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PureAGT Season 8, Semifinal #2 – Power Rankings

Once again, I apologize that these are so late – as some of you know, I also blog for PureDWTS, and today was the announcement of the new cast…which means heavy traffic and a lot of guarding the site for trolls! It was also a long, busy day at work, and I didn’t have much of a chance to sit down and actually think about last night’s show until now…but rest assured, I did not forget about you guys ūüėČ

Overall, I think last night was a much stronger semifinal than last week’s, although we had already kind of predicted that based on what acts performed this week.¬† I think I’m most interested to see if America puts through TWO country singers into the top 12 – I’m hoping they only put through one, but I’m bracing myself for the unfortunate event that we get two.¬† Other than that, I’m fairly confident that Kenichi, Chicago Boyz, & Anna will make it through without any problems.

1.) Kenichi Ebina – Just…wow.¬† I think the thing I love most about Kenichi’s act is that I’m always at a bit of a loss how to explain it to those who haven’t seen it, because it’s always so unique.¬† Loved the “living video game” theme he had going during the quarterfinals, and I loved the “duel with the mirror” he did last night.¬† Of all the acts in last night’s semifinal, he’s the one that I could really see creating a successful 90-minute live show in Vegas.¬† I think Forte has got some serious competition in Kenichi for the win this season…

2.) Chicago Boyz РI would have never guessed that they were performing without one of their strongest members, because this routine was INSANELY good.  One thing I really enjoy about Chicago Boyz is that they really do up their game each & every week РI think the jump roping with the 3 guys stacked on top of each other was absolutely genius, and the synchronized jump roping and tricks they were doing with it were really impressive.  I think they proved last night that they are, indeed, contenders, and could even snag a spot in the finale.

3.) Kristef Brothers – Another act that showed no signs of stopping despite an injury.¬†If you had told me during their audition that these guys would be contenders for the top 12, I would have probably thought you were nuts – but these guys seem to have cracked into a niche that we really haven’t seen on the show: they’re skilled acrobats that are really, really funny.¬† As predicted, I think they succeeded where Duo Resonance failed because they were able to really endear themselves to their audience.¬† I think they may struggle in the top 12, but I think they ought to make it through tonight without any problems.

4.) Anna Christine – I think Anna recovered nicely from her stutter in the quarterfinals – I feel like “Wild Horses” suited her much better than “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and ditching the piano and focusing entirely on her vocals was a wise choice.¬† I think she ought to make it through tonight without any issues, but once she makes it to the top 12 – I fear she may pale in comparison to Cami Bradley, who has a more mature, controlled quality to her voice and a better stage presence.

5.) Jimmy Rose – Hmmm.¬† Another song from Jimmy Rose that I’m not really wild about – although to be honest, I was really wild about Marty’s song choice, either.¬† I guess I was hoping that, rather than just performing a country song, he and Marty would take a more mainstream song and give it a country twist; that is one area where I have to give Marty credit over Jimmy – he did a more mainstream song for his initial audition, where Jimmy has been straight country all the way.¬† However, I think Jimmy must be raking in the votes, because there’s a reason they put him last…and I have a feeling if it came down to it, the judges would rather have Jimmy in the top 12 than Marty.¬† Guess we’ll have to see how things pan out…

6/7.) TIE: D’Angelo & Amanda and Marty Brown – This one’s hard for me to call, because I can’t decide whether we’re going to end up with (god forbid) TWO country singers in the top 12.¬† My gut says no, but stranger things have happened, and Marty did improve last night. Is the voting audience persistent enough to vote 2 country singers through? If not, then I think D’Angelo & Amanda might have a decent shot at making it through to the top 12¬†– while their performance last night wasn’t their best, I daresay it was still much stronger than others we saw last night, and probably quite of few of last week’s acts, too.¬† I think the problem they had was that they wanted to “step up their game” and didn’t quite know how – loved the water, but I kind of agree with Mel that the routine had been a bit boring up until the water portion…just a lot of dips and displays of flexibility from Amanda.¬† If it comes down to these two acts in the judges’ choice – I’m definitely interested to see who would come out on top.¬† I think the judges might put D’Angelo & Amanda through because they already have so many singers, but who knows…they’ve made their fair share of dumb choices this season.

