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Pure AGT Season 11 Semi-Finals Week 2 – Power Rankings

Before last week’s performance show, I made predictions for how the rest of the season would play out based on what we’d seen up to that point. After the episode, I did the usual Power Rankings list based on the response I’d seen to the performances that night. Turned out I should have stuck to my first list, because the five acts that advanced were the exact five I initially said would before seeing the show.

What does this tell us? It gives me the notion that by this point, most people have already chosen their favorite acts and built up a sort of loyalty to them, so even if certain people give sub-par performances, it may not matter because of the amount of voters they already have on their side. I did factor that into last week’s Power Rankings a little, but it will hold a lot more weight in these ones.

Now that I’ve explained that, here is how I think the votes from tonight will stack up, from most to least.

1. Brian Justin Crum – I’m really sick of this guy’s “poor me I just need someone to give me a chance!” shtick, because he has already been successful in the entertainment industry. (And if you don’t believe me, search for his name in relation to Broadway, or look him up on IMDB.) But clearly the producers, judges, and viewers just can’t get enough of him, because he got to close his THIRD episode of the season tonight and got fawned over in his critique (I know pretty much everyone did tonight, but Brian clearly got the most praise). I thought the performance itself was good, but not as good as we’ve seen him in the past, but not many people seem to agree with me and I have no doubt we’ll be seeing him in the Finals next week.

2. The Clairvoyants – These two just keep getting better and better. The tricks themselves are great, but their stage presence and “aura” is what makes their act that much more fantastic. I was blown away by them tonight, and it seems like I’m not alone. I fully expect to see this act in the Finals as well.

3. Steven Brundage – I am so glad the judges brought Steven back because he is another performer that just keeps improving every time we see him. He came across as a seasoned pro tonight, and I’m sure we’l be seeing him for one more go next week. The question is, will it be via post-show votes, the Dunkin’ Save, or the Judges’ Save? I’m leaning towards the former, but I think it is possible he ends up on the bubble tomorrow night.

4. Calysta Bevier – To be honest, Calysta sort of faded away for me tonight. I’m all for scaling things back a bit, but she seemed sort of timid compared to the previous times we’ve seen her, which was pretty much what Mel B said to her tonight. Despite this, I think her story will be enough to get her to at least the Dunkin’ Save zone, and maybe even to the Top 3 of the night.

5. Jayna Brown – This was my personal favorite vocal performance this week, and Jayna seems to have built herself quite the fanbase. I don’t think it will be enough to get her in the safe zone, but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing her in tomorrow’s Dunkin’ Save.

6. Linkin’ Bridge – Between the sappy package and the song choice, this was one of the most tedious acts for me to get through tonight, but somehow I bet a lot of others adored it all. I think we might be seeing this group in the Dunkin’ Save tomorrow too.

7. Sofie Dossi – Sofie was very impressive tonight, and I liked that her performance was less “gimmicky” this time around; it was a refreshing change of pace for her. However, I fear that this choice may hurt her in the votes. She could have a shot at the Dunkin’ Save (and I hope she does) but I think we may have seen the last of Ms. Dossi (well, at least until Cirque du Soleil snaps her up for one of their shows).

8. The Passing Zone – I know this was an unpopular choice for the Wildcard, but I was very happy to see them again and thought they improved tremendously over their performance in the Quarter-Finals. There may have been a lot of set-up and not a lot of execution (though Simon’s reaction to said execution certainly made it all worth it) but they kept it entertaining enough throughout that I didn’t really mind that much. Will this be enough for them to stick around for one last week? Probably not, though I think there may be a sliiiiiiight possibility we see them on the bubble during the results show.

9. Kadie Lynn Roberson – It was wonderful to her Kadie sing by herself again (well, mostly, but this time the back-up singers were much less prominent). She really does have a wonderful voice, but I don’t think the song choice was one that helped her stand out. Kadie’s strength is the power her voice has, and, much like Calysta, she gave a relatively mundane and quiet performance tonight. That has it’s place, but maybe not in a high-stakes competition where everyone is trying to stand out. Again, small chance of being on the bubble, but I do think tomorrow will mark the end of the AGT road for Miss Kadie.

10. Kadan and Brooklyn Rockett – I continue to be impressed by this duo, and even though they nearly had a major blunder with the house at the end, I give them props for powering through the performance. Unfortunately, I think that and their less-than-ideal spot in the running order probably caused them to get a bit lost-in-the-shuffle. But even though I’m predicting an exit from them tomorrow night, I commend them on a great run this season.

