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PureAGT Season 9: The “Golden Buzzer”, Boot Camp, and Other Changes???

So according to Hypable, there are quite a few changes that we’re going to be seeing this season on AGT – some of them seem like positives, others…not so much.  Let’s count them down, shall we?

Change #1: Auditions in front of the judges were only held in New York & L.A.

In previous seasons, we’ve gotten to see the judges travel across the country to various cities were auditions were held in order to see the talent onstage – last year, they went to New York, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Chicago, & New Orleans.  This year, initial auditions in front of the producers were held in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, and my hometown – Indianapolis 🙂 But those who passed muster at the initial auditions had to fly to New York or L.A. in order to audition for the judges – and I’m just a tad bummed, not only because I would have loved to have seen the judges out & about in my hometown, but I thought the local flavor of some of the audition cities was what made those initial rounds so fun to watch.  We got to see all the mariachi performers in line in San Antonio, all the jazz in New Orleans, the Latin flavor of Miami, etc.  But according to Howie, the fact that the talent from all of those cities funneled into just two really made the live auditions more challenging, since the didn’t have the comfort zone of performing in their hometown.

Change #2: No “Vegas Week” this season – it has been replaced by “Boot Camp”, which was held in front of a live audience at Radio City Music Hall.

In lieu of holding “Vegas Week” in order to determine the Top 48 acts this year, AGT opted to hold a 3-day “Boot Camp” round of auditions in front of both the judges AND a live studio audience in NYC.  It was apparently taped last week.  Despite what the name implies (and the event of the same name from the X-Factor), it sounds basically the same as Vegas Week – just not in Vegas, and with the addition of a live studio audience.  While I rather enjoyed seeing the contestants hanging out in Vegas and in some of my favorite hotels, I guess I don’t particularly mind this new Boot Camp switch-up – I think the addition of a live studio audience may actually influence the judges a bit more to pick acts with more broad-spectrum appeal, as opposed to acts that only they themselves might find appealing.  I kind of wonder if an act like Milton Patton (who seemed wildly popular with viewers last season, but was eliminated in an instant decision in Vegas last year) may have fared better in the Boot Camp format, and if a more polarizing act like Aaralyn & Izzy may not have advanced to the next round if done in front of an audience.

Change #3: There’s something called the “Golden Buzzer”.

Apparently, it’s a one-time “judges’ save” – another buzzer situated on the judges’ table between Heidi & Mel B. that any of the judges can hit in order to save an act that’s about to get eliminated due to the other 3 judges saying “no”.  The catch? It can only be used once per season, per judge, so it encourages the judges to use it only when they feel strongly about an act.  I think as the judge that’s the dissenting opinion most often (and the one that is most likely to like stranger acts that the other 3 judges don’t “get”), Howie is the one that will most likely benefit from this new buzzer – and he allegedly already used it during the initial audition rounds.  I’m a little unclear on when it can be used, though – if it’s only when the other 3 judges say “no”, does that mean it can only be used during the initial auditions, Boot Camp week, or if the act lands in the judges’ choice slots during the live shows? Or can it be used to save an act that would have gotten eliminated regardless, based on the viewers’ votes? Does it expire after a certain round, like the judges’ save on American Idol? And most importantly – will it preclude the judges getting a “wild card” pick at some point? Since the wild card was basically a judges’ save (with a slightly different format), it almost seems redundant to tell them “Ok, you get this golden buzzer in order to save an act that’s about to get eliminated…but you also get a wild card pick later in the season, where you can bring back any eliminated act!” So I guess I’m curious how this whole thing works.