8.) Leon Etienne & Romy Low – Admittedly, I actually enjoyed their act tonight.¬† I liked that they did work on the areas that the judges criticized in their first performance – mainly the trick taking too long and being too confusing.¬† Doing rapid-fire, simple tricks was definitely a smart move.¬† For what its worth, I think Howard’s wild card pick actually ended up being the most successful – but last night was a much stronger semifinal than last week, and I’m not sure they can overcome some of the stronger acts to nab a spot.¬† Kinda sucks, but I think they probably would have stood a decent shot of advancing if they performed last week instead of this week.

9.) Timber Brown – *sigh* Poor Timber – I think he had a bit of a misstep last night, in that he did an act that seemed to take a lot longer to get to the good part and he fumbled a little with the rope.¬† I know Timber’s got a lot of tricks up his sleeve – a friend from work actually remembered seeing him in Peep Show in Vegas a few years back, and was saying that she remembered him climbing all sorts of crazy stuff, spinning on ropes, doing backflips, etc.¬† I think he unfortunately just picked a trick that really didn’t translate well to TV – I think it would have fit in perfectly with one of the Cirque shows like Le Reve with the water (D’Angelo & Amanda’s would be perfect for Le Reve as well), but it was hard to appreciate the art and difficulty of it through the television.¬† I don’t think his act was bad, but I do worry that he got lost in the shuffle.

10.) Branden James – The one¬†week I actually enjoy the song Branden sings, is the week he will likely get sent home ūüėõ “Alone” is probably one of my top 10 favorite songs of all time, so I think that alone kind of colored my opinion of his performance – I actually enjoyed it.¬† But I do agree that he had a few wobbly, off-key spots, and he wasn’t as strong this week has he’s been in previous weeks.¬† I daresay he’s a real longshot to make it to the next round – especially if the audience still has Forte on the brain like I think they do.¬† If he advances, he’s toast – Forte can sing circles around him.

11.) American Military Spouses Choir – These poor ladies – I think their weaknesses as a choir really showed through last night, and made them realize that they were maybe a bit out of their element amongst some of the other acts.¬† Once again, it seemed to be the same 3-4 women carrying the bulk of the singing weight, while the others swayed & hummed in the background – and for once, the “leading ladies” seemed to struggle a bit themselves, and once again I didn’t particularly enjoy the arrangement of their song.¬† I have to wonder if the absence of one of their lead singers (who had given birth the previous week) really hurt them.¬† I also kind of appreciate that Howie seemed to reinforce the point that these ladies should be judged by their TALENT, and not their sappy backstory – I think there’s been far too much sappy backstory-driven judging AND voting this season, and it’s resulted in some weaker acts making it through over stronger ones.¬† I don’t see them making it through tonight, but I do commend them for the work they do.

12.) John Wing – Not terrible, but not terribly funny, either.¬† Most of his jokes just made me give a small smile, as opposed to the laughing out loud I did to Taylor’s comedy last week.¬† I think John is just so droll that you really have to have the right, dry sense of humor in order to really appreciate (and remember) him – and he really was just a non-event for me last night.

So with only 1.5 hours till showtime – what are your predictions? ūüôā

 

September 4, 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 2nd Semifinal Airing September 3

Here’s the semifinalists performing next week:

Kenichi Ebina
Jimmy Rose
Marty Brown
Chicago Boyz
D’Angelo & Amanda
John Wing
Timber Brown
Branden James
American Military Spouses Choir
Anna Christine
Kristef Brothers*
Leon Etienne & Romy Low (Howard’s wild card pick)

*pending healing of the injury Kris sustained while rehearsing for this week’s semifinal.

The one major threat I see to Forte’s apparent monopoly on the win this season? Kenichi Ebina. If he can pull off something as cool as what he did in the quarterfinals, I think he’s gonna be a force to be reckoned with. ¬†Other standouts? I’m guessing Jimmy Rose, Timber Brown, D’Angelo & Amanda, and I’m tentatively going to say the Chicago Boyz & Kristef Brothers, who both have injuries to contend with (one of the Chicago Boyz broke his leg in the 3rd quarterfinal, and obviously Kris from Kristef is still recovering from the injury he sustained this week). ¬†As I said in my spoilers post, I think Leon & Romy don’t stand a chance; I also keep forgetting that Anna Christine is even in this competition, and think Marty Brown’s weaknesses are really going to show next to Jimmy Rose, much the same way that Jonathan Allen’s did next to Forte. ¬†And speaking of opera – so help me god, Branden James better NOT make the top 12…most overrated act this season, IMO.

