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Britain’s Got Talent Series 12 Premiere Date Announced!

It’s only Tuesday, but lots of Got Talent-related news has already come out this week. So much, in fact, that I’m going to be throwing up TWO posts today to cover it all!

It’s FINALLY been announced that Britain’s Got Talent will return on Saturday, April 14. The new series (the term used for “season” in the UK) will feature fresh talent competing for a spot in the 2018 Royal Variety Performance, with duo Ant & Dec returning to host and Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, and David Williams back as judges.

Not much else is known at this time, but it’ll be fun to see what kind of acts pop up this season!

March 13, 2018 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!

“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!

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!

PureAGT Season 8 POLL: Did Catapult “Rip Off” Silhouettes?

Whilst browsing around on YouTube for a clip of Catapult’s performance on last week’s premiere, I noticed something odd: almost every video of them posted had a slew of comments from angry viewers claiming that they had “ripped off” season 6 runner-up Silhouettes.  Here’s a video of them to jog your memory:

A few overseas viewers also accused Catapult of copying Attraction, the winner of the most recent season of Britain’s Got Talent:

Now while I agree that all three acts are very similar, I also think that there’s very, very few acts on any of the Talent franchises that are truly original anymore – I think it’s all been done before, and everyone’s just trying to make their mark and somehow put a fresh spin on their act.  So to really accuse any of the three of “ripping off” one another? Not really fair, IMO.  If you’re going to call out Catapult for copying Silhouettes, then you may as well call out Lightwire Theater from last season for copying Team iLuminate from season 6, and Angela Hoover for copying season 6’s Melissa Villasenor.  Almost every act shares some similarities with a previous act.

Truth be told, I was never really wowed by what Silhouettes did – just seemed like a lot of running from place to place making shapes while some schmaltzy song played.  What I like about Catapult, though, is that they actually create pictures that move, and tend to tell a story – Silhouettes seemed like they just went with a theme, as opposed to an actual narrative with a beginning, middle, and end.  Haven’t really had a chance to compare either of the two to Attraction, beyond the video I posted above, but all three appear to have different strengths & weaknesses.  But what do you think?

June 10, 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!

Acrobalance Act from Britain’s Got Talent Take the Stage in the AGT New York Auditions

An acrobalance act lit up the stage on night two of the New York Auditions.

The married-for-14-years couple, Rebecca and Donovan, performed a combination of dance and acrobats to the song “Secrets” by One Republic and impressed all the judges and the audience:

If you were a fan of Britain’s Got Talent, you might recognize Rebecca Peache and Donovan Jones as Crazehorse from season one. They were unfortunately eliminated during the second semi-finals. Here is that performance:


However, they didn’t let that discourage them and up until America’s Got Talent, they have been touring the world, including China, the United Kingdom, and most recently, Australia.

According to their website, Rebecca was born in London and studied at the Central school of Ballet and and the London Studio Centre. She has participated in different performances, such as a Can Can Dancer at Moulin Rouge in Paris. Donovan is a native to Long Island, New York, and studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He was the principal singer and company manager for Jean Anne Ryan Productions for several years before creating the acrobalance act with his wife.

Together, Rebecca and Donovan have earned several Guiness World Records, such as the longest time holding a horizontal position and were featured in Cirque du Soleil. Rebecca achieved in 2007 the most rotations of a human flag, which was recorded in this video.

Rebecca and Donovan are active participants on their Facebook page and seem to be excited to have made it to the next round of America’s Got Talent. I thought their act was absolutely breathtaking, and as I have watched more videos of them tonight, I can’t wait to see what they will do in the coming months. How far do you think they will go, and do they have a fighting chance for the million dollars? I sure think so!

May 27, 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.

World’s Got Talent Being Planned by Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell isn’t my favorite person in the whole world, but it’s hard to argue with his ability to produce a TV show. Plus, he has an amazing skill as a judge on TV shows too. So, I was completely intrigued when I saw this article suggesting that Simon Cowell is planning a new TV show called “World’s Got Talent.” Sounds like the perfect spin off to his America’s Got Talent / Britain’s Got Talent shows.

Here’s some details from the article:

The show will feature acts from over 80 countries, with the winner receiving a prize of up to £1m.

A source told The Sun: “This has been Simon’s dream. It will be the biggest reality show the world’s seen. There is a huge wealth of talent out there. The best acts cross language barriers.

ITV and NBC are said to be involved and the show is planned to be staged at the Royal Albert Hall.

This could be really fun to watch. I can think of a lot of acts I’d like to see on this show!
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July 16, 2010 I Written By

Faryl Smith Update – from Britain’s Got Talent

One of my readers sent me the following update about Faryl Smith, winner of Britain’s Got Talent.

Faryl has been very busy this year, she has sung with Katherine Jenkins at a number of venues and on TV. She has duetted with Carreras at the Hamptont Court Palace Festival. She was the guest star at the opening gala at this year’s Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. She won first prize there at the age of ten.

She has sung in York Minster, The Royal Albert Hall. She entertained the 80,000 strong English and French supporters at Twickenham Rugby Football Ground. She sang the National anthem at the FA Cup Final in front of 92,000 football supporters. She opened the proceedings at the Classical Brits Awards Concert at the RAH. She has more concerts lined up before Christmas. She will be in a joint concert with Jonathan Ansell later this month. Then she’s off up north to sing at a charity concert in aid of muscular dystrophy sufferers in the beautiful settings of Durham Cathedral And a very big occasion in November. The National Service of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. An occasion always attended by all of the Royal Family. To be invited to sing there is a huge honour.

Through all of this she has kept going to school and has just finished her second album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It is to be released in the UK on 30 November. There is no track list yet but there is information about it on her UK website. There is also a snippet of one of the tracks on it ” Somwhere Far Away”. The album is called “Wonderland”. If you visit her website mute the video and click listen. Also there are a lot of new photographs of Faryl and others. Click the gallery tab at the top left of the page. Not the one below the picture lower down the page.

Nice to see that Faryl Smith is doing so well.

October 6, 2009 I Written By

Susan Boyle and the America’s Got Talent Las Vegas Show

Tickets are now on sale for the Las Vegas America’s Got Talent show. My only question is whether the winner of America’s Got Talent will get to perform all 60 shows or maybe just a few of them. In fact, last year, the Las Vegas show was a bunch of members of the America’s Got Talent top 5 and the winner was just the “headline” act. I’m sure something like this will happen again for the other people on America’s Got Talent.

I can’t help but wonder if they might even expand the cast of performers to include some of Britain’s Got Talent like Susan Boyle. She certainly would sell a lot more tickets. In fact, I’m guessing that she’d be a bigger headline no matter who wins America’s Got Talent 2009.

It will be interesting to watch. I know I’m getting my America’s Got Talent Las Vegas show tickets.

August 18, 2009 I Written By