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Thoughts on Thia Megia, Carol Lugo, Jay Mattioli and Kevin Skinner on AGT

Time for some quick thoughts about the good acts on tonight’s America’s Got Talent: Carol Lugo, Thia Megia, Kevin Skinner and Jay Mattioli. Plus, the America’s Got Talent video of each performance in case you might have missed it.

Thia Megia (14 year old singer)

I really liked this girl. She was the highlight of the night for me. Wow, I really hate to say that a singer is my favorite, but it was good. My wife and I both just looked at each other when she opened her mouth. Also, I don’t know how to say this the right way, but I’ve never seen such a big black woman’s voice come out of a little asian girl. Nick Cannon’s comment was dead on “Where’d she get that voice from?” Actually, Thia Megia reminds me a little bit of Charice Pempengco who was on Oprah and is David Foster’s new project (look her up on YouTube). They have different qualities to their voice, but as far as little girls with big voices it’s a nice match.

Carol Lugo (62 year old dancer)

I really don’t know how to comment on Carol Lugo. She is something else. The way she snapped her head at the beginning I thought for sure that it was going to snap off. Carol Lugo has a ton of energy. She actually reminded me a bit of the old man that did some break dancing on Britain’s Got Talent. The only question I have for Carol is if she’s like this at 62, what was she like at 20?

Jay Mattioli (Magician)

I had a little problem with Jay Mattioli, there was a little extra piece of stage when he was doing his trick. However, it was still a nice twist on magic that I hadn’t seen before. Piers was right about the second trick being not as good since you know it has to be mirrors or something like that. He was entertaining to watch. Assuming he has some good tricks he might be the first magician to really make it far on the show. Most magicians wow us up front and then get kicked off later with some sort of lame trick.

Kevin Skinner (Chicken Catcher Singer)

The chicken catcher was a little too scripted. He asked if he had a job and Kevin responded that he was a chicken catcher. Anyway, it was good exposure for chicken catchers everywhere. I don’t think Kevin was all that good. He wasn’t horrible either, but when you’re singing a Garth Brooks song you better bring it. Certainly he deserves to go to Vegas and I look forward to seeing him perform again, but I think they love the chicken catcher story as much as they like Kevin.

June 30, 2009 I Written By

Not America’s Got Talent

One of the people that follows me on Twitter sent me a link to a really interesting insight into the America’s Got Talent audition process. No doubt the show probably would have a different point of view on the audition process, but some of the comments are really enlightening considering a few of the items match the comment made by Sky and Vlad on my Fire Dancer post.

Here are some of the more interesting parts of the article:

Talk about a real “cattle call;” anyone who attended the “AGT” auditions in Boston knows that just the first step can mean hours of waiting to step in front of a producer, and your chances of going on to the next level (in front of the actual judges) are pretty much slim to none. That is unless you’ve got a gimmick like they sing about in the musical “Gypsy.” My gimmick? An ass named Firefly.

There is another equine performer already there[at the loading dock], Sunny the Miniature Trick Horse, the trainer is already worn down and frazzled from having been there since 6 that morning and even though they had an opportunity to practice on stage the waiting conditions in the heat and next to the idling semis had taken their toll. I realized earlier that this excessive wait time is carefully calculated to bring on the most emotional distress. I have never been involved in a production which required that people wait around for eight hours or longer in order to get on stage at the appointed time. Normal theatrical call time is two hours, so either this production crew is extremely incompetent or they are doing this to manipulate the outcome.

Sunny’s turn finally comes about 3 p.m. but when they come offstage you can see the disappointment in their eyes. Their mini-horse has missed some cues and did not perform well, even though he is a seasoned performer. I’m not surprised; most of us with performing animals are used to waiting to go on stage, but asking that an animal act wait nine hours to go on stage seems cruel by any standards. Once the production crew realized that the only available wait space for the equine performers was outside in the heat and parked alongside idling semi trucks they should have allowed us the flexibility to come in closer to our call time so we weren’t worn down by the abominable waiting conditions. Of course the rest of the performers were inside the theater with the AC and crew members to wait on them.

Although we were denied the opportunity to allow Firefly a chance to practice or to at least check out the stage, I knew the stage would be similar to the New York set so I hoped that he would remember what we would be walking into. Finally we step onto the stage about 8 p.m. and we are hit by a wall of sound. Keep in mind that this crew is not only manipulating the emotional responses of the people backstage they have also been messing with the audience, an audience that has been encouraged to have big reactions, be it positive or negative. To tell you the truth, I felt like I was stepping into the Roman Coliseum; some people were booing because I was walking onto the stage with an ass. Go figure.