11. Viktor Kee – Viktor is so uniquely enjoyable that I just can’t put my finger on it. Great stage presence and performance quality. However, I think his act was another that was most likely forgotten by a lot of people; again because of the running order and (very small) mistake.

I’ll be back next week after we see the FINAL performance show of the season! Until then, let me know who you think/hope will be saved tomorrow night!

September 6, 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!

Pure AGT Season 13 Quarter-Finals Week 3 – Power Rankings

The hiatus is over, and last night AGT returned for the final show of the Quarter-Finals! I actually think most of the acts were pretty much on par with each other last night compared to the mixed bag we got the first two weeks; I was mildly impressed by most of them, though not really “blown away” by anyone. Here is my guess for the order of who got the most to least votes, and remember: this is a prediction of what I think tonight’s result will be, not a ranking of how I personally felt about the performances.

1. Grace VanderWaal – This girl went viral after her audition performance aired, and I don’t think her fanbase is letting up anytime soon! A lot of people seemed even more impressed by her this time, and while I could tell she was nervous, it seems, like Howie said lat night, her imperfections make her all the more perfect in the eyes of the public.

2. Brian Justin Crum – Brian has a great voice, but I can’t even remember what song he sang last night. However, he seems to have a legion of fans who are voting like crazy for him, so I am fully expecting him to move on to the Semi-Finals.

3. Malevo – I enjoyed last night’s performance much more than their last one, I guess because they seemed more polished this time around. This act certainly does seem like it would fit right home in Vegas, and I think their uniqueness among the other contestants this season and their touching backstory.

4. The Passing Zone – Even though their act was a repeat from something they did last time they were on this show, the audience still seemed to love it (though most of them probably don’t remember the last time they did it since it was over a decade ago). I found them very entertaining last night (as always) and I think they have a good chance at escaping the Dunkin’ Save zone this round.

5. Linkin’ Bridge – This is another group with an emotional backstory and between that and the amount of praise they got from the judges after their performance I think we’ll be seeing them in the Semi-Finals, whether it be from votes, the Dunkin’ Save, or the Judges’ Save. I put them in this spot because I think their story garnered them a lot of votes and people seem to think they’re very talented, even though I didn’t enjoy this performance as much as previous ones they’ve done. Something in their voices just seemed a bit off to me last night.

6. Blake Vogt – I continue to be very impressed by Blake and his performance this week was my favorite of the evening, but I haven’t seen a lot of buzz surrounding him and of the votecards I’ve seen people are usually giving him 5-8 votes out of a possible 10. I think he’ll at least have a chance of being saved, but I’m not sure about automatically going through based on votes alone.

7. Edgar – I don’t know what it is about this group, but I just love them. They give me a happy feeling. And they seem to be getting a pretty positive response overall, but I don’t think they’re going to crack Top 5 tonight simply because their performance just didn’t seem as “big” as some of the other ones in the lineup.Wouldn’t be surprised to see them on middle ground tonight, but not sure whether or not they’ll be saved.

8. Kadan Bart and Brooklyn Rockett – These two are quite entertaining and know how to put on a show, but for some reason it seems they sort of faded away in a lot of people’s minds. Maybe it was because of their early running spot, maybe it was because they were overshadowed by other variety acts, but I think the best they can hope for tonight is to be on the bubble.

9. Julia Scotti – I really enjoyed Julia’s performance last night, but she’s another one who seems to have fallen through the cracks in the minds of the viewers, and being controversial due to being transgender probably won’t help the matter given who a good chunk of the AGT audience is. It’s be nice to see her get a chance at the Dunkin’ Save or to be saved by the judges, and I think there’s a chance of that happening, but I’m just not sure yet whether or not she managed to get there.

10. Ronee Martin – Ronee is a very talented singer, but between going early in the show and being a relatively simple act, I have a feeling she is yet another one who people might have forgotten about, though I think there’s a small chance she could be on the Dunkin’ Save bubble tonight.

11. Vello Vaher – So, this act was very slow, and I didn’t really understand the relevance of the pirate theme. Vello also seems to be getting pretty repetitive in his performances. He has an entertaining personality, but I think tonight will be the end of the road for him on this show, even after the fan outcry regarding Simon’s buzzer.

12. Alla and Daniel – This is the other act I think we’ll be saying goodbye to for sure. They’re cute, but again, the performance was very similar to what we’ve seen from them before. And maybe I’ve been spoiled from watching So You Think You Can Dance Next Gen all summer, but it’s very obvious that Daniel doesn’t match his mother in skill level yet, which is understandable, but was unfortunately a detriment to their act last night.

