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PureAGT Season 8, Episode #8, 9, & 10 Music List – Vegas Week

Please bear with me as I compile the Vegas week music list – there was a LOT of it in each episode! And a lot of the orchestral stuff is tripping me up…I promise the music from the second night of Vegas week AND the recap special (there was some new footage in it) will be up by the end of this weekend.  Thanks for sticking with me, guys! 😀

Night #1:

“Too Close” by Alex ClareToo Close - The Lateness of the Hour (opening montage)
“Stars (Hold On)” by Youngblood HawkeStars (Hold On) - Wake Up (contestants arrive in Vegas)
“Feel Again” by OneRepublicFeel Again - Native (Deluxe Version) (instant decision round)
“Hall of Fame” by The Script feat. will.i.amHall of Fame (Original Version) - #3 (Deluxe Version) (instant decision round)
“Violent Running” by Tobias Marberger; only version I could find was on Youtube, 2:22 mark (David Ferman performance)
“In the House – In a Heartbeat” by London Music Works28 Days Later - In the House-In a Heartbeat - The Definitive Horror Music Collection (Brad Byers performance)
“The Third Temple” by Nexus Trix & Oswin McIntosh (Alex Magala performance)
“Falling Angels” by Nexus Trix (Slackwire Sam performance)
“Realm of Power” by Two Steps from Hell Realm of Power - SkyWorld(Rong Niu performance)
“Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno MarsLocked Out of Heaven - Unorthodox Jukebox (singers intro)
“Without You” by AstonWithout You - Aston II (Forte intro)
“The Prayer” by Andrea BocelliThe Prayer - The Best of Andrea Bocelli - Vivere (Bonus Track Version) (cover performed by Forte)
“Home” by Phillip PhillipsHome - The World from the Side of the Moon (Deluxe) (Brandon & Savannah intro)
“Little Talks” by Of Monsters and MenLittle Talks - My Head Is An Animal (cover performed by Brandon & Savannah)
“House of the Rising Sun” by The AnimalsHouse of the Rising Sun - Retrospective (cover by The American Hit Men)
“Brighter Than the Sun” by Colbie CaillatBrighter Than the Sun - All of You (kid acts intro)
“Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley CyrusParty In the U.S.A. - Party In the U.S.A. - Single (cover performed by 2Unique)
“Don’t Stop the Party” by Pitbull feat. TJRDon't Stop the Party (feat. TJR) - Global Warming (Deluxe Version) (Lil Demon performance)
“Blizzard” by Two Steps from HellBlizzard - SkyWorld (Melody Caballeros performance)
“Moves like Jagger” by Maroon 5 Moves Like Jagger (Studio Recording from (D’Angelo & Amanda performance)
“Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)” by Gotan Project Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre) - Shall We Dance? (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)(Jonas & Ruby performance)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by QueenBohemian Rhapsody - Classic Queen (Hype performance)
“The Ender (Remix)” by Kid the Wiz; YouTube (Kid the Wiz performance)
“Ghosts N Stuff” by deadmau5 Ghosts N Stuff - Ghosts N Stuff - Single(Dylan Wilson performance)
“If My Heart Had Wings” by Faith Hill If My Heart Had Wings - Breathe(Tavi & Antonio performance)
“Me & You” by NeroMe and You - Welcome Reality (Deluxe Version) (Brandon Rosario performance)
“Too Close” by Alex ClareToo Close - The Lateness of the Hour (Duo Resonance performance)
“The Cowboy in Me” by Tim McGrawThe Cowboy In Me - Tim McGraw: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (Timber Brown performance)
“Boom Shack-a-Lak” by Apache IndianBoom Shack-A-Lak - Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (Original Soundtrack) (Kristef Brothers performance)
“Beneath Your Beautiful” by Labrinth feat. Emeli SandeBeneath Your Beautiful (feat. Emeli Sandé) - Beneath Your Beautiful (feat. Emeli Sandé) - Single (Deanna Dellacioppa intro)
“A Thousand Years” by Christina PerriA Thousand Years - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Version] (Skilyr talks with the judges after performing; Selena M. Gordon intro)
“A Broken Wing” by Martina McBrideA Broken Wing - Greatest Hits (cover performed by Selena Gordon)
“Summertime” by Janis Joplin Summertime - Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits (cover performed by Cami Bradley)
“I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal FlattsI Won't Let Go - Nothing Like This (cover performed by Deanna Dellacioppa)

“Best of Auditions” Recap Special:

(NOTE: I did not include songs from clips of auditions that we’ve seen previously – those can be found on the music lists for the auditions.  The only exception was the song performed by The Robotix, since this is the first time we see them.)

“America the Beautiful” America the Beautiful - Patriotic Songs of America(opening montage)
“Miserlou” by Dick DaleMiserlou - Guitar Legend: The Very Best of Dick Dale (judges intro montage)
“God Put a Smile on Your Face” by Mark RonsonGod Put a Smile On Your Face - Version (New Orleans intro)
“Feelin’ Alright” by Joe CockerFeelin' Alright - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Joe Cocker (montage of good auditions)
“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Santa EsmereldaDon't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Santa Esmeralda - Hits Anthology (San Antonio intro & montage of auditions)
“Heartbreaker” by Pat BenetarHeartbreaker - Pat Benatar: Greatest Hits (cover performed by The Robotix)
“Miss Movin’ On” by Fifth HarmonyMiss Movin' On - Miss Movin' On - Single (montage of San Antonio auditions)
“Marry You” by Bruno MarsMarry You - Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Travis Pratt recap and montage from San Antonio auditions)
“It’s Your Thing” by The Isley BrothersIt's Your Thing - The Ultimate Isley Brothers (Chicago intro)
“Wild Ones” by Flo Rida feat. SiaWild Ones (feat. Sia) - Wild Ones (montage of good Chicago auditions)
“New York State of Mind” by Billy JoelNew York State of Mind - The Essential Billy Joel (New York intro)
“Apache” by the Sugarhill GangApache - The Sugar Hill Records Story (montage of good New York auditions)
“Hollywood Swinging (Wild)” by Kool & the GangHollywood Swinging (Single Version) - The Very Best of Kool & the Gang (Los Angeles intro & montage of auditions)
“I Love It” by Icona PopI Love It (feat. Charli XCX) - Iconic - EP (montage of L.A. auditions)
“Senorita” by BondSeñorita - Classified (Mel & Howard dance)
“Nobody But Me” by The Human BeinzNobody But Me - The Departed (Music from the Motion Picture) (montage of bad auditions)
“War” by Edwin StarrWar - The Very Best of Edwin Starr (montage of bad auditions)
“Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Terry SnyderPuttin' On the Ritz - Ultra-Lounge: Space-Capades, Vol. 3 (montage of bizarre auditions)
“Nero” by Two Steps from HellNero - Archangel (montage of Vegas performances)
“Feel Again” by OneRepublicFeel Again - Native (Deluxe Version) (montage of Vegas performances)
“Violent Running” by Tobias Marberger(see link in Night #1 section) (montage of Vegas danger acts)
“String Quartet #3: Mishima/Closing” by Kronos QuartetString Quartet No. 3 (Mishima): Mishima/Closing - Kronos Quartet Performs Philip Glass (montage of Vegas performances)

