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America’s Got Talent Season 7: First Semifinals Top Three

Wow… I have to say that even though I agree with the Top Three in some capacity or another… all the possibilities didn’t really match up. I mean this episode was literally up in the air in a lot of ways. So let’s start at the beginning:

Last week I posted a poll asking our reads whom their Top Ten acts were

Of the poll’s Top Ten… eight of them were in the first semifinal… that can not bode well. In fact the three that made it through to the finals placed third (William Close), fourth (Tom Cotter) and sixth (Joe Castillo). So within the Top Six, not too bad.

Looking at Katie’s impressions of the acts that participated in the first semifinal she notated who she thought was going to be going through and who might go through:

My Top Three:
1. Todd Oliver
2. Dittleman
3. Donovan and Rebecca

Who I Think Will Go Through:
1. Tom Cotter
2. William Close
3. Academy of Evil

She got two of the three acts right, but in her “top six” as opposed to her “top three”. Not too bad.
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August 30, 2012 I Written By

America’s Got Talent Season 7 Full Episode Streaming

I’m told that many of those people not on the west coast got America’s Got Talent interrupted by the Republican National Convention. Since, that’s the case, I decided to share with Pure AGT readers a link to last night’s full stream of America’s Got Talent Semifinals and also videos of each of the acts in case you just want to watch the AGT semifinal acts that you missed.

For those that missed it, it was a really amazing night of quality entertainment.

Andrew De Leon: Semifinals

Fan favorite Andrew De Leon performs, hoping to move one step closer to the AGT finals.

Todd Oliver: Semifinals

Ventriloquist Todd Oliver and his dog Irving take the stage to prove that they have what it takes to make it to the finals.

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August 29, 2012 I Written By

America’s Got Talent Season 7: Semifinal Music List

SEMIFINALS GROUP ONE
Andrew De Leon: Franz Schubert – Ave Maria Ave Maria - Piano (Franz Schubert) - Ave Maria - Piano (Franz Schubert)

Donovan & Rebecca: Angus and Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane Big Jet Plane - Down the Way (Bonus Track Version)

Edon: One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful What Makes You Beautiful - Up All Night (Deluxe Version)

Turf: Chris Brown – Yeah 3x Yeah 3X - Yeah 3X - Single

Bria Kelly: P!nk – Perfect F**kin' Perfect - F**kin' Perfect (Perfect) - Single

Joe Castillo: The Youngbloods – Get Together Get Together - The Best of the Youngbloods

William Close: Muse – Starlight Starlight - Black Holes and Revelations

Academy of Villains: Skrillex – Cinema and One Republic – Secrets Secrets - Waking Up (Deluxe Version)

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AGT Semi-Finalists Put Best Foot Forward in Tonight’s Act

Wow — what a night! For the most part, after each act I thought to myself, “This one is definitely going through!”, only to have the same thoughts after the next act. I’m truly at a loss for who I think will be going through, as I can think of reasons for just about everyone to make it through. By the end, I had forgotten about some of the acts, despite loving them when they happened. All I have to say is, Vote! Tonight, I will be putting my top 3, and the 3 who I think will go through. I’ve been wrong the past few weeks, so don’t put too much stock in my predictions! But I’m thinking tomorrow night’s results show is going to be exciting.

Andrew De Leon: Well, he does sing very well. However, I feel like his act is getting a little bit old. Howard Stern was right when he said he has a great personal story, but I’m not sure how well his act would sell in Vegas, and just a career in general. He’s very unique, that’s for sure. Ave Maria is a very well-known song, and I’m not sure if that really is going to play in his favor. Sad to say, but his appearance may not appeal to the mainstream audience. We’ll see though. There might be enough people that like him who will put him through, but I’ll be surprised if we see him again.

Todd Oliver and Irving, his talking dog — Last week, Todd’s act sealed the deal for me. His material was right on, and I was laughing so hard. So, I was excited to see if he would bring it again tonight. And did he? ABSOLUTELY. It was one good joke after another, and I loved the “talk show” set up. I think this is definitely my favorite act, and I’m so glad he took all of Howard’s advice. I feel like he really knows his audience, and created material that most everyone watching could understand and appreciate.  The whole act was hilarious, and I really hope he gets through. I might even make the trip to Vegas to see him if he wins.