If the three I think are in the Dunkin’ Save end up there, I think Blake or MAYBE Edgar will be saved and from there if Blake is one of the two left he will be saved by the judges, Let me know your thoughts on this week’s acts, and I’ll be back next week for the start of the Semi-Finals!

August 24, 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!

Pure AGT Season 11 Judge Cuts – The Live Show Acts Determined

There’s been an abundance on AGT on our screens lately, with NBC airing four episodes over the past two weeks, each featuring a guest judge and some tough choices for the panel. That’s right, it was the Judge Cuts round, which determined the rest of the acts moving on to the live shows!

The acts moving forward from the first night, which featured guest judge Ne-Yo, included:

Hara
Edgar
Lori Mae Hernandez
Jon Dorenbos (Golden Buzzer)
The Passing Zone
Ronee Martin
Linkin’ Bridge

Dorenbos was the first Golden Buzzer of the season that was not given to a singer, which was refreshing to see. I loved Jon’s act and think he absolutely deserved to go through, as did the other six. The Passing Zone is a particular favorite of mine; I love how they manage to combine a lot of different tricks without feeling like they’re going overboard. No complaints from me about this group!

Reba McEntire joined the panel for the second episode, and she and the others decided to send through:

Kadie Lynn Roberson
Vello Vaher
Sofie Dossi (Golden Buzzer)
Moya Angela
Kadan Bart Rockett
Julia Scotti
Deadly Games

Another great group of acts! I was so thrilled that Sofie got Reba’s Golden Buzzer because she has great showmanship and her act is exciting yet polished. And while I’m not thrilled with the abundance of singers, I was very happy to see Kadie get through, though Moya I could take or leave. I feel like she over-sings the songs sometimes, though I enjoyed her performance last week more than I did her first audition. Was also pleasantly surprised by Kadan, who I think polished up his act as well. The rest were great too!

The acts sent forward in the George Lopez episode were:

Daniel Joyner
Blake Vogt
Alla and Daniel Novikov
Tape Face
Malevo (Golden Buzzer)
Ryan Stock and AmberLynn
Brian Justin Crum

Okay, here’s where I started to disagree with the judges a bit. I don’t think it’s a good sign that as I look at this list the only act I have a clear memory of is Tape Face, and this episode only aired three days ago at the time I’m writing this. Well, okay, Blake was pretty good too, as was Brian, but that was expected since he’s already starred on Broadway. And I just have to say that even though I think the judges let through way too many singers, cutting Madison Watkins on a night where she clearly had a better showing than most was criminal.

And finally we had this past Wednesday’s episode featuring Louis Tomlinson as a guest judge. The advancing acts were:

ThroWings
The Outlawz
Jayna Brown (Golden Buzzer)
Viktor Kee
Sos and Victoria
Musicality
The Clairvoyants

So another singer got the Golden Buzzer, but I wasn’t surprised since I thought Louis, having been a singer discovered on a reality show himself, might want to “pay it forward” in a way, and I think Jayna really stepped up her game for this round. I was surprised to see the Outlawz do so well (even though I liked their first audition) and while I wasn’t quite as impressed by Musicality as I was the first time around I’m glad they got through. Not surprised about the rest at all, and looking forward to seeing them perform again in the live shows, which start NEXT WEEK!

Be sure to share your opinions on the advancing acts below, and if there were any you were sad to lose. See you next week for the first live show of the season!

July 22, 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!

Pure AGT Season 11 – Auditions Week 6

This was the last week of preliminary auditions this season! Like last week, we were treated to a variety of acts, but this time we had a significantly lower number of montages!

The show started off with a bunch of American-themed acts, including a lady standing on her head singing the National Anthem, a bottom-psychic, and a girl who gurgled the National Anthem. They were all rejected.

Cody “The Twirler” Carter: 14-year-old baton twirler who claimed to eventually want to be part of Cirque du Soleil. Launched right into a fast-paced routine involving multiple batons and even a bit of dancing! Mel B said it made her happy. Heidi said it was “extraordinary”. Howie said it was a bit “dated” and he wanted it to be a bit more up-to-date. Simon said he was a “born entertainer”.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

Just Us: Four friends who performed a “jazzy swingin’ vocal quartet”.They sang “All About that Bass” in a jazz style. I didn’t have enough time to form an opinion on it because…
The Verdict: All the judges buzzed them right away.

Ilan and Josh: Met in Israel a few years prior to their audition. They also performed an a capella cover of “All About that Bass” but this time as a beatbox number! At first the crowd didn’t seem to like it, but by the end they were on their feet cheering! Simon called it “cute’ to the confusion of Mel B. The other judges were quite impressed!
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

We see a bunch of dance crew auditions will a bunch of conflicting opinions from Heidi and Simon.

