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Final America’s Got Talent Finalists

It’s usually pretty easy to predict many of the people who will be going on to the next round. America’s Got Talent isn’t the best at providing surprises. For some reason, certain acts just click better with America than others and it’s often quite obvious.

Although, there’s certainly other ways to tell too. For example, here’s the top 5 from the America’s Got Talent poll Marianya posted:
Fighting Gravity: Blacklight Performers
Jackie Evancho: Youth Singer
Michael Grasso: Magician/Illusionist
Jeremy VanSchoonhoven: Bicyclist
Studio One Young Beast Society: Dance Group

Also, I find it interesting which acts NBC’s PR person decides to send me. Here’s who they sent this time:
Jackie Evancho
Fighting Gravity
Jeremy Vanschoonhoven
Alice Tan Ridley
Michael Grasso

I think that list is a pretty good indication of the top 5. Amazingly only 2 singers. Watch for Alice Tan Ridley to not make it to the finals if the judges make the choice. The show already has enough singers in the finals. Although, I’m sure AGT would love to have Precious on the show.

I’m personally a little surprised to not see Michael & Ashleigh up higher. I thought they were quite entertaining and thought America would like them more. Besides the scare when they dropped her, it was by far their best performance. It was a mistake for them to say that they weren’t a couple. It would have been better to let people imagine they were. On a side note, Ashleigh is incredibly beautiful!

September 1, 2010 I Written By

America’s Got Talent 5: Second Semi Final Group

You can choose up to five acts.

August 31, 2010 I Written By

America’s Got Talent 5: Sixteen Act Breakdown

As we wait for the YouTube Auditions to commence on August 10th… let us take a look at the breakdown of the acts that have made it through to the next round… first the categorical breakdown:


Alice Tan Ridley: Singer
Cristina & Ali: Singing Sisters
Prince Poppycock: Opera Singer
Debra Romer: Singer/Musician
Michael Grimm: Singer/Musician
Nathaniel Kenyon: Singer/Musician
Taylor Matthews: Singer/Musician

Now anyone that did any kind of singing get’s clumped into the singing group without question, which would make it a rather large group. However, when you break it down even further you’d notice that about half are solo singer/musicians meaning that they accompany themselves on a musical instrument while singing. Thus of the last three there is one pure singer, a singing duo and a performance/opera singer. When one breaks it down like that it doesn’t seem so bad…

It’s easy to argue that the number of singers still in the competition makes up about half of the total number of acts and as thus more of a singing competition than a talent competition. However, as easy as it is to say why don’t the singers move to American Idol, here’s my argument. The Idol series (Pop Idol, American Idol, etc) focuses on several things when choosing their contestants: physical look, vocal ability, entertainment value and the age-range. The Idol series focuses primarily on the “pop” genre or something pop-XXXX genre. Yes they have gotten better in including soul, rock and country… but the majority of the singers in the competition are primarily pop. Add to that the look and entertainment value and true talent tends to go out the window (which is why the group doesn’t cover American Idol… we like talent shows 😀 ).

All kidding aside every one of these acts have the talent to do decently in the music business no matter where they end up. The real question is that after acts like Bianca Ryan, Terry Fator (though technically he is a singing ventriloquist), Eli Mattson, Neal E Boyd, and Kevin Skinner… do we really need another singer to take it all? Or is it time for another different kind of act to step forward?

Future Funk: Hip-Hop Dance Duo
Haspop: Popping Dancer
Studio One Young Beast Society: Dance Troupe

One common thread I noticed with the above acts… hip hop… It seems like Hip Hop dancing is the “in” thing now, it is what is hip or going on. The other thing I noticed is that the majority of the dancers are outside of the 18 – 30 age range of So You Think You Can Dance contestants for the most part.

Dance has been gaining traction thanks to the likes of Dancing with the Stars (ballroom dancing), So You Think You Can Dance (all styles), America’s Best Dance Crew (mostly hip hop and breaking)… but the fact that only generally hip hop dancers have made it this far and that most of the popular media deals with hip hop tells a bit of something about the genre in general.