So who do you guys think will be the ones to watch next week? And what do you think of Howard’s wild card pick?

August 28, 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, Live Show #2 – SPOILERS!!! Who Made it Through to the Next Round?

Let me just say this: I HATE being right sometimes…and tonight was unfortunately one of those times ūüôĀ I also hate that the judges’ vote has been a bit of a cop-out for two weeks in a row now. Thankfully, I had Robin Thicke’s silky smooth voice to soothe me.¬† ūüôā Read more..

July 31, 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 Live Show #2 – Power Rankings

Am I the only one who have found the live shows to be rather lackluster thus far? Once again last night, I was left feeling kind of “meh” about some acts that had really thrilled me prior to this point.¬† There were a few standouts, of course, but it seems like quite a few acts are just getting lost in the shuffle.¬† Will be interesting to see how things pan out tonight…

1.) Forte¬†–¬†This was a little bit of a gimme, in my opinion, as I had them pegged as advancing to the next round before they even performed – and sure enough, they delivered once more…and thankfully, they seemed to reign in the problem they had in Vegas: now Sean feels more like part of the group, as opposed to a featured soloist.¬† Love the feeling of a “wall of sound” that I get from them.¬† I agree with Howie that these guys are top 10 material, for sure.

2.) Tone the Chiefrocca – This really seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it kind of act, but even if you can’t stand this guy, I think you have to admit that his whole schtick is kind of genius: his only ambition is to be a one-hit wonder, and he readily admits it.¬† You can’t accuse the guy of overreaching given his level of talent, and really, his song is terribly catchy and radio-ready. On top of that, he (and his “hype guy” Colby, who is quickly stealing the show for me) is ridiculously amusing to watch, on and off-stage, and has the right personality to really carry of the “spectacle” of what he’s doing.¬† I loved their performance last night and I don’t feel even slightly guilty admitting it – it was amusing and it made me smile.¬† Sure, it’s not classical opera or some ridiculously skilled dance act, but at the end of the day, I was entertained…and I think America was, too ūüôā

3.) Innovative Force – Was actually quite pleasantly surprised by what this group brought to the table – saw some stunts that I’d never seen before, and they handled them masterfully.¬† My only complaint is that their act seemed to focus more on the stunting aspect and they seemed to neglect the dancing aspect a bit – this may have been a strategic choice on their part, in order to make more of an impact, but I think they’re going to run out of stunts pretty quickly if they continue at the pace they’re going – I don’t think it would hurt to add a bit more dancing to the act.

4.) Angela Hoover – Found myself a bit on-the-fence about our female impressionist last night – I think her impressions were pretty spot-on and relevant, but I think she picked some “gimmes” to imitate and the end result wasn’t as creative as what we saw from her in the audition rounds.¬† Was it relevant and cute to impersonate Mel & Heidi, and do it well at that? Sure.¬† But I almost feel like that’s what people were expecting her to do, as other impressionists have taken aim at the judges in past seasons.¬† I also thought the Christina Aguilera impersonation was a bit of a freebie – almost every female impressionist seems to do Christina, since her voice is so distinct.¬† I think Angela will probably make it through tonight, but I’d like to see her challenge herself a bit more in the future – either by trying a few male impressions, or by picking female celebs that are a bit harder to imitate…I’d like to see a good Kardashian impression, or maybe a Kate Middleton.

5.) Marty Brown¬†– Marty blew it last night – period.¬† He was out-of-tune, lost his stage presence, and overall, he didn’t deliver.¬† That said – I would not be surprised if he made it through tonight by some miracle, as so many people just seem to love this “good ol’ boy” and are willing to give him another chance.¬† That song was terrible, but I think the fact that he dedicated it to his dear ol’ dad and was singing to his wife will probably tug on enough heartstrings to get him a decent amount of votes.¬† If it comes down to him in the judges’ choice? I think the judges pick the other act – but I get the feeling that we’ll be¬†seeing him again in the wild card.