I’m not surprised that Susan Boyle, this year’s big star of “Britain’s Got Talent,” suffered a nervous breakdown even though she placed second on the popular British television show. Think of all the hoops she had to jump through starting with the ridicule the first time she stepped onto the stage. I can only imagine what lies in store for those who go on to higher rounds in Las Vegas in this new season of “America’s Got Talent.” I know that last year they flew a lot of people out there then sent half of them home before they even got a chance to step onto the stage. For those who survived the second-round auditions for Season 4 of “AGT,” congratulations and good luck, and for those who did not go so far, keep working and entertaining the people and do not allow your future to hinge on what happened during your audition experience for this particular production company; there are so many other opportunities out there to really shine and be appreciated.

Certainly could be a bit of sour grapes, but I’m guessing that a lot of it was accurate. I just can’t imagine the show wanting them to wait so long so that they’re all frazzled. That doesn’t make much sense to me. I’d like to think that they just want everyone there in waiting so that they don’t have to stress about people being late or not. However, if they did come out and say that they made people wait it wouldn’t surprise me either.

The fact is that even on the show they talk about people having waited all day for the opportunity to be on the show. So, waiting isn’t necessarily news. Either way, this stuff is great fodder for fans of the show. I kind of like to take a small look behind the scenes of America’s Got Talent. I watch it to be entertained and they do a pretty good job of doing just that. Like I’ve told those auditioning a hundred times. Just remember that they’re trying to produce a great show, not produce your talent.

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Eli Mattson Update

A little while back I posted a request to learn more about what’s happening with Eli Mattson after America’s Got Talent. I loved Eli last year and actually wish he would have won. For those that might have missed Eli Mattson on last year’s America’s Got Talent, here’s a nice recap video:

Turns out he’s been doing all sorts of things since being on America’s Got Talent. Here’s my attempt to review all of the various things that Eli Mattson has been doing and is planning to do. Hopefully I can do more regular updates. Plus, look forward to a nice Eli Mattson giveaway which I’ll be starting soon.

The most important thing that people have been looking for of course is buying Eli Mattson’s album. You can find it on Amazon.

This CD is a little bit older. Eli made a cd called “Monsters” back when he was 19 years old with funding provided by Peninsula Arts Association and Roger Kuhns. The cd he is currently selling is a compilation of his favorite songs off of that and three that he recorded several years ago. He is currently working on new songs and wishes to record this year. The songs are all original by Eli with two songs by Roger Kuhns. The are reflective of his view of the world after going through some pretty difficult times, very personal.

Also, Eli’s been doing a number of concerts and has a number of shows planned for the next couple months. Here’s a list of places you can find a live show of Eli Mattson:
Eli Mattson
7/3/2009 7:00 PM at Harraseeket Inn Freeport Maine w
162 N Main St, Freeport, Maine 04032
Cost: $30.00
Intimate concert setting, Eli and the grand piano. Tickets go on sale at attn Charleen

UPDATE: Eli Mattson will be performing at Picture Perfect San Diego on July 18th.

Eli Mattson
8/1/2009 6:00 PM at Evergreen, Co Habitat For Humanity Benefit at The Grand Preserve, Evergreen, Colorado
Cost: $100/couple $50/single
Hard Hats and High Heels a benefit for Habitat for Humanity

Eli Mattson
8/14/2009 7:00 PM at Long Grove , Illinois, Long Grove, Illinois
Cost: tba
A concert in a performance barn!

Eli Mattson
9/17/2009 7:00 PM at Meyer Theater: presented by Cellcom, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54301
Cost: $25.00
The beautiful Meyer theater and incredible place to hear Eli and his band. For tickets go to

Eli Mattson
9/25/2009 7:30 PM at Third Avenue Playhouse: Presented by Cellcom
Third Avenue, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin 54235
Cost: $25.00
Just Eli and The Grand

Beyond these concerts, Eli performed 2 shows with Terry Fator in Las Vegas (I wish I would have known so I could have gone and checked it out). Eli would be a nice addition to Terry’s show. Eli also performed in Madison, DC, Naperville (Chicago), Luxemburg, amongst other venues.

Eli was signed by Cellcom. “We’re thrilled to have Eli Mattson represent our brand and excited to begin working with him,” said Dan Fabry, vice president and chief operating officer for Cellcom. “His enormous talent will appeal to not only our younger audience, but anyone who appreciates the piano or Eli’s very distinctive singing style.”

