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Pure AGT Season 11 FINALE – Power Rankings

This is gonna be short because I just got home from vacation (I watched last night’s episode from my hotel room in the middle of a thunderstorm). This week’s list will start with who I think is LEAST likely to win tonight and go from there. I won’t say much else besides the names right now, but I’ll be doing a season wrap-up post once we know the results so I’ll go into more detail on things there!

10th Place – Viktor Kee
9th Place – Sofie Dossi
8th Place – Sal Valentinetti
7th Place- Linkin’ Bridge
6th Place – Laura Bretan
5th Place – Tape Face
4th Place – The Clairvoyants
3rd Place – Jon Dorenbos
2nd Place- Brian Justin Crum

WINNER: Grace VanderWaal

Not sure this is EXACTLY how things will play out but I do think the Top 5/Bottom 5 will look like this in some order or another. My Final 2 could be flipped, but I honestly don’t see anyone other than Grace or Brian winning (though I GUESS there could be a small outside chance of it being Jon or The Clairvoyants).

But yeah, that’s it for now. Looking forward to the finale and rehashing it over here soon afterward!

September 14, 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 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 11 Quarter-Finals Week 2 Power Rankings

Well, last night was certainly interesting. There may have been a few mistakes in some of the performances, but on the whole I found the show to be much more entertaining than last week’s…which means we’re in for quite a heartbreaking results show tonight. It also means these Power Rankings are much more likely to be off from the actual results than last week’s were.

Remember, this list is in order of who I think got the most to least votes last night, NOT necessarily who I personally want to see move forward or go home.

1. The Clairvoyants – Amid some speculation of some people on the internet possibly figuring out the secret to their previous performances, these two truly stepped up their game last night and brought something very different than what we’ve seen from them in the past. They are also the only act I am absolutely sure will get through based on last night’s votes alone.

2. Steven Brundage – The power of the internet strikes again! Steven Brundage is BACK and ready to play! It really is amazing how much this guy can do with just a few Rubik’s Cubes and a paper bag, and even though it is starting to get just a little repetitive, I think the audience’s votes will allow us to see him perform for us on the Dolby stage one more time.

3. Calysta Bevier – As Musicality proved last week, the inspirational vote is a powerful thing, and Calysta’s story is certainly inspirational. Fortunately, I think she gave a great performance to back it up, though I’m not a fan of her song choices thus far (I don’t really like generic “bravery” anthems in general). But yeah, I have a feeling she got enough votes to continue on to the Semi-Finals.

4. Sofie Dossi – I think this is one of the few “child” acts (okay, maybe “underage” would be a better term for some of them) that is just as impressive when you take away the age factor. Sofie’s performance last night was very similar to some things we’ve seen from her previously, but I definitely see her getting a spot in the next round. (The fact that she managed to successfully perform a move with her feet and blindfolded that we saw someone earlier in the night fail to complete while using her hands without a blindfold couldn’t have hurt her chances either.)

5. Sal Valentinetti – There’s only so much variety a singer can have in their performances, especially when sticking to one specific genre of music, but Sal managed to put a fun twist on it by rearranging a One Direction song! I know that turned some people off, but a lot of people seem to be responding well to him so far, so my guess is that he will go through to the Semi-Finals.

6. Viktor Kee – I think Viktor absolutely deserves to move forward, but I fear he may have gotten a bit lost in the shuffle last night, especially due going so early and making that mistake. However, I have seen some support for him so I’m thinking he’s gonna be on the bubble but make it through via the re-vote or the Judges’ Save tonight.

7. Kadie Lynn – This girl already seems to have built up quite the fanbase, and being the only country act remaining bodes quite well for her. But again, I fear between the running order and the fact that she didn’t do anything particularly new she’ll be at risk tonight. But depending on who else is in danger I think she has a decent chance of continuing on.

8. ThroWings –
This was another “more of the same” act and I originally had them lower on this list (aka definitely being eliminated tonight) but the surprising amount of support for them I saw last night makes me think they could make it to the yellow zone. If they do get there, I think their best shot at moving on is the audience vote, because the judges didn’t seem quite as impressed with them as they were with a lot of other performances this week.

9. Moya Angela – This was the act I originally had at #8 and I still think she has a shot at making the yellow zone but if she does I have a feeling she’ll be the one going home, as the judges seemed underwhelmed by last night’s performance (which was actually my favorite of hers yet because I felt like she had great stage presence and wasn’t over-singing the song) and I didn’t hear very much buzz about her from the viewers. But I did notice she got some votes from people who are normally very anti-singer when it comes to this show so that could mean something good.

10. Sos and Victoria – I was pleasantly surprised when I found out this act got the coveted “showstopping” slot of the night, but after an evening of excellent performances this one didn’t quite measure up to the majority of them for me, especially because of the mistakes. And if by chance we do see them on the bubble tonight, I don’t think they’ll get the Dunkin’ Save or the Judges’ Save.

11. Ryan and AmberLynn – First and foremost, I’m very happy Ryan is going to be okay. The two of them handled the mishap professionally and I admire them for that. I think there’s a very small possibility they could make it to the yellow zone tonight since I did see some votes thrown their way, but I imagine they’re going to be eliminated by the end of the evening either way.

