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PureAGT Season 9, Episode #2 – Audition Round Run-Down

Two more hours of auditions in the can, and I feel like we’re starting to see the season take shape. Seems like there’s a lot fewer singers this year, and the ones we do have aren’t all that impressive – that actually makes me happy, because I feel like we lost some really unique acts last seasons because so many singers got pushed through. Also pleased that the audition rounds seem to be focusing more on the good acts than the bad ones, and even the bad ones we’ve seen have often gotten at least one yes. So far…digging this season ūüôā

Willis Clan – ages 3-21
The act: 12 siblings (all with names starting in “J”) that played instruments, danced, and sang a cover of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.
The verdict: 4 yes’s, and much gushing about what a good-looking family they area.
Court’s thoughts: Was it cute to see all 12 of them up there doing their thing? Sure. But if we’re being honest, only about 4 or 5 of the older siblings were actually doing anything that actually added to the performance – the rest of the little ones were basically just there to look cute. Which is ok, I guess – that’s just part of the package of their act. Although I think the oldest, Jessica, has enough talent on her own that she could ditch the family act and have success as a solo country artist.

David & Leeman – ages 27 & 29, from Los Angeles
The act: A duo of magicians that used “pressure phrenology” to impair Howie’s ability to read and had him try to read words off of cards.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: I think I said this quite a bit last season, but I’ll say it again: I can know how a magic trick was done and still be able to appreciate it based on the delivery, creativity, and overall performance. And that’s the case with these two – I think I figured out the trick (notice how the camera never really got a good, long look at the cards), but I still really enjoyed the performance because the trick was something we haven’t seen before. Kinda liked how they blended just a little bit of comedy into their routine as well – they came across as cool & likeable. Definitely like them – hope they stick around and continue to do clever stuff like this in the coming rounds.

Julia Goodwin – age 15
The act: Sang a jazz-tinged cover of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: She’s got a very unique quality to her voice and doesn’t “oversing”, but I did hear a few off-notes and I think she could work on her stage presence. Hoping she can sparkle a bit more in the coming rounds.

Sean & Luke – ages 17 & 18
The act: Two best friends that did a hip-hop/tap dance routine to “Bust a Move” and “Humpty Dance”.
The verdict: Heidi, Mel, & Howie were all yes’s, but Howard didn’t think they really needed to see the act again and said “no”.
Court’s thoughts: Not the strongest dance act we’ve seen so far, but I did enjoy it and think it’s a welcome respite from the hoards of ballroom, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop acts we see every year. Tap is something different, and I like different. Kinda wished they had focused in a bit more on the tap and done less hip-hop, though – found the tap sections to be far more impressive than the hip-hop. Would love to see them do something that’s more “hardcore tap” – maybe something Fred Astaire-inspired.

Unnamed martial arts group
The act: A group performing various martial arts moves with various weapons.
The verdict: Not shown, but the judges seemed to respond positively to the act (even when one of the guys wiffed a trick and fell on his ass).
Court’s thoughts: Kinda wish we had gotten to see more of this act – I’ve been craving a good martial arts act (the last one we had was Kung Fu Heroes back in season 5, and Kenichi only did a little bit of martial arts). But since they weren’t really heavily featured, I’m guessing they probably won’t show up again.

Unnamed martial arts trick duo
The act: Two guys in yellow gi’s doing fingertip pushups and balancing on their stomach on a sword.
The verdict: Not shown.
Court’s thoughts: Kind of cool, but probably not much more they could do – and certainly not enough for a Vegas show.

Kevin Taylor
The act: A guy who punched the windows out of car doors.
The verdict: Not shown – but Heidi the wet blanket said the act “didn’t make her feel good”, so I’m guessing no.
Court’s thoughts: Could have been a good strongman act if he had done a bit more – but probably a little too one-dimensional for this competition.

Grand Master Qi Feilong – age 48
The act: He’s a “kung fu master” and “energy healer” who tried to stop the second hand on a wall clock using his “energy”, and cutting two sets of chopsticks in half with a $10 bill. He also made Nick kick him in the “crunch” (his translator’s word for “crotch”).
The verdict: Mel & Howie said yes; Howard & Heidi said no.
Court’s thoughts: I was kind of left wondering if this was another act in the same vein as Dustin’s Dojo – just a complete joke. But after watching it a few times – I don’t think it was ūüėõ Something about how batsh*t crazy this guy was going onstage was entertaining – I found myself laughing – but the tricks were just “meh”, it was chaotic, and I could barely understand a word he was saying.

