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

The 10 Best Performances of America’s Got Talent Season 12

Before I start this, I wanted to give a quick shout-out to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund GoFundMe campaign. Any massacre is horrific of course but especially with the connection AGT has with the city I thought it’d be good to share.

I’ve thought a lot about what to do with this blog during the off-season. I know I don’t want it to go completely dormant like last year, so I’m going to try to post at least twice per month. One post will be a roundup of any notable alumni updates and the other will vary a bit. For this month I recently grabbed a copy of Mandy Harvey’s book “Sensing the Rhythm” which was released last week, so I’ll get a review of that up once I’ve finished reading it!

For now, let’s get to the top 10 list! Note that I didn’t allow myself to include multiple performances from the same act so I wouldn’t run out of things to say. 😛

10. Preacher Lawson Proves Himself to be a “Driving” Force in the Competition (Auditions)

While I’ve made it clear I didn’t agree with some of the representation of certain act genres we had in the Season 12 live shows, I think Preacher Lawson was definitely the best comedian of all those we saw by miles, so if we could only have one make it through, I’m glad it was him. Most of his performances were on a similar level for me – all around solid, with a couple laugh-out-loud jokes and good personality to make the lesser material palatable. After re-watching each of them, I still think his best performance was his very first audition.

He started by easing into the jokes by answering each question from the judges with a hint of humor, which made a nice segue into the set itself. As the season went on, Preacher slowly began incorporating more and more of his “over-the-top” bits into his performances, culminating in one long joke in the Finals that lasted about 30 seconds (you know the one :P). But here, we don’t get it until late in the act, giving us time to warm up to his style of humor before taking it to the next level with the grandma impression.

This performance was so good that even though it was one of the very first acts shown in the season premiere, it stuck out in my mind through the following weeks of auditions, and by the time we got to Preacher’s next set in the third episode of the Judge Cuts round, I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation to see what he would bring us next.

9. Billy & Emily England Go for a Spin, Game of Thrones-style (Semi-Finals)

Like most danger performers who’ve gone on AGT, Billy & Emily England were certainly one of the more controversial acts of Season 12. Some people loved them, others feared them, and a few thought their act was more suited to a “redneck family reunion” than a primetime TV talent show (Facebook’s words, not mine).

I was concerned early on that the “wow” factor of the extreme roller-skating would wear off a little too quickly, but in a surprise result (at least to me) they avoided Quarter-Finals Dunkin’ Save territory and spun on straight to the Semis. By the time their second live show rolled around, not only had there been many a comment stating they needed to “step it up” but also many questioning their relationship as siblings. I don’t know if the concept for their Semi-Finals performance was an intentional nod to the speculation of incest, but either way, the Game of Thrones-esque set-up added an extra sense of intensity to the act.

Of course, the theme wasn’t the only thing that made this performance epic; Billy and Emily started out somewhat slow, but that helped them build tension and suspense as they kept adding to the danger with each passing trick. They even maintained strong showmanship whenever they had to pause the actual spinning to maintain their balance. It all culminated in one final daring move we hadn’t seen from them in any of their previous AGT showings; Billy tossing Emily off the platform, ending as the victor of the storyline.

8. Sara & Hero are “Walking on Sunshine” at the Beach (Semi-Finals)

Sara & Hero had kind of a rough start to the season, narrowly making it to the Judge Cuts round. But from there, they charmed the judges and viewers enough to make it all the way the 5th place without ever being on the Dunkin’ Save bubble! I really love Sara’s commitment to training dogs using positive reinforcement, and she managed to raise the bar with pretty much every AGT performance.

The Semi-Finals act is the one that I think worked the best. The beach theme was very well-suited to the “girl and her dogs” storyline and it had the biggest variety of tricks we hadn’t seen from them yet. The beginning with the CPR was arguably the best part since it was the only real “story” section of the performance, but the level of the tricks that followed made up for it. (The volleyball stuff was particularly impressive.) None of them went on for too long, and most of the transitions were smooth enough for Hero and Loki to keep up nicely. There were a couple of mistakes but none of the prevented the routine from progressing as it should (I really liked how Sara just kind of rolled with everything). I would have to say this was probably the most uplifting performance of the season, and it was no surprise for them to make the Finals as a result!

7. Colin Cloud Goes Undercover (Semi-Finals)

I feel like illusion-based acts are always at least a little controversial (“it’s not REAL magic”) but mentalism tends to stir up particularly heated debates. A lot of people are convinced there are plants in the audience or the judges are in on the trick (I highly doubt the latter is true, but I know of an instance or two when the host knew what was up). I know how quite a few of the tricks we’ve seen from this genre over the years are done, and there are a variety of different methods the performers have used. I know a lot of people like to make fun of Colin’s label as the “Real-Life Sherlock Holmes” but since the season ended a couple weeks ago I’ve looked up some videos of him online and the claims of forensic studies seem pretty legit and tied to a lot of his tricks. Granted, most of what he did beyond the Judge Cuts round incorporated less of that stuff, but it still helped me understand/appreciate some of his performances (ie. the Quarter-Finals one) more.

I actually almost selected Colin’s Judge Cuts act for his entry on the list, but I decided that while I did like the tricks in that one better, I think his Semi-Finals showing was stronger as an overall performance. Sometimes it’s not only what we’re seeing, but how it’s presented to us. While watching this on the night it aired I was disappointed at first; we’d seen a very similar illusion performed by Tom London earlier in the season, and that hadn’t boded well for his status in the competition. I was so confused. Why would a mentalist who’d shown he could perform all kinds of cool tricks chose to go down the route of doing one that didn’t even involve those skills? (Well, aside from the first bit with Howie’s phone unlock code.)