6.) Alexander Magala¬† – I will say this: the levels of danger this guy goes to never cease to amaze me.¬† He does do a great job of upping his game each week.¬† That said – he was a little off his game this week, and his injury may have had something to do with it.¬† I saw a few trips and slips, and I think the fire element just made it hard to see and appreciate what he was doing.¬† I worry that tonight may be the end of the road for him, just because there were acts that didn’t struggle as much. If nothing else – he’s far more fun to watch than Brad Byers.

7.) Ciana Pelekai – Ugh, I just cringe when a talented singer just picks the wrong song and ends up falling kind of flat as a result.¬† Ciana’s got a great voice – unfortunately, the arrangement of this song (and the distracting dancers/backup singers in the background) seemed to serve more to drown out her vocals rather than showcasing them.¬† It started off well – I thought she sounded great by herself at the beginning – but once the song hit the chorus? Nah.¬† Another act I could see being asked back for the wild card.

8.) Kid the Wiz – Kid is great at what he does, no doubt.¬† But I think we’ve seen just about all we’re going to get out of him – I don’t know that I see him being able to do a whole lot more with his act that we haven’t already seen…and he’s still making mistakes.¬† I don’t know that he’s got the steam to go any further in this competition.

9.) Aquanuts – This went from being cool to being cheesy awfully fast for me – I realize that it takes a tremendous amount of skill to do what they do, but at the same time…I found myself bored with it.¬† Not sure how America’s gonna feel, but if they were as unamused as I was…yikes.

10.) Brad Byers – Zzzzzzzz.¬† That’s all I really find myself saying after watching his performances – I mean, what he does is no doubt dangerous, but I find myself just not caring a whole lot because his delivery is so deadpan.¬† On top of that, I feel like the tricks are getting a little repetitive – it was the tongue on the blowtorch in Vegas, and now the tongue in the fan on the live show.¬† What’s next, licking a¬†cactus?

11.) Struck Boyz – I just don’t find this group terribly talented – I feel like we’ve got much stronger dancers that aren’t as gimmicky.¬† It’s as if they saw Bieber and the guys from Jersey Shore doing their thing, and decided they would be a good group of guys to emulate in order to make little girls shriek.¬† Too bad they don’t have the same effect on grown women…yuck.

12.) Dave Shirley – Not terribly funny or creative…not a whole lot much more I can say.

So who do you think will make it through tonight? And who let you down?

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 2nd Live Show Airing July 30

I’m sure Nick will annouce the acts for next week’s show at the end of the results show tonight, but so far we know¬†a few of the¬†acts we’ll be seeing next week:

ciana

Ciana also tweeted that she just arrived in New York a few hours ago, so it looks like all of the week 2 acts are making their way there now…

tone

According to Marty Brown’s Facebook, he also arrived in New York last night; and according to Brad Byers’ website, he will be performing at RCMH next Tuesday.

UPDATED: Here’s the complete roster for next week, announced by Nick at the end of this week’s results show.

Ciana Pelekai (child singer)
Tone the Chiefrocca (rapper)
Marty Brown (country singer)
Brad Byers (sword swallower)
Struck Boyz (child hip-hop group)
Forte (opera trio)
Aquanauts (synchronized swimmers)
Angela Hoover (comedic impressionist)
Alexander Magala (sword-swallowing dancer/aerialist)
Kid the Wiz (hat trick dancer)
Dave Shirley (comedian)
Innovative Force (dance/acrobatics group)

Well, I think it’s safe to say that Forte has one of the 4 spots in the semifinals on lock – and I think Marty Brown probably has one, too.¬† Will be interesting to see who gets the other two…I’m personally rooting for Tone and maybe Ciana too, but I don’t really feel particularly strongly about this group of acts.¬† The one interesting act here? Aquanauts, who we did not see at all in Vegas – which tells me that some other act that DID make it through to the live shows had to withdraw.¬† Hmmm…wonder who it could be.¬† What do you guys think of next week’s acts?