Are any of the above strong enough to have a Las Vegas major production catered around them for well over an hour? I’m not entirely certain I could handle watching one type of dancing for that long… but that’s just me.

Antonio Restivo: Fire Artist/Illusionist
Murray: Magician/Illusionist

For many decades, magicians and illusionists have been a mainstay in Las Vegas. From the likes of Siegfried & Roy to Penn & Teller to Criss Angel when a magician has a show in Vegas they’ve hit the big time. Do either of the above have what it takes to not only provide magic and illusions that stretch beyond the parameters of those that came before them but to entertain the crowd as well?

ArcAttack: Technological Performance Group
AscenDance: Rock Climbing Acrobats/Dancers
Fighting Gravity: Blacklight Performers
Jeremy VanSchoonhoven: Extreme Cyclist

These particular acts are so unique, so different, and very dangerous in their own ways that I ended up clumping them into their own group.

Ever since the advent of Cirque du Soliel, the world of entertainment has been spun, stretch and re-imaged for a bigger and brighter world. Could any of the above acts sustain a show and stretch the boundaries of entertainment any further?

Keep in mind although these acts could be in existence in other countries outside of the United States (or on smaller scales IN the United States) it is through the show that what they do is coming to the forefront. Thus allowing similar acts to show and shine and recreate entertainment as we know it. All it takes is a single group to break down the wall for every else to rebuild it.

Categorical Conclusion
Singers make up a vast piece of the pie, but then again in American culture it is the singers that bring in the most revenue in the entertainment industry from record deals, to music downloads, to concert tours and television shows. So are we really all that surprised to see so many singers in the competition?

On the other hand, the other half of the pie is comprised of a variety of other acts that are jockeying for their piece of the entertainment industry pie. Is this the season for a non-singer to win the competition? Is America really ready for something other than singers?


Now, did anyone else find it interesting that there was a group of acts that were given a free ride into Hollywood? How did those acts do?

Straight to Hollywood
ArcAttack: Technological Performance Group
Fighting Gravity: Blacklight Performers
Future Funk: Hip-Hop Dance Duo
Haspop: Popping Dancer

Of the ten acts that made it straight to Hollywood, only four were chosen to go on to the next round. But what was the breakdown of the acts before and after America voted?

Seven of the ten acts were dance acts in some capacity from the one man show of Haspop to the cheerleading squad of SF Cheer. We also had a gymnast/acrobat, and two performance acts that simply did not fit anywhere else.

One thing of note is that no singers had a free pass to Hollywood. Another thing of note is that a fair number of dances acts made it through to Hollywood while others still had to audition in Vegas.

There were three non-dance acts of which two of the more unique ones made it through to the next round.

Christina & Ali: Singing Sisters (?)
Nathaniel Kenyon: Singer/Musician
Jeremy VanSchoonhoven: Extreme Cyclist

Everyone saw the Standby acts performed. I think it is safe to say that for an act who was original standby to be continuing in the competition is saying a lot in their determination and focus on the goal at hand (whatever that may be). No matter how far in the competition a Standby act will go it is a safe bet to say that I tip my hat off to these acts for proving to the judges and America why they belonged…

August 10, 2010 I Written By

America’s Got Talent 5: “Final” Group of Twelve

Here is the final group of twelve. The reason that final is in quotes is because there is the issue of the YouTube auditions and the winner of the YouTube auditions would be announced on August 10th which begs the question… are they going to go straight to the next round? Or is there going to be some kind of wild card show? All speculation aside…. Who of the final group of twelve would you want to move on to the next round?

August 3, 2010 I Written By

America’s Got Talent 5: Las Vegas Auditions Music

Hello all! Here it is the long awaited music from the Las Vegas call backs!