Just as I was about ready to give up on Colin, the flashback video started. While it didn’t change the essence of the trick, it added a whole new layer to the performance. The amount of effort put behind all those “clues” (especially in the burger place) was very impressive, and the thing with the board at the end was pretty funny (I’d been confused by the seemingly arbitrary “number of possibilities” since the video calling for tweet submissions was posted online a week prior). Suddenly, a disappointingly lackluster performance became one of my favorites of the entire season. Just goes to show that the delivery and presentation of an act can be equally as impactful as the material itself.

6. Merrick Hanna Dances to “I Built a Friend” (Auditions)

Real talk: the Season 12 premiere was probably one of the best AGT audition round episodes I’ve ever seen. Most of the really memorable auditions were shown in those two hours, and they made for a very strong start to the season. One of the acts in this episode that captivated me the most was Merrick Hanna.

I’d seen lots of animation dancing in the past, but rarely any that actually told a story. Merrick chose a great song to use; it wasn’t mainstream (so everyone would associate it with him) and was about a kind an his robot so the dancing really connected to the music well. His acting was also amazing and really sold the performance. In later rounds, we didn’t get this kind of rawness from Merrick (though he was still very good) but I’m glad we at least got to see it once on AGT.

5. Light Balance Stars a Party in the Dolby (Finals)

As the only Golden Buzzer act that didn’t involve singing, I think a lot of the dance and variety fans were really pulling for Light Balance to go far in the competition…and they did! They actually managed to beat all but two of the singing Golden Buzzers, not to mention every other act of the season!

We’ve seen several light-up dance crews over the years, but what I think made Light Balance special was their polished-ness and memorable characters, most noticeably the Abe Lincoln-esque fellow and the Wolfman. They frequently appeared in their performances and the Wolfman in particular gave way to some neat tricks (like the jail cell escape in this act).

The light-up dance acts can get old after awhile, but the trick is to incorporate different levels of movement, character, and tricks to them to keep things from getting stale. That’s exactly what Light Balance gave us this season, and it all culminated in this full-out dance party of a performance.

4. Diavolo Takes Us on a Journey Through Time and Space (Semi-Finals)

Diavolo is a great example of an act utilizing set pieces well without letting them take over the whole show. Their scenery is carefully selected to showcase what the dancers can do, and what I loved about this performance in particular was the variety of things they incorporated into it. They used several set pieces – each in a different way – and the transitions between each segment were seamless which made the whole act flow very naturally. I’m not entirely sure what the “story” of this performance was supposed to be, but I have a feeling it may have been purposefully vague in order to try to get the audience’s minds working to try to come up with their own unique interpretations.

I really don’t know what else to say about this. How does one even describe Diavolo? “Dance troupe” certainly doesn’t cover it, and neither does “acrobatics group”. I guess the best way to explain Diavolo in a nutshell would simply be “art”.

3. Bello Nock Conquerors the “Wheel of Death” (Quarter-Finals)

Bello Nock may be a seasoned professional at daredevil performances (let’s be real, a lot of the variety acts on AGT are) but that didn’t change the fear we all faced when he took a spin on the “Wheel of Death” for us in the Quarter-Finals.

When Sophie – who was at the live shows that week – first told me what Bello’s act was, I was kind of disappointed. It just didn’t seem very exciting. How could spinning on a giant wheel keep people entertained for three minutes? It just seemed like the awe factor would disappear very quickly. Luckily, Bello managed to create enough intrigue and suspense to keep us on our toes for the entire performance. He started by doing some fun tricks inside the wheel, then suddenly made things much more dramatic by climbing onto the outside of it and slowed things down, making it seem like he might fall off.

The tone change came at just the right time; as soon as the first segment was starting to wear out its welcome, a sudden shift in stakes brought the excitement back. Bello wasn’t just entertaining the audience anymore, but making them root for him. He built the tension at just the right pace and ended with a nail-biting but ultimately satisfying conclusion.

I really thought this performance played into the “fan-favorite Wildcard” storyline quite nicely, and was baffled it sent him packing. (I know some viewers have a disdain for danger acts, but remember, this was the same week that resulted in Billy & Emily making the top 5, so I’m still confused about Bello’s elimination.)

2. Mandy Harvey Semi-Finals: “Release Me” (Semi-Finals)

At first, Mandy’s AGT journey seemed oddly familiar…she came out with a ukulele at the end of the second episode, performed an original song, and received a Golden Buzzer. It felt like she was the second coming of Grace VanderWaal, only with a tragic backstory tacked on for good measure, which – fair or not – made me feel more weary than excited.

Her next showing in the Quarter-Finals was quite nice, but it was her Semi-Finals performance that really got me on board the Mandy train. Her first two songs were light, pretty, and overall pleasant, but in this performance, Mandy shed the sweetness (and the ukulele) and got raw. “Release Me” showed a much darker side of Mandy that we hadn’t yet seen, and there seemed to be so much weight behind every note she sang. Without the ukulele, her body language was much more expressive; the decision to sign the lyrics reminded us of her roadblock in life, but also was a way to use her body to express the sentiment behind the music, and her face was also much more expressive than we’d seen in her previous AGT showings.

Everything came together and made for a powerful performance that dramatically stood out from all the other solo singing acts in Season 12, and I really wish she’d saved this for the last week since her actual performance in the Finals felt like the wall that had been torn down in this one had been rebuilt to a degree.

1. Darci Lynne Farmer Helps Edna Doorknocker Serenade Simon (Semi-Finals)

Darci Lynne Farmer was one of the rare AGT acts that combined three very distinct talents, and I think her showing in the Semi-Finals was her best combination of her ventriloquism, comedy, and singing skills.