July 19, 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 – Roster for First Live Show Airing July 23

As he usually does at the end of the Vegas week finale, Nick announced the 12 acts we’ll be seeing in the first live show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Tuesday night.  They are:

Branden James (opera singer)
Aaralyn & Izzy (kid death metal band)
Special Head (levitator)
Fresh Faces (dance/gymnastics group)
Anna Christine (kid singer/pianist)
Kevin Downey Jr. (stand-up comedian)
The American Hit Men (rock band)
Hype (hip-hop dance group)
Tellavision (LCD screen dance group)
Alexanderia the Great (escape artist)
Kristef Brothers (hand balancing acrobats)
Collins Key (magician)

I don’t know about you guys, but this seems like a really tough first group for the live shows.  Keep in mind that only 4 acts get to go through each week of the live shows – and this particular episode pits several heavy-hitters (like Collins Key, Anna Christine, Special Head, Alexanderia, & the Hit Men) against one another.  I guess my only hope is that some of these stronger acts end up sending some of my least favorites (Aaralyn & Izzy, and Tellavision) home. What do you guys think?

July 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 Vegas Week Rundown – Night #2

Well, the “WTF?” train didn’t leave the station after last night – still more shocking eliminations (and even MORE shocking advances to the live shows) than last night.  I’m now convinced that some acts are just going to be there for the sake of variety and to serve as cannon fodder for the REALLY good acts.

First, let’s get the verdicts out of the way…

Acts that made it to the live shows after performing in Vegas:

(acts with a * next to them did not appear in the audition round – Vegas is the first time we’ve seen them)

Collins Key
Leon Etienne & Romy Low
Brad Byers
Slackwire Sam
Alex Magala
Special Head
Brandon & Savannah
Forte
The American Hit Men
Marty Brown
Dave Fenley
Duo Resonance
Timber Brown
Kristef Brothers
Izzy & Aaralyn
Chloe Channell
2Unique
Ciana Pelekai
Taylor Williamson
John Wing*
Hype
Kid the Wiz
D’Angelo & Amanda
Jonas & Ruby
David Ferman
Rong Niu
Deanna Dellacioppa
Jonathan Allen
Cami Bradley (not shown, but advanced according to Wikipedia)
Selena Mykenzie Gordon (not shown, but advanced according to Wikipedia)

Court’s thoughts: Why the HELL are Aaralyn & Izzy still in this competition??? I find nothing about them talented, entertaining, cute, or unique – in fact, it actually disturbs me a bit that they’re being pushed in this direction musically, and that no one appears to be teaching this child proper vocal technique.  At this rate, she’ll be lucky if she doesn’t have chronic laryngitis by the time she’s 16! I officially dub Aaralyn & Izzy this year’s “Horse”.  Also a little miffed that 2Unique made it through – the DJ is pretty good, but I don’t think the other girl is anything special, nor do I think the act as a whole is worthy of a Vegas show.  Also a bit skeptical that Chloe Channell made it through, despite giving a rather lackluster performance in Vegas.  Gotta say, I’m surprised they took both D’Angelo & Amanda and Ruby & Jonas – not because one is less talented than the other, but because I thought for sure they were going to pit sibling-against-sibling for a slot in the live shows…guess they figured the sibling vs. sibling storyboarding angle could work for the live shows, too.  Beyond the acts that I mentioned, I guess I’m pretty happy with the acts that made it through.

Acts that were cut after performing in Vegas:

Ariann Black*
Naathan Phan
RJ Cantu*
Tavi & Antonio
“Accro” Brandon Rosario*
Travis Pratt
Paul Thomas Mitchell
Lil Demon
Melody Caballeros*
Archbishop Molloy Step Team*
Art Spark*
Skilyr Hicks
Genesis Nava*
Jimmy Failla*
Eric Schwartz*
Megan Piphus
Kennedy Davenport*
Dylan Wilson
Lil Mike & Funny Bone (cut immediately after performing)

Court’s thoughts: First, I feel I must point out the pattern here: most of the acts that weren’t featured from the audition rounds, did not make it to the live shows.  Guess that goes to show that if you don’t get a lot of airtime devoted to you, it’s probably because you won’t be sticking around long, anyway.  Now, a “WTF?!” moment: why were Travis Pratt & Paul Thomas Mitchell cut???  I think the former’s unique voice would have been an asset in the live shows, and the latter also had a unique voice and some genuine songwriting talent.  *sigh* Like Milton Patton, I guess I can only hope that they get called back for the wild card round.  Beyond those two, I think I for the most part agree with the acts that were cut – seemed like some of them really blew it in Vegas (notably Megan Piphus and Skilyr Hicks) while others probably never really stood a chance to begin with (Dylan Wilson and Lil Mike & Funny Bone).  The rest were acts that we didn’t really see much of, anyway, so it didn’t really affect me much to see them cut.

Acts that performed in Vegas (continued from Night #1)

Kid Musicians:

Aaralyn & Izzy
Chloe Channell
Genesis Nava*
Ciana Pelekai

Court’s thoughts: You already know how I feel about Aaralyn & Izzy….grrr.  I thought Chloe Channell actually blew it with her song choice – her performance ended up being kind of blah, and she may have fared better if she had switched songs with Genesis.  I think the only one that knocked it out of the park was Ciana – I was skeptical after seeing her in the audition round, but her rendition of “I’d Rather Go Blind” brought the house down. 

Magicians:

RJ Cantu*
Naathan Phan
Collins Key
Ariann Black*
Leon Etienne & Romy Low

Court’s thoughts: Only one real standout for me – once again, Collins Key aced his performance.  I love that he’s going the route of up-close, more intimate tricks as opposed to these large-scale illusions that so many other acts are going for.  Ariann totally blew it – her trick went wrong and she refused to admit it.  Thought RJ’s trick would have been far more impressive if he had done it with the lights on – it was so damn dark, you could tell he was trying to hide something.  I agree with Howard about Naathan – his magic is good, but his delivery is awkward.  I guess Leon & Romy’s trick was kind of cool, but it also struck me as a little boring. 