So what do you think of the changes this season? Are they an improvement…or a downgrade? Don’t forget to set your DVR’s to record the premiere, which is only 4 days away!!! 😎

May 23, 2014 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 8, Episode #7 Music List – Hodgepodge from Several Audition Cities

 Last of the music from the audition rounds…enjoy! 🙂

“Can You Feel It” by The JacksonsCan You Feel It - Triumph (opening montage of clips from all the cities; judges arrive in San Antonio)
“Los Machetes” by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán Los Machetes - Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán: 12 Grandes Exitos, Vol. 2(Mestizo Ballet Folklorico performance)
“Baby” by Justin BieberBaby - My World 2.0 (Bonus Track Version) (Mestizo gets 4 yes’s)
“Feel Again” by OneRepublic Feel Again - Native (Deluxe Version)(montage of good audtions)
“Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol Chasing Cars - Eyes Open(Tavi & Antonio performance)
“Live Like We’re Dying” by Kris AllenLive Like We're Dying - Live Like We're Dying - Single (Timber Brown intro & 4 yes’s)
“Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato Skyscraper - Unbroken(Skilyr intro & 4 yes’s)
“Dr. Beat” by Miami Sound MachineDr. Beat - Eyes of Innocence (judges joking; Dr. Baker intro)
“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by Bachman-Turner OverdriveYou Ain't Seen Nothing Yet - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Bachman-Turner Overdrive (montage of bad auditions)
“Let’s Get it On” by Marvin GayLet's Get It On - Number 1's: Marvin Gaye (Secrete Emotion performance)
“Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley feat. Allison Krauss Whiskey Lullaby (feat. Alison Krauss) - Mud On the Tires(cover performed by Milton Patton)
“Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts Bless the Broken Road - Feels Like Today(Milton Patton intro & 4 yes’s)
“(They Long to Be) Close to You” by The Carpenters(They Long to Be) Close to You - Close to You (Howard is America’s judge; Jetta intro)
“Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer Hot Stuff - Greatest Hits(cover performed by Jetta)
“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by StarshipNothing's Gonna Stop Us Now - Platinum & Gold Collection: Starship (Jetta gets rejected; ending montage of audition clips)

July 11, 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 #7 – A Little Bit of Everything!

And so ends the auditions rounds this season 🙂 Tonight’s episode seemed to be a hodgepodge of auditions from each of the cities – saw some from San Antonio, some from New York, some from New Orleans, some from L.A…not sure about Chicago, but there was probably a few from Chicago, too. Overall, it felt like a nice close to the audition rounds…now who’s ready for Vegas week??? 😀

Mestizo Ballet Folklorico – ages 3-11
The act: Three young brothers doing a mariachi dance with machetes (butter knives for the little one 😉 ).
The verdict: Judges gushed about how cute the littlest one, Mateo, was – and sent them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Can someone please clone Mateo and let me have one??? My god, that kid was adorable – that cute little voice, and how happy he was dancing with his brothers with his little butter knives 😛 The act was cute, but I’m not sure they can really do a whole lot more with it – I have a feeling Vegas will probably as far as they get. But as long as we get to see more of Mateo, I’m good.

Aquanauts
The act: A synchronized swimming act.
The verdict: Judges said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: We only got to see a brief clip, but it seemed entertaining enough. Not sure if it will translate well to the live show, but I guess we’ll see.

Kevin Downey Jr.
The act: A stand-up comedian that cracked jokes about peeing in pools.
The verdict: He’s through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I didn’t think his joke was particularly hilarious, and of course we only got to see that one joke. Probably the weakest we’ve seen in the comedy category – I doubt he’ll make it past Vegas.

Tavi & Antonio
The act: They’re male aerialists that performed a love-themed aerial act.
The verdict: Judges loved it and put them through to Vegas – and Howie & Howard were inspired to get a little lovey-dovey themselves.
Court’s thoughts: While I wasn’t particularly impressed with the aerial stuff they were doing (the acrobat category is REALLY strong this season!), I do give them props for going against the grain and having a male-male aerial duo – not only is it unexpected, but it also probably gives them an edge in what they can do, since they have two people with a lot of upper body strength.

Timber Brown – age 28
The act: He’s an aerial pole artist that performed a series of dramatic strength moves and drops on a really tall pole.
The verdict: Mel recused herself from voting, since she knew him from when she did Peepshow in Vegas a few years ago. The other 3 said yes.
Court’s thoughts: This is the strongest pole artist we’ve seen since Steven Retchless two seasons ago – and this guy seems like he could be even stronger. Excited to see what else he’s got up his sleeve 🙂

Skilyr Hicks – age 14
The act: She played the guitar and sang an original song called “Brand New Day”, which was inspired by her father’s death a few years ago.
The verdict: Judges loved her voice and her songwriting talent – and put her through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: She reminds me of a young Natalie Merchant – she’s got this gentle, unique-sounding voice, and she’s yet another talented songwriter…this year has really become the year of the songwriter! I think she could probably use some work on her stage presence, since she seemed quite nervous; however, I think she’s got more natural talent than Olivia Rox, who I forsee her being pitted against for a spot in the live shows.

