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New Music From Some AGT Favorites! – Alumni Update

There is also a “behind the scenes” video up on her YouTube Channel.AGT Alumni have released some cool music over the past few days! Grace VanderWaal‘s album Just The Beginning came out a few weeks ago, but she dropped a new video for the song “So Much More Than This” on Monday. I love the message of the song; it’s something I can personally stand to keep in mind a bit more, which goes to show Grace is wise beyond her years. The video is lighthearted and uplifting, which definitely compliments the song.

Getting into the holiday spirit, Season 12 finalist Laura Bretan released her own version of “Silent Night” today. The track will be released on all streaming platforms this Friday, December 8, but for now it is exclusively available for listen via YouTube.

Lindsey Stirling released another music video complimentary to her Warmer in the Winter Christmas album last week, this time for “Carol of the Bells”. There is also a “behind the scenes” video up on her YouTube Channel.

To end today’s post off, I’d like to let everyone know I’m in the midst of a personal project for the month I’m calling “Blogmas” which entails me putting up one blog post every day until Christmas. The catch is since I write for several blogs and would also like to include some more random and personal entries (especially seeing how dead the reality TV world is this time of year) not all installments are going up on the same site so I have a masterpost I’m updating with links to each new entry as I post them (in fact, this very post is today’s installment!). It’d be really cool if I could get some people from each of my blogs’s respective readerships to go check it out and see what else I do, but if not I’ll be back here on Pure AGT with at least two more posts by the end of the month, and hopefully we’ll get some new information on the new Got Talent seasons soon!

December 6, 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!

The Holiday Season has Begun! – AGT Alumni Update

We’re at that point in the America’s Got Talent offseason where we’re past the excitement and hype of the previous season, but are still waiting for buzz on the upcoming competition. Auditions for the upcoming season are going on, but there hasn’t been much news to come out of them yet. I have heard about a couple of possible recruits, but I’m waiting until a few more names get thrown out there before a do a whole post on them.

Britain’s Got Talent is in a similar “lull” phase right now, but I’m sure news on that show will pick up soon since it’s return is closer than that of AGT. In the meantime, we still have the Royal Variety Performance (that actually almost got cancelled but thankfully the show went on) to look forward to. The show was filmed last week and will be televised in December/January depending on the country (as per tradition, it’ll air here in Canada at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s, but I’ll make sure to watch and review the show on here well beforehand while it’s still relevant. :P).

I was really hoping to see another AGT Christmas special this year, but there are still plenty of opportunities to see franchise favorites grace our television screens this holiday season!

Angelica Hale performed in last week’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, singing “Girl on Fire” on the Sprout float. Check it out!

You can see reigning champ Darci Lynne Farmer in the A Very Pentatonix Chrismas special airing tonight (November 27) on NBC at 10/9c. Here’s a little preview of what’s in store:

|Finally, Season 5’s Lindsey Stirling‘s Warmer in the Winter tour is still going on for the next few weeks, but if you aren’t able to catch a show in person, tomorrow night’s performance (November 28) will be streamed live on Twitter at 10/9c. I’d also like to congratulate Lindsey on a fantastic run on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. The season ended last week and she finished as Runner-Up. On the last night they showed clips of the contestant’s highs and lows in life, and Lindsey’s featured the infamous AGT clip of Piers and Sharon telling her she’d never make it as a violinist.  I’ve included that video below as well as a compilation of the dances she performed on the show (she may have even bust out the violin at some point!). 😛

November 27, 2017 I Written By

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

Pure AGT Season 11 – Auditions Week 4 Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 23, 2016 I Written By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 28, 2014 I Written By

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