Variety acts:

Special Head
Kennedy Davenport*
Megan Piphus
Lil Mike & Funny Bone

Court’s thoughts: This category was a little bit of a dud for me – nobody really seemed to rise to their full potential.  Thought Special Head fared the best, but agreed with the judges that his audition trick was more impressive.  If we’ve seen one dancing/lip syncing drag queen, I feel like we’ve seen them all – so I wasn’t terribly impressed by Kennedy Davenport.  Megan and Lil Mike & Funny Bone both completely blew their Vegas performances – Megan looked downright amateurish trying to sing “ABC” with her puppet, and I don’t know that Lil Mike & Funny Bone even rehearsed at all, since they both seemed to be forgetting their choreography and just wandering around the stage aimlessly.  I think the latter may have wasted their one great song on the audition round and just didn’t have anything else that was equally strong to fall back on…so who knows, maybe they were kind of doomed from the get-go.  But they did seem rather lackadaisical about the whole thing, so I guess I agree with the judges eliminating them immediately after they performed. 

Male singers:

Dave Fenley
Marty Brown
Paul Thomas Mitchell
Jonathan Allen
Travis Pratt

Court’s thoughts: I love Dave Fenley more and more each time I hear him perform – loved his gravelly acoustic take on “These Arms of Mine”.  I agree with the judges that I thought Marty was better in his audition than he was in Vegas – he wasn’t terrible, per se, but I just found myself a bit bored.  Seemed like Paul fumbled a bit with “Sunday Morning”, but I still loved his voice and thought for sure he’d be going to the live shows.  Jonathan Allen definitely improved from his initial audition – seems like he has a lot better control over his voice now.  Poor Travis Pratt – I think he did a commendable job with “Ave Maria”, but the judges just couldn’t seem to get past the fact that he sings like a woman. 

So the roster is set for Radio City Music Hall!!! Who are you most excited to see in the live shows? And who are you sad to see eliminated?

July 17, 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 Vegas Week Rundown – Night #1

Well…let’s just say I’m left a bit surprised by some of the decisions that were made tonight.  The instant decision round seemed to put more acts than ever before (30) straight through to the live shows, they cut one individual instantly that really shocked me, and some of (in my opinion) the stronger acts were forced to perform again in Vegas, while weaker ones made it straight through to the live shows.  In addition, we saw some acts in Vegas that we didn’t get to see in the initial audition rounds – which kind of annoyed me, as it’s hard to predict who’s gonna make it through when I don’t have a full list to choose from 😛 I guess I’m still left going “hmmmm” after tonight’s episode, and I can only wonder what tomorrow night’s episode will bring!

A lot happened in tonight’s 2-hour show, so please bear with me as I work through it 🙂 I may have to post now and finish sometime tomorrow, as I require sleep at some point. I’m gonna start with the “instant decision” acts – those who were either sent straight through to the live shows or sent home without getting to perform in Vegas.  There were 2 acts that made it straight through that I didn’t recognize from the auditions – those are the acts in quotation marks, since I don’t know their names.

Instant Decisions

Acts that made it straight through to the live shows:

Catapult Entertainment
Fresh Faces
Tone the Chiefrocca
Sprice
Anna Christine
Kenichi Ebina
Alexanderia the Great
Mitsi Dancing School
Innovative Force
“Bald guy I didn’t recognize” Dave Shirley
Jimmy Rose
Tummy Talk
Aerial Ice
Kelsey & Bailey
Chicago Boyz
3Penny Chorus & Orchestra
American Military Spouses Choir
University of Virginia Gospel Chorale
Angela Hoover
Jim Meskimen
David “The Cobra Kid” Weathers
Kevin Downey Jr.
Branden James
Struck Boyz
SensEtion
Tellavision
Aerosphere
Spintacular
“Group of adolescents I didn’t recognize” The RobotIx*

Court’s thoughts: I agree with this list, for the most part – if there was one act I thought deserved to make it straight through, it was Aerial Ice; if there were two, it was Aerial Ice and Kenichi…and thankfully, both were on this list.  Also glad to see Alexanderia, Chicago Boyz, Jimmy Rose, and Sprice on this list…and THRILLED to see Tone.  Yay B-O-O-T-Y!!!! Was a little surprised to see both Angela AND Jim Meskimen on this list – I thought for sure they’d only take one impressionist, and it would be Jim.  The only two acts I’m a little perturbed to see on this list are SensEtion & Tellavision – I thought the latter was just terribly cheesy, and the former wasn’t particularly original.  I have to wonder if some of these acts were put straight through because a) the powers that be didn’t think their Vegas week performances would be a huge ratings draw, or b) the judges knew that some of them (like Tone and maybe The Cobra Kid) have acts that can quickly grow old – and thus by sparing us watching them do the same act again and again.  Still think there’s a few cannon fodder acts peppered in, too – somebody’s gotta go home each week, and you may as well deliberately throw some weaker acts in to protect your stronger ones.

Acts that got sent straight home:

Olivia Rox
Yasha & Daniela
Sully Dunn
Milton Patton

Court’s thoughts: Was not surprised by Sully Dunn and Yasha & Daniela being put in this group – I had already kinda predicted they probably had a slim-to-none chance of making it to the live shows.  I think Sully is just too raw for AGT at this point, and Yasha & Daniela would look like amateurs next to D’Angelo & Amanda and Ruby & Jonas.  Was slightly surprised by Olivia Rox, then I rewatched her audition and found that her vocals were not as strong as I initially thought and her performance seemed rather manufactured.  The one name that did surprise me? Milton Patton.  Completely drawing a blank as to why he wasn’t chosen – I think the judges made a big mistake on that one.  My only explanation is that they may be planning on bringing him back for the wild card show, similar to the Bandbaz Brothers last season (instantly cut in Vegas, brought back for wild card).

Acts that performed in Vegas

(acts with an * next to them were not shown in the audition round – this is the first time we’re seeing them)

Danger acts:

Slackwire Sam
Rong Niu
David Ferman
Brad Byers
Alex Magala

Court’s thoughts: Seemed to be some struggles in the danger group – Rong Niu dropped a bowl, Slackwire Sam’s hair caught on fire, and David Ferman seemed to struggle with showmanship once more.  I wouldn’t say Brad did bad, per se; I just think his act tends to gross people out, as opposed to amazing them.  I think Alex probably fared the best last night – his act seemed to impress the judges, and he didn’t have any problems.  I think Sam, David, and Alex will probably make it through to the live shows, given that their acts are so freakin’ dangerous & amazing; unfortunately, I think Rong and Brad are probably goners. 