Dr. Bob Baker – age 61
The act: He’s a gastroenterologist by day, and a ventriloquist with a talking colon puppet by night.
The verdict: Howard recused himself from voting, since Dr. Bob was actually his doctor. The other three thought it was kind of funny, but not right for AGT…and gave him 3 no’s.
Court’s thoughts: As someone with a mother who suffers from Crohn’s disease, I’ve seen my fair share of gastroenterologists – and I can appreciate one who has a good sense of humor 🙂 It may not have been AGT-worthy, but I thought it was a cute, amusing little ditty.

Lindsay the Hula Belching Girl
The act: Pretty self-explanatory – she belched really loud while hula-hooping.
The verdict: 4 swift and emphatic no’s from the judges.
Court’s thoughts: Just…WHY???!

Jesus B-Ball
The act: I didn’t quite understand what exactly his talent was, but I guess he had studied the physics of shooting free throws and had discovered the formula for a perfect one.
The verdict: Jesus brought up two guys (who I think were college basketball players) and had them each successfully shoot a free throw using his technique – however, when he attempted it himself, he missed. Consequently, judges said “no” to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Sorry kids, while I acknowledge that it takes a lot of talent to be a good teacher, I don’t think teaching the audience how to do [insert task here] is really a talent that works on AGT. You’re better off just doing it yourself…and poor Jesus just couldn’t.

Secrete Emotion
The act: She’s a sort-of beat poet that recited an erotic poem as Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” played.
The verdict: Judges seemed a little uncomfortable, and Nick got a little hot ‘n’ bothered – it was a no to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I’d rather read my erotic smut out of a drugstore romance novel in the privacy of my own home, than to have someone else recite it to me in front of a live audience.

Milton Patton – age 21, from Arkansas
The act: He performed a cover of “Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley.
The verdict: Judges loved his country vocals and his connection to the song and put him through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I think this is one of those pleasant cases of “WOW! That’s not at all what I expected him to sound like!” Admittedly, upon seeing that he was an African American guy singing country, I think in my mind I automatically thought he’d sound like Darius Rucker – basically more of a soul vocalist just singing country songs. But this guy is a legit country vocalist – he’s got the right twang to really sound great singing country. I think nerves and emotions may have gotten the better of him, because he sounded a little shaky at times, but I’m excited to see what else we’re going to hear from him. I daresay Marty Brown & Jimmy Rose just found themselves some big competition!

Jetta – age 63
The act: She sang “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer.
The verdict: It was terribly off-key and I think even Jetta knew it – then again, I think she only auditioned so she could meet Howard. It was a no to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Oh well. I can deal with one act per season that only tried out so they could meet one of the judges 😛

And that’s it for the audition rounds! Who were your favorites from tonight? Keep an eye out in the coming days, as I’ll be doing some Vegas week predictions before things kick off on Tuesday night 🙂

July 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 Season 8, Episode #6 Music List – L.A./New Orleans/New York Auditions

 Here it is…enjoy! For those who were searching for the name of the song SenSetion performed to – I’m still looking for it.  Bear with me 🙂

