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Win The Ultimate Grace VanderWaal Fan Experience

AGT Season 11 champ Grace VanderWaal is running a contest for her fans!

Grace VanderWaal is inviting 20 FANS and their +1 to join her for an intimate and private performance at an undisclosed location in the New York area on January 20th, 2018. The location will be revealed to 20 FANS lucky enough to be chosen, the day prior to the performance.

We will take submissions until December 30th at midnight EST and the winners will be contacted via email on January 1, 2018.

You can get more details and enter the contest here, and check out Grace’s TODAY Show performance below!

December 29, 2017 I Written By

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

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM PURE AMERICA’S GOT TALENT!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of our readers! I know I just posted yesterday, but I found even more Christmas goodies from some of our favorite America’s Got Talent alum, so I put together a fun little playlist to celebrate the season! I also wanted to thank everyone for helping Pure AGT grow even more after our comeback last year. We have a lot more planned for 2018, including new ventures to make the site even more fun and interactive, previously-announced coverage of the upcoming season of Britain’s Got Talent, and of course all the buzz and news on AGT Season 13. Enjoy the holidays and I’ll see you in the new year!

December 24, 2017 I Written By

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

Alumni Update – Holiday Season Edition!

Christmas is nearly upon us, which of course means lots of special holiday shows both on stage and on our TV’s!

Darci Lynne Farmer is on a roll. She’s been adding performances to her 2018 tour and has made appearances at several other live events, most recently a weekend of shows in her own hometown of Oklahoma City. Whoever is managing this girl and helping her prepare her shows deserves some mad props; in this one there were a lot of fun Christmas-themed numbers (including an appearance from Santa Claus!). There are several clips available to watch on Darci’s YouTube Channel of all these events but my favorite is this bit from one of the Oklahoma shows in which a lucky audience member got invited up onstage to get serenaded!

The 2017 Royal Variety Performance was filmed last month, and premiered on British television earlier this week. For those who don’t know, the RVP is an annual show put on to raise money for the Royal Variety Charity and is usually attended by members of the British Royal Family (this year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in the audience). A slot in the show is the Grand Prize on Britain’s Got Talent (along with a nice chunk of change, of course) so naturally this year’s winner, pianist Tokio Myers, was part of the performance. His performances are works of art and a treat for both the ears and eyes. If you’re not familiar with his work you can check out his BGT performances and his YouTube Channel. Unfortunately, I am currently unable to find his RVP clip online (I was lucky enough that things worked out for me to watch it live via stream but I believe the show is set to air on American television on Christmas Eve and in Canada on New Year’s Day) but I’ll show you his BGT Finals performance because you definitely need to witness this man in action!

On the bright side, I was able to find a video of another act in the Royal Variety Performance (thanks to the company who made his suit :P). I feel like I’ve talked about Colin Cloud way too much on here lately but you’re hearing about him yet again because this year he became the first person to compete on Britain’s Got Talent without winning (he was eliminated prior to the live shows) and wind up in a Royal Variety Performance. I think he put together a clean, concise act and I noticed a bit of a change of pace compared to what we saw from him on America’s Got Talent. Without giving too much away, there is an element of vulnerability and doubt in this performance that I know a lot of AGT fans really wanted from Colin on the show, and it’s cool too see him mixing things up a bit in that regard.

I’ll be back with more Got Talent updates soon; hopefully with some BGT news and updates on some of the acts from older seasons (AKA back before I started following everyone who graced my television screen on social media :P). This very well might end up being my last post on this blog for 2017 so if it is I would like to wish all of our readers a happy holiday season (whatever you celebrate) and new year!

December 23, 2017 I Written By

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

See Photos and Clips from “A Gold Creek Christmas” Starring Some AGT Favorites

It was an AGT reunion in Washington this weekend with the performances of “A Gold Creek Christmas” featuring Season 12 alumni Evie Clair, Christian Guardino, Merrick Hanna, Kechi, Patrick & Ginger, and DaNell Daymon & Greater Works. The church posted some videos of the event on their Facebook page. (I wish it would let me embed them here!) (Photo credits)

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

December 17, 2017 I Written By

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

“The Illusionists: Live From Broadway” Review

Image result for the illusionists live from broadway

I don’t normally review things on this blog other than Got Talent episodes, but this week I was fortunate enough to see a show that has a lot of tie-ins with the franchise. The Illusionists is a series of live shows who’s casts are each made up of several performers who specialize in various areas of magic. There are a few tours currently running and starting up in the future, including one travelling North America from January to June. For now there are two productions running during the month of December (one in Toronto, Ontario and the other in Wilmington, Delaware and Washington, DC) both of which feature performers who will become part of said North American tour as well as some other special guests.

