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Pure America’s Got Talent Season 12 Auditions Week 5: Live Blog!

Time for another episode of AGT auditions! It looks like we’re starting off the night with some magic! And also a sad backstory, apparently. Henry Rich, our teen magician, used to watch the show with his father before he died and got into magic that way. His stage presence and execution of the trick were amazing, and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing him in the live shows!

Ooo, a husband a wife, but they’re competing against each other instead of with each other. Both are balancing acts, but Maxim’s focuses on the height while Maria’s in more about contortion. Both made it through, but how much do you want to bet they bring them out onstage together after their Judge Cuts auditions and send one through and the other home?

I love the 3 Masqueraders! They sounded pretty good together and I’m happy their dream lives on.

This dancing officer was funny but I agree with the judges’ decision to not send him forward. He can certainly move, but the performance wasn’t coherent enough to be taken seriously as an AGT act.

Hmmmm, weird package with more red buzzer acts and Simon vs. Mel B “drama”.

YAY A DOG ACT!

Sarah and Hero are so cute, even when they were “fighting”! I can’t believe they were about to get rejected, and I’m glad Simon convinced Howie to save them, but more on that at the end of this post.
EDIT: I’m actually gonna save my thoughts for another article I’ll be doing next week in place of the usual live blog since there won’t be a new episode next Tuesday.

Okay, so this next guy is a rapper, which is cool, but it sounds like he’s had quite the career in this business before. Now he did eventually get to a standstill point in his career, but his participation as a contestant on a show like this seems kind of unfair. I’ll have to look more into it.

Oh, he’s singing? I thought he said he had a rap career? Either way, he has a great voice, but again, as I say every week, I think singers like him would benefit more from competing on a singing-only competition show, where they have people who have more expertise helping them with their craft.

Now we’re getting into the more offbeat acts (well, actually most of this night has been pretty strange;in a good way!). I loved the comedy projector act, even though it was cheesy and hokey.

“The worst act we’ve had on this year?” Really, Simon? (Was this before or after the flashing old ladies we saw a couple weeks ago?)

Wow, this boy band (not sure what else to call it) is really good! I see potential to go far in this competition for sure!

The projection act was incredible; not much to say there except for that I’m SO HYPED to see what’s next from them!

This magician is certainly dedicated to the integrity of his craft! (And is it just me, or have we had more acts involving nudity than usual this season?)

Looks like we’re ending things off on a singer…again. And he’s….an opera singer! And a pretty darn good one at that! I didn’t see a Golden Buzzer in any previews for this week, so I figured he probably wouldn’t get it, but I’m glad he went through.

Speaking of the Golden Buzzer, there won’t be a new episode next week because of the 4th of July, so the sixth and final audition compilation episode will air on July 11th and presumably feature Heidi’s Golden Buzzer. As edited above, I’m planning to have a separate article up next week to share my thoughts on a trend I’ve been seeing this season, but until then, share your thoughts on tonight’s episode down below!

June 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!

PureAGT Season 8, Semifinal #1 – Power Rankings

NOTE FROM COURT: I’m currently vacationing in Texas, so our reader (and my dear friend) Will has graciously agreed to cover the power rankings in my absence.  Please give him a warm welcome, as its his thoughts from here on out 🙂