12. FLIP – This act wasn’t a bad one by any means, but it wasn’t anything special compared to most of the others. Just goes to show just how good this week was, because if these ladies had performed on last week’s episode I think they would have had a decent shot at going forward (same goes for pretty much all of this week’s acts). But as is, I jut don’t see them moving forward, though it was nice to see them perform one last time as Wildcards.

Do you agree with my predictions? Disagree? We’ll find out in an hour who’s moving on!

August 3, 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!

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: Preview of Some Acts with 24 Hours Till the Premiere!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Hope the weather was as nice in your hometowns as it was in mine – which explains why I didn’t get as much posted this weekend as I would have hoped.  Oops!

We’re less than 24 hours away from the season premiere, and to whet everyone’s appetite, NBC posted 3 clips of some rather interesting acts we’re going to be seeing this season…first up is magician Mad Jack, who has a new and rather disgusting twist on the old “pick a card, any card” trick:

And then there’s Donnie Valentine, who is rocking a perm and a dubious falsetto on his rendition of  The Stylistics’ “You Make Me Feel Brand New”:

Up next is the Kamikaze Fireflies, a danger act that juggles fire…and require Nick’s assistance in doing it:

And just as a bonus…how bout a clip of Nick & Heidi arm wrestling, and Nick making some truly gif-worthy facial expressions?

I’m guessing Donnie Valentine probably made it into the “no” pile for Boot Camp, but I could see The Kamikaze Fireflies and Mad Jack making it through…the latter in particular seems right up Howard’s alley.  What are your thoughts?

 

May 26, 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 8 Audition Round Rundown #3 – Chicago Auditions

God bless one-hour audition shows filled entirely with great acts that made it through to Vegas! Tonight’s episode was short, sweet, and to-the-point – just pure talent, and plenty of camaraderie amongst the judges…they really do have a great panel this season.  None of the judges are jerks, there’s no childish arguments between judges, and I feel like all of them genuinely enjoy what they’re doing.  What a pleasant surprise 🙂

That said, I have yet to really connect with Mel B., which surprises me – I thought she’d be a lot more outgoing and fun to watch, but she’s been surprisingly subdued.  She’s almost never the first to talk, and when she does, she’s basically just echoing what the other judges have said…it’s too early for me to really say I’m “disappointed”, but I guess I was just expecting her to be the crazy one on the panel this season.  On the flipside, Heidi has been a really pleasant surprise for me – I figured she’d be the “quiet one”, but she’s been quite vocal, and she’s usually right on the money with her critiques…plus she seems like she genuinely wants to make the contestants feel welcome and comfortable.  She also seems to calm Howard down a bit, to the point that I’m really liking Howard as a judge this season, too.

*NOTE: Although this episode was supposedly only auditions from Chicago, if you were paying close attention, you might have seen one audition from another city that they snuck into the middle of the show: Deanna DellaCioppa, who appears to have auditioned in New Orleans, based on the clothes that the judges were wearing.  It was Nick’s loud green, purple, and yellow mardi gras-themed suit that tipped me off 🙂 Just thought I’d mention this, for the sake of accuracy.

The Omega Force Strength Team – ages 34-75
The actThey’re basically a strongman (and woman) act, that performed such feats of strength as a 300 lb. barrel squat, elbow slamming (and breaking) through 42 bars of concrete, and bench pressing Nick.
The verdictHowie was skeptical about how “hard” the stuff there were doing really was, and said no.  All 3 of the other judges said yes, though.
Court’s thoughts: As impressive as it was to see a 75-year-old man doing a 300 lb. squat, I’m actually kind of with Howie on this one – some of the stuff they were doing seemed a bit less impressive when you really think about it.  The guy doing the squats wasn’t going all the way down; breaking through the concrete blocks has less to do with brute strength and more with the technique with which you hit the blocks; and Nick is a pretty spindly guy – I doubt he weighs more than maybe 170 lbs, and the average man can usually bench around 160 lbs.  Was it cool to watch? Sure – but it all happened rather quickly and I’m not sure there are a lot more ways they can spin their strength skills.  I definitely don’t think you could make an entire Vegas show out of it, and I’m thinking this could be a “cannon fodder” act in the Vegas round – an act that was amusing enough to make it to Vegas, but upon closer examination, it probably becomes less impressive and is easily eliminated in Vegas.

Team Rock 
The act: 4 teenagers doing various tae kwon do tricks, such as flying high kicks, flips, spins, etc.
The verdictThey’re through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with martial arts acts – the skill one needs to possess to do it is unreal and people study it for years before they become proficient, but sometimes the difficulty of what they’re doing is a bit lost on the audience.  I liked this act, but I also really liked Kung Fu Heroes from season 5 – and they never really seemed to click with the audience.  Maybe it’s the repetitive nature of some of the martial arts acts – flip, kick, spin, chop, repeat – but I think they’re really going to have to do something special in order to remain relevant.  Maybe “themed” performances?

