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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 11 Quarter-Finals Week 1 Power Rankings

Now that we’ve had our first live show of the season, it’s time for the Power Rankings! For those who don’t know, this is a list of the acts starting with who I think is most likely to be safe and going down from there. I’ll start by doing a list based on how I think the viewers will vote tonight and elaborate from there.

1. Tape Face – Some of the judges may have been underwhelmed by this act tonight (and while it was one of my personal favorites of the night I do agree that out of his three performances thus far this one was probably my least favorite) but based on the response I’ve seen online, the audience certainly wasn’t! The silliness and unpredictably of Tape Face doesn’t seems to be as beloved as ever, and I’m already predicting we’ll be seeing him in the Finals in September.

2. Jon Dorenbos – This was an act that the judges unanimously loved, and it seems like a lot of the audience did as well! Jon’s magic isn’t fancy, but his tricks are endearing and entertaining, and he’s done a great job presenting them thus far. And he certainly got people talking tonight; I’ve been seeing lots of speculation as to how he pulled off tonight’s trick with the drawings so accurately!

3. Laura Bretan – To be honest, before tonight I thought it was very likely that Laura would be eliminated in the Quarter-Finals. She’s amazingly talented, but American audiences don’t always connect to opera the way they do with other musical styles. But after Laura’s showstopping performance tonight, I think a lot of people will be picking up the phone to vote for her. She started off a little timid, but by the end she’d commanded that stage, and I think many viewers took notice of that. Great stage presence, and what a voice to boot!

4. Jayna Brown – While I wasn’t quite blown away with this performance like I was last week, Jayna is a very talented singer and seems to be gaining quite the fanbase (who she recently dubbed the “Brownies” on Twitter). That, along with her story about her family’s financial troubles, will get her through to the next round, I think. And Louis Tomlinson, who used his Golden Buzzer on her in last Wednesday’s episode, gave her another endoresement on Twitter tonight, which might help her as well.

5. Deadly Games – This was a great act to begin with, but they really stepped it up tonight. The blindfold raised the stakes, and the costumes and overall theme enhanced the dramatic effect even further. In Deadly Games performances, the “target” really is the star, which makes this act stand apart from similar ones we’ve seen in the past. Now apparently, a lot of people are feeling differently than I do, because I’ve seen a lot of comments saying this act (and every one below it, for that matter) was boring/terrible tonight. I agree it’s getting a bit repetitive but I still thought it was one of the evening’s better performances. But I think these two just might have the juice to get enough votes for a guaranteed place in the Semi-Finals, and if not then I’m pretty sure they will at least be in what I call the “Yellow Zone”, aka the acts that will not automatically go through but could potentially be saved by viewers or judges.

6. Lori Mae Hernandez – Well, this was a polarizing one. Some viewers loved Lori’s passion for current events and her wit, while others were not pleased with her political views at all. Howie was right when he said she’d turned off any potential Republican voters, but it seems a lot of left-leaners were very impressed with her. Enough, I think, for her to likely make it to the Yellow Zone.

7. Hara – This was one of my personal favorite acts of the night, but I fear going so early won’t bode well for him since this was another act that drew a lot of mixed opinions. Some people loved it, while others thought it didn’t look very good on television. I’m thinking a lot of people just forgot about him, but I think he might have gotten enough voter support to be in the Yellow Zone.

8. Musicality – The judges loved this one, as did some viewers, but I and some others were not as impressed. I think their previous performances on the show were much more memorable and this one just wasn’t. However, I think their backstory might be enough for them to make it to the Yellow Zone.

9. Sila Sveta – This act was one of three Wildcards chosen to be included in the live shows, so congratulations to them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like they made a very good or memorable impression on certain judges along with a good chunk of the audience tonight, especially in comparison to Hara, the act most similar to them. I do think there’s a small chance of them being in the Yellow Zone tomorrow since I have seen some support for them, but even if they do manage to make it there I’m pretty sure they’ll still be getting eliminated.

10. Dorothy Williams – Well, we all knew what was coming with this one. It was great to see Dorothy live out her lifelong dream, but I think tomorrow will be the end of the road for her. Again, small chance she might end up in the Yellow Zone since I actually think she’s going to end up with more votes than a couple other acts, but she’ll be gone unless she gets the Dunkin’ Save (I’m operating under the assumption that it will be a thing again this season). Glad to see her having fun out there, though, and I think she recognizes that it’s likely she’ll be out tomorrow.