Right from when she opened the box, it was clear how dedicated Darci was to making Edna seem like a separate being from herself. The speaking voice was clearly distinct from her own, and when it came time for the song she not only had to nail the complexities of the vocal performance (which involved belting) but had to do it in the character’s voice, which she nailed.

Darci’s comedic chops were as strong as ever, not only in the delivery of the material (especially the hilarious meta AGT references) but also in her facial expressions, even when she was doing the ventriloquism. The best example of this was when she was walking over to Simon while singing. Her voice as Edna was passionate, but her own facial expression was clearly reluctant. It takes a lot of skill for someone to perform one way with their voice and the opposite way with their face, and she had it down pat.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism for Darci’s victory, most of it not actually having anything to do with her or the act itself, but for being “too obvious”. While I found it annoying that the champions of both Seasons 11 and 12 felt determined pretty early on and get wanting to be surprised, that’s more on the producers than the actual talent. I think Darci fully deserved her win, being one of those rare acts that can appeal to music fans and variety-lovers alike.

October 5, 2017 I Written By

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

Pure AGT Season 12 Live Show #5: Power Rankings

LAST SEMI-FINAL OF THE SEASON! I have to admit, even with how messy Season 12 has been, I’m actually pretty sad it’s almost over…but in the meantime, I’m going to try to get up a post on here every day from now until the Finale! I’m also considering covering Britain’s Got Talent on here next spring (I think?) as well as actually doing a write-up about the Christmas special if they do one this year. In addition to this, I want to include more stuff on here about AGT alumni and what they’re up to-there’s been a few I’ve heard a lot from since their time on the show-but I’m not sure how much interest there’d be for all that. None of this would be as frequent as what I’m doing now (until BGT starts).

But for now, I know you’re all here for the Power Rankings. This week is particularly hard to predict because there wasn’t one act that seemed to blow everyone out of the water, and very few really dropped the ball. Also, the show started an hour later than usual, and the late end time-especially we’re now into the school year and a lot of kids and parents are on stricter weeknight schedules-could have affected voting patterns. Also, based on last night alone there really doesn’t seem to be a frontrunner in this group, though I definitely think some will benefit from being one of the “stars” of their Quarter-Final.

1. Mandy Harvey: I think this is the first time all season I’ve put someone who performed in the middle of the show at the top of the Power Rankings, but she headlined her Quarter-Final and her spot in the running order this week was probably the best one she could have gotten; performing at the change of the hour meant she was likely the last act seen by people who tuned out at the usual time, but late enough in the show to still be well-remembered by the end for those sticking around the whole night. Her package might actually have been more of a selling point than the song itself, but it was still a very solid performance (loved the inclusion of sign language!) and just enough of a departure from her previous songs with the ukulele to be different without losing the essence that made people drawn to her in the first place.

2. Angelica Hale: Color me shocked that the judges actually criticized her a bit last night-I thought she was pretty much untouchable in that regard by this point-but this was still a nice way to end off the night. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Angelica since Celine also performed last night, and as I’ve mentioned are often compared very closely by fans of the show. I think Angelica still has a bit of an edge with her story and POSSIBLY the pimp spot (but again, we don’t know if that provided as much of a boost as it usually does). Either way, I don’t see her going home tonight because she’s definitely in the top 6 and there’s no way she’d lose a Dunkin’ Save unless Mandy was one of her opponents.

3. Light Balance: I suppose these guys are my best guess for the third automatic spot tonight, since pretty much everyone seems to like them (even if it’s debatable whether or not performing second last will actually help this week). Their main competition is Diavolo, and I doubt we’re getting both in the finals since it seems like voters-especially this late in the game-tend to be more emotionally attached to (and inclined to vote for) individual performers or pairs than larger groups. However, I still think one of the dance groups will make the Finale and I think LB has the clear edge because their appeal is more “universal” (more on that below).

4. In the Stairwell: This might be surprising since I just said groups tend to be disadvantaged on this show at this point (and I’ll probably do a write-up about that sometime between now and next week) but I think the main reason for this is because it’s much more difficult for the audience to connect to them in comparison to a solo performer. However, the constant reminders of ITS’s military service probably remedies this issue. While I could have done without the name-dropping of a national tragedy (I want them out tonight for that alone) the Armed Forces mean a lot to many people, especially in America. Even though I thought the performance itself was probably one of the weaker ones of the night, ITS filled a niche of the episode as the only singing group, and that + military background will probably be enough to get them into Dunkin’ Save territory. Keep in mind the order of this list is based on who I think got the most Tuesday night votes, so while I’m expecting to see them on the bubble, they’ll probably be the act to lose out since I get the feeling the majority of their voting base is not part of the online crowd.

5. Celine Tam: I was originally going to have Celine as an immediate elimination, but she seemed to take less heat from being on the same show as Angelica than I thought, and now I’m thinking there might even be room for both girls in next week’s Finale. Like Angelica, she got a pretty positive response from the judges, with only a few minor critiques. I have a feeling as long as Celine manages to stay above the abyss (AKA the bottom 5) she’ll probably get through to the Finals.

6. Colin Cloud: I’m gonna try not to get my hopes up, because he was in the Dunkin’ Save last round and had the historically worst running order spot a reality contestant can have last night, but…….HOLY S*** WAS THAT NOT THE BIGGEST STEP UP WE’VE SEEN THIS SEASON? Yes, as usual the trick was “exposed” 10 seconds after it aired, but the whole presentation of this was NEXT LEVEL. It started off slow, and once the “magic” part happened I thought it was just a re-hash of what Tom London did back in Judge Cuts, but the flashback footage put this performance over the top. I LOVED seeing the reactions to it, both from the judges and online. Colin stood out with this performance, especially as the sole non-singing/dancing act of the night, and I think it just might have been enough to get him into Dunkin’ Save territory again. Maybe. I mean, if Eric could go second last week and still end up there, so can Colin, right? Right? (Please!!!!!)