Donovan and Rebecca: What else can I say, other than, WOW. Rebecca’s strength is incredible. I think they have a great relationship, and that chemistry makes the act even better. They have been one of my top acts since the beginning, just because I can tell how difficult it must be, yet it seems as if they do it with such ease.

Edon: His vignette before he performed was so cute. While I wasn’t a huge fan of his last performance, tonight sold me on him. He has such a powerful voice, and I think he did a great job. However, I agree with Howard — it wasn’t the best song choice. But that song just isn’t one of my favorites, so it’s not really anything against him. If he was trying to swoon all the tweenage girls out there, it was a smart choice. One Direction is quite popular with that age nowadays. I would more than likely download some of his songs if he were to make an album.

The Scott’s Brothers: This act made me smile when I first saw it. And they are very talented to be able to be so in sync with one another. However, tonight I just didn’t overly enjoy it. I found myself a little bit bored, yawning even. They didn’t change the act up as much as I would have liked. I’m sad to say that, because I think they really had the potential to wow America. I liked the costume change, but I’m not sure if that was a enough to really get people to call in and vote for this act.

Dittelman: I actually forgot about that act, so I was pleasantly surprised with this. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this act. I usually don’t believe in the whole “psychic” thing, but I just don’t know how he could possibly of known what Howard was going to do on his picture. When I think of a Vegas act, this is what comes to mind. I would love to be a participant in this act. I definitely watched the entire act, and I really, really want to see him go through. Especially with the promise of an awesome finale. Man. This is a tough night.

Turf: howard had good words of wisdom for him. I’m kind of over the whole Turf-thing though, and would totally be okay with him going him. I think that his moves are getting a little bit old, and I’m kind of bored watching him now. I just don’t know though. There might be enough people out there that love him who will call in and get him through.

Bria Kelly: Beautiful voice, no doubt. But she isn’t one of the best acts tonight. I wasn’t convinced that she should have gone through the YouTube shows. This is a really tough night to perform. She is definitely a powerhouse though, and I think she will likely have a career after AGT. Maybe a show like the Voice would have suited her better, because there are a lot of acts from tonight that I think might have pushed her out of the running.

Joe Castillo: As with all the acts tonight, it was great. He created a beautiful piece of art. Inspiring even. However, I don’t think he’ll make it through. I mean, only three acts are going through, and I am not convinced that America will choose him as the best act for tonight. I did enjoy the act though, don’t get me wrong.

William Close: From the first time I saw this, I felt like he might have a good chance of winning. The Earth Harp is incredible, and his acts just keep getting better and better. There is so much excitement in what he does, and I found myself very mesmerized by the whole thing. I would love to see him go through to the end, and I hope that the rest of America agrees with me.

Tom Cotter: Here’s the thing — I really don’t think that two comedians will get through. And those that enjoy comedy acts may be split on who they like more — Tom or Todd, which may, in turn, cause neither of them to get through. Tom is definitely extremely talented. I mean, as long as it really wasn’t staged, I think it’s incredible how they just picked a topic and he went off on it for the act. I personally didn’t really like his jokes, as they were a bit to racy for my taste, but I’m sure it did appeal to a lot of people watching the show. If I had to pick, I would rather Todd go on…but I’m not sure what will happen at this point.

Academy of Evil: I’m not a dance fan, but for this group, I am. It’s not a typical dance act, I think that’s why I liked it so much. It was so fun to watch, and I love how they changed style right in the middle of it. I found it very impressive that they had to re-choreograph the act so recently because they were done one cast member. That shows a lot of talent. Once again, I feel like this would be a great Vegas act, and they have a lot of potential.