11. Daniel Joyner – Daniel has come a long way from his timid first audition, but his act seems to have gone too far in the other direction. Now he’s trying to pull off a “big” performance, and it just isn’t his thing. The song choice didn’t help either. His performance just didn’t hold up very well against the other vocal soloists of the night. The dedication of his performance to his girlfriend might have got him some votes, but I don’t think it will be enough for him to escape elimination seeing as I haven’t seen a lot of support for him tonight at all.

12. Outlawz – I didn’t think this was the worst act tonight, but this is the only one I’m sure will absolutely be in the “Red Zone” tomorrow night. Like I said, they were okay but it just didn’t feel like a million dollar act and this is another one that I’ve seen almost no support for tonight. But I originally thought they’d be out before the live shows, so they’ve already exceeded my expectations.

Okay, so those were my rankings based on how many votes I think each act will end up with. If things work like they have in recent seasons, the top 5 acts will definitely go through and those in 6th through 8th place will have the chance to be “saved”. One will be saved through a second audience vote, and the judges will decide which of the remaining two will go through. If the voting plays out the way I mentioned above, I think either Lori or MAYBE Musicality will get the audience save. When it comes to the Judges’ Save it’s hard to call, but I’m inclined to say Hara will get it if it comes down to him and Lori, and Musicality will get it if it comes down to them and either of the other two acts.

Do you agree? Comment below, and share who you voted for tonight!

July 26, 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!

PureAGT Season 8 Live Show #1 – Power Rankings

Things I learned from last night’s first live show of the season:

1.) I am sick of hearing “Beneath Your Beautiful” & “I Love It”. 

2.) The judges may be regretting putting some of the acts through to the live shows.

3.) There’s a lot of technical kinks with Radio City Music Hall that still need to be worked out. 

Overall, I was left a bit disappointed – with as strong of a group of acts that comprised last night’s show, I had high hopes…but only a few acts actually delivered, and almost everyone seemed to suffer from  nerves.  Guess I can only hope that tonight was just first night jitters – that next week’s live show will come off quite a bit smoother and with fewer gaffes.

So now I’m going to rank the acts we saw last night, from the act that I think is most likely to get through to the act that I think is least likely to get through.  Since four acts are advancing, it’s safe to assume that the four at the top of my list are the ones I see making it through – the 5th place spot is the act that I think will lose the judge’s choice.

1.) Collins Key – I had a feeling this kid would knock his act out of the park once more, and he sure did.  Loved how he made his act very current and relevant by incorporating Twitter into it – he seemed a bit nervous at times, but overall I liked his delivery and think he appeals to a wide demographic, both young and old.  My only concern is that we’ve basically seen the same act from him 3 times in a row now, just tweaked slightly to change things up.  I’m hoping he’s got something new up his sleeve for the next round – because at this rate, I think he’s got a decent chance of winning this whole thing.

2.) Branden James – I knew when they had him going last that he was likely going to benefit from some degree of “pimping” from the judges.  And when he started belting out “You Raise Me Up”, I knew he had probably just secured himself one of the spots in the next round.  I guess I’m just left a little confused as to why Branden is getting such lavish praise – I thought his performance was ok, but nothing exceptionally special; I didn’t think his first audition was anything terribly special, either.  I think we have much stronger male opera singers this season – and I think any of the 3 guys in Forte could put him to shame, vocally.  Personally, I thought “You Raise Me Up” was a bit of a cop-out song – it’s one of those schmaltzy songs that seems to tug at heartstrings and illicit an emotional response from the audience, even if it’s not sung particularly well.  I thought he could have picked something a little more daring to highlight his vocal skills.  I think he’s got one of the spots in the next round, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope someone edged him out of it – for me, he was just ok last night. 

3.) Kristef Brothers – The unexpected delight of the night for me 🙂 Thought the comedic pas-de-deux theme of their act was genius – I do think they’re really hit paydirt with their “comedic acrobatics” strategy, as these two were one of the acts I really remembered fondly from last night’s show.  These guys are legitimately talented in what they do – and they’ve got the added benefit of having a great sense of humor about it and not taking themselves too seriously.  I think it’s this combination of skills that could help them edge out a stronger acrobatics act – I think Duo Resonance is technically the strongest acro act this season, but they seem to lack stage presence and personality; I think Kristef, though less technically skilled, could actually edge them out on personality alone.

4.) The American Hit Men – Seems like all of the musical acts last night seemed to suffer from picking the wrong song, and I think the Hit Men did struggle to a degree with “With a Little Help from My Friends”.  While I overall liked their performance and think they should go on, I think they probably would have had a stronger showing with a more uptempo song – maybe “American Woman”? I still think they’re popular enough and entertaining enough to advance, but I think they really need to start focusing on the right songs – so far, they have yet to perform anything that had as strong an impact as “Simple Man” from their inital audition.

