did someone feel the need to rehash it? Just DUMB.

Unnamed hula hooping act
The act: A middle-aged woman in a red flapper costume hula-hoooping…awkwardly.
The verdict: It’s a no – although the act improved dramatically when Nick joined her onstage to share his hula hoop skills 😛
Court’s thoughts: The way this woman moved is how I would imagine an ostrich trying to hula hoop would look.

Unnamed kick-line dance group
The act: From the very brief clip we saw, they appear to be an all-female jazz dance group – that does kick lines.
The verdict: Not shown – although they seem pretty good, and Mel looked impressed.
Court’s thoughts: Was part of the rapid-fire montage of acts right before Mighty Atom, so we only saw a few seconds. Looked decent, though.

Unnamed knife-throwing act
The act: A male-female knife-throwing duo.
The verdict: Not shown.
Court’s thoughts: Looked like a pretty garden-variety knife-throwing act…nothing too special.

Unnamed ping pong act
The act: A girl hitting a ping pong ball into a guys mouth…and him spitting it back out. Repeat.
The verdict: Unknown – but I have a hard time believing this one made it through, given how bored the judges looked.
Court’s thoughts: Just…why???

Unnamed bell-ringing musician
The act: A snazzy-dress middle-aged woman playing “Like A Virgin” with hand bells.
The verdict: Yet another unknown…but the judges looked very unimpressed.
Court’s thoughts: She looked like a top-selling Avon lady circa 1987. And probably watches a lot of Wheel of Fortune in her spare time.

Mike Greenstein, aka “Mighty Atom Jr.” – age 93
The act: He’s a strongman that pulled a station wagon carrying 3 people WITH HIS TEETH.
The verdict: 3 yes’s, and 1 no from Howard, who thought he act “needed more showmanship”.
Court’s thoughts: First off, I just thought he was the most adorable thing we’ve seen on the show so far – loved how he chomped his teeth like Iceman from Top Gun, and referred to his “84-year-old kid brother”. Clearly this man did not get the memo that he is 93 years old 😛 Thought the act was impressive, but not sure there’s a whole lot else he can do with it…but I’m glad he’s had this opportunity to show America that you don’t have to sit around and do nothing after you retire!

Acte II – ages 32 & 29, from New Orleans
The act: A female opera duo that sang “The Flower Duet”.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts:: I don’t particularly like opera, but I enjoyed this – I can’t recall another time on AGT that we’ve had a female opera duo or group. So I find this act intriguing 🙂 I know a lot of folks on Twitter were of the opinion “Whatever, they’re no Forte!!!” but I really think the two are apples & oranges – they’re just different from Forte. Not sure how many more opera duets are written for two females – “The Flower Duet” was the only one I was familiar with – but I’m hoping these two can sing things other than just opera. It sounds like they can – they seemed to indicate that they like singing more contemporary music, too.

Unnamed J-setting dance group
The act: A group of drag queens in gold costumes performing “J-setting”, a style of dance inspired by the 8-counts typically done in cheerleading.
The verdict: Unknown – Mel & Heidi seemed to be enjoying it, Howie buzzed them but didn’t say anything, and Howard was a big fat “NO!”
Court’s thoughts: I’m actually a big fan of J-setting, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea…so I doubt it would make a very good Vegas show :-/

Unnamed male hip-hop dancer
The act: A young Asian man doing a pretty impressive sequence of spins and turns incorporated into turfing, jooking, and some other hip-hop styles.
The verdict: 3 yes’s, and one no from Howard.
Court’s thoughts: I was impressed by what I saw, and I don’t think we’ve had a really impressive street dancer since Turf back in season 6. I’m ready for another good solo hip-hop dancer!

Unnamed female singing group
The act: A group of 4 young ladies singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.
The verdict: Howard liked it, but the other 3 didn’t…so probably didn’t make it, but not shown for sure.
Court’s thoughts: Sounded kinda off-key, from the short blurb I saw.

Unnamed band
The act: 4 young, decently good-looking guys with guitars – we didn’t actually get to see them perform.
The verdict: Howie & Heidi liked it, but Howard didn’t…but again, no verdict actually shown.
Court’s thoughts: All these unknown decisions are gonna drive me nuts when it comes time to compile my Boot Camp week list later this season. Grrrr…

Dustin’s Dojo – ages 30 & 35, from Indianapolis
The act: Two guys performing a comedic parody of what it’s like to attend karate school, complete with punches, board breaking, and high kicks.
The verdict: Mel & Heidi (particularly Heidi) didn’t think it was funny at all, but Howard and Howie loved it and gave it two yes’s…when the girls said “no”, Howard invoked his one-time Golden Buzzer privileges and sent them through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: I already talked about this act a bit in my poll post from earlier today (if you haven’t already, tell us what you thought about Dustin’s Dojo!), but I’m in the camp that loved it – thought it was pretty clever and an a pretty apt parody of what happens in martial arts school. I’ve noticed that the act seems to be more popular with men than with women, maybe owing to the slapstick nature of the act. Probably won’t make it past the next round, but I’m ok with it right now – just a fun, space-filling act.