“The Final Countdown” by EuropeThe Final Countdown - The Final Countdown (episode open)
“Clarity” by Zed feat. Foxes Clarity (feat. Foxes) - Clarity(L.A. intro/judges arrive in L.A.)
“Firework” by Katy PerryFirework - Teenage Dream (Olivia Rox intro/4 yes’s)
“As Long as You Love Me” by Justin BieberAs Long As You Love Me (Acoustic Version) - Believe Acoustic (cover performed by Oliva Rox)
“Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling StonesSympathy for the Devil - Beggars Banquet (Howie arrives late in L.A.)
“Mahna Mahna” by Inside OutMahna Mahna - Sharing Time (Ronald gets rejected; montage of bad auditions)
“All By Myself” by Eric CarmenAll By Myself - Eric Carmen (Howie wanders around the venue)
“We Go Together” from GreaseWe Go Together - Grease (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) (Howie finally reaches the judges’ table)
“The Flower Duet” by Katherine JenkinsThe Flower Duet - Katherine Jenkins: The Ultimate Collection  (Tummy Talk intro)
“I Love It” by Icona Pop I Love It (feat. Charli XCX) - Iconic - EP(Tummy Talk gets through to Vegas)
“Die Young” by Ke$haDie Young - Warrior (Deluxe Version) (Fresh Faces performance)
“Alive” by KrewellaAlive - Play Hard - EP (aerial ice act & 4 yes’s)
Lights” by Ellie GouldingLights (Single Version) - Lights (SenSetion intro & 3 yes’s)
“Let the Good Times Roll” by B.B. King Let the Good Times Roll - Let the Good Times Roll: the Music of Louis Jordan(New Orleans intro)
“It Takes Two” by Marvin Gaye & Kim WestonIt Takes Two - Gold: Marvin Gaye(Yasha & Daniela intro & 4 yes’s)
“Shake Señora” by Pitbull feat. T-Pain and Sean PaulShake Senora (feat. T-Pain & Sean Paul) - Planet Pit (Deluxe Version) (Yasha & Daniela samba; Howard & Heidi dance together)
“Proud Mary” by Tina TurnerProud Mary - All the Best - The Hits (Yasha & Daniela jive)
“#thatPOWER” by will.i.am feat. Justin Bieber#thatPOWER (feat. Justin Bieber) - #willpower (Deluxe) (aerial balloon act)
“Home” by Blake SheltonHome - Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton (Jimmy Rose intro & 4 yes’s)
“When the Saints Go Marching In” (Howie & Mel banter about ironing)
“Boom Boom” by John Lee Hooker Boom Boom - Urban Blues (Bonus Track Version)(Captain Explosion intro)
“Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner OverdriveTakin' Care of Business - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Bachman-Turner Overdrive (Captain Explosion is ok)
“American Heart” by Faith Hill American Heart - American Heart - Single(Chloe Chanel intro & 4 yes’s)
“All-American Girl” by Carrie Underwood All-American Girl - Carnival Ride(cover performed by Chloe Chanel)
“Physical” by Olivia Newton-JohnPhysical - Physical ( New York intro)
“C’mon Get Happy” by David CassidyC'mon Get Happy - Then and Now (Megan Amigo performance)
“Cold As Ice” by ForeignerCold As Ice - No End In Sight: The Very Best of Foreigner (Remastered) (Heidi is cold; montage of bad auditions)
“Spectrum” by Florence + the MachineSpectrum - Ceremonials (212 Green intro & 4 yes’s)
“Rumour Has It” by AdeleRumour Has It - 21 (cover performed by 212 Green)
“Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey Don't Stop Believin' - Journey: Greatest Hits(Al Harris gets rejected)

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 #6 – L.A./New Orleans/New York Auditionss

Well, if nothing else, tonight saw the greatest amount of dissent amongst the judges as we’ve seen all season – seems like we had a lot of 3-against-1 situations when it came down to the vote, and Howie was often the lone dissenter.  He also showed up late to the L.A. auditions, and spent an awful lot of time wandering around the venue, pretending to be lost.  He’s special 🙂

Gonna go ahead and do the L.A. auditions tonight; look for the New Orleans and New York ones tomorrow.

Los Angeles:

Olivia Rox – age 14
The actSang and played an acoustic cover of Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me”.
The verdictAll three judges (minus Howie, who was still MIA at that point) said yes, but Mel cautioned her to be careful not to get too crazy when covering a song.
Court’s thoughts: Wow…she had the coolest-sounding, gravelly voice.  It’s what I might have imagined Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine might have sounded like as a teenager.  Loved the fact that she took a pretty lame song and turned it into a cool, edgy one.  But I do agree with Mel a bit – she did seem to really vacillate a lot between barely whispering the song and then belting it out full force.  Maybe tone it down just a bit.  I get the feeling we’re going to see her pitted against Anna Christine for a spot in the live shows.