Tonight’s episode was definitely strange for me.  In many many cases, the acts just seemed to really crack under the pressure.  For a few other acts, they were really good…but something was off about them.  I really only feel there were one or maybe two acts REALLY knocked it out of the park, a few that did pretty well but not amazing, and the rest seemed to be this shuffle of acts that could go anywhere.  I’m going to say that I’m not very confident in these rankings as it goes further down the list, as after the first 3 or 4, it could go anywhere in my opinion.  And honestly I’m not really 100% on the first 4 either, but enough of me blabbing.  Let’s get down to business! J
1.) Forte – This is pretty much a gimme.  These guys were fantastic, they are consistently blowing the audience and the judges away, and really, I think they’re going to make the finals, no problem.  They have beautiful voices that mesh together perfectly, they are each individually talented, they’re back story is interesting, and not to mention they had the best running order position going last.  Also, like I said above, even the stronger acts tonight seemed to struggle just a little bit.  It was like the planets aligned for them to breeze through tonight (as if they weren’t already, hahaha).  I can’t say I loved the song choice as much, and on maybe one or two occasions one of the voices stuck out a bit too much, but this was definitely the strongest act of the night.  Forte is a shoo-in to make it through, and I’m okay with that!  See ya in the top 12!
2.) Taylor Williamson – I think Taylor definitely stepped up his game this week.  The material was much stronger and his delivery was spot on once again.  Plus, his dorky, likable personality just makes you smile ear to ear. 🙂  The No. 2 pencil joke did totally go over my head, but the rest of the jokes had me laughing heartily and I genuinely enjoyed the entire performance!  The last joke actually had me laugh out loud, which I don’t think a comedian’s done for me personally yet this season.  Comedians have it very, very tough.  Comedians have to be really funny or their jokes are only going to make people chuckle a little and it’s hard to feed off of that to make the rest of the jokes funnier and well-executed.  What I’m saying is, being a comedian can be very awkward.  However, Taylor THRIVES off of the awkward and he EMBRACES it in a way that is extremely appealing and likable.  He takes what is often the Achilles heel for comedians and makes it his biggest asset.  That to me is what makes Taylor so great and why I think he’ll succeed with the audience.  If only one of the comedians make it tonight, then it will definitely be Taylor.  Hopefully he can keep this up next time around!
3/4.) TIE: Collins Key & Dave Fenley – I honestly couldn’t split these two as I could come up with reasons both of them can and probably will make it and why they might just be in a smidge of trouble.  I love Collins, he’s in my top 3 favorite acts, and he’s a REALLY talented guy.  His trick tonight was clever, very different, unique, and original, and executed well.  However, I do feel like this was a tough act to try and squeeze into 90 seconds like he did, and that might have left some audience members not enough time to process what happened or appreciate it.  It came off as a little rushed, even though overall I would say he did a great job.   Despite that, I do think Collins will make it.  He’s still one of the heavy-hitters.  He’s likable, he’s a good looking guy, he’s very talented, and has become one of the more popular acts this season.  I do think he’ll need to step it up in the top 12 if he wants to get through without complications, but I think he’ll learn from tonight.  As for Dave Fenley, I can’t say I particularly loved this performance.  The song choice was maybe a little better than his last go-around, but not by much.  I don’t feel like his performance really went anywhere.  On top of that, once he gets out of a certain range, he starts to lose it.  When he hits lower notes he drops them sometimes, and when he hits higher notes it sounds shrill and tense.  I do really like Dave, but this wasn’t that great to me.  But I didn’t place him here based upon how I felt about this.  Let’s face it, singers are pretty much the “gimme group” of AGT.  They have a highly increased chance of getting somewhere the competition and getting votes simply because they are a singer.  Dave’s got a good voice, is a very humble, lovable guy, and fits that “family man, good ol’ boy” image.   Combine those things together and I think he’ll get a lot of support and votes.  I think both Collins and Dave will make it and I will be a bit surprised if one of them is eliminated.
5.) Catapult Entertainment – I feel odd saying this, but I actually liked this more than the judges and a lot of viewers did.  Did I love it or think it was great?  Well, no.  But I really did appreciate and enjoy the theme and shapes, as they didn’t feel quite as cheesy or mushy as these acts tend to do.  However, in a way I also think that hurt them a little.  They obviously weren’t all the way comfortable with this performance and this story and it showed.  I understood the story but in several places it became hard to follow and truly understand.  I think it still enchanted some people, but many others were just bewildered by this.  Even the judges, who gushed over them last week, seemed to feel very lukewarm about this.  Some of the audience may feel the same, but very few tonight really brought something great to the table.  As a result of that, this stumble may not end their run on the show.  I think they’ll still be able to just make it, especially with 6 of the acts getting to move on as opposed to just 4.  They definitely need to step it up if they make it, however.
6.) Rong Niu, The Amazing Red Panda – Okay…I’m going to state this right now: I LOOOOOOOVE her.  Love, love, love her.  Okay, I’m done.  As great and unique as Red Panda’s act was, part of me worries that viewers just got a little bored by this since she really had to take time to set the bowels properly.  The pay off of seeing them get flipped onto her head may just not have been enough for some people.  Even though this is the first time that many have seen her, a good chunk have seen this.  For a lot of viewers, I feel the shock value and amazement steadily decline the more they watch her.  Since she had no time to prepare, did try to raise the stakes by performing on that extremely dangerous platform, and easily performs one of the most difficult acts, I give her a lot of props and I think she did pretty well tonight.  But like I said, I think a lot of viewers just didn’t get excited by seeing this and didn’t really appreciate it.  That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if she was eliminated tomorrow.  However, since she is a very unique act that was placed in a sea of unmemorable performances, I still think she’s got a chance.