7. Kechi: After her whole segment I penciled her in for top 3, but then a funny thing happened. When I poked around the interwebs to get a feel of who people were liking (and not liking)…I barely saw Kechi’s name at all. And this is about someone who I believe has gotten the pimp spot for all three of her previous performances, and a decent one near the end last night. She might still wind up in the Dunkin’ Save or even top 3, but it seems she could possibly be a victim of the “Singer Massacre of the Semi-Finals” when a bunch of the singers who were madly hyped in the Quarters suddenly disappear the next round.

8. Diavolo: This was THE performance of the night for me, and cemented my belief that despite what Laverne Cox said back in Judge Cuts, this is the most “Vegas” act of the whole season. However, three things make me think they’re probably goners tonight. 1) Competition against Light Balance (which I already explained). 2) The West Coast airing of the episode suddenly cutting back to Pompeyo halfway through their performance (seriously, WTF? Not cool, technicians!). and 3) Their act just being kinda divisive overall. It was very abstract and circus-esque, which seemed to be strongly appealing for some viewers (myself included) and a total turn-off to others. I hate to say it, but I have a feeling they’re done tonight. 🙁

9. Merrick Hanna: I love Merrick, but last night’s performance seemed to emphasize gimmicks (the giant robot) and tricks (the “flying”) more than what we love him for best-awesome animation dancing. I have a feeling a lot of these additions were producer-driven, but that probably wouldn’t have swayed voters either way. Again, really sad to say it but I think we’re losing Merrick tonight as well. 🙁

10. Christian Guardino: I actually really love listening to Christian sing, and hope he has a long and successful career after this, but while he did have a package custom-designed to tug at the heartstrings, his song was pretty forgettable (remember what I said last week about having to have those “money notes” in order for the audience to remember you?). His running order also wasn’t that great, and I’ve hardly seen any buzz about him since the show, so I’d be very surprised to even see him in the Dunkin’ Save tonight.

11. Pompeyo Family Dogs: Semi-Final Wildcard acts are pretty much fodder no matter how you slice it, but even if they had been voted through last time I’d probably still rank them at the bottom this week…I love their creativity, but the dogs were pretty much unrecognizable and were off their game for at least half of the performance. Besides that, the tricks themselves were pretty much the same ones we’ve seen in their other acts. And to top it all off, they were coming off the heels of fan-favorite Sara & Hero’s amazing beach performance last week. I really hope the daughter doesn’t cry again when they get eliminated tonight. 🙁

September 13, 2017 I Written By

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

Pure AGT Season 12: Who Will Be the Top 10?

We FINALLY know the scheduled acts for the next two weeks, but there’s barely any time before the first Semi-Final show starts so I’m not going to get to do as deep of an analysis as I was hoping. 🙁 But I’ll still quickly predict a top 10 (aka the Finalists!):

Week #1 – September 5-6 2017
Top 3: Darci Lynne Farmer, Chase Goehring, Johnny Manuel
Bottom 5: Yoli Mayor, Eric Jones, Billy & Emily England, Mike Yung, Danell Daymon & Greater Works
Dunkin’ Save: Preacher Lawson
Judges’ Choice: Sara & Hero if it’s a majority/Evie Clair if it’s split and they go to the viewers

Week #2 – September 12-13 2017
Top 3: Angelica Hale, Mandy Harvey, Diavolo
Bottom 5: In the Stairwell, Colin Cloud, Celine Tam, Light Balance, WILDCARD
Dunkin’ Save: Kechi
Judges’ Choice: Between Christian Guardino/Merrick Hanna and they tie so Christian goes through with more audience votes

September 5, 2017 I Written By

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

Pure America’s Got Talent Season 12 Live Show #2: Power Rankings

So, last night was….a time. As Mel B put it, the show was a rollercoaster. With multiple malfunctions, buzzers, and jokes that were meant to ease the tension but ended up making things even more awkward, the actual performances seemed to be a sideshow to all the malfunctions behind the scenes and antics at the judges’ table. I thought there was no sinking lower than “Judge Cuts #2”, but last night’s s***show might have given it a run for its money as a contender for “Worst Episode of Season 12”. And since, as I said, the response to the acts seems to have taken a backseat to the buzz about all the drama, and the relatively little commentary I have seen on the performances has been pretty negative. Still, seven acts will be going through to the next round tomorrow, so I guess I’ll take a stab at trying to figure out who they might be, starting with…

1. Mandy Harvey: I was expecting a lot more hype about Mandy from people tonight, but unfortunately I think her thunder was stolen by all the craziness that had already happened throughout the night, so by the time it was her turn to perform, I think the audience was just kind of drained and not really excited for anything anymore. Regardless, even if she didn’t exactly bring the house down, she still managed to end the show on a pleasant note and received one of the few overall positive reactions of the evening so I don’t think the sideshow will bring her down. Mandy is the only act I’m 100% sure is automatically advancing tomorrow night, and to be honest I think she’s probably the only one in this Quarter-Final group with a real shot at the grand prize.

2. Johnny Manuel: Okay, so I wouldn’t put MONEY on Johnny getting this much support, but since the general reaction to everyone from here down has been lukewarm to extremely negative I have to go with what I’ve got, and from what I’ve seen, Johnny was one of the only acts to overall please the Facebook crowd (aka the toughest critics but most likely the closest way to see what the general audience at home thinks). I do wonder if having a history in professional entertainment will hurt him in votes, since I think that might have been Bello’s downfall last week, but I’m leaning towards it not being that big of a dealbreaker for voters in comparison to certain aspects of some of the other acts in this episode.