Real Encounter – ages 23-47
The act: A group of motocross, freestyle, and BMX riders doing flips & stunts.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Before I get into my thoughts, a bit of peek behind the curtain: according to the gang over at the AGT Afterbuzz show, not all of the audience actually gets to go outside to watch acts like this – the Afterbuzz crew was part of the group that didn’t get to go outside. I think they may have also mentioned that the judges giving their verdict actually happened the NEXT DAY after they actually performed. Kind of interesting. But anyway! They were pretty good, but I feel like we’ve seen stronger motocross/biking stunt acts in previous seasons – I think there was one called the “Rad Dads” that I recall being a lot more organized and clean with their tricks. Maybe these guys just got a mediocre edit, maybe they just aren’t as strong as we’ve seen before…guess I’ll hold off judgement till I see them again.

Slam
The act: A trampoline basketball-dunking act.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Definitely something interesting – thankfully, they aren’t cheesy like Spintacular from last season. Hopefully they’re able to do a bit more than just creatively dunking basketballs, though.

Flight Crew Jump Rope
The act: A synchronized trick jump-roping group.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: NO. NO. NO!!! I usually don’t have a strong negative reaction to most acts, but I cannot tell you how truly OVER jump-roping acts I am. I think they’re cheesy, and the ones we’ve had seem to have fouled up their routines on multiple occasions. And the main guy doing all the talking for this group? Yeah, he was also part of the Summerwind Skippers from a few seasons ago, and he was part of the crew Saltare on America’s Best Dance Crew a few years ago. So we can probably expect a lot of the same cheesy choreography, and the same mistakes being made. Ugh. Please, AGT – stop trying to make jump roping acts happen. And set a damn limit on how many times one person can return with a different group and audition repeatedly.

XPogo Stunt Team
The act: 4 dudes on pogo sticks jumping really high and doing a bunch of tricks and flips.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Another act you don’t see everyday. Was impressed with the height they were getting on their jumps…wonder what else they can do.

Unnamed rapping kid
The act: A cute young boy rapping to “It Takes Two”.
The verdict: Not shown, but he seemed popular.
Court’s thoughts: He was cute and seemed to have a good flow, but I’m a bit leery of kid rapping acts after the nonsense that was 2Unique last season.

Dom the Bom’s Triple Threat – age 8
The act: A set of 8-year-old triplets that do various card-throwing tricks, such as throwing cards long distances and cutting pieces of celery with thrown cards.
The verdict: Judges all said yes.
Court’s thoughts: I think I saw more arguments about this act than any other act on last night’s show. The sticking point: would this act have still made it through if it were adults throwing cards instead of kids? I’m guessing probably not (assuming the adults and kids had the same level of skill), but once again, it’s about “packaging”: part of the appeal of their act is that you don’t expect to see kids doing it. It’s a novelty thing. Let’s say you’re going to see a country singing act – which of these sounds more interesting: a regular ol’ guy from Kentucky, or a Japanese guy that barely speaks English? Once again – NOVELTY. I may have to do a post on that aspect later. Also got a few tweets saying “Would you really pay to see that act in Vegas?” And my answer? No, probably not, but if they eliminated every single act in the first round that they didn’t think could hack it as a Vegas show, then they’d probably only be left with a handful of acts and the show could be cut down to 2 weeks. ūüôā I feel like I need to do a post on that, too! But anyway – I was amused by the act, although according to the Afterbuzz group (who was in the live audience), we the viewers apparently saw a very kind edit of the act…apparently the little boy was having some issues with cutting the celery and it took him a few tries to get it right (which was conveniently edited out). I’m guessing they probably won’t make it past the next round, but I think they’re a mildly-amusing filler act.

Series of unnamed bad magicians
The act(s): A montage of various mediocre-to-bad magic acts doing everything from escaping from a series of leather straps to doing a quick switch, and taking Heidi’s bra off.
The verdict(s): All no’s.
Court’s thoughts: All seemed to suffer from the problem of awkward delivery…although I do have to give props to the guy who managed to get Heidi’s bra off ūüėõ

Mad Jack – age 42
The act: A “pick a card” act where the chosen card magically appeared between Mad Jack’s buttcheeks.
The verdict: It was a no, but I think the judges did get a kick out of it.
Court’s thoughts: Props for creativity, but I’m not sure they could base an entire act on gross-out magic tricks.