Music groups:

Forte
Brandon & Savannah
The American Hit Men

Court’s thoughts: My one explanation as to why Forte ended up in this group instead of automatically going through to the live shows? The lineup change.  Hana (the South Korean guy that performed with them in the L.A. audtions) backed out at the last minute, and the remaining two members had to scramble to find a new member – enter Sean.  I’m guessing the judges wanted to make sure this new combination of members was every bit as good as what they saw in the audition round – and honestly, I agree with the judges that Forte might have a bit of a problem now: Sean is so good that he kind of overshadows the other two guys.  In the initial auditions, I don’t think any one member stood out – their sound as a unit was just so pure that you couldn’t really single anyone out.  Now it’s rather like “Forte – featuring Sean! And two other guys.” I still think they’ve got a spot on the live show, but I do think the judges will bring this new development to their attention.  I found Brandon & Savannah to be a bit bland – not sure that they really attacked their cover of “Little Talks” full force.  Liked the American Hit Men, but I don’t know that “House of the Rising Sun” fit them as well as “Simple Man” did.  I think Forte & American Hit Men will move through – not sure about Brandon & Savannah.

Kid acts:

2Unique
Lil Demon
Melody Caballero*
D’Angelo & Amanda
Ruby & Jonas

Court’s thoughts: Thank god I’m not the only one that has been pondering why 2Unique is still in the competition – Howard expressed concern that they weren’t terribly…well, unique.  I just don’t find myself entertained by what they do – it’s rather like watching two girls singing along to a boom box in their living room, to me.  Lil Demon can breakdance every bit as well as some adults we’ve seen.  Wasn’t terribly impressed with Melody’s contortion act – she seemed to struggle with balance and seemed very, very nervous.  Now we come down to the dueling siblings: D’Angelo & Ruby.  Honestly, I think they probably would have put D’Angelo & Amanda in the group that automatically made the live shows – but they couldn’t resist the temptation of a little storyboarding, and probably wanted to show off the drama of sibling vs. sibling in Vegas.  I think D’Angelo & Amanda knocked it out of the park once more with their cha cha – my only complaint is that we just see so much Latin on the show…which is why I think Ruby & Jonas actually had the more daring, creative routine.  We rarely see any of the standard dances (waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, & Viennese waltz) on AGT. They did a tango, but Jonas lost his balance at one point and both he & Ruby toppled to the floor.  They recovered well & kept going, but some tears were shed after the fact that made me feel terrible for the young couple 🙁 If it’s any consolation, I don’t know that going out there and dancing that tango perfectly would have really mattered – I think the judges probably already had picked D’Angelo & Amanda as the ones to advance.  I’m guessing Lil Demon advances too…and maybe Melody. 

Comedians:

Jimmy Failla*
Eric Schwartz*
Taylor Williamson
John Wing*

Court’s thoughts: Was interesting that 3 of the four acts in this category were acts that didn’t appear in the audition rounds – I had heard a bit of controversy surrounding Jimmy Failla’s act (apparently he wasn’t shown during the audition rounds because Mel B “thought his act was racist”), and had heard that he was actually trying to get his Vegas performance eliminated from last night’s episode because he said the show “duped him”.  So I’m guessing he’s not going to be gracing us with his presence in the live shows – which is fine with me, because I didn’t find him funny.  Liked Eric Schwartz – thought his comparison of Jewishness to hip-hop was clever, but he did seem at times like he was trying too hard.  I had a hard time following Taylor Williamson’s act – I think a lot got cut out, because there is no way the judges should have been laughing as hard as they were at just him standing onstage being awkward.  I liked what I did manage to follow, though.  I found myself just slightly chuckling at John Wing’s act…not laughing, just kind of “hehe”-ing.  I think Taylor’s gonna move on – and I’m on the fence about Eric. 

Dancers:

Archbishop Molloy Step Team*
Art Spark*
Hype
Dylan Wilson
Kid the Wiz

Court’ s thoughts: Was glad to see a step team – too bad I think they looked a little sloppy, and the judges commented that they had performed the same routine at their initial audition.  Was also glad to see a hip-hop group from Indianapolis 😀 Before they even said that, I thought to myself “Wait, they look a little familiar.”  I’m guessing that some of the members were part of Destined2B, another hip-hop group from Indy that was on season 4.  I thought their routine was creative, but lacked a lot of content.  Hype seemed to struggle a little – I think they just came across as a bit chaotic & disorganized, which was an unpleasant contrast to how clean & organized they looked in their initial audition.  I don’t remember a whole lot of Dylan’s routine…which makes me uneasy, because it probably means it wasn’t terribly impressive.  Kid the Wiz actually dropped his hat at one point, and I just didn’t find his act as amusing the second time around as it was the first.  I think the only group that’s a lock for the live shows is Hype – even if they were disorganized, I still think they handled this round better than any of the other groups in their category. 

Acrobats:

Tavi & Antonio
“Accro” Brandon Rosario*
Duo Resonance
Timber Brown
Kristef Brothers

Court’s thoughts: I think Tavi & Antonio kind of dropped the ball this round – their routine seemed a bit too artsy and didn’t have enough tricks…and the song was just saccharine-sweet.  I think Brandon Rosario came across a bit cocky, which I can’t understand because I don’t think his pole routine was terribly impressive.  Duo Resonance is, for me, the strongest technically in this category – but they really seem to lack a stage presence, and can come across as boring.  I actually agree a bit with the Kristef Brothers, who remarked backstage that they come across cold “because they’re Russian”.  😛 I think Timber probably fared the best out of this category, as his cowboy-themed routine was a good combination of creativity and skill; I actually found myself enjoying the Kristef Brothers as well, and came to appreciate their humorous approach to acrobatics.  I know Howie didn’t really “get” the humor of the act, but I do think it sets them apart from all of the other acrobats this season.  I think Timber is definitely going to move on, and probably Kristef Brothers as well; Duo Resonance could go either way; and I think the other two acts are toast. 