 My Top Three:

1. Todd Oliver

2. Dittleman

3.  Donovan and Rebecca

Who I Think Will Go Through:

1. Tom Cotter

2. William Close

3. Academy of Evil

August 28, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

America’s Got Talent Season 7: Choose your Top 10

August 23, 2012 I Written By

America’s Got Talent Season 7: Fourth Quarterfinals Top Four!

Wow, Katie’s on a roll this season. From her Power Rankings and Poll she correctly predicted the acts that were moving on to the Semi Finals.
1. William Close
2. Joe Castillo
3. Olate Dogs
4. Eric Dittleman

In a change from the Third Quarterfinals where I thought the talent was largely underwhelming, the Fourth Quarterfinals turned out to be one of the more difficult evenings when it came to talent. Sure there were low points and there were high points but there were a lot of high points in last night’s performances and I for one only knew of two acts that I thought stood a strong chance of making it through to the Semi-Finals but the other two were relatively up in the air.

After watching all the acts again below are my thoughts as to whom is a legitimate “Million Dollar Act” and how far I would like to see them go in the competition.
1. William Close – Earth Harp
This one I think is a no brainer. He’s not only a musician, but he’s an engineer and an artist. Granted the instrument is he most known for right now is the “Earth Harp”, however we did get a glimpse of other instruments that he has created. He expanded his act to include a vocalist and those other instruments, now just imagine what he could do if he built an entire orchestra? He mentioned in the package that his love is building his instruments and yes the “Earth Harp” is thus far the biggest draw and that will always be the biggest draw… but if he starts integrating more instruments to show just what else he has come up with and do it well I see no issues with him headlining a show in Vegas with or without the “Million Dollar” prize… he can do it.

2. Olate Dogs
This act was just non stop trick after trick after trick. Granted once in a while there would be one dog that just wouldn’t do the trick and it wasn’t until a second try that it would… but for the most part this was non-stop fun. Though I had a funny inclination that this is set up to be a bit of a circus act as a opposed to a Las Vegas act. Not that it couldn’t be… but how much more can it grow? If this act can grow into something larger and “Vegas worthy” I say they would stand a chance to making it beyond the Semi-Finals. However… as much as I love the act, I am not entirely convinced.

3. Eric Dittleman
This is an act that would wow you over and over again… but how long until you are ready for the next bit? Thus far he has done a little bit of mind reading and a little bit of predicting where else can he go? This strikes me as an act that is meant more for the little intimate settings as opposed to the large Las Vegas stage. To me… even though I would love to see him on the stage, I don’t think it would suit at all… it is just too difficult, but that’s just me. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes it past the Semi-Finals, but honestly I’m not convinced that it would be a good fit.

4. Joe Castillo
If memory serves this is not the first time that a sand artist has come across the AGT stage, but this is the first time that one was able to capture the attention of the audience and judges with his images and storytelling. Very much like Eric, I am not convinced that this is a strong large Las Vegas stage act… this is something I would love to see in a more intimate setting, not only that most Las Vegas shows are at least an hour long. I love what he can do within a couple of minutes but could that actually translate into something over the course of an hour? It’s hard to say.

Since there is a Wild Card show two weeks after the Olympics, below is are the eight acts that didn’t make it through tonight.

July 25, 2012 I Written By

AGT Final Top 48 Performances Commentary – 7/24/2012

I think that many of the best were saved for the last. There were quite of a few acts I really enjoyed, and I’m at a loss for who I think is absolutely staying. I guess it comes down to separating the really good acts, from the spectacular ones. I like to think that my predictions are usually pretty accurate, but tonight, I’m not so sure if I’ll be guessing the correct ones. With that, here’s my thoughts and power rankings on tonight’s performances:

David “The Bullet” Smith: This act was interesting in the auditions. Definitely dangerous. But I always have wondered, what more can he do? Sure he can fly through the air, but there’s only so much you can do with that. I felt like the cheerleaders were a little ridiculous, and the fireworks just were there to make the act seem cooler, but in the end, it was pretty much the same act we saw when he auditioned. I do not think he should go forward after tonight.  The cannon cam was pretty neat though.