Miguel Dakota – age 21, from Monument, CO
The act: He played guitar and sang an acoustic version of “Too Close” by Alex Clare.
The verdict: The judges all gushed about his good looks and gave him a yes.
Court’s thoughts: *sigh* Ok, he was decent – but I feel like they just heaped praise upon him because he was a good-looking guy with a semi-sad backstory that had kind of a John-Mayer-meets-One-Direction vibe to him. But I guess they needed a heartthrob this season – and they’ve decided it’s going to be Miguel. I guess I just hope that, if we’re going to be seeing him for awhile, he’ll at least pick some better songs and work on his vocals a bit more…heard some dicey notes in there.

Abigail Baird – age 33
The act: She does aerial silks in front of a screen, and tells a story with her movements.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Kind of on the fence about this one. I enjoyed it and thought it was clever, but take away the screen, and you’ve got just kind of an average aerialist. I couldn’t help but compare her to Blue Journey, who I think would still be a great dance act even without the screen – not sure I could say the same about Abigail. Will be interested to see what she does in the coming rounds.

Unnammed ballroom dance group
The act: A group of teen ballroom dancers, reminiscent of the Miami All-Stars.
The verdict: Not shown, but Howard & Howie loved them.
Court’s thoughts: Didn’t really get to see much, but they looked decent.

John & Andrew – ages 21 & 41
The act: A same-sex salsa dancing duo
The verdict: 4 enthusiastic yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Probably my favorite act of the night – and John is right: Andrew can follow better than most girls I know! Loved the speed, the precision, the energy, and the way they partnered – it felt less like the sexy, flirtatious partnering you typically see in salsa pairings, and more like two guys just dancing their hearts out with an occasional assist from one another. I think they were smart to go that route – while attitudes are changing in our society, I worry that the same god-fearin’ folk that kept voting Jimmy Rose & Marty Brown through last year would balk at an act that had two men looking lovingly at one another. I think with the spin (no pun intended) that they put on their performance, they actually stand a decent chance of appealing to a wide cross-section of the viewing audience. Excited to see what else we might get from them!

So those are my thoughts. Who were your favorite and least-favorite acts from last night’s show?

June 4, 2014 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!

PureAGT Season 9, Episode #2 Music List

You know the drill – if you want to add a song I don’t have here, or want to request I hunt down a song you heard during the show, utilize the comments section ūüôā

“Summer” by Calvin Harris (recap of last week’s show; opening montage)

“Hoe-Down” by Aaron Copland (montage of crew setting up, acts backstage, & judges arriving)

“C’mon Get Happy” by The Partridge Family (Willis Clan intro)

“My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music (cover performed by the Willis Clan)

“Compass” by Lady Antebellum (Willis Clan gets 4 yes’s)

“Puttin’ On the Ritz” by Terry Snyder & The All-Stars (Howie is hyper)

“Good Times” by Chic (David & Leeman get 4 yes’s)

“Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar (montage of good auditions)

“New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel (cover performed by Julia Goodwin)

“Your Song” by Ellie Goulding (Julia gets 4 yes’s)

“Apache” by The Sugarhill Gang (montage of dancers backstage; Sean & Luke intro and 3 yes’s)

“Bust a Move” by Young MC (Sean & Luke performance)

“Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground (Sean & Luke performance)

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor (montage of martial arts acts; Qi Feilong intro & rejection)

“Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones (Real Encounter intro)

“Are You Gonna Go My Way?” by Lenny Kravitz (Real Encounter performance)

“Jump” by The Pointer Sisters (Real Encounter gets 4 yes’s; montage of good “jumping” auditions)

“It Takes Two” by DJ EZ Rock & Rob Base (kid rapper performance)

“Kids in America” by Kim Wilde (montage of kid acts backstage; Dom the Bom 4 yes’s)

“I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow (Dom the Bom performance)

“This Magic Moment” by The Drifters (montage of bad magicians)

“Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive Mad Jack finishes his card trick and gets rejected)

“I Feel Pretty” by Julie Andrews (montage of acts primping backstage)

“Too Close” by Alex Clare (cover performed by Miguel)

“The Story of My Life” by One Direction (Miguel gets 4 yes’s)

“Halo” by Beyonce (Abigail Baird intro & 4 yes’s)

“Intro” by the xx (Abigail Baird performance)

“Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars (unnamed teen ballroom group performance)

“Can’t Smile Without You” by Barry Manilow (Howard & Howie love each other)

“Bang Bang” by Joe Cuba (John & Andrew intro & 4 yes’s; closing montage)

June 3, 2014 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!