Female singers:

Deanna Dellacioppa
Skilyr Hicks
Selena Mykenzie Gordon*
Cami Bradley

Court’s thoughts: Had some pleasant surprises and not-so-pleasant surprises in this group.  I’m finding myself starting to dislike Deanna Dellacioppa – the way she freaked out about her background track being too low, and the subsequent way she had a breakdown about it backstage just kind of rubbed me the wrong way.  I get that this “is her dream”, but man – I feel like this chick is always crying and getting caught up in her emotions…even when she’s performing.  I still feel like she’s putting too much effort into her singing, and like Mel said, “it sounds like she just ran a marathon”.  She’s striking me as a bit too high-maintenance for this show.  Poor Skilyr just looked like a deer in the headlights during her entire performance – she did another original song, but to me it sounded a lot like the first original song she did at her initial audition.  Seems like she may not be ready for big audiences.  Selena did ok-to-good, but seemed to have a few notes that fell a bit flat; the big surprise of the category for me was Cami Bradley, who, despite my initial predictions that she would struggle in Vegas, was the only one in her category that knocked her performance out of the park last night: she performed a haunting, sultry version of “Summertime” and played the piano, and was the only one that didn’t seem to let nerves get the best of her.  I think at this point, she’s the only I feel confident saying “She will make the live shows.” The other three are up in the air for me. 

So what did you guys think of the instant decisions? Who are you glad to see headed to the live shows…and who are you sad to see leaving? And what do you think will be the outcome of some of the performances we saw? Keep your eyes peeled for my rundown of night Vegas night #2 later this evening! 🙂

July 16, 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 Vegas Week Predictions – Dancers/Dance Groups/Acrobats

I continue my series of predictions for Vegas week with the dancers & acrobats categories.  If you missed my assessment of the singers & bands, go here.

Dancers:

Ron & Liza: Could go either way. My gut tells me that we’re probably only going to see one ballroom act in the live shows – and that it’s more likely to be one of the ballroom kids than the adults.  But Ron & Liza were fun to watch, and they seem like an act that might get picked for the live show if there’s room after some of the more popular acts get through.

Kenichi Ebina: A sure thing. As Howie said, he’s the strongest act in the dancers category right now – and I think his style is perfect for the live shows.  I think of him as this season’s Turf – but with more polish.

Bones & the Machine: Could go either way. Audiences usually have a pretty mixed reaction to the “bone-breaking” hip hop style: they either love it or are appalled by it.  I think their fate in Vegas could really just depend on the climate at the judges table – do they love it or hate it?

Dylan Wilson: A long shot. I’m rooting for Dylan, since he’s from my home state, but I think he’s unfortunately going to pale in comparison to Kenichi in Vegas – everything Dylan does, Kenichi can do…and can do it better, and with more polish.  I don’t know that the live shows really need both of them.

 

Dance groups:

Catapult Entertainment: Looking likely.  They’re the only act of their kind this season, and the judges seemed to respond very positively to what they did.  My only concern is that the whole “silhouetted dance” concept may be getting a little old…if the judges start to feel that way, they could get displaced for another act.

The Academy: Could go either wayWe only got to see a brief clip of them, but they seem to dance well enough.  The problem? They do Irish step dancing – and so does Hammerstep, and Hammerstep also does hip-hop.  Advantage Hammerstep – they’re a more unique act.  Another situation where it makes me wonder if they really need 2 Irish step dancing acts this season.

Hype: A sure thing. They’ve got a good command of several different hip-hop styles, and have proven that they can very cleverly do hip-hop to unexpected songs.  They also have reality show experience – Josh was on America’s Best Dance Crew, and A.J. was actually part of Academy of Villains on season 7 of AGT.  I think they’ve got what it takes to put on a good show, and I think the judges will see that.

B-Extreme: Could go either way. It’s 3 guys who do hip-hop and stunts – just like Hype, except Hype seems to be more well-rounded in their level of experience.  It’s another situation where I think it comes down to “Do we really need more than one act like this in the live shows?”

Hammerstep: A sure thing. I think the fact that their act is so unique bodes well for them making it to the live shows.  They’re cool, they’re clean, and they’re interesting to watch – and there’s no other act this season that fuses two very unrelated dance styles like they do.

The Rock Dance Project: Could go either way. Some of the ballet/jazz/modern groups we saw all started to kind of blend together for me – however, I remember this one because they were doing some gorgeous pas-de-deux-type lifts, which I can’t recall any of the other dance groups in their style doing.  Once again, I think it just comes down to the question: “How many dance groups are we going to take, and which ones are worth taking?”

Studio 19 Dance Complex: Could go either way. I only vaguely remember this group, and I can’t recall anything particularly special about them other than some rainbow-colored costumes.  Not sure that bodes well for them – however, they may be awesome and we just didn’t get to see it.

Tellavision: A long shot. They seemed to suffer from a lack of dance content, and I just found the whole television screen thing to be cheesy and detracted from the performance.  I think their choreography alone is going to make the pale in comparison to some of the stronger dance acts this season.

Mitsi Dancing School: Could go either way. I don’t know that their act is going to be dynamic and entertaining enough to really be effective in the live shows – but they’re also the only folk dancing group we have this season, and I think they might get put through for the pure sake of variety.

SensEtion: A long shot.  The judges seemed pretty lukewarm about them in their initial audition, and pointed to a lack of dance content as part of the problem.  I could see them being a standby act, and only making it through to the live shows if they drastically improve from their audition performance.

 

Acrobats:

Tristan Jih: A long shot.  This season the acrobatic category is particularly competitive – and with acrobatic duos, acrobatic teams, acrobats on poles, acrobats jumping rope, and acrobats on skates…is a solo aerialist really all that exciting? I’m afraid he might get lost in the shuffle of much more unique, flashy acts.

Duo Resonance: Looking likelyI’d say they probably have the highest skill level of any of the acrobatic acts this season, as acrobalance is one of the hardest disciplines to master.  The only probably I forsee is that they don’t seem to have huge personalities – I think it may be the cool, collected Russian demeanor at work.  Hopefully they can inject a bit more personality into their performances, so they don’t come across flat & mechanical.

Kyle & Darby: Could go either way.  This is another act that I think could be lumped in with the acrobats or the kid acts – and they may play a big part in whether they make it through or not.  If it’s just these two doing a series of cheerleading stunts, I’m not sure it’s exciting enough to make it to the live shows.  But if they can find a way to expand her repertoire, I think she could be quite good.

Kristef Brothers: Could go either way.  With Duo Resonance at such a high skill level, I would normally count these two out – but the fact that they’ve got such big personalities and stage presence seems to bode well for them.

Chicago Boyz: A sure thingThey’re unique, they’re talented, they’re adorable, and they’ve got a great energy.  Need I say more?

Innovative Force:  Looking likely.  Not sure whether it would make more sense to lump them in with the dancers or the acrobats, since they do both – but I think the fact that they do both will probably make them more of an asset to the live shows.