The Illusionists portrays its performers as the Justice League or Avengers of magic. At the beginning and end of the show (as well as in promotional material) they all stand together onstage in a way that is very reminiscent of what you might see on your typical comic book movie poster. The superhero vibe is furthered by the fact that every performer in an Illusionists production is given a nickname that describes their “powers”. This year’s Toronto production features “The Trickster” (Jeff Hobson) “The Daredevil” (Jonathan Goodwin) “The Manipulator” (An Ha Lim) “The Unusualist” (Raymond Crowe) “The Eccentric” (Charlie Frye) “The Deductionist” (Colin Cloud) and “The Grand Illusionist” (Darcy Oake).

The cast of each Illusionists production is expertly crafted to ensure a variety of talents are represented. As the show’s emcee of sorts, Hobson got a good chunk of the stage time, much of which was used to interact (and mess around) with the audience. To be fair, his shtick did get a little cheesy at times – which I’m sure will be a delight for some people and maybe not to others – but the audience interaction added another dynamic to the act (at the performance I saw, this was most notable during a moment in which a young boy refused to give him any easy answers). An Ha Lim had the least amount of time on stage, but still made a strong impact with his award-winning card-conjuring magic. And as the only Canadian in the cast, Oake is a sort of homeland hero in the Toronto production, sharing the story of what sparked his passion for magic and amazing the audience with his signature dove trick (as seen on Britain’s Got Talent).

Fresh off his run in the most recent season of America’s Got Talent, Colin Cloud will inevitably be one of the bigger draws of this year’s tour. As someone who’s covered all of his performances on the program as well as other similar acts in the past, I’ve come to learn a lot about mentalism – his genre of choice – and that it can be controversial in more ways than one. However, as I said all summer, it’s not just the trick itself that makes a magic performance, but the presentation of it. Seeing Cloud command the stage live with his own personal brand of illusion, class, and wit was truly a treat to behold. (Being selected as one of the lucky participants in his second-act segment was just the icing on the cake. :P)

The Illusionists also goes beyond the typical conjuring, vanishing, and mind-reading typically seen in magic shows. Humorous vaudevillian segments from Charlie and Sherry Frye transports patrons back to a time where stage magic was simpler, but no less fun to watch. In addition to performing what was probably the most whimsical trick of all in the first act, Raymond Crowe’s signature shadow puppetry act (as seen on Australia’s Got Talent) was a clear crowd favorite. Doing Got Talent coverage has made me realize how difficult pleasing an audience with a danger act can be, but Daredevil Jonathan Goodwin somehow manages to have just the right stage presence to grab the audience while still maintaining a certain ominous vibe to keep the tension and suspense from start to finish during each of his segments. The audience is always acutely aware of the dangerous and painful aspects of his stunts, but it never quite gets to the point where it becomes unwatchable (except maybe for the most squeamish patrons).

Being a magic show, plenty of audience participation is inevitably incorporated into The Illusionists. (At the performance I saw, multiple illusionists unknowingly selected the same man to be involved in the show, which soon became a running joke.) If you’re not comfortable being pulled into the action, I highly suggest avoiding the front rows and any orchestra-level aisle seats when buying tickets for the show. On the flip side, without spoiling anything I am happy to report that audience members who aren’t sitting close to the stage will still have the opportunity to be part of the performance (without being unwillingly dragged onstage!).

The Illusionists will be presented across North America between December 2017 and June 2018. (For those wondering, the tour beyond the holiday season stops will feature Toronto cast members An Ha Lim, Colin Cloud, Jonathan Goodwin, and Jeff Hobson, as well as Wilmington/Washington performer Kevin James, aka “The Inventor”.)  Tickets for the full list of dates can be found on the show’s website.

December 15, 2017 I Written By

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

New Music From Some AGT Favorites! – Alumni Update

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

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

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

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

December 6, 2017 I Written By

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

See Past (and Future?) AGT Favorites Live On Stage! – Alumni Update

I guess this is kind of a “part 2” to yesterday’s alumni news roundup; that one was mostly about television appearances, while this one has news on a few upcoming live performances, including something that was just announced this morning!

Starting off with the breaking news, Darci Lynne Farmer has just announced a winter tour! Five dates have been announced for weekends in January and February, with more to come soon. The pre-sale for tickets beings tomorrow (November 29) at 10am local time. Details and the pre-sale code can be found here.

Sal Vaentinetti and and Christian Guardino have a one-night only Golden Buzzer Buddies concert coming up on December 22 in Westbury, NY. From what I gather it’ll mostly be Christmas music with some comedy from guest act Shuli, so if you’re in the area and looking for a holiday treat this might be the show for you!

I’m kind of late on this last show because it’s already started, but Sara & Hero are the headliners of a show in Reno from now until the end of the year. It’s called The Unbelievables: A Christmas Extravaganza and features a bunch of variety acts in the same vein of The Illusionists with various magicians (in fact, it’s produced by the same team as both that show and Circus 1903). You can purchase tickets here.

I also noticed that another installment of The Unbelievables is set to take Melbourne in January, and this one will not only feature several past AGT contestants, but also someone we may be seeing on the show in the near future….(more on that to come!)

November 28, 2017 I Written By

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

The Holiday Season has Begun! – AGT Alumni Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 27, 2017 I Written By

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

A Vegas Venue, a Seattle Church, and the Royal Variety Performance – AGT Alumni Update

We may be trucking through the off-season, but there’s been lots of news in AGT Land so far this month!

