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Pure AGT Season 11 FINALE – Power Rankings

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

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

WINNER: Grace VanderWaal

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

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

September 14, 2016 I Written By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 6, 2016 I Written By

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

Pure AGT Season 11 Semi-Finals Week 1 – Power Rankings

So last week my Power Rankings were pretty off (was especially shocked Kadan cracked Top 5 and that The Passing Zone didn’t even manage to be in the Dunkin’ Save) and I’m fully expecting to be wrong about a few things again tonight. But I’ll try to make an educated guess as to how things will play out:

And as a reminder, this is a list of what I THINK the results will be, not necessarily what I’m hoping for.

1. Grace VanderWaal – The hype for this girl continues, and doesn’t seem like it’s letting up anytime soon. I found Grace’s performance last night pretty forgettable myself, but it seems America has fallen in love with her, and I’ll be very surprised if she isn’t one of the three automatically advancing acts tonight.

2. Tape Face – In all honesty, this spot and the next one are pretty much interchangeable. Both acts seemed to get a very positive reaction from viewers, and have gotten a lot of buzz throughout the season in general, but I think there’s a chance one or both of them could end up in the Dunkin’ Save. As for Tape Face’s performance last night, I enjoyed it but I think I enjoyed the package preceding it even more!

3. Laura Bretan – Between performing last-AGAIN-and the story about her grandfather, I have a feeling she’s making it through to the Finals, but I’m still not quite sure if opera is popular enough for her to crack tonight’s top three. I’m going to tentatively guess it is, but we’ll see.

4. Musicality – This was the other major tearjerking story of the night, but unlike their showing in the Quarter-Finals I think their performance actually backed it up quite nicely, and I predict that one way or another, we’ll be seeing them in the finals.

5. Malevo – They were good before, but they really stepped up their game last night to give us a very unique performance.They may end up in the top three tonight, but after being on the bubble last week I’m thinking maybe not. But I think their standout performance and their running order spot will be enough to get them into the Dunkin’ Save again.

6. Jon Dorenbos – No doubt that this guy has fans, both from the football world and now from this show. But I saw a lot of comments calling his act last night “messy” and I think he may have gotten lost in the shuffle a bit because of that. But I think there may still be hope for him if he managed to get into the Dunkin’ Save zone.

7. Sal Valentinetti – Again, like Jon, Sal seems to have a substantial following among fans of the show, but I fear he may have gotten lost in the shuffle last night (and going first probably didn’t help). If he makes the Dunkin’ Save again I think he might squeeze his way into the finals, but at this point I’m not sure whether or not he’ll be there.

8. Edgar – I love this family, and they gave a great performance last night, but I think this is another act that might not have been in the forefront of a lot of people’s minds when it came time to vote. But I do think they have a shot at making the Dunkin’ Save.

9. Deadly Games – I was very impressed at how much these two stepped up their game and added some nice variety to their act, but for whatever reason I get the feeling the audience has already chosen their favorites, and this act just might not be one of them. They MAY have cracked the top six for the Dunkin’ Save, but sadly I feel like they didn’t.

10. Blake Vogt – Another act I loved, but, due to running order and being up against another magician that I get the feeling might have more backers, I have a feeling his time on the show will be up tonight.

11. Lori Mae Hernandez – I think Lori has improved over the course of the competition, but I get the feeling that a lot of people don’t like her (whether it be for political reasons after the last time she was on or because they simply don’t find her funny) so I’m think she’ll be another act going home tonight.

I’m not even gonna touch the Dunkin’ Save possibilities this week because there are just too many variables at this point in the competition.

Now let’s see how wrong I am this week!

August 31, 2016 I Written By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 24, 2016 I Written By

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

Pure AGT Season 11 Quarter-Finals Week 2 Power Rankings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 3, 2016 I Written By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The acts sent forward in the George Lopez episode were:

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 22, 2016 I Written By

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

Pure AGT Season 11 – Auditions Week 4 Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 23, 2016 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 11 – Auditions Week 3 Recap

Hello! My name is Julia and I’m excited to be writing for the PureAGT this season! I’ve written for various other sites about various entertainment news,  but never about AGT, so this should be a fun new endeavour!