Aerial Ice: A sure thing. If there was one act this season that I think probably the most unique, it would be this one – there has never been an ice act before, so they’re breaking ground there; on top of that, they can do everything the aerial acts do.  I would be really surprised if they didn’t make it Vegas…hell, I’d even go so far as to say they could be one of the “instant decision” acts that gets put through without even having to perform in Vegas.

Aerosphere: Could go either wayYeah, it’s kind of cool that she does aerial tricks while suspended from a floating balloon…but is she really doing anything terribly different than any of the other aerialists? And how much more is she able to change up her act to keep it fresh?

Tavi & Antonio:  Looking likely.  A male aerial duo in and of itself is kind of a rarity – plus they’re nice to look at, and they’re good at what they do.

Timber Brown: Looking likely.  He’s like a more masculine, more daring Steven Retchless – he does pole tricks, but with an element of danger added that makes things really interesting.  I definitely want to see more.

Who are your favorites from the dance & acrobat categories? And who do you think will make it to Vegas?

July 13, 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 Vegas Week Roster

To help jog everyone’s memory before the first Vegas episode on Tuesday, here’s the list of all the acts we saw make it through to Vegas from the audition rounds – keep in mind that we might not see all of these acts in Vegas, as there’s usually a handful of acts that either don’t come to Vegas (for whatever reason) or just aren’t shown on camera.  There are 86 acts listed here – 38 of them won’t make it to the live show.  I’ve done my best to try and put them into the categories I think they’ll be placed into once they reach Vegas – acts with a * next to them are acts that fit into more than one category, and I’m not positive which one they’ll end up being placed in.  The “kid acts” in particular are a bit ambiguous – not sure what the age cutoff is going to be. 

Also keep in mind that (if we’re following the pattern of previous seasons), these acts will be further divided into “judges favorites” (group A), “stand-by acts” (group B), and “instant decisions” (group C).  The judges favorites are the acts that the judges think have the best chance of making it to the live shows, and will perform the first day of the Vegas rounds; the stand-by acts are the acts that will perform if there are any spots that remain after the judges favorites have performed; and the “instant decision” acts will either get a free pass to the live shows (without having to perform in Vegas), or will get sent home (without having to perform in Vegas). 

Singers:

Marty Brown (country)
Tone the Chiefrocca (rapper)
Paul Thomas Mitchell (acoustic rock)
Deanna DellaCioppa (R&B/soul)
David Fenley (acoustic rock)
Lil Mike & Funny Bone (rappers)
Cami Bradley (country)
Sully Dunn (alternative rock)
Jimmy Rose (country)
Milton Patton (country)

Classical Singers:

Travis Pratt (tenor)
Jonathan Allen (baritone)
Forte (opera trio)
Branden James (tenor)

Bands/Musical Groups:

3Penny Chorus & Orchestra (orchestra)
Mariachi Nuevo Estilo AVM (mariachi)
American Military Spouses Choir (choir)
University of Virginia Gospel Chorale (gospel choir)
Brandon & Savannah (pop rock band)*
The American Hit Men (rock band)
212 Green (pop rock band)

Dancers:

Ron & Liza (ballroom)
Kenichi Ebina (hip-hop/robotics)
Bones & the Machine (bone breaking)
Dylan Wilson (animation/hip hop)

Dance groups:

Catapult Entertainment (silhouette performers)*
The Academy (Irish step dancers)
Hype (hip-hop)
B-Extreme (hip hop/stunts)
Hammerstep (Irish step dancing/hip hop)
The Rock Dance Project (jazz/ballet/modern)
Studio 19 Dance Complex (jazz/ballet)
Tellavision (LCD screen dancers)
Mitsi Dancing School (Chinese folk dancing)
SensEtion (video projection dancers)

Acrobats:

Tristan Jih (aerialist)
Duo Resonance (acrobalance)
Kyle & Darby (cheerleading stunts)*
Kristef Brothers (hand balancing)
Chicago Boyz (jump rope/tumbling)
Innovative Force (dance/acrobatics)*
Aerial Ice (figure skaters/aerialists)
Aerosphere (balloon aerialist)
Tavi & Antonio (aerialists)
Timber Brown (aerial pole)

Danger acts:

David “The Cobra Kid” Weathers (snake handler)
Brad Byers (sword swallower)
Alexanderia the Great (escape artist)
Slackwire Sam (swaypole artist)
Omega Force Strength Team (strongman act)
Team Rock (martial arts)
David Ferman (dangerous juggler)
Alex Magala (sword-swallowing breakdancer)*

Magicians:

Special Head (levitator)
Collins Key (up-close magic)
Leon Etienne (illusionist)
Naathan Phan (escape artist/card tricks)

Comedians:

Dave Shirley (LCD screen comedian)
Angela Hoover (celebrity impressionist)
Taylor Williamson (stand-up comedy)
Jim Meskimen (celebrity impressionist)
Kevin Downey Jr. (stand-up comedy)

Novelty acts:

Kid the Wiz (hat trick artist)*
Megan Piphus (ventriloquist)
Steven “Sprice” Price (Rube Goldberg machines)
Rong Niu (bowl juggler)
Kelsey & Bailey (dog tricks)
Spintacular (basketball tricks)
Tummy Talk (human drum act)
Aquanauts (synchronized swimming)

Kid Acts:

Anna Christine (singer/pianist)
Pacific Boys’ Choir (choir)
Jonas & Ruby (ballroom dancers)
D’Angelo & Amanda (ballroom dancers)
Struck Boyz (hip hop)
Lil Demon (breakdancer)
Sophia Lucia (jazz/ballet)
Izzy & Aaralyn (death metal band)
2Unique (rapper/DJ)
Ciana Pelekani (singer)
Olivia Rox (singer/guitarist)*
Fresh Faces (dancers/gymnasts)
Yasha & Daniela (ballroom dancers)
Chloe Chanel (singer)
Mestizo Ballet Folklorico (mariachi dancers)
Skilyr Hicks (singer)*

July 12, 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 #4 – New York/L.A. Auditions

Well, as I told jimmbboe on Twitter – looks like they made up for last week’s lack of bad auditions by loading this week’s episode up with them 🙁 And boy were there some weird ones…

…in addition to that, this week was the first time where the judges put an act through to Vegas that made me go “REALLY?! Them???” But my beloved Heidi made up for the snafu by giving the most adorable pronunciation of the word “mediocre” that I’ve ever heard…sounded like “meaty okah”.  🙂

New York auditions are up now; look for the L.A. audition rundown later today 🙂

New York:

Struck Boyz – ages 8-11, from Staten Island, NY
The act: They did a hip-hop dance to “As Long As You Love Me” by Justin Bieber.
The verdict: Judges loved their attack and commitment to the dance and gave them 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: Yeah, they were pretty good for all being adolescent boys – they seemed to stay in sync really well, and had a good stage presence.  But it felt to me like they were just kind of regurgitating choreography they had been given, and the choreography wasn’t particularly unique or at a high skill-level…and it was to BIEBER.  Guess I’m just getting a bit tired of young boys throwing on a tank top and a Bieber song and getting the little girlies to scream for them as they gyrate – I respond to bona fide talent, not gimmicky Bieber impersonations.  I thought these guys were adorable, but I think once they get to Vegas and the judges see them up against some of the other dance acts this season, they’ll likely pale in comparison.