First and foremost, America’s Got Talent Live in Las Vegas was a huge success! There were some great throwbacks to the summer show as well as some new material from Darci Lynne Farmer, Angelica Hale, Preacher Lawson, and Light Balance, including a few collaborative performances! (Photo credit to Angelica Hale on Instagram.)

Her run is Vegas may be over (for now!) but Darci Lynne isn’t slowing down – she recently announced a series of shows in her hometown of Oklahoma City. Darci Lynne: Homecoming will be onstage at The Criterion on December 16-17 2017, and tickets are selling fast!

Seattle-area AGT fans have an upcoming treat of their own. Gold Creek Community Church’s annual Gold Creek Christmas show has a special twist this year: several Season 12 contestants will be performing, including singers Evie Clair, Kechi, and Christian Guardino, dancer Merrick Hanna, and dog act Patrick & Ginger! There are three performances scheduled over December 15-16, and tickets can be purchased here.

In other Season 12 alumni news, last week Colin Cloud announced his involvement in this year’s Royal Variety Performance. If you’re unfamiliar with the tradition check out the link, but the show is an annual tradition in Britain and is known for featuring a, well, variety of different performers from comedians to sideshow acts to West End stage show casts. (So basically everything we hope to see in the AGT live shows instead of an abundance of karaoke-style pop singers.) And just to give you an idea how prestigious the RVP is, a performance slot is the grand prize for AGT‘s own sister program Britain’s Got Talent. This year’s winner and representative is musician Tokio Myers, and in addition to all of the BGT champs some other alumni from AGT have participated in previous year’s performances.

The 2017 RVP is set to tape later this month and will be televised in Britain and other Commonwealth nations in December and January, but those living in America and other countries will more than likely be able to catch clips of the performances when they are inevitably uploaded to YouTube. And since I’m expanding this blog to cover BGT in the spring (and need some filler content between now and then :P) I’m planning to review the show here on Pure AGT next month! (Photo credit to Colin Cloud on Instagram.)

Finally, I’ve mostly refrained from posting about this since one of our sister sites pretty much has it covered, but AGT Season 5 alumnus Lindsey Stirling not only recently released a brand new Chirstmas album entitled Warmer in the Winter, she was officially announced as a Dancing With the Stars finalist earlier this week! The two-night Finale airs on ABC Monday November 20 at 8/7c and Tuesday November 21 at I believe 9/8c. (And I believe Lindsey also has a new music video coming out on her YouTube channel very soon!) You can check out one of her dances from this past episode below, and I’ll see you again soon with more AGT updates.

November 16, 2017 I Written By

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

AGT Alumni Updates and Should You Read Mandy Harvey’s “Sensing the Rhythm”?

Big week for AGT alumni! This coming Friday, November 3, Season 11 Champion Grace VanderWaal‘s debut album, Just the Beginning, will be released, as well as her new accessory line with Charming Charlie. (Photo from Just Jared Jr.)

Amercia’s Got Talent: Live!” featuring Season 12 fan favorites Darci Lynne Farmer, Angelica Hale, Light Balance, and Preacher Lawson is happening in Las Vegas this weekend. The two initially planned performances sold out so quickly they added two or three more, and then those went fast as well, so they should get a good turnout. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending (though I did get to see Season 11’s Tape Face do his thing up here in Canada this past Saturday) but I’ll be sure to update with a roundup of social media, pictures, and any other fun stuff from the event next week! (Photo from Darci’s Twitter).

Lastly, I’ve been meaning to cover Mandy Harvey’s book Sensing the Rhythm, which was released about a month ago and is currently available in bookstores and online.

Sensing the Rhythm mostly covers Mandy’s life from around the time she lost her hearing to the present as of when the book was being written (a little less than a year ago from when I’m posting this in October 2017) though there are a few stories from her high school days and before peppered in. The book has an easy-to-follow, feel-good format with each chapter starting with an anecdote from Mandy’s life, followed by the lesson(s) she learned from the experience and advice to readers who may be facing similar challenges and does a great job at translating these takeaways to other situations people may be dealing with.  So while the stories mostly focus on her hearing loss and music career, the book overall is about overcoming adversity, and that’s a challenge virtually everyone in the world faces at one point or another.

Since the book was finished before her season of AGT began, there isn’t any juicy behind-the-scenes dirt on her experience competing on the show. However, we do get some interesting and insightful background information on her family and love life (SPOILERS: she’s married, so sorry to crush the dreams of all the people who ship her with certain other AGT contestants :P). These sections of the book are the most personal and raw of all; I was surprised she even opted to discuss some of the things she did, though I think they probably helped paint a more authentic picture of Mandy as a person, and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Mandy on AGT or are just curious to know more about how she was able to continue composing and performing music after losing her hearing.

That’s about it for now. I’ll be back next week with some AGT Vegas show coverage, so see you then! 😀

October 30, 2017 I Written By

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