PureAGT Season 9 Episode #1 POLL: What Do You Think of Dustin’s Dojo?

So it looks like we already have a candidate for “most polarizing act this season” – and we’re only one episode into the season! For those of you still catching up (or who need a refresher – funny how things can fade from memory during a two-hour show!), here’s a clip of the act in question – Dustin’s Dojo, a comedy/martial arts act that prompted Howard to use his Golden Buzzer after Heidi & Mel panned the act:

Judging from the mixed reactions I saw from the judges, the audience, and Twitter, this definitely seems like one of those acts that people seem to really love or hate – I personally loved it, just because I thought it was a creative spin on the comedy acts we usually see on AGT, and it fights right in-line with the stupid humor that I enjoy.¬† A few friends on Twitter thought it was “dumb” and “didn’t find it funny at all”; Mama Spence (my mother) was on the fence about it – got a few chuckles from her, but she acknowledged that it was “pretty stupid” and not really worthy of a Vegas show; the bf popped by after work to eat some dinner leftovers and was laughing his ass off at it.¬† So what did YOU think of it?

In the end, whether people love or hate this act, I doubt it’s going to make a huge impact on the competition – they probably won’t make it past the next round (because I don’t see Heidi changing her mind about it – Mel might be more impressionable), and they’re just a silly, space-filling act that’s easily expendable in order to ensure that the really talented acts make it thought.¬† I do find myself entertained by it, though – it’s like a giant parody of every single low-budget commercial I’ve ever seen for a strip mall karate school, mixed in with bits of¬†Napoleon Dynamite and starring two dorky engineers from Purdue that thought learning martial arts would help them get girls ūüėõ

May 28, 2014 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!

PureAGT Season 9, Episode #1 Music List

Here’s the list I was able to compile for tonight’s episode – feel free to add any that are missing in the comments section ūüôā My rundown of tonight’s show should (hopefully) be up some time tomorrow night…stay tuned!

 

“School’s Out” ¬†by Alice Cooper (opening montage)

“A Sky Full of Stars” ¬†by Coldplay (montage of auditioners arriving & backstage; judges arrive)

“Carmen Suite No. 2 – Habanera” by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra¬†(Adrian Romoff & other contestants talk to the camera)

“Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (Adrian’s first song)

“No. 1 in E Flat Major” by Mozart (Adrian’s second song)

“1812 Overture (Finale)” by Tchaikovsky (Adrian Gets 4 yes’s)

“Take Me Home” by Cash Cash feat. Bebe Rexha¬† (montage of good auditions)

“We Are Family” by Sister Sledge (family clogging group performance)

“Too Close” by Alex Clare (acrobatic duo performance)

“Happy” by Pharell (acrobatic/breakdance/comedy group performance)

“I Surrender Dear” by Terry Snyder & The All Stars (montage of bad comedians; Dan Naturman intro)

“It’s Your Thing” by The Isley Brothers (Dan gets 4 yes’s)

“Oye Como Va” by Santana (Rokardy intro/4 yes’s)

“Black Sun” by James Dooley feat. Celldweller (Rokardy performance)

“You Raise Me Up” by Celtic Thunder & Paul Byrom (Donnie Valentine intro)

“You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics (cover performed by Donnie Valentine)

“Reunited” by Peaches & Herb (Donnie gets 4 no’s; judges glad to be back together; montage of bad auditions

“Stars & Stripes Forever” by Americana Ensemble (hula hooping act)

“William Tell Overture” by Rossini (montage of acts getting buzzed)

“Brahms Lullaby” by Johannes Brahms (everybody’s tired; Mel tells a bedtime story)

“Mystified” by James Dooley (Mike Greenstein/”Mighty Atom Jr.” prepares to pull car)

“Captain Universe” by Two Steps from Hell (Mighty Atom Jr. pulls car with his teeth; gets 4 yes’s)

“Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti (Mighty Atom Jr. succeeds in pulling car)

“Summer” by Calvin Harris (judges ride to venue; judges arrive)

“Wannabe” by The Spice Girls (montage of female acts backstage; Acte II intro & 4 yes’s

“The Flower Duet” by Leo Delibes (Acte II performance)

“We Go Together” from Grease (Howard is the dissenting judge)

“Bus Rider” by John Swihart (Dustin’s Dojo intro)

“You’re the Best” by Joe “Bean” Esposito (Howard hits the Golden Buzzer for Dustin’s Dojo)

“Find You” by Zedd feat. Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant (montage of good dance acts)

“Street Spirit (Fade Out)” by Radiohead (Blue Journey performance)

“Lights” by Ellie Goulding (Blue Journey gets 4 yes’s)

“Motivo Di Giorgia” by Gianfranco Plenizio (Larry the Mime intro)

“I Gotcha” by Joe Tex (Nick’s deception is revealed)

“Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer (cover performed by Jaycob Curlee

“You Found Me” by The Fray (Jaycob Curlee 4 yes’s; closing montage)

May 27, 2014 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!

PureAGT Season 9: Preview of Some Acts with 24 Hours Till the Premiere!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Hope the weather was as nice in your hometowns as it was in mine – which explains why I didn’t get as much posted this weekend as I would have hoped.¬† Oops!

We’re less than 24 hours away from the season premiere, and to whet everyone’s appetite, NBC posted¬†3 clips of some rather interesting acts we’re going to be seeing this season…first up is magician Mad Jack, who has a new and rather disgusting twist on the old “pick a card, any card” trick:

And then there’s Donnie Valentine, who is rocking a perm and a dubious falsetto on his rendition of¬† The Stylistics’ “You Make Me Feel Brand New”:

Up next is the Kamikaze Fireflies, a danger act that juggles fire…and require Nick’s assistance in doing it:

And just as a bonus…how bout a clip of Nick & Heidi arm wrestling, and Nick making some truly gif-worthy facial expressions?

I’m guessing Donnie Valentine probably made it into the “no” pile for Boot Camp, but I could see The Kamikaze Fireflies and Mad Jack making it through…the latter in particular seems right up Howard’s alley.¬† What are your thoughts?

 

May 26, 2014 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!

PureAGT Season 9 – Commercial Spots Previewing More Acts

No huge revelations after the extended teaser video they released the other day, but still gives us a glimpse of some of the acts ūüôā

Looks like Nick is getting used as a guinea pig again, and we’ve got some more opera singers:

Seeing the Asian dance group with the fans on a lot of promo stuff…wonder if they’re going to be a major act this season, or if they just like the visual of all the colorful fans ūüėõ

Not wild about another jump roping act, but the guy at the piano looks intriguing!

Any standouts for your guys so far?

May 22, 2014 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!

PureAGT Season 9 First Look

Hey AGT fans! Glad to be back after a looooong absence ūüôā Just wrapped up coverage of season 18 over at PureDWTS, and now I’m ready to dive headlong into America’s Got Talent for another summer!

We’re less than a week away from the season premiere, which is next Tuesday, May 27, at 8 PM EST on NBC, and the America’s Got Talent YouTube channel has posted an extended “first look” video with a glimpse into what we’re going to see this season.¬† Things worth noting: there looks to be another Chinese dance group, another male stripping act, another blacklight dance group, a mysterious “golden buzzer” that the judges can use to save an act, a magician that manages to relieve Heidi of her bra ūüėĮ , and Heidi kissing a pig! Check it out:

Initial thoughts? I’m curious as to how this whole “golden buzzer” thing works, and I wonder if it will somehow preclude there being wild card picks this season since it’s essentially another “judges’ save”.¬† Also seems like a lot of breakdancers, which is encouraging – aside from Hype last season, we haven’t really had a very strong breakdancing act in awhile.¬† I also saw a martial arts group peppered in there – could be interesting to have that thrown in the mix.¬† Overall, a great first impression! What are your thoughts?

 

May 21, 2014 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!

PureAGT Season 8 – POLL: Who Will Howard & Howie Pick for Their Wild Card?

So we know Heidi & Mel’s wildcard picks (Duo Resonance & Tone the Chiefrocca), and will be seeing them perform next week.¬† But the question on everyone’s lips seems to be “Who will Howard & Howie pick as their wild card?”