Unnamed female dance group
The act: Another all-female dance group doing vaguely jazzy, hip-hopping stuff.
The verdict: By the positive response from the judges and their happy squeals as they left the stage, I’m gonna venture a guess that they made it through.
Court’s thoughts: Gettin’ real tired of this no-names, short clips sh*t…

Unnamed male stepping group
The act: A group of steppers, who also through in some acrobatic moves in between stepping moves.
The verdict: They made it through.
Court’s thoughts:Glad to see another stepping group – the one we saw last season got very little attention, and was kinda lame. Hope this one makes it further!

Unnammed male hip-hop/acrobatic dance group
The act: 7 young men doing a combination of hip-hop and acrobatic tricks.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Loved the cute little guy with the locks they had up front – reminds me of the cute lil guy from Chicago Boyz last year 😛

Blue Journey – ages 18 & 33
The act: A contemporary dance duo that incorporated a projection screen into their routine, along with elements of silhouettes & video technology.
The verdict: Despite an awkward initial interview, the performance pleased the judges and they got 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: On paper, I probably should have hated this routine – it had several elements I’m tired of seeing on AGT: silhouettes, LCD screens, animations, and blacklight effect incorporated into dance routines. But it was so well-put-together that I couldn’t help but enjoy it – both the dancers were technically strong, as was the choreography itself and the overall staging. Looking forward to seeing what else they have to bring to the table.

Larry the Mime (Nick in disguise)
The act: A fairly terrible French mime act, complete with poorly-executed invisible box, invisible rope, and more.
The verdict: 4 resounding no’s from the judges, and one very sad-looking mime who launched into a diatribe shortly thereafter.
Court’s thoughts: I honestly feel a bit stupid that I didn’t realize sooner that it was Nick underneath that makeup – but with as kooky as some of the acts have gotten in recent years, I didn’t think it was completely off-the-wall to have a disgruntled mime on the show. So touché, Nick…touché 😉

Jaycob Curlee – from Daphne, AL
The act: He sang and played an acoustic version of “Waiting on the World to Change”.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: It was pretty good – nothing terribly special, though. Kind of your garden-variety guy with a guitar and a soft voice trying to be John Mayer. I have a feeling America will feel for his sad backstory, though, and he’ll likely last much longer than he should, a la Jimmy Rose. Yes, I’m cynical. 😛

So those were my thoughts on the acts we saw last night…what are yours? Do you have an early favorites?

May 28, 2014 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 9 Episode #1 POLL: What Do You Think of Dustin’s Dojo?

So it looks like we already have a candidate for “most polarizing act this season” – and we’re only one episode into the season! For those of you still catching up (or who need a refresher – funny how things can fade from memory during a two-hour show!), here’s a clip of the act in question – Dustin’s Dojo, a comedy/martial arts act that prompted Howard to use his Golden Buzzer after Heidi & Mel panned the act:

Judging from the mixed reactions I saw from the judges, the audience, and Twitter, this definitely seems like one of those acts that people seem to really love or hate – I personally loved it, just because I thought it was a creative spin on the comedy acts we usually see on AGT, and it fights right in-line with the stupid humor that I enjoy.  A few friends on Twitter thought it was “dumb” and “didn’t find it funny at all”; Mama Spence (my mother) was on the fence about it – got a few chuckles from her, but she acknowledged that it was “pretty stupid” and not really worthy of a Vegas show; the bf popped by after work to eat some dinner leftovers and was laughing his ass off at it.  So what did YOU think of it?

In the end, whether people love or hate this act, I doubt it’s going to make a huge impact on the competition – they probably won’t make it past the next round (because I don’t see Heidi changing her mind about it – Mel might be more impressionable), and they’re just a silly, space-filling act that’s easily expendable in order to ensure that the really talented acts make it thought.  I do find myself entertained by it, though – it’s like a giant parody of every single low-budget commercial I’ve ever seen for a strip mall karate school, mixed in with bits of Napoleon Dynamite and starring two dorky engineers from Purdue that thought learning martial arts would help them get girls 😛

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 9: The “Golden Buzzer”, Boot Camp, and Other Changes???

So according to Hypable, there are quite a few changes that we’re going to be seeing this season on AGT – some of them seem like positives, others…not so much.  Let’s count them down, shall we?