This past Tuesday was the third episode of auditions and I couldn’t help but notice the night’s lineup seemed to consist mainly of singers. While I tend to enjoy a lot of these acts, I prefer to see a bit more variety in the audition episodes, especially since most talent competitions on TV seem to focus solely on singing and the “anything goes” theme of AGT (and the other shows in the Got Talent franchise) is what makes it be so exciting and stand out. However, I will say that at least the singing acts shown this week spanned a wide variety of genres which kept things from getting too stale. Let’s take a look at them along with the rest of the Week 3 auditions!

Good Girl: A group of four best friends who claimed that their dream was to be the “American Spice Girls”. I think that goal did sort of go with their image since I felt their performance seemed very reminiscent of several 90’s girl groups. Simon said they seemed like a “copycat” of other famous acts but in a good way, and that they needed to take it to the next level in order to set themselves apart. Heidi said she loved their attitude, and apparently so did the audience, who immediately gave them a standing ovation as soon as they started their song and cheered throughout. Definite crowd-pleasers!
The Verdict: 4 yes’s, so they moved on to the next round!

After the first act, we saw a montage of various dance groups. They didn’t show enough for me to form specific opinions about any of them but they all seemed very good. The judges gave each of them positive comments and they were all sent through to Boot Camp. Included in the montage for behind-the-scenes clips but given a segment of their own were…

John Rothman and his dancers: 79 year-old choreographer (John) and several other dancers who were all ladies above the age of 70; the oldest was 81! Their routine didn’t have much energy to it and it was pretty silly, but to me it seemed to be at least somewhat purposefully tongue-in-cheek. The audience went wild for them-especially when John did the cartwheel-and gave them a standing ovation. called for microphone person to take away and bring back the mic as planned backstage
The Verdict: 3 yes’s from Heidi, Simon, and Mel B. I highly doubt they would have made it through if not for their ages, but I suppose that was part of the charm and the “package” as a whole. However, I must say I find it pointless and a little annoying when the judges put through acts like this which they are obviously not going to send to the live shows.

Diane Barnard: Diane was a returning act who had auditioned for the judges back in Season 9, and was determined to make the cut this time around. Unfortunately, all she did were some pretty amateur-ish hoop tricks and was very quickly buzzed by Simon and Mel B. Nick came onstage to play around with the hoops and actually out-performed Diane before ushering her off stage…yikes. Heidi also got in on the fun after Diane had left.
The Verdict: 2 buzzers, meaning an automatic no.

Russian Bar Trio: Another returning act, this time from way back in Season 3! One of the members got hurt during that season and the group had to drop out of the competition as a result. It was a real shame, but it was so nice to see them back on the show in hopes of redemption! I vaguely remember being impressed by them eight years ago, and I definitely was so again this week! As Simon said, it was simple, yet still suspenseful. It really was amazing that they were able to do so many different tricks with just the bar and minimal props. The audience and judges were holding their breath during this act, but thankfully no one was injured. (Let’s hope things stay that way for the rest of the season!)
The Verdict: 4 yes’s. Well deserved, and good on Christine for getting back out there even after being so severely injured!

Kadie Lynn Roberson: 12-year old Texan country singer (we get a short segment about how she was adopted at birth). Kadie and showed no fear when talking to the judges or during her performance. Her voice sounded much richer and more mature than that of the average 12-year-old, as commented on by the judges. This was the third week in a row we’ve seen an audition from a female singer around this age, and even though Kadie didn’t get the Golden Buzzer like the previous two, I think she could be a serious threat to them if she makes it to the live shows. She exudes confidence, has a sweet and loveable personality, and is likely going to be appealing to the big country fanbase this show’s audience seems to have. Watch out, Laura and Grace!
The Verdict: An unsurprising 4 yes’s.

Duo Guerrerro: This was a married couple who kept the audience on their toes throughout their segment. I found it odd they made a big deal of him stepping on her skirt as they walked onstage because I don’t recall said skirt being present in the actual performance, which turned out to be a tightrope act which they went outside for. judges. Some of the tricks included doing the splits, sitting and standing on a chair, and one of them jumping over and later standing on the back of the other. The judges and live audience were captivated the entire time (lots of audible gasps during this one) and they even put a commercial break in there to build suspense among the television viewers.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s, so we’ll be seeing them again in the next round!