7.) Cami Bradley – Cami has got one of the most beautiful voices ever, but I think her song choice REALLY let her down tonight, and I think she got lost in the shuffle.  The song itself isn’t bad, and the cover is nice to listen to, but it wasn’t memorable, touching, or something really easy to connect emotionally to, which was one of the biggest reasons Cami’s cover of “Believe” succeeded.  Song choice is crucial, and if you do not pick something that will quickly get the audience’s attention and keep it, you will have a very flat, sleepy performance, even if you have a fantastic voice.  I would like to be wrong here, and I easily could be, but I think this song was so tame that it won’t spur enough excitement or buzz for people to vote for her.  This is particularly important for Cami, since she doesn’t have the backstory of Jimmy Rose, Dave Fenley, Jonathan Allen, ect.  And she isn’t a child like Anna Christine.  There’s nothing there to start with for her that the audience will latch onto.  That’s why she had to pick a great song and perform it beautifully.  Unfortunately only one of these things happened, and I think this puts her in serious trouble.
8.) Jonathan Allen – I predicted this would happen very early on this season.  The very moment Jonathan is put in the same group as Forte, his weaknesses would stick out like a sore thumb.  It also didn’t help that Jonathan really didn’t pick a great song for himself.  Jonathan’s just not ready to hit the high notes he did in this song.  They felt very shaky and weak, and because of that, it took the emotion and power of the song, which were really needed to make this work.  I like Jonathan, I think he’s talented, but it was very evident tonight that he’s just not ready to take this on.  Because America loves singers and he’s got his touching background, I think his chances are better than several others, but I think the charm of Jonathan has really worn thin on the judges and many of the viewers.  The nail in the coffin was the fact that he performed the same night as Forte.
9.) Innovative Force – I just really didn’t know where to stick these girls.  I feel that they may have a chance, but at the same time, I barely remember any of their routine.  I thought their first performance in NYC was exciting, dynamic, and interesting.  Tonight, this felt like a performance that I’ve seen hundreds of times before.  It felt generic.  I hate saying that because I LOVE my Missouri girls, but they were off their game tonight for me.  It would have really benefited them to put more dancing into the routine, as the frequency of the tricks (not to mention the fact that a good chunk of them looked very similar) made this routine feel very stop-and-go to me.  There was no special moment for me that really made me remember this routine or love it.  They might make it through the skin of their teeth, but my forecast for these lovely ladies isn’t good I’m afraid 🙁
10.) Angela Hoover – Angela’s chances were looking pretty decent tonight…until Taylor Williamson performed.  I really think only one comedian will make it to the top 12, and Taylor effectively took that spot tonight in my opinion.  I will say I really like Angela; she’s funny, she’s likable, and I think she stepped up her game tonight.  However, I don’t think she stepped things up enough to get her into the next round.  As great as her Sharon (spot ON), Kourtney Kardashian, and Sofia impressions were, I don’t think they were able to cover up the fact that her material (while better this week) is still weak.   She can make you laugh, but only a hearty chuckle that you can get every day.  That’s what’s eliminated every single comedian that’s been eliminated thus far.  Maybe her chances would have been better if she challenged herself more.  Courtney’s mentioned trying male voices.  I feel that if she works on that and nails it, it can boost the possibilities and her performance itself significantly.  But I fear for AGT, it’s too little too late for Angela.
11.) Tone the Chiefrocca – We all knew Tone wouldn’t make it this week and well, he probably won’t prove us wrong.  He wasn’t able to make it through last time, and against more heavy-hitters tonight, I don’t think he’ll make it this time either.  Nonetheless, I love watching him and the best hype-man on the face of the planet. 🙂  They aren’t meant to be taken that seriously, and honestly, with the oddness of tonight, I appreciated the fact that they gave me a smile and made me enjoy myself for a bit.  They succeed at what they want to do: “BOOTY” is easily one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard and it has huge potential to be a true one-hit wonder.  That’s not translated well on AGT obviously, but, I can appreciate a fun, energetic performance that’s pretty much just semifinal-fodder.  Good run while it lasted! 🙂
12.) Duo Resonance – These two are VERY talented at what they do and they really do impress me.  However, they still struggle with showmanship and the box only made things worse in my opinion.  Part of what makes these two great is the shapes they can create TOGETHER and I think the box just got in the way of that.  It halted the progress of the routine, it blocked any emotion that could have came from this, and worst of all, it split up an act that thrives on them acting as one.  Not to mention the fact that the box gave them very little room to create shapes and limited the possibilities even more.  I think Duo Resonance would have struggled tonight regardless, but the box greatly hindering their performance just sealed the deal.  I will be shocked if they make it.
So how did you all feel about it?  These were really tough rankings for me to make.  I would not be surprised if I only got two or three of them correct.  Who do you think should move on?  Who do you think will move on?  How did you feel about the acts as a whole tonight?  Let us know in the comments!  Everyone have a good night! 🙂
August 27, 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!