B-Extreme
The act: Three breakdancers doing a series of tricks and rolls over and around one another.
The verdict: Judges put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: We only saw a brief clip of these guys, but they did seem very talented – they seem to know breaking really well.  But here’s their problem: they’re up against another crew of 3 hip-hop guys (Hype) that know breaking, too…and a slew of other styles, and they arguably have the better stage presence, too.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw these guys and Hype pitted against one another in Vegas…with the latter advancing.

Kristef Brothers – ages 24 & 26, from Las Vegas
The act: They’re 2nd generation “hand balancers” – they basically do an acrobalance act that is based primarily on hand-to-hand holds. They also felt the need to doff their clothes for their performance.
The verdict: All Heidi could muster was an “Mmmm, mmmm, MMMM! It’s a yes for me!”…before they even voted 😛 The other 3 said yes as well, though, and we’ll see them in Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: No doubt these guys have talent – they were doing some seriously cool stuff out there.  But once again, I found myself comparing them unfavorably to another acrobalance act this season: Duo Resonance, whom we saw in San Antonio in episode 2.  I feel like Duo Resonance had a more polished performance, and were doing tricks with a higher level of difficulty; however, I do think Kristef had a bit more stage presence, and seemed to engage the audience more.  My only gripe? The stripping down to undies towards the end seemed a bit odd (and unnecessary) to me.  Once again, I can already see Vegas week shaping up in my head – and I see these two going toe-to-toe with Duo Resonance for a spot in the live shows.

Aneya Marie – age 25
The act: She’s a singing mime…yeeeeah.
The verdict: Buzzes and “no’s” galore.  She also managed to insult the audience’s intelligence when they booed her.
Court’s thoughts: This lady seemed crazier than a bag of cats – I think the fact that she even made any noise pretty much precluded her referring to herself as a “mime”, and she kept insisting that audiences in Europe “loved her”.  This is one of those acts that I have to wonder if they really do know how bad they are…and they’ll just do anything to get on television.

“Dudes Jousting on Unicycles” The Flying Slovenski Brothers
The act: Self-explanatory – two guys riding around on unicycles, trying to knock each other off with lances.
The verdict: No’s and buzzes all around.
Court’s thoughts: This seems like something a bunch of engineering majors might do in college for fun…but it’s no million-dollar act.

“Guys Rapping About Elephants”The Jolley Brothers
The act: They were two guys…singing what I can only assume was an original song about “dropping it like an elephant elevator” (apparently I’m really deaf…).
The verdict: Ummm…no.
Court’s thoughts: It was no “B-O-O-T-Y”.

“Lady with a Cat Riding Around in a Car”
The act: A lady dressed in what looked like an Elvira costume…with a cat riding around her in a little car.
The verdict: Judges didn’t get it and said no to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: That poor cat looked as bewildered and confused as I did, trying to figure out what this act was about.

“Couple Wearing Chicken Costumes”A Tall Order
The act: A guy & a girl dancing around in chicken costumes.
The verdict: No…duh.
Court’s thoughts: It just blows my mind sometimes with the acts people come up with…and sometime’s that’s not a good thing.

Hammerstep – ages 18-30, from Brooklyn, NY
The act: They performed and Irish step dancing/hip-hop fusion dance to an edgy song while wearing gas masks.
The verdict: Judges loved the creative fusion of the two styles and praised the group’s high skill level.  4 yes’s to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Upon hearing that they were fusing hip-hop with step dancing, I thought for sure they were gonna bomb.  But this was actually pretty cool to watch – you can tell that everyone in the group has received pretty extensive Irish step dancing training, but have also taken up hip-hop and effectively found a way to mesh the two styles together.  This is the 2nd Irish step dancing group we’ve seen this season (the first being The Academy from episode 1), and I’d put money on it that Hammerstep is the one we’ll see advancing to the live shows.

Bones and the Machine
The act: They performed a “bone-breaking” hip-hop routine with all sorts of contortions and eerie-looking tricks.
The verdict: Judges put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Nice to see another “bone-breakin'” hip hop act since Turf last season – and I liked that they found a way to incorporate partnering as well.

The Rock Dance Project – from Philadelphia, PA
The act: A ballet/jazz/modern fusion dance group that was doing some lifts and other artistic steps.
The verdict: They’re through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I really wished they had showed more of this act, because the little I saw was just STUNNING.  Lots of pas des deux work, gorgeous pirouttes, and crazy jumps.  If the judges can embrace the true artistry of what they’re doing, I think we’ll see them in the live shows.

Leon Etienne – from Utica, NY
The
act: He’s an illusionist that made a girl appear in an empty box, then managed to do a quick switch out with her while he was chained to a board; he also managed to predict a card picked by Nick, and had the card appear on his female assistant’s leotard when Nick squirted her with a squirt gun.
The verdict: Judges gave him 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: He’s got some serious magic skills, but I found myself thinking that his overall presentation was just a bit frantic and discombobulated.  Seemed like he was trying to fit as many tricks into one audition as possible, and as a result, he seemed to rush from trick to trick, and fumbled a bit over his delivery. He seemed to lack a bit of the finesse and stage presence we saw from Special Head and Collins Key.  Will be interesting to see how he’ll measure up to the other magicians in Vegas.

“11-year-old breakdancer”Lil Demon
The act: Adorable 11-year-old boy who was doing all sorts of breakdancing tricks.
The verdict: We’ll see him in Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: He’s definitely one of the stronger kid dancers we’ve seen this season, but I worry about his versatility.  He may be a great breakdancer, but we may be seeing the same thing from him over & over.

“Jazz dancers in colorful costumes”Studio 19 Dance Complex
The act: Jazz/ballet dancers in rainbow-colored costumes, doing a jazz/ballet-type dance.
The verdict: Judges loved it and put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Wasn’t wild about the costumes, but I thought the dancing looked good.  Will be interested to see what they bring to Vegas.