July 24, 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 Predictions – Singers/Classical Singers/Bands/Music Groups

In further preparation for Vegas week, I’ve decided to take a closer look at each of our contestants and gaze into my crystal ball to try & predict who will do well in Vegas and who won’t.¬† I’ve taken each act and given them one of four verdicts: “a sure thing” for the acts I’m almost positive will make it through to the live shows; “looking likely” for the acts I think will probably make it though to the live shows; “could go either way” for the acts I’m not sure about; and “a long shot” for the acts I don’t think have a very good chance of making it through to the live shows.¬† Today I’m going to be examining the singers, classical singers, and musical groups from this season.¬† Let’s get to it, shall we? ūüôā

Singers:

*Interesting little thing I noticed: 5 of the acts below made it to Vegas by performing original songs.

Marty Brown: Could go either way. With 3 male country vocalists in Vegas this year, I think at best they’ll take 2¬†for the live shows – I really don’t see all 3 making it through. I think Milton will make it through based on the fact that he, like Landau from season 6, is such a novelty (in addition to being talented);¬† which leaves us with Marty vs. Jimmy.¬† I go back and forth on which one has a better chance of making it – part of me says Marty, because he appeals to an older demographic; part of me says Jimmy, because he’s got a bit more versatility, in that he’s also a songwriter.

Tone the Chiefrocca: Could go either way. I’m a big “B-O-O-T-Y” fan, and I would love, love, LOVE to see this guy make the live shows.¬† The question is: is “B-O-O-T-Y” every bit as entertaining the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. times we see it performed, as it was the first time? Howard seemed skeptical about Tone performing the same song every time, but Howie was all about it.¬† I think the song is ridiculously catchy, and I think Tone & his brother are ridiculously fun to watch, so I think they may actually stand a good chance of making it to the live shows – if they can somehow keep the act fresh.

Paul Thomas Mitchell: Looking likely.¬† He’s got a unique voice, bona fide talent, and seems like he could be a heartthrob-type that young girls would pick up the phone for. I think he’s got more widespread appeal (and natural talent) than Sully, whom I could see him being pitted against for a spot in the live shows.

Deanna DellaCioppa: Looking likely. While I don’t think Deanna is the most talented vocalist this show has ever seen, and I think she has a lot of room for improvement from her initial audition, I think she’ll likely make it through based on the fact that we don’t have any other R&B/soul female vocalists this season, and the judges (minus Mel B) seemed mesmerized by all the crazy notes she was hitting.

Cami Bradley: A long shot. Given that we only saw a very brief clip of Cami, and there are female vocalists in the kids’ category that could probably sing circles around Cami, I doubt we’ll see her lasting past Vegas…if we even see her in Vegas.¬† She’s not really standing out in my mind, which tells me she may be one of those acts that isn’t even shown in Vegas, and then we just assume she was¬†sent home.

David Fenley: A sure thing. I think he’s probably the most universally-appealing contestant from the singers category this season – he puts a cool spin on popular songs, he knows¬†his way around a guitar, he’s got a unique voice, and he’s got an edge about him.¬† I don’t see him struggling in Vegas, and he would probably be an easy “yes” for the judges for the live shows.

Lil Mike & Funny Bone: A long shot. I think there’s probably only room for one rapping act this season, and I think Tone probably has that slot on lock…IF they even take a rapping act this season.¬† While I really like Lil Mike & Funny Bone, I just don’t know that they’re as entertaining and charismatic as Tone, and “Do the Rain Dance” is not as catchy as “B-O-O-T-Y”.¬† On the flip side, I think “Mike Bone” might actually have some other songs up their sleeve, where as Tone only has one.¬† I’ll be gleefully happy if both Tone & Mike Bone make it to the live shows – but I’m just not feeling optimistic.

Sully Dunn: A long shot. I’m honestly a bit surprised he made it through to Vegas (and the judges did seem a bit skeptical), so I think he’s got a tough road ahead of him if he wants to stick around.¬† I don’t know that another song like the one he performed for his audition is gonna cut it – if I were him, I’d go for a cover that fits in well with his punk style (maybe Green Day?) and work on stage presence.¬† I’m almost kind of hoping he doesn’t make the live shows, for the simple reason that he seems to get really, really nervous in front of big crowds. I could see Howie picking him for the wild card round, though.

Jimmy Rose: Could go either way. As I said above with Marty, I just don’t see them taking more than two male country vocalists this season – and with Milton as kind of a lock, I think the question over who they’re going to pick for the second slot will come down to old school vs. new school: do they want the good ol’ boy who sings covers (Marty), or the vulnerable new guy who writes his own material? I’m actually a bit partial to Jimmy, since I think he has a bit more of a stage presence.