3. Evie Clair: If Evie is not one of the five acts automatically advancing tonight I’m sure she’ll be in the Dunkin’ Save group. Regardless of the method of her safety, I doubt she’s going anywhere this week, moreso because of her story than her performance. Yes, the situation with her father is heartbreaking and I wish him and the family all the best, but her singing was clearly off in some places (though I did like the candle setup and her shaking things up a bit by bringing the piano in). A lot of people seem to recognize this, but I think all the malfunctions in the surrounding acts may have made her look better to the audience by comparison. As for myself, I really wouldn’t mind losing her at this stage, but I doubt that’s happening.

4. Light Balance: I was so sad that these guys didn’t get to perform for the crowd last night, but was so happy we still got to see their act! They definitely won the night for me, especially with that amazing transition to the Wolfman! I think LB got an overall positive reaction based on the act itself, but I’ve seen quite a few people upset over the performance technically not being “live”. I would brush that off, but last week seemed to prove that some viewers have strange motivations for voting (or more accurately, NOT voting) for an act. Since they weren’t forgettable or a trainwreck I’d say they’re probably going to get through, just not not sure whether it’ll be automatically or from the middle zone.

5. Merrick Hanna: Again, not sure whether Merrick is actually going to end up in top five, but I’m confident he’ll at least have a chance at going through tonight. Some have commented that his robot dancing is getting repetitive, and that the production of the act overshadowed his performance this round (I wish they’d put a light on him….LOL). But I think being a child act may be an asset here; many viewers seem to find him cute and charming, and I think he’s gained quite a few fans during his time on the show. But if he does end up in Dunkin’ Save I think he has a pretty good shot at getting it, since he’s one of the internet’s favorite acts of the week.

6. Celine Tam: Buzz about Celine was pretty mum last night, especially considering she’s a Golden Buzzer act and a child singer. I think her running order spot, Mel B’s comment about the song choice, and the continuous comparisons between she and Angelica might put her in a bad spot this week. She seems to have a lot of fans, but it looks like most of the following she’s gained has come from places other than America, which is cool….except AGT voting is banned outside of America. (There are ways of doing it, but I doubt they’re widely known.) I’m going to say she ends up in Dunkin’ Save territory tonight and I’m not sure what happens from there.

7. Pompeyo Family Dogs: After a string of controversial performances, seeing these adorable poodles (I think?) come out and strut their stuff was probably a nice palate cleanser for the audience, and I think that helped them escape some of the criticism they would have faced otherwise (remember: after their Judge Cuts episode people were not happy about them making it to the live shows). I also think their running order spot of second last might help them the way it did Billy & Emily last week.  However, I kind of doubt they’ll move on even if they make the Dunkin’ Save, since it seems like the audience feels more connected to several other acts that performed last night.

8. Eric Jones: I have no idea how the average at-home viewer reacted to Eric’s performance last night. The trick was cool but something we’ve seen a lot of, and instead of being a “showman” he was very casual about it all. I personally found this somewhat refreshing, but I fear it may have made him forgettable to viewers. The internet seems determined to “expose” acts (aka show how they’re done) and a lot of people immediately jumped on Eric for his somewhat sloppy delivery of his trick this week, but it’s hard to tell whether or not the casual viewer would have noticed the little giveaways. The main thing Eric has going for him is that he’s not only the only traditional magician of the week, but of all the live shows (yes, I’m pretty sure we’re getting Tom back as a Wildcard next week, but the general audience doesn’t know that) so he might squeeze through tonight by being an outlier in a sea of musical acts.

9. The Masqueraders: And speaking of acts that people are determined to “expose”……the main storyline of this trio is that they’re finally hitting the big time and living out their dreams after half a century of getting rejected by record companies. However, as some have found, they seem to have recorded and released at least a few songs to moderate success about 50 years ago. I know the show is allowed to tamper with the backstories as much as they want, but if this is true, things just got reaaaaaally awkward. However, I think the vast majority of the AGT audience is unaware of this and are basing their votes solely on what the show airs of the acts. I was actually very impressed with these guys last night. It was clear they were very grateful to be performing together and just overall having a blast. I think they have an okay shot at getting into Dunkin’ Save territory-and maybe even cracking top five-but I have a feeling they’re probably done tonight.

10. Brobots & Mandroidz: I actually enjoyed these guys quite a bit, but the majority of people seemed to either forget they even performed  or view them as the Wal-Mart version of Just Jerk. Like Celine, I think their chances got diminished by performing after an act they’ve been closely compared to (especially since both B&M and Celine have generally been regarded as the “lesser” act when matched up against their respective counterparts). Performing alongside Golden Buzzer Light Balance and viral hit Merrick Hanna probably didn’t help either, and same with their running order. Unfortunately, I just don’t see these guys moving on tonight.

11. Mirror Image: Much like the Masqueraders, Colton and Trent seemed to be having the time of their lives up their on the Dolby stage. For me, this performance wasn’t as “so bad it’s good” as their Judge Cuts one, but I still , and I couldn’t help but be happy for them (and I thought it was sweet of Heidi to hold Simon’s hand away from the buzzer…..only for him to buzz after the performance was finished). I know Reddit and 4chan have a campaign going to get the to the Finale as revenge for Simon putting down other variety acts, but their collective power likely doesn’t hold a candle to that of the average viewing audience, and the vast majority of that crowd seems to despise this act.

12. Demian Aditya: As repetitive as Demian’s act has become, I felt so bad that he was unable to finish his performance last night. His act more than any of the others was overshadowed by all the drama with the judges, and like Light Balance, many viewers are actually blaming him for the technical difficulties. I guess he might pick up a couple sympathy votes, but if he did, I haven’t seen very many. However, I do think after all the craziness with his segment last night he might end up being the Semi-Finals Wildcard.

