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PureAGT Season 9, Episode #1 – Audition Round Run-Down

I apologize that this has taken so long – apparently a 9-month absence made me forget just how LONG a 2-hour show is, and how many acts we really see!

Just FYI, for anyone looking for the music from last nights show – my full list is here.

Adrian Romoff – age 9, from Atlanta, GA
The act:ย Played “Flight of the Bumblebee” and “Symphony No. 1 in E Flat Major” on the piano.
The verdict: Howard was dubious about whether or not the boy was actually playing the piano after the first song, so he offered to play a second one. Howard was sold, and he got 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: I may be in the minority here, as I saw quite a few people on Twitter mentioning that they found Adrian “annoying”, but I love precocious kids that are articulate and wise beyond their years…probably because I was the same way at that age ๐Ÿ˜› I got a kick at how he was calmly and confidently (and wittily!) conversing with the judges. The piano-playing was good, of course, although I found the arrangements of both pieces he played to be a bit too “busy” – would have liked something a bit simpler and less electronic-sounding, so I could really appreciate his skill.

The Famtastix
The act:: A group of grown siblings (2 brothers, 4 sisters)that clogged to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge.
The verdict: They’re through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Kind of over clogging acts (they all start to look rather similar after awhile), but this one wasn’t bad.

Richard & Ashlee
The act: A male-female duo of classical dancers turned circus performers that did a series of lifts to “Too Close” by Alex Clare.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Gonna be hard to trump the Kristef Brothers in my book. The little we saw was ok – but I hope their next performance is more entertaining.

Tic & Tac Entertainment
The act: An “acrobatic breakdance comedy group” that did a series of flips, tricks, and breakdance moves to “Happy” by Pharell.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Visually, they reminded me of The Chicago Boyz from last season, wearing leftover Team USA sweaters from the Olympics in Sochi ๐Ÿ˜› But I think they could potentially be a more well-rounded version of the Chicago Boyz – they seem like they’re able to do a lot more.

3 unnamed comedians
The act: Three very unfunny comedians that preceded Dan Naturman.
The verdict: Fairly certain none of them made it through, judging by all the buzzing that was going on.
Court’s thoughts: Who told any of these 3 guys that it was a good idea to try out for AGT??? None of them even sounded prepared.

Dan Naturman – age 44, from New York City
The act: A stand-up comedian that hit on such topics as marriage, Game of Thrones, and people lying on the Internet.
The verdict:: He got yes’s from all 4 judges (even Heidi), and he’s through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: At first, I found his delivery a bit jarring – could have been nerves, but he started off in a somewhat rushed, rapid-fire rhythm in an accent that can best be described as James Cagney meets Gilbert Godfried ๐Ÿ˜› But about 20 seconds in, he settled into a good rhythm, and it flowed well. Loved the material – tackled timeless topics, while giving it more of a current spin. Could be this season’s Taylor Williamson, methinks.

Rokardy – age 49, from Cuba
The act: He’s a hand-balancer that managed to balance on a narrow stand high enough above the stage that he actually was hidden behind the judges’ X’s, then climbed down and landed in a split. Brought along his son Carlos, who assisted by throwing him pieces of the stand, which he assembled as he climbed it.
The verdict: 4 yes’s. And Howard wants to make a movie about Carlos. ๐Ÿ˜›
Court’s thoughts: Anyone else find it just a bit odd that Rokardy didn’t introduce Carlos as his son right off the bat? Just was a bit funny to me that he started off by saying “This is my assistant” and it wasn’t until much later that he was like “Oh yeah, he’s my son.” Weird little nitpick, and I’m probably the only one that honed in on it ๐Ÿ˜› But anyway!!! A hand-balancer that is possibly more skilled than the Kristef Brothers…but I don’t know that he’s got the variety or the showmanship that made them so appealing. Hope he’s got some other tricks up his sleeve. Looks fan-freaking-tastic for pushing 50!!!

Donnie Valentine – from Champaign, IL
The act: He sang a cover of “You Make Me Feel Brand New” in a painful falsetto.
The verdict: 4 very quick X’s…quite possibly the quickest anyone’s ever gotten them, according to Howard.
Court’s thoughts: This dude is like an unholy trinity of creepy: bizarre at-home perm, eyes that don’t blink nearly enough, and pants that make him look like he’s about to swashbuckle. Yikes.

Juli Moody
The act: I guess it was some sort of strong woman act – she did some squats with Nick on her back.
The verdict: I’m assuming no – even though it took awhile (because the judges were enjoying watching Nick look uncomfortable on her back), most of the judges buzzed her.
Court’s thoughts: Had she gotten a bit more creative with this and not just relied on squatting Nick, I think she might have actually had something…we don’t see too many StrongWoman acts. But alas, no.