Milton Patton: Looking likely. ¬†Milton’s got a great, unique voice, and on top of that, he’s got a novelty to him that I think will bring in viewers: he’s a black guy that sings country like Brad Paisley.¬† I think part of Landau’s appeal from a few seasons back and Andrew DeLeon’s from last season was the fact that their voices and the music they sang were not what one would have expected, given their respective appearances.¬† On top of that, he’s got an easy charm to him, and good looks that will likely appeal to the ladies.¬† I will be surprised if he doesn’t make it to the live shows.

 

Classical singers:

Forte: A sure thing. Barring a truly horrible performance in Vegas (hell, I think they could probably even get away with bombing completely!), I think these guys will coast through to the live shows easily – the judges seemed to really gush about how great they sounded, and if memory serves, they’re the first opera trio we’ve ever had on the show.¬† The novelty of them seems to be something that would bring in viewers. If Jackie Evancho was AGT’s answer to Sarah Brightman, then I think Forte may be AGT’s answer to The Three Tenors…the buzz practically writes itself.

Travis Pratt: Looking likely. Of the three solo opera guys we have this season, I think Travis has the best technique and control (although I think any one of the three guys in Forte could sing circles around him), and he has the novelty factor: he can sing opera like a girl, and we don’t have any opera girls this season.¬† It’s a niche that needs to be filled.¬† Plus I think viewers will remember him as “the guy who proposed to his girlfriend on national television”.¬† ūüôā

Branden James: Could go either way. He seemed a little shaky to me at times, and maybe didn’t have quite the training and control that the Forte guys & Travis did.¬† But I think he injects an incredible amount of emotion into his performances, and has this lovely, vulnerable quality to him.¬† I think him making it through to the live shows will likely depend on how many opera acts they decide to take this season – I don’t recall a season where there’s been more than one, but I also can’t remember a season where there have been this many opera acts that made it to Vegas.

Jonathan Allen: A longshot.¬† Sorry, Jonathan fans – while he comes across quite likeable and has a touching backstory, he still sticks out in my mind as the weakest of the of the classical singers we’ve seen this season.¬† I think he’s at a bit of a disadvantage just due to his age, as the other guys in this category are older and have had longer to hone their craft. I think he may only have a chance of making it through if one of the other guys really performs poorly – or if Jonathan has gotten a ton of practice in since his initial audition and just brings down the house in Vegas.

Bands/Music Groups:

3Penny Chorus & Orchestra: Looking likely.¬† They’ve got the capability to perform pop music on a pretty large scale, and can appeal to both an older and a younger generation.¬† I think they’ve got more polish and more versatility than Mariachi Nuevo Estilo, who also perform pop songs with a twist; my only worry is that they maybe don’t have quite as much stage presence as them, given that all of the musicians are seated.¬†

Mariachi Nuevo Estilo AVM: Could go either way.¬† I personally found their act a little on the sloppy side, but I can see how they would appeal to a younger audience – they’re singing pop music in an interesting way and dancing along with it in an amusing fashion.¬† I could see them being one of the standby acts in Vegas – and as long as they don’t completely bomb, I could see them making it through to the live shows.¬†

American Military Spouses Choir: A long shot. As heartwarming as their story was, I just don’t know that they’ve got enough unique talent to really have a good shot on the live shows – I think the UV Gospel Chorale has stronger voices and a stronger stage presence, and the American Hitmen are every bit as patriotic as the Military Spouses Choir…but have more talent.¬†

University of Virginia Gospel Chorale: Looking likely.¬† It’s been awhile since the show has seen a good gospel choir, and I think this one is a real crowd-pleaser: they have these huge voices and exciting choreography that can really turn a performance into an event.¬† I think it’s something that will translate well into live TV.

Brandon & Savannah: Could go either way.¬† I’m not entirely sure whether these two will get lumped in with the adults, or will be included in the “kid” acts – they’re at an age where they could ostensibly be included in either category. Regardless, I think they’re really marketable and would likely be popular with the Disney crowd…but in the same token, they¬†might be a bit too¬†“bubblegum” to really be taken seriously.¬†¬†I think they should probably¬†switch to singing covers if they want to be taken seriously.