I think it’s worth noting that both Mel & Heidi’s picks were acts that lost in the judges’ choice of their respective rounds – therefore, I think there’s a good chance that Howard & Howie’s picks might also be acts that lost the judges’ choice.¬† However, I think there’s also a few acts that the judges were hoping would make it further and didn’t – so their picks may be acts that didn’t even make it as far as the judges’ choice.¬† Hell, they could feasibly even pick acts that didn’t make it past Vegas…and Howie in particular is pretty unpredictable, so he very well may chose something completely out of left field.

I’ve picked a handful of acts that I think stand the best chance of getting picked for the wildcard, as well as allowing write-ins.¬† Which do you think will get picked? Vote for the three you think are the most likely.

Personally, I would be surprised if Howard picked any act other than the American Hit Men – he had be gunning hard to get a “great rock band” in the finals, and I think he really wanted the Hit Men to be that band.¬† If he doesn’t pick them, for whatever reason (maybe too many music acts?), I could see him maybe picking Alexanderia…he seemed to think she should have made it further than she did, plus we don’t really have any danger acts in the semifinals.¬† Howie is a bit more unpredictable – I could see him doing something totally dumb and bringing back Aaralyn & Izzy (ugh), just to be weird; but then again, I think he could possibly bring back Aerial Ice or Alex Magala, to try and get some more unique acts into the finals, since he seems to be the judge that is the most vocal about there being too many singers in the competition this year.

So how did you guys vote? And who do you hope to see winning these wild card spots?

August 22, 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!

PureAGT Season 8 Audition Round Rundown #3 – Chicago Auditions

God bless one-hour audition shows filled entirely with great acts that made it through to Vegas! Tonight’s episode was short, sweet, and to-the-point¬†– just pure talent, and plenty of¬†camaraderie amongst the judges…they really do have a great panel this season.¬† None of the judges are jerks, there’s no childish arguments between judges, and I feel like all of them genuinely enjoy what they’re doing.¬† What a pleasant surprise ūüôā

That said, I have yet to really connect with Mel B., which surprises me – I thought she’d be a lot more outgoing and fun to watch, but she’s been surprisingly subdued.¬† She’s almost never the first to talk, and when she does, she’s basically just echoing what the other judges have said…it’s too early for me to really say I’m “disappointed”, but I guess I was just expecting her to be the crazy one on the panel this season.¬† On the flipside, Heidi has been a really pleasant surprise for me – I figured she’d be the “quiet one”, but she’s been quite vocal, and she’s usually right on the money with her critiques…plus she seems like she genuinely wants to make the contestants feel welcome and comfortable.¬† She also seems to calm Howard down a bit, to the point that I’m really liking Howard as a judge this season, too.

*NOTE: Although this episode was supposedly only auditions from Chicago, if you were paying close attention, you might have seen one audition from another city that they snuck into the middle of the show: Deanna DellaCioppa, who appears to have auditioned in New Orleans, based on the clothes that the judges were wearing.¬† It was Nick’s loud green, purple, and yellow mardi gras-themed suit that tipped me off ūüôā Just thought I’d mention this, for the sake of accuracy.

The Omega Force Strength Team – ages 34-75
The act:¬†They’re basically a strongman (and woman) act, that¬†performed such feats of strength as a 300 lb. barrel squat, elbow slamming (and breaking)¬†through 42 bars of concrete, and bench pressing Nick.
The verdict:¬†Howie was skeptical about how¬†“hard” the stuff there were doing really was, and said no.¬† All¬†3 of the other judges said yes, though.
Court’s thoughts: As impressive as it was to see a 75-year-old man doing a 300 lb. squat, I’m actually kind of with Howie on this one – some of the stuff they were doing seemed a bit less impressive when you really think about it.¬† The guy doing the squats wasn’t going all the way down; breaking through the concrete blocks has less to do with brute strength and more with the technique with which you hit the blocks; and Nick is a pretty spindly guy – I doubt he weighs more than maybe 170 lbs, and the average man can usually bench around 160 lbs.¬† Was it cool to watch? Sure – but it all happened rather quickly and I’m not sure there are a lot more ways they can spin their strength skills.¬† I definitely don’t think you could make an entire Vegas show out of it, and I’m thinking this could be a “cannon fodder” act in the Vegas round – an act that was amusing enough to make it to Vegas, but upon closer examination, it probably becomes less impressive and is easily eliminated in Vegas.