One Voice: This was a 12-member high school a-capella group. All the members had great stage presence and their voices complimented each other well. Simon did the infamous “I didn’t like it…I loved it!” cliché, and the rest of the judges enjoyed it as well. There was also this strange but sweet bit where they were asked about their love lives and one of the guys said he had a crush on another member. After the performance, Mel B pressed on about who it was and he went backstage and surprised the lead singer (I think her name was Hope?) with a prom invitation via a reference from The Office.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s

Following this we get a montage of comedians leading into…

Lori Mae Hernandez: 13-year-old stand-up comedienne. She got a whole backstory bit before her routine about how she wanted to make her dad smile again after he was diagnosed with Bells Palsy. Her jokes were pretty good but it sort of felt like she was reciting them at times and some of the punchlines were oversold. In the end, Lori got a standing ovation and lots of praise from the judges.
The Verdict: Through to the next round with 4 yes’s.

Next was another montage of various out-of-the-norm acts including a woman with a “singing” chihuahua,) a shrill operatic duo, a married couple that used everyday objects as musical instruments (which actually sounded intriguing but turned out to be more “toddlers in the kitchen” than STOMP the Yard) and some act involving a giant bird puppet which had a face that reminded me of the social worker from Follow That Bird. They were all shown to be rejected, and then to close out the montage we got to see…

Miranda Cunha: Seemed to be some sort of burlesque dancer and singer. She brought Simon up onstage and kissed him square in the mouth (which would have provoked a bigger reaction in me had we not seen it several times previously in that night’s “coming up!” clips).
The Verdict: She got through with 3 yes’s, which was quite surprising to me. I’m guessing she’s be another act they put through for the heck of it but clearly won’t be getting anywhere near the live shows.

Viktor Kee: Came out in a sort of “inside out” bodysuit and announced he had been a juggler for the past four decades, first learning the skill at age 5. Juggling acts on this show are usually boring at best and a hot mess at worst, but he did it in an acrobatic way which kept things fairly interesting. The judges were all very impressed, and, like me, Simon said this was one of the few juggling acts he’d actually enjoyed.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s. Definitely deserving, but I’m wondering if Viktor is going to be able to keep this act interesting and fresh enough to be a long-standing competitor this season.

Sal Valentinetti: 1940’s-style singer from New York. Apparently he’s only 20 years old which surprised me. His audition song was “My Way” by Frank Sinatra and the crowd went wild for him. The judges seemed to love him just as much, and he even got a hug and some kisses from Heidi!
The Verdict: GOLDEN BUZZER FROM HEIDI! I would have actually been surprised by this had they not shown Heidi hitting the Golden Buzzer in the teaser bumpers and had the clock not been very close to the 10 pm mark. It was the same situation last week when Grace’s audition was obviously the last of the episode but I guess that’s just how this show works. Maybe it’s because we’d already seen two singers get the GB this season, but I didn’t have that “wow” moment with Sal like I did the others. He was great and was certainly worthy of making it to the next round, but I can’t say I’m quite as excited about him as I am for some of the other acts we’ve seen so far.

So for those keeping score at home, we have now seen three of the Season 11 Golden Buzzer acts: Laura Bretan from Mel B, Grace VanderWaal from Howie, and now Sal Valentinetti from Heidi. Since next week is the final week of auditions (from the first round, anyway) we’ll presumably be seeing Simon’s choice, and for the first time ever Nick also has Golden Buzzer privileges this season so I guess we’ll be seeing his as well? I’m still not entirely sure how the host’s Golden Buzzer powers work…

Another interesting note: All three of the GB acts we’ve seen so far have been singers…will the trend continue? We’ll find out next week, but in the meantime I invite you to share your thoughts on this week in the comments section. Do you have a favorite act so far, or is there anyone we’ve seen you think will go far? I’m also wondering if anyone would like a post covering the first two episodes of this season since we’re starting a little late. It might not be a full recap, but maybe just something covering the highlights of the first two weeks. Let me know if that’s something you’d like to see, and I’ll talk to you in the comments soon!

June 16, 2016 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 9, Episode #2 – Audition Round Run-Down

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 4, 2014 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 9, Episode #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!