The American Hit Men: A sure thing. I’ve noticed that Howard tends to really stand his ground when he likes an act (and when he dislikes an act, too), so I think it works in this act’s favor that Howard is a big fan.¬† They’re the “great rock band” that he had been wanting to find this season, and they really don’t have any competition in that niche.¬†

212 Green: A sure thing. They’re young, they’re cute, and they’re talented – and there aren’t really any other acts with a similar lineup or sound this season.¬† I’d say they’re the hipper, more artsy version of Brandon & Savannah – and adults and kids alike will probably love them.

So what are your thoughts on this season’s singers? Who do you think will make it through to the live shows…and who do you think we’ll say goodbye to in Vegas?

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 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)*

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!

PureAGT Episode #1 Music List – San Antonio/New York/L.A. Auditions

¬†Here’s the music I was able to identify from this week’s episode – there are a few missing, namely the song playing during Catapult’s performance and the Indian music playing during Special Head’s intro.¬† If you know either of these songs, or have a question about another song, please let me know and I’ll do my best to try & hunt it down ūüôā

“Living in America” by James BrownLiving In America - Rocky IV (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (opening sequence with Nick lip syncing)
“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Santa EsmereldaDon't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Santa Esmeralda - Hits Anthology (David Weathers gets 4 yes’s)
“Make You Feel My Love” by¬†Bob DylanMake You Feel My Love - Dylan (Deluxe Version)¬†(cover sung by Marty Brown)
“Shooting Star” by Bob DylanShooting Star - Oh Mercy (Marty Brown gets 4 yes’s)
“New York, New York” by Frank SinatraTheme from New York, New York - Nothing But the Best - The Frank Sinatra Collection (Remastered) (New York auditions intro)
“Born this Way” by Lady GagaBorn This Way - Born This Way (Miu’s performance)
“Getting to Know You” from The King & IGetting to Know You - Classic Julie - Classic Broadway (Miu gets rejected, montage of bad auditions)
“Diamonds” by RihannaDiamonds - Diamonds - Single (Catapult gets 4 yes’s)
“Singin’ in the Rain (Remix)” by¬†The Bangerz¬†(Hype’s performance)
“Express Yourself” by LabrinthExpress Yourself - Express Yourself - Single (Hype gets 4 yes’s, montage of good auditions)
“No Light, No Light” by Florence + the MachineNo Light, No Light - Ceremonials (Tristan Jih’s performance)
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie TylerTotal Eclipse of the Heart - Faster Than the Speed of Night (Dave Shirley’s performance)
“Sirius/Eye in the Sky” by Alan ParsonsSirius / Eye In the Sky (Live) - Eye 2 Eye - Live In Madrid (Chuck from the Bronx intro)
“Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)” by Bill ContiGonna Fly Now - Rocky II (Music from the Motion Picture)(Chuck from the Bronx performance)
“Hot Hot Hot” by Buster PoindexterHot Hot Hot - Buster Poindexter(Howie eats the hot pepper)
“Payphone” by Maroon 5 feat. Wiz KhalifaPayphone - Now That's What I Call Music, Vol. 43 (Alex B. intro; cover sung by Alex B.)
“Your Song” by Ellie GouldingYour Song - Lights (Alex get’s 4 no’s; intro for Anna Christine)
“House of the Rising Sun” by The AnimalsHouse of the Rising Sun - Retrospective (cover sung by Anna Christine)
“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae JepsenCall Me Maybe - Kiss (Deluxe Version) (3Penny Chorus & Orchestra cover; original version playing when the judges send then to Vegas)
“California Dreamin'” by The Mamas & the PapasCalifornia Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas Greatest Hits (cover sung by Pacific Boys’ choir)
“Wannabe” by The Spice GirlsWannabe - Spice (Angela Hoover gets 4 yes’s; Barbie & Mina intro)
“All I Have to Do is Dream” by The Everly BrothersAll I Have to Do Is Dream - The Everly Brothers' Best (montage of L.A. contestants waiting to audition)
“Whoomp! (There it is)” by Tag TeamWhoomp! (There It Is) [Radio Edit] - Whoomp! There It Is - EP (Tone the Chiefrocca intro)

June 6, 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!