Bald Man Bongos
The act: 4 bald dudes smacking each other in the head in rhythm. Basically, last season’s Tummy Talk, just tweaked slightly.
The verdict: Howie was the only one that didn’t buzz – and he briefly joined the group onstage. But we won’t see them in Boot Camp.
Court’s thoughts: Tummy Talk wasn’t that great of an act, so why did someone feel the need to rehash it? Just DUMB.

Unnamed hula hooping act
The act: A middle-aged woman in a red flapper costume hula-hoooping…awkwardly.
The verdict: It’s a no – although the act improved dramatically when Nick joined her onstage to share his hula hoop skills ๐Ÿ˜›
Court’s thoughts: The way this woman moved is how I would imagine an ostrich trying to hula hoop would look.

Unnamed kick-line dance group
The act: From the very brief clip we saw, they appear to be an all-female jazz dance group – that does kick lines.
The verdict: Not shown – although they seem pretty good, and Mel looked impressed.
Court’s thoughts: Was part of the rapid-fire montage of acts right before Mighty Atom, so we only saw a few seconds. Looked decent, though.

Unnamed knife-throwing act
The act: A male-female knife-throwing duo.
The verdict: Not shown.
Court’s thoughts: Looked like a pretty garden-variety knife-throwing act…nothing too special.

Unnamed ping pong act
The act: A girl hitting a ping pong ball into a guys mouth…and him spitting it back out. Repeat.
The verdict: Unknown – but I have a hard time believing this one made it through, given how bored the judges looked.
Court’s thoughts: Just…why???

Unnamed bell-ringing musician
The act: A snazzy-dress middle-aged woman playing “Like A Virgin” with hand bells.
The verdict: Yet another unknown…but the judges looked very unimpressed.
Court’s thoughts: She looked like a top-selling Avon lady circa 1987. And probably watches a lot of Wheel of Fortune in her spare time.

Mike Greenstein, aka “Mighty Atom Jr.” – age 93
The act: He’s a strongman that pulled a station wagon carrying 3 people WITH HIS TEETH.
The verdict: 3 yes’s, and 1 no from Howard, who thought he act “needed more showmanship”.
Court’s thoughts: First off, I just thought he was the most adorable thing we’ve seen on the show so far – loved how he chomped his teeth like Iceman from Top Gun, and referred to his “84-year-old kid brother”. Clearly this man did not get the memo that he is 93 years old ๐Ÿ˜› Thought the act was impressive, but not sure there’s a whole lot else he can do with it…but I’m glad he’s had this opportunity to show America that you don’t have to sit around and do nothing after you retire!

Acte II – ages 32 & 29, from New Orleans
The act: A female opera duo that sang “The Flower Duet”.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts:: I don’t particularly like opera, but I enjoyed this – I can’t recall another time on AGT that we’ve had a female opera duo or group. So I find this act intriguing ๐Ÿ™‚ I know a lot of folks on Twitter were of the opinion “Whatever, they’re no Forte!!!” but I really think the two are apples & oranges – they’re just different from Forte. Not sure how many more opera duets are written for two females – “The Flower Duet” was the only one I was familiar with – but I’m hoping these two can sing things other than just opera. It sounds like they can – they seemed to indicate that they like singing more contemporary music, too.

Unnamed J-setting dance group
The act: A group of drag queens in gold costumes performing “J-setting”, a style of dance inspired by the 8-counts typically done in cheerleading.
The verdict: Unknown – Mel & Heidi seemed to be enjoying it, Howie buzzed them but didn’t say anything, and Howard was a big fat “NO!”
Court’s thoughts: I’m actually a big fan of J-setting, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea…so I doubt it would make a very good Vegas show :-/

Unnamed male hip-hop dancer
The act: A young Asian man doing a pretty impressive sequence of spins and turns incorporated into turfing, jooking, and some other hip-hop styles.
The verdict: 3 yes’s, and one no from Howard.
Court’s thoughts: I was impressed by what I saw, and I don’t think we’ve had a really impressive street dancer since Turf back in season 6. I’m ready for another good solo hip-hop dancer!

Unnamed female singing group
The act: A group of 4 young ladies singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.
The verdict: Howard liked it, but the other 3 didn’t…so probably didn’t make it, but not shown for sure.
Court’s thoughts: Sounded kinda off-key, from the short blurb I saw.