August 23, 2017 I Written By

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

Pure America’s Got Talent Season 12 Live Shows Masterpost

For the rest of the season, this will be the page updated about upcoming show lineups and advancing/eliminated acts. Once the performance episode has aired, I’ll link each act’s performance here as well. I’ll still post things like Power Rankings and general commentary on the show separately, but when it comes to information about the competition schedule and results, this will now be your one-stop shop!

Quarter-Finals Week #1: August 15-16 2017
Angelica Hale
Aryton & Paige
Bello Nock (Wildcard)
Billy & Emily England
Christian Guardino (Dunkin’ Save)
Darci Lynne Farmer
In the Stairwell
Just Jerk (Lost Judges’ Choice Tiebreaker)
Preacher Lawson
Puddles Pity Party
The Singing Trump
Yoli Mayor (Won Judges’ Choice Tiebreaker via Viewer Votes)

Quarter-Finals Week #2: August 22-23 2017
Brobots & Mandroidz
Celine Tam
Demian Aditya
Eric Jones (Won Judges’ Choice Tiebreaker via Viewer Votes)
Evie Clair (Dunkin’ Save)
Johnny Manuel
Light Balance
Mandy Harvey
The Masqueraders (Lost Judges’ Choice Tiebreaker)
Merrick Hanna
Mirror Image
Pompeyo Family Dogs

Quarter-Finals Week #3: August 29-30 2017
Angelina Green (Lost Judges’ Choice)
Chase Goehring
Colin Cloud (Dunkin’ Save)
DaNell Daymon & Greater Works (Won Judges’ Choice)
Diavolo
Final Draft (Wildcard)
Junior & Emily
Kechi Okwuchi
Mike Yung
Oscar Hernandez
Oskar & Gaspar (Wildcard)
Sara & Hero

Semi-Finals Week #1: September 5-6 2017
Billy & Emily England
Chase Gohering (Won Judges’ Choice)
Danell Daymon & Greater Works
Darci Lynne Farmer
Eric Jones (Lost Judges’ Choice)
Evie Clair (Dunkin’ Save-first act in the show’s history to win the DS twice)
Johnny Manuel
Mike Yung
Preacher Lawson
Sara & Hero
Yoli Mayor

Semi-Finals Week #2: September 12-13 2017
Angelica Hale
Celine Tam
Christian Guardino
Colin Cloud (Lost Judges’ Choice)
Diavolo (Won Judges’ Choice)
In the Stairwell
Kechi Okwuchi (Dunkin’ Save)
Light Balance
Mandy Harvey
Merrick Hanna
Pompeyo Family Dogs (Semi-Finals Wildcard)

Finals: September 19-20 2017
Angelica Hale (Runner-Up)
Chase Goehring (Top 10)
Darci Lynne Farmer (WINNER)
Diavolo (Top 10)
Evie Clair (Top 10)
Kechi Okwuchi (Top 10)
Light Balance (Third Place)
Mandy Harvey (Fourth Place)
Preacher Lawson (Top 10)
Sara & Hero (Fifth Place)

August 12, 2017 I Written By

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

Pure America’s Got Talent Season 12 Judges Cuts 3 and 4: Power Rankings

It’s funny: while these last two groups for Judge Cuts were noticeably stronger than the first and second, I found myself disagreeing with quite a few of the choices and I actually think most of the acts that made it through aren’t as likely to make it to the end (potential Wildcards notwithstanding). I really wish we could trade some of these acts for the rejected ones but today I’m going to get right to it and save the ranting about the results and overall format of the auditions and Judge Cuts rounds for a few days from now. Remember, this list starts with who I THINK will get the farthest in the competition and goes down from there; I’ll share my opinions on each act of course but the order they’re in is reflective of how I’m predicting the general audience will react to them, not necessarily how much I’ve personally enjoyed them.

1. Diavolo: I didn’t understand Laverne’s comment about not seeing how they’d fit into the Vegas scene, because truth be told out of every act this season I think this is probably the one that is best suited to carry a full Vegas show. There are several strong dance groups this season, but Diavolo is the one I’m thinking will provide the most variety and is the most likely to keep the audience on their toes. I fear a lot of the other dance groups (and non-dance acts, come to think of it) are going to grow stale pretty quickly if they can’t step it up, but I don’t have that worry with Diavolo, which is why I think they have a good shot at the Finals.

2. Merrick Hanna: Okay…so…awkward moment there with that Golden Buzzer prediction, huh? (Seriously though, why did Seal press it in such an odd fashion for a fairly basic pop singer?) Anyway, despite not getting the coveted GB, I think Merrick is probably going to do well in the competition. He’s built up quite the following in his short time on AGT so far, and he seems to be someone a lot of people in the anti-singer brigade have really latched onto. I definitely think he’ll get past the Quarter-Finals but my concern is that his act might start to feel tired after that. His dancing mainly seems to be robotic-style, and there are only so many ways that can be kept fresh after several performances. I think the trick here is going to be heartstring-pulling (in his dancing, not his pre-performance packages). If he can keep telling stories like he did back in his audition, he might have a decent shot at the Finals.

3. Preacher Lawson: Being the only comedian left this season, Preacher essentially has an entire sub-market of the AGT audience all to himself right now. He’s also another performer the fans itching to support something other than vocal talents seem to have really taken to, not to mention the general viewing audience. There was a little backlash towards his Judge Cuts routine for ablest material, but even some of those detractors seemed more mixed than totally negative (they seemed to like that the person with a disability in question got a happy ending). Of course, most comedy is going to be somewhat controversial (and really, the backlash for Preacher was NOTHING compared to that of the political jokes from Lori Mae last season) but if Preacher can continue t deliver routines that will entertain more people than not, I could see him making it far.