Team Rock 
The act: 4 teenagers doing various tae kwon do tricks, such as flying high kicks, flips, spins, etc.
The verdict:¬†They’re through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with martial arts acts – the skill one needs to possess to do it is unreal and people study it for years before they become proficient, but sometimes the difficulty of what they’re doing is a bit lost on the audience.¬† I liked this act, but I also really liked Kung Fu Heroes from season 5 – and they never really seemed to click with the audience.¬† Maybe it’s the repetitive nature of some of the martial arts acts – flip, kick, spin, chop, repeat – but I think they’re really going to have to do something special in order to remain relevant.¬† Maybe “themed” performances?

Kyle & Darby
The act: An adorable 5-year-old girl (Darby) that does cheerleading stunts with her adult coach (Kyle).  Lots of basket tosses, heel stretches, liberties, etc.
The verdict:¬†4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: If Darby keeps on this path, she’s basically got a walk-on pass to the University of Kentucky cheerleading squad, which is the most competitive in the country, when she’s 18¬†– because she’s doing some¬†tricks that most elite high school cheerleaders won’t even attempt.¬† And the fact that she’s mastered them at her age? CRAZY.¬† My only concern is that it may get¬† little repetitive if it’s just her and Kyle – if they could add in a few other stunting partners for her, it could expand her repertoire and give her some versatility.

Kenichi Ebina – age 38, from Japan
The act:¬†He performs “dance-ish” – which is his nickname for the¬†combination of¬†robotics, animation, popping, and¬†tricks he performs.
The verdict:¬†The judges absolutely loved¬†the story behind¬†it – he got¬†4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: I love this guy – he does some of the same crazy stuff that Haspop did back in season 5, except he seems to be even more skilled in it.¬† Loved his “Matrix” move, where he held a ridiculous bent-back pose for a ridiculously long time before falling down, and then uprighting himself – without using his hands.¬† If he can continue to give themed performances like these and keep doing new tricks, I could see him going far.

Deanna DellaCioppa – age 39, from Massachusetts (*actually auditioned in New Orleans)
The act:¬†Deanna sang “And I Am Telling You” from the musical Dreamgirls.
The verdict:¬†Judges loved her and gave her 4 yes’s, but¬†Mel cautioned her about¬†reaching too far for notes, because her voice seemed like it was¬†“going to give out at any moment”.
Court’s thoughts: I really liked Deana’s voice and her performance, but I do agree with Mel on this one – it got a little shrill at times, and she seemed to get a little too overwrought with the emotion of her performance.¬† She’s got a great voice, no doubt – girl can belt it out.¬† But now she needs to learn how to control it – how to hit the notes without sounding painful, how to perform emotionally without it getting the better of her, how to control her breathing, etc.¬† She’s got the raw talent – now she just needs the polish.¬† And if she can get the polish – watch out!

Steve “Sprice” Price – age 19
The act: “Sprice”¬†designed and spent 3 days setting up a Rube Goldberg machine in the lobby that took several elaborate steps in order to push a ball into a soccer goal.
The verdict: Judges loved the creativity of it, and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: First, a little bit of background on Rube Goldberg for those who aren’t familiar with it: it’s a type of competition in which students of various ages are given a simple task (i.e. pouring water into a cup, getting a basketball into a basket, etc.) and a certain # of steps, and are tasked with creating a machine that will accomplish the end task in that set¬†number of steps.¬† It takes a lot of brainpower, creativity, and dedication, and sometimes schools will form Rube Goldberg teams that will work for hours after school (sometimes for the entire school year)¬†to create their machine, and then their machines are judged at competitions based on creativity, efficiency, speed, accuracy, etc.¬† In other words – it takes a LOT of work, and this kid has a real knack for it.¬† He’s kind of this season’s Kinetic King¬†– except I think “Sprice” may actually be more entertaining, since he’s got more to work with than just popsicle sticks.¬† I only have 2 worries about him this season…the first is obvious: that his machine will malfunction on the air, and he’ll be left mortified like the Kinetic King during his first live round on TV.¬† The second one is that, since so many of the steps of his machine are so small and intricate, that the audience won’t be able to really see (and thus appreciate) how really detailed and clever his machine is.¬† Hopefully he can hone his craft and eliminate the possibility of error, and figure out a way to really make his machines big enough for all to see.