All That!: They were cool, but not as good as some of the other dance acts, which, as we’ve been told time and time again, is the hardest category this year. I like the shirt colors. They looked like they were having a lot of fun up there though. I did enjoy them but we will see how they fare against some other acts tonight. It sounded like this was going to be a tough night to be performing in.

Ulysses:  I was shocked when he got through initially, and I’m going to be even more shocked if he gets through tonight. He’s a nice guy…but that’s not what this show is about. I think the triple X’s from the Judges says it all. And the dancers? It’s like they were trying to take away from his badness.

Joe Castillo, Sand Artist: What this man does is very powerful, and he does it with such zest.  I’ve been excited to see his performance tonight, and I wasn’t let down. I loved the images he created, and I feel like the possibilities are endless for his act. This act is something that should be appreciated, and I hope people who do appreciate it will take the time to call in and vote.

Eric & Olivia: An any other night of the Top 48, I think they would have had a good chance. However, tonight, the competition was tough, as I already mentioned. Olivia has a good voice, there is no denying that, but I really don’t think they will get through to the next round. Even though they were good, there were even better performances tonight that I think will push them out of the competiion.

Eric Dittelman: It blows my mind how he does this. My husband is convinced he has an ear piece in his ear, but I feel like they would have discovered that by now. Who knows. I love it though, and I’m curious to see what else he can do. It seems like it could be a bit repetitive after awhile, but I do like how he switched it up tonight with the mock “Deal or No Deal”. I’m not sure how he did it. It seemed more like he predicted the future though, rather than reading their minds. My friend suggested that maybe he gave the case to the most attractive girl, betting that Howie would pick her in the end. I really hope he goes through.

Horse: I’m sorry, but I hate this act. Ever since I first saw it, I was disgusted. I don’t think he deserved to even make it to the initial auditions. This isn’t a talent, no matter how much he, or the judges, want to believe it. Acts like this just get through to get a rise out of the audience, that I am sure. Maybe I’m missing something, but could someone please tell me what the allure of this act is?

Lindsey Norton: Here’s the thing — I really like her. I think she’s an excellent dancer. However, I’m not sure if I want her to go through. There are SO many dance acts in this competition, and quite a few seem similar to this. The audience seemed to love her though, and maybe what she does is different from everyone else. It was very beautiful, and she has a great presence about her.

Olate Dogs: Well, Britain’s Got Talent just had a dog act win, maybe AGT will too. I think this act is so much fun, and definitely sets it self apart from the other groups. I was watching the show with quite a few family members tonight, and everyone, from my nephew who is almost 2, to my grandparents, were loving it. I’d love to see something so different from the typical singing/musical act win this year, and I think the Olate Dogs could be major contenders in the competition.

Sebastien “El Charro de Oro”: There is sure an abundance of younger kids in the Top 48 this year, hasn’t there? I think this was one of my favorites though, probably because he’s so dang cute. I kind of felt like I was being serenaded in a Mexican restaurant, but that’s okay, because I love when that happens! He has a great voice. I thought the rose at the end was rather classy though. My grandma commented that this little boy sounded like a full grown man — I have to agree. He definitely has an old soul, as Howie said. Was he the best of the night? I don’t think so. But he was adorable!

Unity in Motion: I really, really loved these girls. I feel like dance fans will have difficulty voting between them and Lindsay Norton tonight. They are definitely one of the best dance acts in the competition, and I hope they go through.

William Close:  Another home run act for the night. I love the instruments and vocals that were added to the performance. It was just an over all awesome act. It’s so different from a typical musical instrument act, and he seems to do with it such class and precision. He got a standing ovation, from the audience and the judges. I imagine that it takes a lot of time and talent to play the earth harp. It seems like the judges have already deemed him the winner, what does everyone think?