Change #1: Auditions in front of the judges were only held in New York & L.A.

In previous seasons, we’ve gotten to see the judges travel across the country to various cities were auditions were held in order to see the talent onstage – last year, they went to New York, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Chicago, & New Orleans.  This year, initial auditions in front of the producers were held in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, and my hometown – Indianapolis 🙂 But those who passed muster at the initial auditions had to fly to New York or L.A. in order to audition for the judges – and I’m just a tad bummed, not only because I would have loved to have seen the judges out & about in my hometown, but I thought the local flavor of some of the audition cities was what made those initial rounds so fun to watch.  We got to see all the mariachi performers in line in San Antonio, all the jazz in New Orleans, the Latin flavor of Miami, etc.  But according to Howie, the fact that the talent from all of those cities funneled into just two really made the live auditions more challenging, since the didn’t have the comfort zone of performing in their hometown.

Change #2: No “Vegas Week” this season – it has been replaced by “Boot Camp”, which was held in front of a live audience at Radio City Music Hall.

In lieu of holding “Vegas Week” in order to determine the Top 48 acts this year, AGT opted to hold a 3-day “Boot Camp” round of auditions in front of both the judges AND a live studio audience in NYC.  It was apparently taped last week.  Despite what the name implies (and the event of the same name from the X-Factor), it sounds basically the same as Vegas Week – just not in Vegas, and with the addition of a live studio audience.  While I rather enjoyed seeing the contestants hanging out in Vegas and in some of my favorite hotels, I guess I don’t particularly mind this new Boot Camp switch-up – I think the addition of a live studio audience may actually influence the judges a bit more to pick acts with more broad-spectrum appeal, as opposed to acts that only they themselves might find appealing.  I kind of wonder if an act like Milton Patton (who seemed wildly popular with viewers last season, but was eliminated in an instant decision in Vegas last year) may have fared better in the Boot Camp format, and if a more polarizing act like Aaralyn & Izzy may not have advanced to the next round if done in front of an audience.

Change #3: There’s something called the “Golden Buzzer”.

Apparently, it’s a one-time “judges’ save” – another buzzer situated on the judges’ table between Heidi & Mel B. that any of the judges can hit in order to save an act that’s about to get eliminated due to the other 3 judges saying “no”.  The catch? It can only be used once per season, per judge, so it encourages the judges to use it only when they feel strongly about an act.  I think as the judge that’s the dissenting opinion most often (and the one that is most likely to like stranger acts that the other 3 judges don’t “get”), Howie is the one that will most likely benefit from this new buzzer – and he allegedly already used it during the initial audition rounds.  I’m a little unclear on when it can be used, though – if it’s only when the other 3 judges say “no”, does that mean it can only be used during the initial auditions, Boot Camp week, or if the act lands in the judges’ choice slots during the live shows? Or can it be used to save an act that would have gotten eliminated regardless, based on the viewers’ votes? Does it expire after a certain round, like the judges’ save on American Idol? And most importantly – will it preclude the judges getting a “wild card” pick at some point? Since the wild card was basically a judges’ save (with a slightly different format), it almost seems redundant to tell them “Ok, you get this golden buzzer in order to save an act that’s about to get eliminated…but you also get a wild card pick later in the season, where you can bring back any eliminated act!” So I guess I’m curious how this whole thing works.

So what do you think of the changes this season? Are they an improvement…or a downgrade? Don’t forget to set your DVR’s to record the premiere, which is only 4 days away!!! 😎

May 23, 2014 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 9 First Look

Hey AGT fans! Glad to be back after a looooong absence 🙂 Just wrapped up coverage of season 18 over at PureDWTS, and now I’m ready to dive headlong into America’s Got Talent for another summer!

We’re less than a week away from the season premiere, which is next Tuesday, May 27, at 8 PM EST on NBC, and the America’s Got Talent YouTube channel has posted an extended “first look” video with a glimpse into what we’re going to see this season.  Things worth noting: there looks to be another Chinese dance group, another male stripping act, another blacklight dance group, a mysterious “golden buzzer” that the judges can use to save an act, a magician that manages to relieve Heidi of her bra 😯 , and Heidi kissing a pig! Check it out:

Initial thoughts? I’m curious as to how this whole “golden buzzer” thing works, and I wonder if it will somehow preclude there being wild card picks this season since it’s essentially another “judges’ save”.  Also seems like a lot of breakdancers, which is encouraging – aside from Hype last season, we haven’t really had a very strong breakdancing act in awhile.  I also saw a martial arts group peppered in there – could be interesting to have that thrown in the mix.  Overall, a great first impression! What are your thoughts?

 

May 21, 2014 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!