Rong Niu (aka The Amazing Red Panda) Рage 42, from San Francisco
The act: She rides a unicycle while balancing and flipping ceramic bowls onto the top of her head.
The verdict: The judges were¬†amazed by her skill and¬†gave her 4 yes’s.¬† Mel struggled with saying “juggling bowls” with her thick accent.¬† ūüėõ
Court’s thoughts: This woman could have just ridden a unicycle and it would have impressed me! That in and of itself is a feat.¬† On top of that, she rode a really TALL unicycle, and was pedaling with one foot while balancing (and flipping!) bowls with her other foot…onto the TOP OF HER HEAD.¬† I think I lost count at 7 bowls.¬† She’s absolutely brilliant at what she does – but is there more to her act than this? How much more can she really do with the bowls? It may impressed the judges again in Vegas, but if she makes it through to the live shows…I’m not sure how well America will respond.¬† It has the potential to get a bit repetitive, I’m afraid.

The American Military Spouses Choir – ages 20-56
The act:¬†This choir composed of military wives (that do outreach work with¬†veterans suffering from PTSD & traumatic brain injuries) sang “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.
The verdict:¬†Judges universally praised their outreach work and also their voices – they got 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Now while I absolutely LOVE what these ladies do and think they’ve got definite talent – I think it got a bit pitchy at times, and it seemed like the 2-3 lead vocalists did most of the heavy lifting while the rest of the ladies hummed in the background. It was still a very pleasant performance, but I did find myself cringing once or twice, thinking “Errrr, that wasn’t the cleanest note.” Hopefully with the production value of the live shows, they can get that little bit of polish they need to really take their performance to the next level.

So who were YOUR favorites from tonight’s short-but-sweet show? ūüôā

June 18, 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!

PureAGT Season 8 Social Media List

 

For those wanting to follow some of this year’s cast on Twitter (or just looking to find out more about some of them), I’ve compiled this list of links to various social media resources for the judges, hosts, and contestants.¬† I’m going to do my best to update it after each audition, but I can always use some help – if you locate a contestant’s Twitter, Facebook, website, Instagram, etc. (and I haven’t already posted it), please mention it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.¬† I’m also working on an AGT Season 8 Twitter list at our @pureagt account…stay tuned!!!

Judges & Hosts:

Mel BTwitter, website, Facebook, Instagram
Nick CannonTwitter, website, tumblr, Instagram, Facebook
Heidi KlumTwitter, website, Facebook, Instagram
Howie MandelTwitter, website, Facebook
Howard SternTwitter, website

Acts that made it through to Vegas:

The Academywebsite
Marty Brown –¬†Facebook
Catapult EntertainmentTwitter, website, Facebook, YouTube
Angela HooverTwitter, Facebook, myspace
Hypegroup Twitter, Headache Twitter, Hazmat Twitter, Mikey Twitter, tumblr, Mikey YouTube, Hazmat Youtube, Headache YouTube, Facebook
Tristan Jihwebsite, Facebook, Vimeo
Pacific Boys Choirwebsite, Facebook
Dave ShirleyTwitter, website
Special HeadFacebook
David “The Cobra Kid” WeathersFacebook, website, mySpace
Travis Pratt – Twitter, Facebook
Duo Resonance (Nina & Yury) – website, Facebook, YouTube
Ron Garber & Liza SatorovRon Twitter, blog, YouTube, Facebook
Jonas Terleckas & Ruby CastroRuby Twitter
D’Angelo Castro & Amanda CarbajalesD’Angelo Twitter, Amanda Twitter, D’Angelo Facebook, D’Angelo & Amanda Facebook
Mariachi Nuevo Estilo AVMTwitter, Facebook
Brad Byerswebsite, YouTube
Collins Keywebsite, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
Megan PiphusTwitter, YouTube, website, Instagram
Alexanderia the Greatwebsite, Facebook, blog, YouTube
Slackwire SamYouTube
Paul Thomas MitchellFacebook

 

Acts that got cut:

Chuck from the Bronxwebsite, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
MiuTwitter, YouTube
Nezbit Blue (alien in lederhosen) – Facebook
Pistol Packin’ Paulawebsite
JC Starbright – website, Twitter

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!