4. Kechi Okwuchi: I’m kind of torn as to whether or not Kechi will make it all the way to the end. She has a pleasant voice, but what most people remember about her is her backstory. Now it is a powerful one, but we have so many this season that they may not be enough to take a person far. Also, someone on Reddit today pointed out that while AGT has more than its fair share of tragic backstories, it’s generally the people with the most memorable personalities that go far. Now, I’m absolutely positive that we’re going to have at least a couple people with sad backstories make it to the Finale, but the people that do are probably going to have more than that to fall back on. As I said, Kechi’s voice is great, but there are stronger in the competition, and she hasn’t really gotten to show a lot of personality so far. If she can show her fun side, I think she has a shot at making it to the end.

5. DaNell Daymon & Greater Works: I was originally going to put this group a little lower on the list, but then I remembered what happened when another singing group that I barely paid attention to that had an emotional backstory competed last season: they made the Finals. Greater Works seemed to strike a chord with a lot of people, so I’m not making the mistake of sleeping on them like I did Linkin’ Bridge.

6. Celine Tam: Celine is an interesting case because she’s someone I could see going very, very far…in another season. I think this live show group not only has the most singing acts we’ve ever had, but the most child singing acts we’ve ever had, and I’m already seeing people closely comparing some of them. Celine’s “counterpart” in this regard seems to be fellow 9-year-old Judge Cuts Golden Buzzer recipient singer (of presumably Asian heritage, no less) Angelica Hale. And I think those comparisons are exactly what is going to be her downfall in the competition, because most of the comparisons I’ve seen between the two have been in Angelica’s favor; people seem to prefer her =”powerhouse”-style voice over Celine’s more childlike one (which actually bothers me because those people probably don’t realize that the way Angelica sings is probably damaging to her still-developing vocal chords as such a young singer, but unfortunately that’s an issue that’s also been in previous seasons that I doubt is going to go away any time soon). It also won’t help that Angelica’s Quarter-Final is before Celine’s, so I’m sure when she inevitably passes through her first live show with flying colors that Celine will have some hard expectations to match when her turn comes. I still think she’ll probably make it to the Semi-Finals, but I’m doubting her chances at getting the last week at this point.

7. Johnny Manuel: As I mentioned in my last point, the amount of singers this season is probably going to become a roadblock for a lot of the acts that fall under that category. I presume it’s going to be like last season when most of them made it through the first round of live shows pretty easily but then saw a mass exodus in the Semi-Finals, with many early favorites not even making it to Dunkin’ Save territory. I was talking to some other AGT fans on twitter last night about the Golden Buzzer singers alone, and many of those people couldn’t even remember them all. While Johnny obviously wasn’t one of them since we’d just seen him receive his from Seal, I barely remembered him from the auditions until they reminded us of his backstory (and even then I didn’t remember what song he performed the first time). It seems like his story of his failed music career is pretty controversial within the AGT fandom, with some finding his presence in the competition unfair because of it, but if he’s going to compete I’m glad it’s out in the open and not hidden from the audience (Brian Justin Crum, anyone?). At this point, I feel like he might become somewhat forgettable like some of the other singers have seemed to, but I think he’ll probably make it to the Semi-Finals and miiiiiight have a shot at squeezing into the Finale.

8. Billy & Emily England: These two seem to be pretty polarizing in several ways. Some dislike the fact they’ve already competed on a Got Talent show, but again, I appreciate that the show is being open about that instead of sweeping it under the rug (Laura Bretan, anyone?). However, most of the people who don’t like them seem to find their performances and general demeanor overly sexual (I don’t find them or the act I’m about to mention to be that way, but I find it weird that these two are getting tons of accusations of incest and Junior and Emily aren’t). If I had to guess, I’d say they’re probably gone next week but if they can squeeze into the Dunkin’ Save zone I think they miiiiiiiight have a shot at the Judges’ Save depending on who’s there with them.

9. In the Stairwell: I was pleasantly surprised to see these guys make the live shows, but I think they’re most likely goners next week unless maybe they really play up the military angle. (American audiences do love their veterans!) Either way, they’ve already made it farther than I thought they would, so I’m going to enjoy them for however long they last!

10. Mike Yung: Mike is one of the singers I think a lot of people have kind of forgotten about. I actually enjoy his voice more than most others this season, but there seems to be a trend of older singers being eliminated early in the live shows, and I have a feeling this might be the case with Mike. I guess he could POSSIBLY make the Semi-Finals, but I HIGHLY doubt he’s going all the way to the Finale.

11. Pompeyo Family Dogs: I love these dogs and this family so much, but it’s clear a lot of others feel differently. Many people were disappointed by some of last night’s results, and this act took a lot of the heat from that. I would love to see them at least make it to the Semi-Finals, but that seems kind of unlikely right now.

12. Brobots & Mandriods: I really like these guys, and if they were on a season with less dance acts I think they could make it somewhat far. However, they’re going to up against giants like Diavolo and Light Balance and I don’t think they’re going to be able to grab viewers in the same way those acts might. From the looks of it, it seems likely that they’ll be in the same Quarter-Final as one of those two groups and I fear that might spell the end for our Brobots and Mandroidz.

13. Oscar Hernandez: Okay, I LOVE this guy, and he was one of the acts I thought really stepped up his game in the Judge Cuts. However, he’s another performer that took a lot of heat for the decisions made in his JC episode, and it doesn’t look like a lot of people have him as their favorite right now. I’d love if he could somehow make it to the Semi-Finals, but yeah, I’m doubting that’s actually going to happen.