Eli was also June on what’s being called the MySpace music calendar 2009. Probably a little late to buy the calendar, but fans might want it to be June 2009 forever. Eli was also featured in an article in “Door County Living” Magazine which will come out this summer.

Of course, could I really do an update post about Eli Mattson without a least one new video of Eli Mattson performing (sorry the recording and background noise isn’t very good):

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Kaitlyn Maher Interviews by NBC Washington DC

Kaitlyn Maher really was one of the most astounding little girls to grace the stage of America’s Got Talent. Hard to believe a 4 year old could have done as well as she did considering all the pressure of the show. She did better than the much older girl who broke down during Britain’s Got Talent. The local Washington DC NBC affiliate did a nice little piece/interview of Kaitlyn Maher a year after America’s Got Talent. My favorite part is when they ask her when she was nervous. Seems like Kaitlyn is a very busy 4 (or is she 5 now?) year old girl. Check out the interview of Kaitlyn Maher:

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Alizma Triplets from America’s Got Talent

A lot of people who watch America’s Got Talent enjoy watching the stories where people come from nothing and somehow make it on the America’s Got Talent stage. I love those stories also, but I’m also totally fine if professional people want to audition as well. Just as long as the show doesn’t portray them as an underdog story when they’re not.

Turns out that Alizma (Erica, Jaclyn and Nicole Okapiec) has done a lot of things before going on America’s Got Talent. They’ve even toured on The Ron Paul Mystery tour (whatever that is?). Here’s some other videos of Alizma (there are a lot more I’ll have to post later).

Alizma triplets in what I think you could call a music video of sorts.

Alizma being interviewed on SOAP talk

Erica, Jaclyn and Nicole (Alizma) did a photo shoot for Black Diamond Boots

Alizma was on the Steve Harvey show:

Man, so many different videos that could be posted of these girls. It should be interesting if Alizma has a fan following already that will vote for them.

June 27, 2009 I Written By

G-Force Videos Before America’s Got Talent

I first was introduced to G-Force back in February. Turns out they were good enough to make it at least to Las Vegas on America’s Got Talent 2009. It’s always fun to check out a group before they were on America’s Got Talent. Plus, they showed so little of G-force on America’s Got Talent, that it’s nice to see some full length videos of Emily (11-vocals/guitar), Hannah (9-bass), Olivia (7-drums). Olivia is definitely my favorite.

G-Force live!! The girls first music video recorded January 13th 2008 at The Savannah Bar and Grille in Westlake, Ohio

Girlfriend Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend - Single - Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne Performed by G-Force

Now I just hope that The Understudies make it on America’s Got Talent so that we can have a battle of the kid bands.

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Review of America’s Got Talent 2009 Day 2 Auditions

The second night of America’s Got Talent was a nice step up from the first night. Gave me a little more hope for this season. No doubt there’s still a long way to go, but considering they didn’t even decide to follow the auditions from one city to the next you’d think they’d have made a better season premiere. That said, I still love to see all the stories and the crazy talent on this show.

One of the highlights from night one for me was Arcadian Broad. Maybe I just saw a little bit of me in him. I wish that someone would have taken an interest in me and had helped me to dance. I think I had the energy and fire, but no one to encourage it at that age. Sure, his technique isn’t the best, but he’s only 13 years old. I think his energy and enthusiasm are really going to blow people away. In case you missed it, here’s the video of Arcadian Broad dancing to “I’m Still Standing” Elton John - Elton John: The Greatest Hits 1970-2002 - I'm Still Standing by Elton John

My second favorite act of the night was probably Alizma. I actually had previously posted that Alizma was my most anticipated AGT act. I’ll admit that I didn’t know anything about them. I didn’t know they were triplets, I didn’t know they sang. I didn’t even know their name was Alizma. Yes, I’m biased to three beautiful blondes. However, I must admit that they didn’t disappoint. I agree they need to be more like Nuttin’ But Stringz from last year and not sing. Just play the violin. I even liked how they talked over each other. I thought it was really funny. Although the funniest part of this act might have been the Hoff freaking out when they walked on stage. In case you missed it, here’s Alizma’s performance of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” The Charlie Daniels Band - Essential Super Hits of The Charlie Daniels Band - The Devil Went Down to Georgia originally by “The Charlie Daniels Band”

Other quick hits:

I thought Drew Thomas the illusionist was good, but I wasn’t as overwhelmed by it as the judges were. I have a hard time watching illusionists on TV though. I want to be there and be able to see it live.