PureAGT Season 8 Live Show #5 – Power Rankings

Kind of a strange night on AGT, if you ask me – only one or two acts seemed to really succeed, and the rest either failed or just got lost in the shuffle.  This definitely seemed like one of the weaker quarterfinals to me, and I’m left wondering who will actually make it through tonight.

Also a little miffed that they apparently did decide to scrap the wild card show this season – biiiiiiiig mistake, if you ask me.  Throwing the wild card into the mix could have helped balance out the disproportionately heavy number of singers we have in the semifinals this season – and could have counteracted flukes like Marty Brown.  *sigh* I guess we can just hope they bring it back next year…

…and just a quick side note: I am actually going to be on vacation in Texas next week, and so I may or may not get a chance to do power rankings for the first round of the semifinals.  But don’t worry – I’ve got a plan in mind 😉 Stay tuned!

1.) Catapult Entertainment – Not my favorite of the night, and I’m beginning to get a bit annoyed for acts who really go in hard for the “schmaltz” factor in order to win votes.  But America appears to fall hook, line, & sinker for it, which is why I think they should have no problem advancing to the semifinals. I actually preferred their audition routine to this one, which wasn’t as difficult and didn’t strike me as particularly original.  It was just ok for me, but with the way the judges were gushing – they’ll make it through.

2.) D’Angelo & Amanda – My favorite act of the night, and the only ones who seemed to really bring their A-game last night.  These two never seem to miss a beat, and they always seem 100% invested in their routine.  There were a few struggles with moving on and off the platform, but I found them to be incredibly trivial in the great scheme of things.  This is one of the few acts that I could actually see having a show in Vegas – I’d pay to see these two just dance for 90 minutes.

3.) Duo Resonance – As I’ve said before, these two are probably the most highly-skilled of the acrobats category – but they just seem to lack a really good stage presence.  I feel like they improved on their stage presence last night, but seemed to let go of doing some of their more impressive tricks.  I think I liked their performance, but it felt a little too much like a schmaltzy contemporary routine I might see on SYTYCD – would have liked a few more stunts and a few less poses.  But since last night was such a weak night, I think these two will probably make it through.

4.) John Wing – Another comedian I only find to be mildly funny, but the audience seemed to respond well to his brand of comedy last night…and so did the judges.  I’m a bit baffled that Heidi finds this guy funny, but not Taylor Williamson – but then again, she seems to be suffering from the delusion that all comedy must be family-appropriate to be funny.  If he makes it through, I think he’s gonna pale in comparison to both Taylor and Angela Hoover – but on a weak night like last night, I think he was a stand-out and has a decent chance of making it through.

5.) Ruby & Jonas – I’m starting to really hate that they pitted sibling against sibling, and seem to be milking it for all its worth on the show.  Poor Ruby & Jonas – I think they’ve got every bit as much heart as D’Angelo & Amanda, but just haven’t been dancing as long and just aren’t quite up to their skill level yet.  I also agree with whichever judge said that they liked D’Angelo & Amanda’s choreography better – I think D’Angelo & Amanda’s was more hardcore dancing, whereas Ruby & Jonas’ routine seemed like a lot of fluff and filler, probably to conceal that they aren’t ready for some of that harder stuff yet.  It’s just not a really fair fight, if you ask me – but I think hearts are gonna break tonight, because I don’t see both acts making it to the semifinals.

6.) Sprice – Oh, Sprice 🙂 I just love this guy, because he reminds me of so many of the painfully shy engineers I went to college with – fantastic at what they do, but so socially awkward that you have a hard time really connecting with them on anything except their craft.  I actually love watching Sprice’s machines do their thing – and I just think Mel is a bit simple-minded if she found it to be boring.  Sure, he may lack a bit of the comedic panache that the Kinetic King had two seasons ago, but I think his awkwardness itself could be an endearing quality to audiences.  That said – I don’t know that America appreciates this guy like I do, and I think he’s probably a longshot for the semifinals.