The Outlaws: Group of male dancers from Arizona who never had any formal dance training. Launch into an energetic hip-hop number and the audience immediately goes nuts over it. I noticed they didn’t dance entirely in sync, instead giving individual dancers little moments in the spotlight, which I thought made the performance interesting and exciting to watch. Howie and Simon liked it, while Heidi didn’t and Mel B had mixed feelings. (Also, THOSE WERE NOT AMISH HATS, HOWIE!)
The Verdict: 3 yes’s from Howie, Simon, and after some prompting from the crowd, Mel B.

Daniel Joyner: 17-year-old singer from the “Bible Belt” in Tennessee. Sings “Try a Little Tenderness” His performances started off simple but the audience loved it. The he started tipping the mic stand and they went wild. Finally, he finished off with a return to the slow and simple feel of the beginning of the song. Heidi and Mel B commented on his stiffness and Simon said his act was “a little bit too perfect”, but all four judges said he had a great voice.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

John Bernhardt: Actuary who played “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” on a theremin. It started off strange but ended…still strange, but in a good way! Mel B hated it at first but loved it by the end.
The Verdict: 2 buzzers but 3 yes’s! (Howie, Mel B, and Simon)

Sila Sveta: Dancing duo who told a story via an elaborately lit background. They danced on the floor and there was a mirror projecting what was happening to the audience. The judges thought it was exciting and unique.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

Moya Angela: 32-year-old teacher with a powerhouse voice! Started off strong and only got stronger! The song she performed was “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” and it seemed like it was loved by audience and judges alike, as she got a standing ovation that lasted a long time. “That’s what we call a singer.” – Simon
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

The Passing Zone: Jugglers named John and Owen (they actually met at a juggling convention!) from Southern California. Called Howie up onstage and had him lay down on a yoga mat. Owen straddled him and juggled three “danger items” and then John jumped over Howie and took over the juggling.
The Verdict: Howie pressed the buzzer after they said they would be including him in their next performance too, but the other 3 judges gave yes’s!

Steven Brundage: Obsessed with Rubix Cubes for most of his life and does a magic trick with them, also involving paper bags. Has Simon mix up a Rubix Cube and manages to “magically” solve another one to create the same patterns as his. The judges were absolutely blown away!
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

Montage time! It featured a pair of spinning roller-skaters, a guy who did a stand-up routine about the “inappropriate” side of Disney movies, an a confident eleven-year-old girl who performed a rap song. All got 4 yes’s!

RL Bell: Singing massage therapist (not necessarily at the same time). His audition song was “Me and Mrs. Jones” and he really sold it. He took his jacket and glasses off in the middle of the number and the crowd went wild. Simon may have called it “corny” but I saw him smiling the whole way through. The other judges enjoyed it as well.
The Verdict: Howie gave him a no because he believed RL wasn’t going to take Simon’s advice. The other 3 gave yes’s (though Simon only barely).

Dorothy Williams: 90-year-old dancer from Hawaii. Before this audition we saw a clip saying it was the last one they did, but I guess that could easily have been edited in from a different part of that day. She started by singing “Let Me Entertain You” and then did a striptease. Yes, that happened. Simon gave it a standing ovation, Mel B enjoyed it, Heidi said it was “really really special”, and Howie said he was happy she was there. Then *fake gasps* Nick came out and told the crowd about their conversation behind-the-scenes about how dancing was always her life’s dream and then *bigger fake gasps* he jumped off the stage and HIT THE GOLDEN BUZZER!!!!!!! D

I wish they hadn’t hyped up that Nick was going to hit the Golden Buzzer because that would have been a legitimately shocking and buzz-worthy moment but it was still a sweet one! Next week will be the first of four “Judges Cuts” episodes, each featuring a special guest judge! Until then, comment below what your favourite audition this week was!

July 7, 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!

AGT Season 11 – Auditions Week 5 Recap

Well, it turned out Tuesday night was another round of auditions! Next week is looking to be that way too, and they teased on twitter that it’ll be the episode in which we’ll finally get to see who Nick pressed the Golden Buzzer for, so that should be exciting. But in the meantime, here are the acts they showed this week.

Ryan Beard – Avid AGT fan who is 18 years old from Kansas City, who I thought he was going to be a comedian but turned out to be a singer. Although, he was actually kind of both because the song he performed was all about the struggles of being a homeschooled teenager. The audience gave a standing ovation and the judges were laughing throughout (in a good way).
The Verdict – 4 yes’s.

Then it was MAGICIAN MONTAGE TIME!