Unnamed band
The act: 4 young, decently good-looking guys with guitars – we didn’t actually get to see them perform.
The verdict: Howie & Heidi liked it, but Howard didn’t…but again, no verdict actually shown.
Court’s thoughts: All these unknown decisions are gonna drive me nuts when it comes time to compile my Boot Camp week list later this season. Grrrr…

Dustin’s Dojo – ages 30 & 35, from Indianapolis
The act: Two guys performing a comedic parody of what it’s like to attend karate school, complete with punches, board breaking, and high kicks.
The verdict: Mel & Heidi (particularly Heidi) didn’t think it was funny at all, but Howard and Howie loved it and gave it two yes’s…when the girls said “no”, Howard invoked his one-time Golden Buzzer privileges and sent them through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: I already talked about this act a bit in my poll post from earlier today (if you haven’t already, tell us what you thought about Dustin’s Dojo!), but I’m in the camp that loved it – thought it was pretty clever and an a pretty apt parody of what happens in martial arts school. I’ve noticed that the act seems to be more popular with men than with women, maybe owing to the slapstick nature of the act. Probably won’t make it past the next round, but I’m ok with it right now – just a fun, space-filling act.

Unnamed female dance group
The act: Another all-female dance group doing vaguely jazzy, hip-hopping stuff.
The verdict: By the positive response from the judges and their happy squeals as they left the stage, I’m gonna venture a guess that they made it through.
Court’s thoughts: Gettin’ real tired of this no-names, short clips sh*t…

Unnamed male stepping group
The act: A group of steppers, who also through in some acrobatic moves in between stepping moves.
The verdict: They made it through.
Court’s thoughts:Glad to see another stepping group – the one we saw last season got very little attention, and was kinda lame. Hope this one makes it further!

Unnammed male hip-hop/acrobatic dance group
The act: 7 young men doing a combination of hip-hop and acrobatic tricks.
The verdict: Through to the next round.
Court’s thoughts: Loved the cute little guy with the locks they had up front – reminds me of the cute lil guy from Chicago Boyz last year ๐Ÿ˜›

Blue Journey – ages 18 & 33
The act: A contemporary dance duo that incorporated a projection screen into their routine, along with elements of silhouettes & video technology.
The verdict: Despite an awkward initial interview, the performance pleased the judges and they got 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: On paper, I probably should have hated this routine – it had several elements I’m tired of seeing on AGT: silhouettes, LCD screens, animations, and blacklight effect incorporated into dance routines. But it was so well-put-together that I couldn’t help but enjoy it – both the dancers were technically strong, as was the choreography itself and the overall staging. Looking forward to seeing what else they have to bring to the table.

Larry the Mime (Nick in disguise)
The act: A fairly terrible French mime act, complete with poorly-executed invisible box, invisible rope, and more.
The verdict: 4 resounding no’s from the judges, and one very sad-looking mime who launched into a diatribe shortly thereafter.
Court’s thoughts: I honestly feel a bit stupid that I didn’t realize sooner that it was Nick underneath that makeup – but with as kooky as some of the acts have gotten in recent years, I didn’t think it was completely off-the-wall to have a disgruntled mime on the show. So touchรฉ, Nick…touchรฉ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jaycob Curlee – from Daphne, AL
The act: He sang and played an acoustic version of “Waiting on the World to Change”.
The verdict: 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: It was pretty good – nothing terribly special, though. Kind of your garden-variety guy with a guitar and a soft voice trying to be John Mayer. I have a feeling America will feel for his sad backstory, though, and he’ll likely last much longer than he should, a la Jimmy Rose. Yes, I’m cynical. ๐Ÿ˜›

So those were my thoughts on the acts we saw last night…what are yours? Do you have an early favorites?

May 28, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound specialist by day, entertainment blogger by night - with some amateur dancer, hair & makeup enthusiast, crazy cat lady, recreational chef, and Donnie Wahlberg/Norman Reedus fangirl peppered in to make things interesting ;-) Check out some of my other work over at puredwts.com!

PureAGT Season 9, Episode #1 Music List

Here’s the list I was able to compile for tonight’s episode – feel free to add any that are missing in the comments section ๐Ÿ™‚ My rundown of tonight’s show should (hopefully) be up some time tomorrow night…stay tuned!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 27, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound specialist by day, entertainment blogger by night - with some amateur dancer, hair & makeup enthusiast, crazy cat lady, recreational chef, and Donnie Wahlberg/Norman Reedus fangirl peppered in to make things interesting ;-) Check out some of my other work over at puredwts.com!