Staying:

1. William Close

2. Joe Castillo

I could see any of these staying:

3. Eric Dittelman

4. Olate Dogs

5. Unity in Motion

6. Lindsey Norton

I think they are going home, but it could be a surprise: 

7. Sebastien

8. All That!

9. Eric and Olivia

10. David “The Bullet” Smith

Definitely Leaving: 

11. Horse

12. Ulysses

July 24, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

America’s Got Talent Season 7: Fourth Quarterfinals Music List

David “The Bullet” Smith

All That
– Ram Jam: Black Betty Black Betty - The Very Best of Ram Jam

Ulysses Singer
– “American Bandstand Tune”

Joe Castillo

Sebastien “El Charro de Oro”

Eric Dittelman

William Close
– The Who: Love Reign O’er Me Love Reign O'er Me - Quadrophenia (Remastered)

Unity in Motion
– Requiem for a dream

Eric & Olivia
– Taio Cruz: Dynamite Dynamite - Rokstarr

Olate Dogs

Lindsey Norton

Horse

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William and the Earth Harp: An Act Good Enough to Go Straight to New York

Last Tuesday night, as the contestants who made it to Vegas searched their names on either the “favorites” or the “stand-by” list, I couldn’t believe it when William Close wasn’t on the list. If you need a refresher on his act, watch this video:

However, as we all soon found out, the Close and his Earth Harp had impressed the judges so much, he was automatically advanced to New York. I enjoyed this act right off and was looking forward to seeing him in the advanced stages of this season. This wind harp is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and I’d love to see something this different win the competition.

The “Earth Harp” was invented by Close himself back in 1999. Its strings go up to 1,000 feet in length, which makes it the world’s longest stringed instrument. Since its first debut where it was “mounted on one side of a valley with the strings stretehced nearly 1,000 feet to other side,” hundreds of Earth Harp have been installed across the world by Close and MASS Ensemble, including at the Grand Theater of Shanghai and Seattle’s Space Needle. According to a website about the Earth Harp,  an Earth Harp installation is:

. . . Celebrates the architecture and landscape of its surroundings. The environment and architecture are transformed by the strings, forever changing the perception of those lucky enough to see the installation.

The Earth Harp and MASS have performed at numerous festivals and performing arts center, such as The Coliseum in Rome for La Notte Bianca, Miami Sleepless Nights, the Kennedy Center, and a permanent installation at Cirque du Soleil’s show in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.

It’s pretty incredible how the Earth Harp works. The website explains the process as follows:

The Earth Harp is played using violin resin on cotton gloves and musical bows. The performer’s hands are run along the strings to create beautiful cello like tones. The act of rubbing the strings creates a longitudinal compression wave. This vibration is similar to the vibration patterns that produce tones when you run your finger around the edge of a wine glass.

So now that you have a little bit of background on the Earth Harp, how about something about the man behind the masterpiece?

He attended the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied sculpture and sound design. He has worked to closely explore connections between music and architecture. According to his Facebook page, the quote “architecture is frozen in music” inspires his work. In addition to the Earth Harp, he worked with architects to develop two “Symphonic houses”, where essentially, the houses are musical instruments. He has also created more than 100 new musical instruments throughout his career.

I mentioned the “MASS Ensemble” earlier on, which is an acronym for “music architecture sound and sculpture”, which was founded by Close. Many of the performances with the Earth Harp include the MASS ensemble who “work with Closes unique designs to create music based stage shows that push the envelope of the musical experience.”

Here are a few of Close’s performances, the first at Jerusalem’s Festival of Lights, and the second at the Lucidity Festival 2012 in Santa Barbara:

To learn more about William, his work, and the Earth Harp, visit his website here. I look forward to seeing how America takes to this very unique act.

June 28, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

America’s Got Talent Season 7 – Season Premiere: Power Rankings

So I am going to try something new this season and provide a kind of “power rankings” for each episode. For the auditions that have made it through to the next round, I am going to try to rank who I think will make it to the New York shows, who I think has the potential and growth to make it to the Top Ten, etc…

When the actual New York shows start airing I will attempt to rank the acts that I believe have the strongest chance of making it through to the next round and who is most likely going to get cut…

Unfortunately I was not able to catch all the acts that are going on to the Vegas round… so if you happen to know of an act that made it through to Vegas please let me know so I could find the information accordingly. So knowing all that… let the season begin!

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May 15, 2012 I Written By