The first guy flaunted a very mundane magic trick and got buzzed by Simon. It was also a no for a guy who spent most of his performance licking a lollipop. Last was a husband and wife “escape act” which was really just the husband flailing about while trying to get out of a straitjacket while the wife just stood there. They got two buzzers.

Kadan Bart and Brooklyn Nicole Rockett – 10-year-old magician and 8-year old assistant who were siblings. Brooklyn got into a big cardboard box that said “turning my sister into a princess” (I guess the amateurish set was part of the charm.) Once she was in, Kaden revealed to the audience what the REAL trick was by changing the words “turning my sister into a princess” to “sawing my sister into pieces”. He was handed a chainsaw which used to to “cut the boxes in half” and the feet move in the bottom half once the boxes are open.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

After the break we got a montage of animal clips, including acts involving snakes, ducks, and dogs, and the judges hanging out with their own dogs.

Patrick and Ginger – Patrick adopted Ginger who was abused beforehand and Ginger has helped Patrick deal with OCD and anxiety. I believe Ginger is a mixed breed but I could see some collie in her. She was very in tune with Patrick and performed several tricks including standing in a bowl, doing jump rope, and riding a scooter! She also jumped around on two legs and climbed on a rope! Interesting to note that Patrick seems to carry Ginger around everywhere!
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

After the commercial break they showed a quick clip of a Gospel choir making it through with 4 yes’s!

Raii and Whitney Smith – This act was a gospel singing married couple who work as background vocalists for a lot of famous artists. Both proved to have very lovely soulful voices which complimented each other well. I have to say Whitney’s was clearly stronger, but Raii managed to work well with what he had. The crowd roared in appreciation about halfway through and the judges loved it.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

Next came a montage of circus-type acts like juggling and clowns. The latter were fighting an uphill battle since Simon is afraid of clowns and so we got a lot of clips of him looking visibly uncomfortable whenever one was featured in an act.

Richie the Barber – This guy went so far has to have his face tattooed to look like clown make–up. He rapped while juggling and while Howie was entertained, Simon, Mel B, and Heidi all buzzed him and he proceeded to throw what I think was feathers on the judges.
The Verdict: Howie gave an enthusiastic yes but the other 3 said no so he did not make it through.

ThroWings (Annie and Andre) – This was a married couple doing an acrobatics act. Annie was hurt while performing in the past a few years ago when she broke her spine. They were very graceful and the performance seemed effortless. Mel B and Howie looked nervous the entire time (understandably, since there was no net) but the audience went wild!
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

Next we got YET ANOTHER MONTAGE. This time it was a bunch of gross-out acts, like a professional eater who consumed a dog food burger live onstage which got rejected and Simon said it wasn’t even an act. This was followed by a guy who used his (very long) tongue to paint and got 4 buzzers. Interspersed with various other gross-out moments.

Dan Meyer – Sword swallowing act! Described what he had to do in order to successfully swallow a sword (I’ll spare you the gory details) before performing. Warned everyone he had not attempted this particular feat before and a lot of people looked away. Swallowed a sword and then a 1929 car axel. Called a reluctant Nick out to assist him in swallowing an entire car and then we went to a commercial break. When we came back we found out his plan to attach a 20-inch sword to a vintage car and drag it across the stage without using his hands. Nick sat in the car, jaw agape the entire time, while the judges hid their eyes.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

Guess what was next? Another montage. This one didn’t even bother to have a theme. It started with a group of dancing girls who got through with 4 yes’s (one also got a hug from Howie). Next was a married couple who juggled with fire while one sat on the other’s shoulders while riding on a unicycle who also got through. Lastly, we saw a 14-year-old powerhouse singer named Brynley who reminded me of a Disney princess (she was also accepted).

Sofie Dossi – A 14-year-old hand-balancing contortionist who performed on a homemade set. She showed lots of personality while performing (Mel B commented on her stage presence) and did tricks with an apple, including taking a bite of it while posing. Other feats include spinning on a post, doing gymnastics, and shooting a bow and arrow with her feet! Simon’s reaction? “What planet are you from?”
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

Montage #8677123 featured a group of guys doing a dance performance and clips of various other successful group acts interspersed with clips of…

Christopher whose last name wasn’t mentioned – A 54-year-old man from Las Vegas who’d always dreamed of performing in a music group but never found anyone to be in one with. After claiming he had been working on this act for 30 years, he walked backstage, returning with a contraption using himself and 4 full-body puppets resembling the Village People and performed a dance to YMCA. The Audience claps along enthusiastically and the judges were impressed.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s, followed by a mini-encore with Nick joining in the fun!