If you do not see a song here that you’re looking for, please let us know and I will do all I can to find it, but no promises, but I promise I will try…

Las Vegas Callbacks DAY ONE

Straight to Hollywood – Katy Perry: Waking Up in Vegas Waking

Michael Grasso – Telepopmusik: Breathe Breathe
Murray Sawchuck – Pussycat Dolls: When I Grow Up When
Chipps Cooney Intro – Bach: Air on G String Air

Acrobats/Movement Acts
AscenDance Audition – Master of Confusion: Dinner
Rudi Macaggi – Bond: Señorita Señorita

Classical Singers
Prince Poppycock – Giuseppe Verdi: La donna è mobile (from the opera Rigolleto) La
Hannibal Means – Luciano Pavarotti: Caruso Caruso
Carlos Aponte – Man of La Mancha: Impossible Dream The

Dance Acts
Hot Shot Tap Dancers Audition – The Ting Tings: Shut Up and Let Me Go Shut
Studio One Young Beast Society – Group 1 Crew: Transcend
Lindsey Sterling – Black Eyed Peas: Pump It
Style Pros Crew – Black Eyed Peas: Rockin to the Beat Rockin
Wreckless – Kesha: Blah Blah Blah Blah

Female Singers
Mama T – Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels: Devil with the Blue Dress Devil
Alice Tan Ripley – Tina Turner: Proud Mary Proud
April Lane – Whitney Houston: I Have Nothing I
Debra Romer – Jewel: Foolish Games Foolish

Youth Acts
Common ft. Pharrell – Universal Mind Control Universal
Lil Chris – The Temptations: Stand By Me Darling,
Connor Doran – Alexandra Burke: Hallelujah (?) Hallelujah

Novelty Acts
Intro – Entrance of the Gladiators
Sally Cohn – Judy Garland: Somewhere Over the Rainbow Somewhere
Close – Frank Sinatra: Young at Heart Young

Male Singers
Paul Safy Jr – Ray Charles: Georgia Georgia
Keith Urban: Stupid Boy Stupid
Taylor Matthews – Smokey Robinson: The Tracks of My Tears The
Michael Grimm – Otis Redding: Try A Little Tenderness Try

Rob Dougan: Clubbed to Death (Matrix OST) Clubbed
Leona Lewis: Run Run

Las Vegas Callbacks DAY TWO

Danger Acts
Nick Pike Audition Flashback
– Black Eyed Peas: I Gotta Feeling I

Jeremy Vanschoonhoven
– Audition Flashback – Kevin Rudolf: Let It Rock Let
– Audition – Taio Cruz: Break Your Heart Break

Dance Groups
RNG Audition – Black Eyed Peas: Imma Be Imma

Musical Groups
– The Temptations: Ain’t Too Proud To Beg Ain't
– Rascal Flatts: What Hurts the Most What
– Muse: Feeling Good Feeling

New Directions Audition – The Temptations: The Way You Do the Things You Do The

Cristina & Ali
Audition Flashback – Miley Cyrus: The Climb The
Audition – Carrie Underwood: Temporary Home Temporary

Novelty Acts – Quincy Jones: Soul Bossa Nova Soul

Strange Familiar
Audition Flashback – Pretenders: I’ll Stand By You I'll
Audition – Joe Cocker: Have a Little Faith Have

Audition Flashback – Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah Hallelujah
Audition – Josh Groban: You Raise Me Up You

Johnny Cash: You’re My Baby You're
Katrina & The Waves: Walking On Sunshine Walking

Airpocalypse Audition
– Carmina Burana: O Fortuna Carmina
– Ram Jam: Black Betty from 1977 Black

Male Singers
– Righteous Brothers: Unchained Melody Unchained

Justin Hopkins – Peter Gabriel: In Your Eyes
Cody Joe Tillman – Dirty Vegas: Days Go By (Acoustic) Days
Luigi Seno – Amos Lee: Sweet Pea Sweet
Nathaniel Kenyon – Rob Thomas: Someday Someday

Close – Coldplay: Fix You Coldplay

Las Vegas Results – Leona Lewis: Footprints in the Sand Footprints

July 17, 2010 I Written By

America’s Got Talent Choosing the Wrong Magician

I think it’s really clear that A LOT of people are VERY unhappy with the selections made by the judges (and should we say producers?) of America’s Got Talent. I’ll talk more about other eliminations in a future post, but for this one I want to talk about the travesty that is the Magicians that they selected.