Eric and Rickie were the cutest little kid dancers. Go to a ballroom competition and you’ll see dozens of little kids just like them. That’s so much fun to watch. I loved when they asked them about being boyfriend and girlfriend too. Hilarious.

I was really happy to see G-Force on the show. Turns out I first saw G-Force back at the end of February. Glad to see that someone that read the site during the America’s Got Talent auditions made it on the show. I wonder if anyone else will make it on the show that I talked about on here. I’ll be posting more of G-Force’s videos soon since we saw little of them on the show. The little girl on the drums(her name’s Olivia and she’s 7) is just so incredibly cute.

I’m not sure what to think about Comic Bots. That was just weird to watch, but impressive at the same time.

Then, of course, Manuela Horn, the yodeling dominatrix. There’s just not much I can say about that.

June 26, 2009 I Written By

Videos of Urban Nation Hip-Hop Choir from Washington DC

One of the acts that America’s Got Talent kind of skipped over during the auditions was the Urban Nation Hip-Hop choir from Washington, DC. I’m pretty sure we’re going to see more of this group. America’s Got Talent likes to put groups like this on the show. No doubt they add to the eclectic mix on the show. I can’t personally say they’re the most talented choir I’ve seen, but I do enjoy watching them and I bet it’s a LOT of fun to be part of the choir.

Check out this performance of the Urban Nation Hip-Hop choir singing Lean on Me

Here’s another video of the Urban Nation H.I.P-H.O.P Choir with Rap Artist Mo Diggedy singing “Hope, Integrity, Power!”

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David Johnson’s Tribute to David Hasselhoff

As promised, I knew I had to find a video of David Johnson’s tribute to David Hasselhoff on America’s Got Talent. I don’t think that anyone has made me laugh more on America’s Got Talent. I wonder what he’ll follow up with in Las Vegas.

More America’s Got Talent video and commentary coming tomorrow.

June 25, 2009 I Written By

Thoughts on America’s Got Talent 2009 Premiere

Time to run down some random thoughts from tonight’s episode of America’s Got Talent.

Overall Impression
I was a little disappointed. I think that the producers are trying a little to hard to produce the show instead of making the talent and stories the show. Things like the strobe light buzzers that just annoy. Leave those out. They also focused on far too many crappy acts. They should know better and start us off with a killer act that makes the rest of the show not as important and locks us in.

Favorite Act of the Night – The Eriam Sisters
By far my favorite act of the night was the Eriam Sisters. That trio of sisters gave me the chills. I’m sure I wasn’t just cold, because I live in Las Vegas. No doubt the youngest sister has the most talent, but Piers was right that they can all sing. I can’t wait to see how America’s Got Talent with some makeup, costumes and production will make some incredible talent even better. I loved that they could sing, but that they could own the stage as well. Turns out I actually liked the Eriam Sisters a few weeks ago too. Very nice and made watching the show worthwhile for me.

Since they were my favorite, here’s a video of the Eriam Sisters trio who sang “I Want You Back” Jackson 5 - Jackson 5: The Ultimate Collection - I Want You Back by the Jackson 5 on America’s Got Talent Premiere

Voices of Glory
Couldn’t have been a better back story. Felt a little bit fabricated by Piers, but I’ll forgive them for that. I previously dubbed Voices of Glory the most overhyped act of America’s Got Talent 2009. It’s not their fault, but I still think that’s true. They were good, but not great in my book. Actually, I should clarify that the little sister could be great. She’s better than the 2 brothers. It was touching to watch and we need more children like them in the world.

David Johnson – Hasselhoff Song
I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard during America’s Got Talent. It was incredibly funny. I’m so glad that Piers put him through. I’m just not sure what type of follow up act he could perform in Las Vegas. I have a feeling we won’t see any performance by him during the Las Vegas shows.

I hadn’t ever seen Footworking before, but it was fun to watch. I’d love to see something like this live. It doesn’t make for the best television in my book though. I’d rather just watch dancing.

Black Fire Percussion (drum line)
This was cool. About time one of these drum lines comes on. This is another that is better in person where you can really feel the beat. I’m surprised Nick Cannon didn’t pull out some line about his role on that wonderful movie Drumline.

Delusional Talent
Can these people really think they were talented? That impressionist must have been delusional. Had he never listened to himself before? Maybe he’s right that it takes good hearing to do impressions and he doesn’t have good hearing.

Nick Cannon as Host
Sadly, the talent was so poor on tonight’s episode, that Nick Cannon was actually the most talented person on tonight’s show. He got the most laughs and I like his unconventional way of interacting with the guests and judges. Nice switch NBC.

June 23, 2009 I Written By