Brian Justin Crum – Last up was a 28-year-old Californian singer who performed “Somebody to Love” as a tribute to his mom for getting him through tough times growing up. The crowd went wild as he belted the song out. “You took us to church and back!” said Mel B after the song was over.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s.

There were a few too many montages for me this week, since I like seeing more of each act we’re shown, but I appreciated that there was a wider variety of performances than we’ve seen so far this season. I think next week is the last week of auditions, so comment below with who your favorites are so far and let us know if you have a guess as to what sort of act Nick’s Golden Buzzer might be!

July 1, 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!

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 #2 – Audition Round Run-Down

Two more hours of auditions in the can, and I feel like we’re starting to see the season take shape. Seems like there’s a lot fewer singers this year, and the ones we do have aren’t all that impressive – that actually makes me happy, because I feel like we lost some really unique acts last seasons because so many singers got pushed through. Also pleased that the audition rounds seem to be focusing more on the good acts than the bad ones, and even the bad ones we’ve seen have often gotten at least one yes. So far…digging this season 🙂

Willis Clan – ages 3-21
The act: 12 siblings (all with names starting in “J”) that played instruments, danced, and sang a cover of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.
The verdict: 4 yes’s, and much gushing about what a good-looking family they area.
Court’s thoughts: Was it cute to see all 12 of them up there doing their thing? Sure. But if we’re being honest, only about 4 or 5 of the older siblings were actually doing anything that actually added to the performance – the rest of the little ones were basically just there to look cute. Which is ok, I guess – that’s just part of the package of their act. Although I think the oldest, Jessica, has enough talent on her own that she could ditch the family act and have success as a solo country artist.

David & Leeman – ages 27 & 29, from Los Angeles
The act: A duo of magicians that used “pressure phrenology” to impair Howie’s ability to read and had him try to read words off of cards.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: I think I said this quite a bit last season, but I’ll say it again: I can know how a magic trick was done and still be able to appreciate it based on the delivery, creativity, and overall performance. And that’s the case with these two – I think I figured out the trick (notice how the camera never really got a good, long look at the cards), but I still really enjoyed the performance because the trick was something we haven’t seen before. Kinda liked how they blended just a little bit of comedy into their routine as well – they came across as cool & likeable. Definitely like them – hope they stick around and continue to do clever stuff like this in the coming rounds.

Julia Goodwin – age 15
The act: Sang a jazz-tinged cover of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: She’s got a very unique quality to her voice and doesn’t “oversing”, but I did hear a few off-notes and I think she could work on her stage presence. Hoping she can sparkle a bit more in the coming rounds.

Sean & Luke – ages 17 & 18
The act: Two best friends that did a hip-hop/tap dance routine to “Bust a Move” and “Humpty Dance”.
The verdict: Heidi, Mel, & Howie were all yes’s, but Howard didn’t think they really needed to see the act again and said “no”.
Court’s thoughts: Not the strongest dance act we’ve seen so far, but I did enjoy it and think it’s a welcome respite from the hoards of ballroom, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop acts we see every year. Tap is something different, and I like different. Kinda wished they had focused in a bit more on the tap and done less hip-hop, though – found the tap sections to be far more impressive than the hip-hop. Would love to see them do something that’s more “hardcore tap” – maybe something Fred Astaire-inspired.

Unnamed martial arts group
The act: A group performing various martial arts moves with various weapons.
The verdict: Not shown, but the judges seemed to respond positively to the act (even when one of the guys wiffed a trick and fell on his ass).
Court’s thoughts: Kinda wish we had gotten to see more of this act – I’ve been craving a good martial arts act (the last one we had was Kung Fu Heroes back in season 5, and Kenichi only did a little bit of martial arts). But since they weren’t really heavily featured, I’m guessing they probably won’t show up again.

Unnamed martial arts trick duo
The act: Two guys in yellow gi’s doing fingertip pushups and balancing on their stomach on a sword.
The verdict: Not shown.
Court’s thoughts: Kind of cool, but probably not much more they could do – and certainly not enough for a Vegas show.

Kevin Taylor
The act: A guy who punched the windows out of car doors.
The verdict: Not shown – but Heidi the wet blanket said the act “didn’t make her feel good”, so I’m guessing no.
Court’s thoughts: Could have been a good strongman act if he had done a bit more – but probably a little too one-dimensional for this competition.