7.) Dave Fenley – Dammit Dave – you blew it.  He was probably my favorite vocalist in the competition, and I just think he picked the wrong song.  I think his initial audition and Vegas performance worked out well because the songs he chose fit his voice and musical style well – Ray Lamontagne? Not so much.  I think it was just too “sweet” of a song for him – he didn’t sing it wrong, per se, but I just don’t think it was really in his wheelhouse to begin with.  Really disappointed – I think he probably would have made it through performing another song.

8.) Virginia State University Gospel Chorale – Another group that I had high hopes for, but was left only feeling lukewarm about.  I actually think “Like a Prayer” was a good song choice, but they seemed to jump straight from the slow, haunting opening, right into the upbeat, rocking chorus…I feel like they could have really utilized the way the song really builds, instead of just jumping around.  But I do love the way they create the feel of a “wall of sound” – it’s the one problem I really have with the American Military Spouses Choir: they only have a handful of really strong vocalists, and those swaying in the background only sort of hum.  Unfortunately for this group, I think they may have just gotten lost in the shuffle last night.

9.) Sam Johnson – Was this really all that different than his initial audition? Yeah, he added the part where he swings down and rides the pole like a giant pendulum, but really – what else was different? And could he really make an entire show out of it? I think he would have probably been better off doing something more like his Vegas performance, where he didn’t have to go out and do stuff on the pole.  Rather forgettable in the great scheme of last night.

10.) Melody Caballero – No doubt she’s got major skills – but her performances always seem so slow and sleepy.  I appreciate what she does, but it seems like it takes so long to get into each position that she loses my interest during the transitions.  But I applaud her for throwing a routine together on such short notice, and coming out to fill in for Rong Niu 🙂

11.) 2Unique – Haven’t been a fan of this act from the get-go, and thankfully, I think the judges finally opened their eyes last night and said “Wait, this isn’t Vegas show-worthy!”  I feel like the rapping one just kind of yells into the mic and bounces around; the DJ is actually quite talented, but you really can’t appreciate what she’s doing because the other one is just jumping around and yelling.  Very cute girls, no doubt – but they’ve got a lot of maturing to do before they have a bona fide act on their hands.

12.) Selena Mykenzie Gordon – Not really terrible and not really good – just “meh”.  I don’t really know why she picked that Rascal Flatts song…she seemed to really struggle with it vocally.  Granted, it was definitely no Marty Brown-level fail, but it just didn’t really make me care…I was left just going “Eh, whatever.”

So what are your thoughts on the last quarterfinal group?

August 21, 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!

PureAGT Season 8 – Roster for 2nd Live Show Airing July 30

I’m sure Nick will annouce the acts for next week’s show at the end of the results show tonight, but so far we know a few of the acts we’ll be seeing next week:

ciana

Ciana also tweeted that she just arrived in New York a few hours ago, so it looks like all of the week 2 acts are making their way there now…

tone

According to Marty Brown’s Facebook, he also arrived in New York last night; and according to Brad Byers’ website, he will be performing at RCMH next Tuesday.

UPDATED: Here’s the complete roster for next week, announced by Nick at the end of this week’s results show.

Ciana Pelekai (child singer)
Tone the Chiefrocca (rapper)
Marty Brown (country singer)
Brad Byers (sword swallower)
Struck Boyz (child hip-hop group)
Forte (opera trio)
Aquanauts (synchronized swimmers)
Angela Hoover (comedic impressionist)
Alexander Magala (sword-swallowing dancer/aerialist)
Kid the Wiz (hat trick dancer)
Dave Shirley (comedian)
Innovative Force (dance/acrobatics group)

Well, I think it’s safe to say that Forte has one of the 4 spots in the semifinals on lock – and I think Marty Brown probably has one, too.  Will be interesting to see who gets the other two…I’m personally rooting for Tone and maybe Ciana too, but I don’t really feel particularly strongly about this group of acts.  The one interesting act here? Aquanauts, who we did not see at all in Vegas – which tells me that some other act that DID make it through to the live shows had to withdraw.  Hmmm…wonder who it could be.  What do you guys think of next week’s acts?

July 24, 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!