5.) Anna Christine – Poor Anna – not only did she suffer from picking the wrong song, but she seemed to suffer from nerves more than any other act and seemed to have some technical difficulties as well.  I’m not sure what it is with Anna and The Animals, but the downtempo version of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood'” that she did just never really got off the ground – it was so subdued and quiet, perhaps because she herself admitted that she “couldn’t hear the track very well”.  As much as I do think she deserves to advance, I think she may have done herself in with that song – if she does come back, she needs to pick something that’s more uptempo and can really show off her vocals.

6.) Alexanderia the Great – Her act was impressive – but I don’t know that they really built it up enough so that it really left me on the edge of my seat.  Alex actually has a rather unique problem as an escape artist: she almost makes it look too easy, so that you don’t really pick up on the difficulty of what she’s doing.  Part of the appeal of escape artists like Spencer Horseman last season was that they really drew out the escape – he was always completing the escape just barely in the nick of time, and he really let the suspense build.  Alex does it so quicky & easily that you don’t really have time to get hyped up about it.  If Alex does somehow make it through tonight, I think in the next round she’ll really need to work on building the suspense of her act – holding her breath longer, taking more time to escape, maybe adding a clock or another element of danger to really amp things up. 

7.) Special Head – I think the execution of this trick was so poorly carried out that even poor Nick wasn’t quite sure what to do! As I was discussing with my two right-hand men (Will & jimmbboe) last night, Special Head has sort of hit a plateau for me: we’ve basically seen the same trick from him 3 times now, just dressed up with different props so it looks like a new trick.  And tonight, the trick was so clumsily executed that it wasn’t even impressive – we caught a glimpse of Special Head’s…well, head, after he had supposedly disappeared, and then a confused Nick was wandering out onstage, unsure of whether the trick was actually over or not.  Cut to a video feed of Special Head out on the balcony at RCMH (which looked pre-taped to me), and everything just felt sloppy & haphazard.  However, I did see “Special Head” trending for quite sometime on Twitter – no way to really be sure if that will translate to votes or not, but it did seem like people were talking about him.  I don’t think he deserves to move on to the next round, but that doesn’t mean he won’t…

8.) Fresh Faces – I feel bad putting these cuties so low, but I feel like their act just may have gotten lost in the shuffle last night.  I think the major problem with what they did was that it just felt messy and chaotic – rather than the organized, in-synch group we saw in the audition rounds, we basically got some semblence of a bunch of little girls running around giggling at a slumber party, which I think detracted from some of the really skilled tumbling and stretching moves they were doing.  That dumb “I Love It” song didn’t seem to help matters, either.  Very cute, very talented girls – but I think they suffered from the wrong kind of presentation in their act last night.

9.) Hype – The strangest thing about these guys? They actually seem better with less preparation than with more!!! They only had about 12 hours to come up with their routine for their audition, and it was fantastic; they have beaucoup time to come up with their Vegas and Radio City routines, and both fall flat.  I just don’t get it – I really had high hopes for these guys, and while their two most recent routines have been marginally entertaining, they seem to lack the same inspiration that we saw in their initial audition.  I think they may have blown their chances last night, and may not even have a hope and a prayer of getting asked back for the wild card.  Ack. 

10.) Aaralyn & Izzy – What can I say that I haven’t already said since the audition round? I don’t find them talented, entertaining, or particularly special…but at least now the judges are seeing it, too.  “Stepping in dog poop”? That song maybe had 15 words, repeated 2-3 times…usually inaudibly.  The only thing that I found semi-amusing about the whole act was Aaralyn’s semi-split at the end. For the individuals who think this act is artistic and wildly talented…I’d love to know what real metal artists think of Aaralyn & Izzy.  I’d say we get Ozzy’s take on them, but I’m sure Sharon’s got him on a gag order since she left AGT. 

11.) Tellavision – Another act that I’m glad the judges are finally realizing ain’t that great – I thought there was very little dancing in this number, they relied too heavily on the LCD screens, and the whole thing was just really cheesy and, as Howard put it, “artsy-fartsy”. I feel like we’ve got far stronger dance acts than this one this season, and the LCD screens are really more of a distraction than anything else. 

12.) Kevin Downey Jr. – I just think Kevin got lost in the shuffle – his jokes were only slightly funny, and in the end, none of them were particularly memorable.  I don’t think he was bad, per se – I just don’t think he was anything special. 

So what did you guys think of last night’s acts? And who do you hope to see advancing to the next round?

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!