14. Artyon & Paige: I think these two are great and would love to see them stick together as a duo for a long, long time. However, I was quite confused when they announced they’d advanced over some of the other acts last night, and it seems a heck of a lot of others agreed with me. Judging by who else is in their live show next week (which I’ll be talking more about in the next few days) I’d be shocked if they even made it to Dunkin’ Save territory.

What do you think of this group of live show acts and their chances to do well?

August 9, 2017 I Written By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 7, 2017 I Written By

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

America’s Got Talent Season 12 Wildcard Possibilities

So how did everyone like last night’s Judge Cuts? It was another pretty controversial episode, but for different reasons than last week. I’ll save that topic for another post though, because there’s been a lot of talk about potential Wildcards in the AGT community and I wanted to take a look at who might have a realistic shot at being one of them, even though the factors I’m looking at might not end up even mattering in some cases, as I seem to recall one or two of the choices from last season seeming pretty random……

“Wildcards” are acts that have already been eliminated that are chosen to fill the remaining spot in the appear in the live shows. Much like last season, there will be three of these that will appear in the Quarter-Finals. Or maybe four. This is kin of an awkward situation, but it depends on whether the dearly departed Brandon Rogers was chosen as one of the seven in his Judge Cuts group. If he was, they’ll most likely replace him with another act, hence the potential fourth Wildcard spot. There will also be one more Wildcard later on in the season; an act that is eliminated in the Quarter-Finals but brought back for the Semi-Finals.

This’ll be like the Power Rankings I did last week, except this time it’ll be starting with who’s most likely to be one of the Quarter-Finals Wildcards and going down from there. Also I won’t be including every single act eliminated in Judge Cuts so far, only the ones I think have a good shot at actually being brought back.

1. Bello Nock: His elimination was pretty surprising to myself and many others last night; after delivering on his promise to be shot out of a canon and showing versatility between his first and second performances, he still doesn’t advance? I think if he had been in one of the first two Judge Cuts groups he would have easily advanced (another issue to discuss at a later date) but keep in mind that the Judge Cuts episodes were filmed before any of the initial auditions had even aired on TV. The editors knew he’d been cut when they put together the TV version of his first audition, and the way they’ve been editing him since then screams “Wildcard storyline”. His entire audition being aired, his full Judge Cuts performance being shown, and the fact that the AGT social media has put up extra bonus clips of him online (something that’s usually reserved for advancing acts) make it very obvious they’re setting him up for a triumphant return in the Quarter-Finals. I will be legitimately shocked if we don’t see him again in the next few weeks.

2. Tom London: Like Bello, Tom got a full edit in both the auditions and Judge Cuts rounds, and many were surprised and disappointed to learn he’d been eliminated (even though the show actually did a good job of explaining why Eric was kept around and he wasn’t). They seem to be more tough than usual on the magicians this season, but then again, I feel like we’re seeing the same tricks from multiple performers, so I guess I understand the fatigue the judges might be feeling. Anyway, it seems quite a few people are clamoring for Tom’s return to AGT, and because of this campaign I think he might have a decent shot depending on how many magician’s we’re left with once Judge Cuts are over next week.

3. Daniel Ferguson: Tell me if this strikes you as familiar: a quirky guy auditions for AGT with a fairly unique act which ends up going viral online. He then returns for Judge Cuts and is called up at the end alongside a stand-up comedian, then gets eliminated and is visibly emotional about it. Once this airs on TV, his fans on YouTube rally for him to return as a Wildcard. What I’m trying to say here is I think Daniel might be this season’s Steven Brundage (if the name doesn’t ring a bell, think of Rubic’s Cube magic tricks). One notable difference between the two is that Steven’s full Judge Cuts act was televised, while Daniel’s was montaged (which is also the reason I have Tom above him on here). That’s kind of a bad sign, but I’m pretty sure at least one of last season’s Wildcards was also montaged in the second round, so I don’t think it totally rules him out to return. Still, Daniel might be facing a bit of an uphill battle for a Wildcard spot, so if you’re a fan, make sure to let AGT and the judges know. (I’m really pulling for this one in particular to happen, if you couldn’t tell. :P)

4. Jeki Yoo: Color me surprised that he didn’t make it through last night after being the only one of his kind to escape the magic montage! The judges seemed to like him, and the audience did too, so I think he has a shot at coming back. I still think Tom is more likely though because there was more of an outcry when he got cut than when Jeki did.

5. Jay Jay Phillips: This may seem kind of random, especially since he was another act whose Judge Cuts performance got montaged. But surprisingly, I saw a lot of people expressing major disappointment in his elimination and he’d certainly be a change of pace from some of the other acts, so I’m not enitrely ruling him out.

6. Dancing Pumpkin Man: He’s on here because there’s a fan campaign for him to return, but I don’t think they’d being him back over most of the others who also have quite a few people pulling for them. Also, I’m not sure how many more sassy dance acts Simon can take now that both Mirror Image and Oscar are in the live shows. 😛

7. Harrison Greenbaum: I doubt it’ll actually happen for him, but I suppose it’s worth noting that I did see some disappointment from fans after his elimination, and there’s a chance they might want to bring on another stand-up comedian since as of right now Preacher is the only one left and I don’t think there are any more in next week’s lineup.

Keep in mind there’s still next week to consider, even though we don’t know the results yet. The one name that’s jumping out at me right now in that lineup is Merrick Hanna, who went viral after doing the robot dance in the first week of auditions. Judging by who else he’s up against, I’d say he has a pretty good chance of making it through, but if he doesn’t I’d say his chances of being a Wildcard are just as good if not better than the current top three on this list.

Do you think I missed anyone? Let me know and I’ll see you again real soon!

August 2, 2017 I Written By

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