Kyle & Darby
The act: An adorable 5-year-old girl (Darby) that does cheerleading stunts with her adult coach (Kyle).  Lots of basket tosses, heel stretches, liberties, etc.
The verdict4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: If Darby keeps on this path, she’s basically got a walk-on pass to the University of Kentucky cheerleading squad, which is the most competitive in the country, when she’s 18 – because she’s doing some tricks that most elite high school cheerleaders won’t even attempt.  And the fact that she’s mastered them at her age? CRAZY.  My only concern is that it may get  little repetitive if it’s just her and Kyle – if they could add in a few other stunting partners for her, it could expand her repertoire and give her some versatility.

Kenichi Ebina – age 38, from Japan
The actHe performs “dance-ish” – which is his nickname for the combination of robotics, animation, popping, and tricks he performs.
The verdictThe judges absolutely loved the story behind it – he got 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: I love this guy – he does some of the same crazy stuff that Haspop did back in season 5, except he seems to be even more skilled in it.  Loved his “Matrix” move, where he held a ridiculous bent-back pose for a ridiculously long time before falling down, and then uprighting himself – without using his hands.  If he can continue to give themed performances like these and keep doing new tricks, I could see him going far.

Deanna DellaCioppa – age 39, from Massachusetts (*actually auditioned in New Orleans)
The actDeanna sang “And I Am Telling You” from the musical Dreamgirls.
The verdictJudges loved her and gave her 4 yes’s, but Mel cautioned her about reaching too far for notes, because her voice seemed like it was “going to give out at any moment”.
Court’s thoughts: I really liked Deana’s voice and her performance, but I do agree with Mel on this one – it got a little shrill at times, and she seemed to get a little too overwrought with the emotion of her performance.  She’s got a great voice, no doubt – girl can belt it out.  But now she needs to learn how to control it – how to hit the notes without sounding painful, how to perform emotionally without it getting the better of her, how to control her breathing, etc.  She’s got the raw talent – now she just needs the polish.  And if she can get the polish – watch out!

Steve “Sprice” Price – age 19
The act: “Sprice” designed and spent 3 days setting up a Rube Goldberg machine in the lobby that took several elaborate steps in order to push a ball into a soccer goal.
The verdict: Judges loved the creativity of it, and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: First, a little bit of background on Rube Goldberg for those who aren’t familiar with it: it’s a type of competition in which students of various ages are given a simple task (i.e. pouring water into a cup, getting a basketball into a basket, etc.) and a certain # of steps, and are tasked with creating a machine that will accomplish the end task in that set number of steps.  It takes a lot of brainpower, creativity, and dedication, and sometimes schools will form Rube Goldberg teams that will work for hours after school (sometimes for the entire school year) to create their machine, and then their machines are judged at competitions based on creativity, efficiency, speed, accuracy, etc.  In other words – it takes a LOT of work, and this kid has a real knack for it.  He’s kind of this season’s Kinetic King – except I think “Sprice” may actually be more entertaining, since he’s got more to work with than just popsicle sticks.  I only have 2 worries about him this season…the first is obvious: that his machine will malfunction on the air, and he’ll be left mortified like the Kinetic King during his first live round on TV.  The second one is that, since so many of the steps of his machine are so small and intricate, that the audience won’t be able to really see (and thus appreciate) how really detailed and clever his machine is.  Hopefully he can hone his craft and eliminate the possibility of error, and figure out a way to really make his machines big enough for all to see.

Rong Niu (aka The Amazing Red Panda) – age 42, from San Francisco
The actShe rides a unicycle while balancing and flipping ceramic bowls onto the top of her head.
The verdict: The judges were amazed by her skill and gave her 4 yes’s.  Mel struggled with saying “juggling bowls” with her thick accent.  😛
Court’s thoughts: This woman could have just ridden a unicycle and it would have impressed me! That in and of itself is a feat.  On top of that, she rode a really TALL unicycle, and was pedaling with one foot while balancing (and flipping!) bowls with her other foot…onto the TOP OF HER HEAD.  I think I lost count at 7 bowls.  She’s absolutely brilliant at what she does – but is there more to her act than this? How much more can she really do with the bowls? It may impressed the judges again in Vegas, but if she makes it through to the live shows…I’m not sure how well America will respond.  It has the potential to get a bit repetitive, I’m afraid.

The American Military Spouses Choir – ages 20-56
The actThis choir composed of military wives (that do outreach work with veterans suffering from PTSD & traumatic brain injuries) sang “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.
The verdictJudges universally praised their outreach work and also their voices – they got 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Now while I absolutely LOVE what these ladies do and think they’ve got definite talent – I think it got a bit pitchy at times, and it seemed like the 2-3 lead vocalists did most of the heavy lifting while the rest of the ladies hummed in the background. It was still a very pleasant performance, but I did find myself cringing once or twice, thinking “Errrr, that wasn’t the cleanest note.” Hopefully with the production value of the live shows, they can get that little bit of polish they need to really take their performance to the next level.

So who were YOUR favorites from tonight’s short-but-sweet show? 🙂

June 18, 2013 I Written By

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