Grand Master Qi Feilong – age 48
The act: He’s a “kung fu master” and “energy healer” who tried to stop the second hand on a wall clock using his “energy”, and cutting two sets of chopsticks in half with a $10 bill. He also made Nick kick him in the “crunch” (his translator’s word for “crotch”).
The verdict: Mel & Howie said yes; Howard & Heidi said no.
Court’s thoughts: I was kind of left wondering if this was another act in the same vein as Dustin’s Dojo – just a complete joke. But after watching it a few times – I don’t think it was 😛 Something about how batsh*t crazy this guy was going onstage was entertaining – I found myself laughing – but the tricks were just “meh”, it was chaotic, and I could barely understand a word he was saying.

Real Encounter – ages 23-47
The act: A group of motocross, freestyle, and BMX riders doing flips & stunts.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Before I get into my thoughts, a bit of peek behind the curtain: according to the gang over at the AGT Afterbuzz show, not all of the audience actually gets to go outside to watch acts like this – the Afterbuzz crew was part of the group that didn’t get to go outside. I think they may have also mentioned that the judges giving their verdict actually happened the NEXT DAY after they actually performed. Kind of interesting. But anyway! They were pretty good, but I feel like we’ve seen stronger motocross/biking stunt acts in previous seasons – I think there was one called the “Rad Dads” that I recall being a lot more organized and clean with their tricks. Maybe these guys just got a mediocre edit, maybe they just aren’t as strong as we’ve seen before…guess I’ll hold off judgement till I see them again.

Slam
The act: A trampoline basketball-dunking act.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Definitely something interesting – thankfully, they aren’t cheesy like Spintacular from last season. Hopefully they’re able to do a bit more than just creatively dunking basketballs, though.

Flight Crew Jump Rope
The act: A synchronized trick jump-roping group.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: NO. NO. NO!!! I usually don’t have a strong negative reaction to most acts, but I cannot tell you how truly OVER jump-roping acts I am. I think they’re cheesy, and the ones we’ve had seem to have fouled up their routines on multiple occasions. And the main guy doing all the talking for this group? Yeah, he was also part of the Summerwind Skippers from a few seasons ago, and he was part of the crew Saltare on America’s Best Dance Crew a few years ago. So we can probably expect a lot of the same cheesy choreography, and the same mistakes being made. Ugh. Please, AGT – stop trying to make jump roping acts happen. And set a damn limit on how many times one person can return with a different group and audition repeatedly.

XPogo Stunt Team
The act: 4 dudes on pogo sticks jumping really high and doing a bunch of tricks and flips.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Another act you don’t see everyday. Was impressed with the height they were getting on their jumps…wonder what else they can do.

Unnamed rapping kid
The act: A cute young boy rapping to “It Takes Two”.
The verdict: Not shown, but he seemed popular.
Court’s thoughts: He was cute and seemed to have a good flow, but I’m a bit leery of kid rapping acts after the nonsense that was 2Unique last season.

Dom the Bom’s Triple Threat – age 8
The act: A set of 8-year-old triplets that do various card-throwing tricks, such as throwing cards long distances and cutting pieces of celery with thrown cards.
The verdict: Judges all said yes.
Court’s thoughts: I think I saw more arguments about this act than any other act on last night’s show. The sticking point: would this act have still made it through if it were adults throwing cards instead of kids? I’m guessing probably not (assuming the adults and kids had the same level of skill), but once again, it’s about “packaging”: part of the appeal of their act is that you don’t expect to see kids doing it. It’s a novelty thing. Let’s say you’re going to see a country singing act – which of these sounds more interesting: a regular ol’ guy from Kentucky, or a Japanese guy that barely speaks English? Once again – NOVELTY. I may have to do a post on that aspect later. Also got a few tweets saying “Would you really pay to see that act in Vegas?” And my answer? No, probably not, but if they eliminated every single act in the first round that they didn’t think could hack it as a Vegas show, then they’d probably only be left with a handful of acts and the show could be cut down to 2 weeks. 🙂 I feel like I need to do a post on that, too! But anyway – I was amused by the act, although according to the Afterbuzz group (who was in the live audience), we the viewers apparently saw a very kind edit of the act…apparently the little boy was having some issues with cutting the celery and it took him a few tries to get it right (which was conveniently edited out). I’m guessing they probably won’t make it past the next round, but I think they’re a mildly-amusing filler act.

Series of unnamed bad magicians
The act(s): A montage of various mediocre-to-bad magic acts doing everything from escaping from a series of leather straps to doing a quick switch, and taking Heidi’s bra off.
The verdict(s): All no’s.
Court’s thoughts: All seemed to suffer from the problem of awkward delivery…although I do have to give props to the guy who managed to get Heidi’s bra off 😛

Mad Jack – age 42
The act: A “pick a card” act where the chosen card magically appeared between Mad Jack’s buttcheeks.
The verdict: It was a no, but I think the judges did get a kick out of it.
Court’s thoughts: Props for creativity, but I’m not sure they could base an entire act on gross-out magic tricks.