Between Murray Sawchuck and Michael Grazzo the slight-of-hand magician, at least from the performances we saw (which is what the judges are suppose to use) it’s very clear to me who was more skilled. To me it was such a poor decision to take Murray (who no doubt has a better look) over Michael.

The funny part is that the appearing car trick that Murray did is the lamest trick in the book. It’s lame on a number of levels. First, everyone does some form of trick like that. It’s basically been done. Plus, tricks like that on TV are even more lame since you can’t really see what’s going on.

Of course, Murray complained that the slight-of-hand stuff that Michael did wouldn’t work in a big auditorium performance. The funniest part is that in person Murray’s appearing car doesn’t work in a large auditorium since you see them roll the car in. It could only work on TV where they make sure the angles don’t show the car. Totally LAME!

Plus, I actually watched the slight-of-hand work by Michael Grazzo live at the Las Vegas Auditions. I was sitting in the balcony and from an angle. Yet, even from that distance, Michael’s magic was impressive. That’s why it was crazy that Howie said that it was too small. Not to mention, Michael had proven that he could do big tricks too.

Needless to say, I was completely disappointed with this choice. It will be interesting to see what Murray brings in Hollywood. However, I don’t have really high hopes. I just wish I could afford to go to LA and see it live. Time to start taking up donations so I can go cover it for you;-)

July 10, 2010 I Written By

America’s Got Talent 5: Las Vegas (Part 2)

So here it… who knows how many acts were in the ever so important Group A category as mentioned in the previous Las Vegas post. These acts were ones that the judges believed stand the best chance of moving on to Hollywood… every one of these acts were given the chance to audition once again for the judges.

In the primary lobby there were sheets set up in various categories breaking the acts down so they could practice together, and size up the competition. From here each group would be called up together where they would see each other perform from the wings. Talk about tension and competition.

I’ve managed to get a good list of categories and acts. So below is going to be all the acts that have gone on to Hollywood as broken down by category. I will try to list the audition city that we met various acts throughout the season thus far if applicable and link previous posts to them so you could learn more informtion about the acts that have made it thus far.

And now, without further ado… Group A!

Maricar: Painting (Los Angeles)
Sally Cohn: Hand Whistler (Portland)

Murray Sawchuck (Orlando)
Chipps Cooney: Comedic Magician (New York)

John Beatty: Strongman (Chicago)
Twisted Trystan & Krystan: Side Show Performers (Orlando)
Antonio Restivo: Fire Magician (New York)

AscenDance Project: Rock Climbing Dance (Portland)
Rudi Macaggi (New York)

Hip Hop Dance
Wreckless Dance Crew (Orlando)
Lindsey Stirling: Violinist/Dancer (Final Auditions)
Studio One Young Beast Society (Orlando)

Bollywood Dance
Mona Sampath Dance Company (Los Angeles)

Tap Dance
The Hot Shot Tap Dancers (Portland)

Ballroom Dance
Anna & Patryk (New York)

Youth Performers
CJ Dippa (Dallas)
Lil Chris (Orlando)

Harmonica Pierre Herbineaux (Portland)

Doogie Horner (New York)

Classical Singers
Hannibal Means (Los Angeles)
Prince Poppycock (New York)

Female Singers
Mary Ellen: Yodeler (New York)
Alice Tan Ridley (New York)
Debra Romer (Chicago)

Male Singers
Taylor Matthews (Dallas)
Michael Grimm (Los Angeles)

July 7, 2010 I Written By

America’s Got Talent 5: Orlando Auditions Day Two

So day two of Orlando Auditions is today… here are the acts that have made it through to Vegas.

As always if you have any information that would help complete the following list please either leave a comment or contact us.

Orlando Auditions Day Two:

Frankie Elliston – Magician
MySpace Page
Facebook Page

Murray Sawchuck – Magician
Facebook Page
MySpace Page

The South Philly Vikings – Performance Group
MySpace Page
Facebook Page

Max Winfrey – Danger Performance

Erin Barylski – Painter
Facebook Page

Simeon Mulder – Pianist
Facebook Page

Updated July 7th!!!
Studio One Young Beast Society – Dance Group
Facebook Page

Harmonik – Band

June 22, 2010 I Written By