Sophia Lucia – age 10, from San Diego, CA
The act: She’s a jazz dancer that performed a solo routine with a mind-blowing number of pirouttes and other turns.
The verdict: She’s through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: If Sophia looks familiar, it’s because she’s been just about everywhere on dance TV – she’s been on Dance Moms, and most recently, she performed on Dancing with the Stars as the current world record holder for the number of pirouttes done in succession…and she also appeared in Jacoby Jones’ freestyle during this season’s finale of DWTS.  I think she’s adorable and an amazing dancer – but I wonder if she’ll be versatile enough for the judges.  A lot of her routines seem to hinge around her ability to do an insane number of turns and spins.  Can she branch out she show more of her other dance skills?

Isaiah “Izzy” O’Neal & Aaralyn O’Neal – ages 9 & 6
The act: Izzy played the drums while Aaralyn sang a death metal song called “Zombie Skin”.
The verdict: Mel said no, citing the fact that the little girl’s voice sounded like it was going to give out; the other 3 judges said yes.
Court’s thoughts: Ok, I agree with Mel on this one: what were the other 3 judges thinking??? While I think it’s amusing to see an adorable little girl singing death metal in a growling voice, I don’t think it’s particularly “talented” or could comprise an entire Vegas show.  I really just think these two are probably Vegas cannon fodder.

The Virginia State University Gospel Chorale – from Petersburg, VA
The act: They’re a gospel choir that sang a rousing number with choreography.
The verdict: Judges loved them and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Methinks the American Military Spouses Choir just got some staunch competition – THIS is what I wish I had heard from them last week.  This group is polished, energetic, and has the performance quality and all-around talent that I had wanted to see from the other group last week.  Loved the fact that those not singing lead weren’t just swaying & humming in the background – their voices were like a wall of harmonious sound, and their choreography made them seem like they had a pulse.  Very engaging; very much an act I’d like to see in the  live shows.

Los Angeles:

Chris Antes
The act: He’s an “oral sculptor” – translation: he shapes gum in his mouth.  He tried to make a dolphin & a snail out of two pieces of gum.
The verdict: It was a pretty loose definition of a snail and a dolphin…and the judges weren’t buying it.  No’s all around.
Court’s thoughts: If nothing else, he was a convivial guy – seemed nice enough.  He just had a talent that really wasn’t a talent 😛

Sunflower State
The act: They’re a folk music 4-some that performed an original song.
The verdict: The judges commented that it wasn’t a particularly good original song and said no to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Meh…just MEH.

Brandon & Savannah – ages 15 & 13, from Boca Raton, FL
The act: They’re a brother-sister team that sang an original song called “All the Runaways” with their band.
The verdict: Heidi, Howard, & Howie all loved the song, while Mel didn’t think it was great – but they all agreed that Brandon & Savannah had talent and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Now while I think Paul Thomas Mitchell and Tone the Chiefrocca still jointly hold the title for “best original song this season”, I actually did enjoy this song – was catchy and suited the duo well. Both Brandon and Savannah have great voices and great stage presence, and they seem like they’re very marketable – especially to the Disney crowd. I think we’ll see them in the live shows.

Taylor Williamson – age 26, from San Diego, CA
The act: He’s an “awkward comedian” that mused on such topics as Chinese food, grandparents, and duvets.
The verdict: Judges loved his unique brand of humor and put him through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Loved this guy – loved his awkward delivery, and the way he worked in little mini-jokes even when he was just conversing with the judges. He reminded me a lot of that Jacob guy from last season (comedian whose last name I can’t remember), but less droll. He’s the first real competition I’ve seen for Angela Hoover so far this season – and I think there’s a good chance that both will make it to the live shows.

Jacob Calle
The act: He’s a self-described “party stunt man” that did a trick where he swallowed a string and then pulled it out of his stomach through his skin, and then tried to blow bubbles…with an emperor scorpion in his mouth.
The verdict: Judges said no.
Court’s thoughts: What a disjointed and pointless mess. He could have actually had a good act, after leading off with the string trick, but the bubbles & scorpion bit? Total hot mess. I think the fact that the scorpion stung him and left him with a bleeding lip just added insult to injury…or injury to insult…whatever.

Johnny Tong – from Burbank, CA
The act: He lights his own farts on fire, with and assist from his…well, assistant.
The verdict: Judges said no…and then Johnny proceeded to beg and plead and shuffle cards onto his crotch in an effort to appease Heidi. Nick had to remove him from the stage with a stick.
Court’s thoughts: Ok, I’ll admit: I did have to chuckle and the fart-lighting. But Nick did too, so I must be at least semi-normal 😛 But I wouldn’t pay $70 to see it in Vegas, and something about this guy seemed…chemically-dependent.

Shawn McMaster
The act: He had Nick pick a card out of a stack, and then proceeded to strip down to a leotard…which had the card Nick picked printed on the front.
The verdict: It’s a no to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: It could have been a cool trick – if the delivery hadn’t been so lame.

Naathan Phan
The act: He attempted to escape from a straight jacket, while singing “I Want to Break Free”. Then he did a trick where he had the judges pick a card, then shoved the entire deck in his mouth, wiggled most of the cards out, and produced the card they picked…folded in quarters inside his mouth.
The verdict: Heidi & Howard buzzed him, but Howie & Mel liked his initial act. After Heidi gave him the opportunity to perform a different trick, he redeemed himself with the card trick and won over Heidi & Howard to move on to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Maybe it was the fact that he looked Asian but had a wicked Scottish accent, maybe it was the fact that he sang as he escaped the straight jacket, maybe it was the cool card-in-the-mouth trick that he did on-the-fly – whatever it was, I thought this guy was fascinating. If he can avoid the pitfalls of tricks that fall flat, I think he could be great on the live shows.

Forte – ages 22-33, from Puerto Rico, South Korea, and New York
The act: Fernando, Hana, & Josh are 3 guys that met online only days prior to actually performing “Dominus Requiem” as an opera trio.
The verdict: Judges were spellbound and gave an emphatic yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Who said Craigslist was only for selling furniture and arranging illicit rendezvous? 😛 I think these guys seriously hit the jackpot in finding each other – the way their voices blended together, I would have believed it if they had told me they had been singing together for years. Just this gorgeous, harmonious wall of sound. I think the classical singers category just got a lot more competitive – because I’d put money on it that Forte will make the live shows.

Now let’s hear your thoughts on this week’s auditions! Who are you most excited to see again?

June 26, 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!