Miguel Dakota – age 21, from Monument, CO
The act: He played guitar and sang an acoustic version of “Too Close” by Alex Clare.
The verdict: The judges all gushed about his good looks and gave him a yes.
Court’s thoughts: *sigh* Ok, he was decent – but I feel like they just heaped praise upon him because he was a good-looking guy with a semi-sad backstory that had kind of a John-Mayer-meets-One-Direction vibe to him. But I guess they needed a heartthrob this season – and they’ve decided it’s going to be Miguel. I guess I just hope that, if we’re going to be seeing him for awhile, he’ll at least pick some better songs and work on his vocals a bit more…heard some dicey notes in there.

Abigail Baird – age 33
The act: She does aerial silks in front of a screen, and tells a story with her movements.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Kind of on the fence about this one. I enjoyed it and thought it was clever, but take away the screen, and you’ve got just kind of an average aerialist. I couldn’t help but compare her to Blue Journey, who I think would still be a great dance act even without the screen – not sure I could say the same about Abigail. Will be interested to see what she does in the coming rounds.

Unnammed ballroom dance group
The act: A group of teen ballroom dancers, reminiscent of the Miami All-Stars.
The verdict: Not shown, but Howard & Howie loved them.
Court’s thoughts: Didn’t really get to see much, but they looked decent.

John & Andrew – ages 21 & 41
The act: A same-sex salsa dancing duo
The verdict: 4 enthusiastic yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Probably my favorite act of the night – and John is right: Andrew can follow better than most girls I know! Loved the speed, the precision, the energy, and the way they partnered – it felt less like the sexy, flirtatious partnering you typically see in salsa pairings, and more like two guys just dancing their hearts out with an occasional assist from one another. I think they were smart to go that route – while attitudes are changing in our society, I worry that the same god-fearin’ folk that kept voting Jimmy Rose & Marty Brown through last year would balk at an act that had two men looking lovingly at one another. I think with the spin (no pun intended) that they put on their performance, they actually stand a decent chance of appealing to a wide cross-section of the viewing audience. Excited to see what else we might get from them!

So those are my thoughts. Who were your favorite and least-favorite acts from last night’s show?

June 4, 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 #2 Music List

You know the drill – if you want to add a song I don’t have here, or want to request I hunt down a song you heard during the show, utilize the comments section 🙂

“Summer” by Calvin Harris (recap of last week’s show; opening montage)

“Hoe-Down” by Aaron Copland (montage of crew setting up, acts backstage, & judges arriving)

“C’mon Get Happy” by The Partridge Family (Willis Clan intro)

“My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music (cover performed by the Willis Clan)

“Compass” by Lady Antebellum (Willis Clan gets 4 yes’s)

“Puttin’ On the Ritz” by Terry Snyder & The All-Stars (Howie is hyper)

“Good Times” by Chic (David & Leeman get 4 yes’s)

“Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar (montage of good auditions)

“New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel (cover performed by Julia Goodwin)

“Your Song” by Ellie Goulding (Julia gets 4 yes’s)

“Apache” by The Sugarhill Gang (montage of dancers backstage; Sean & Luke intro and 3 yes’s)

“Bust a Move” by Young MC (Sean & Luke performance)

“Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground (Sean & Luke performance)

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor (montage of martial arts acts; Qi Feilong intro & rejection)

“Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones (Real Encounter intro)

“Are You Gonna Go My Way?” by Lenny Kravitz (Real Encounter performance)

“Jump” by The Pointer Sisters (Real Encounter gets 4 yes’s; montage of good “jumping” auditions)

“It Takes Two” by DJ EZ Rock & Rob Base (kid rapper performance)

“Kids in America” by Kim Wilde (montage of kid acts backstage; Dom the Bom 4 yes’s)

“I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow (Dom the Bom performance)

“This Magic Moment” by The Drifters (montage of bad magicians)

“Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive Mad Jack finishes his card trick and gets rejected)

“I Feel Pretty” by Julie Andrews (montage of acts primping backstage)

“Too Close” by Alex Clare (cover performed by Miguel)

“The Story of My Life” by One Direction (Miguel gets 4 yes’s)

“Halo” by Beyonce (Abigail Baird intro & 4 yes’s)

“Intro” by the xx (Abigail Baird performance)

“Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars (unnamed teen ballroom group performance)

“Can’t Smile Without You” by Barry Manilow (Howard & Howie love each other)

“Bang Bang” by Joe Cuba (John & Andrew intro & 4 yes’s; closing montage)

June 3, 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: 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!