Ronald Farnham – age 44
The actHe threw toilet plungers at a line of men with no shirts off, hoping to make them stick.
The verdictOnly one plunger actually stuck to its intended target, and Howard, Heidi, & Mel all said no…but they did remark that, had Howie been there, he probably would have said yes.
Court’s thoughts: I think this was nothing more than a case of “Hmmm, I want to be on tv.  What’s the quickest and easiest way to accomplish that goal? I KNOW! I just need to come up with some stupid act for AGT.” It’s acts like these that leave me a bit chagrined to the fact that AGT’s format is a bit of a double-edged sword: it leaves the door open for cool, unique acts to get some exposure, but it also tends to inadvertently invite bozos like this guy to come and just waste time and say they’ve been on national television.

Harry Kurtz – age 62
The actHe was rapping…about something.  Lord knows what.
The verdict: 3 no’s.
Court’s thoughts: Just another time-killer.

Mr. Television
The act: A guy telling corny puns behind a tv screen.
The verdictNo X 3.
Court’s thoughts: Was tonight the night of the bad pun? They seemed to be everywhere I turned.  Ack.

Tummy Talk – ages 26-31
The actThree guys rhythmically slapping a shirtless sumo wrestler as if he were a drum.
The verdictHoward wasn’t feeling it and said no, but the other 3 said yes.
Court’s thoughts: As ridiculous as this act sounds on paper, I actually found it pretty entertaining.  I get the feeling the guys doing the slapping probably have some sort of drumming experience, because they were actually creating some pretty complex patterns and rhythms – it sounded cool, even if it was the sound of hands slapping against jiggly flesh.  😛 I guess I just kind of feel sorry for the guy being slapped, although he didn’t look too much worse for the wear after it was all over.  A little red, maybe, but not upset.  I doubt these guys will make it to the live shows, but I don’t mid watching them one more time in Vegas.

Fresh Faces
The act5 adolescent girls doing a dance/gymnastics routine to “Die Young” by Ke$ha.
The verdictJudges loved it and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I was actually really impressed with how in sync these girls were – add to that the fact that they were doing some pretty tough shows of flexibility, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them perform again in Vegas.  Very cute girls, very cute act, very AGT-friendly.

Jim Meskimen
The actHe’s an impressionist that imitated Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams, and Ricky Gervais.
The verdictJudges praised how spot-on the impressions were and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I think Angela Hoover just met her biggest competition this season – and unfortunately for her, I think this guy is better.  I think what put him ahead for me was that he really seemed to embrace the mannerisms of the celebs he was imitating – he was pulling faces like DeNiro and flailing around like Robin Williams.  Angela’s good, but I think this guy is GREAT.  I could totally see him in the live shows.

“Sword-Swallowing Breakdancer”Alex Magala
The act: A guy swallowed a sword, then proceeded to breakdance while it was still down his throat.
The verdictJudges loved the danger factor – he’s through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: It was a bit odd for me – I don’t know that the sword swallowing part was significantly improved by the dancing, and vice-versa.  It just seemed like a “I’m gonna swallow a sword before I dance just so I can say I was thinking out of the box and being creative”.  That said, this guy actually seemed like a pretty good dancer – except that he was maybe moving a bit too cautiously due to the sword in his throat.  Not sure if I really think this one is live show-worthy…

“Aerial/Skating act”Aerial Ice
The actTwo couples performing pairs figure skating lifts & tricks, while a third couple did aerial work suspended above the “ice rink”.
The verdictJudges were blown away, especially by the fact that AGT has never had an ice skating act before.  They’re through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: My favorite audition of the night – this really was a genius act.  Sure, we’ve had aerialists and acrobats and couples doing lifts – but none of them were doing it while wearing skates.  Loved the combination of artistry and technique, and I really want them to make it to the live shows.

SenSetion
The actThey’re another “lights out” dance act that incorporates dancing with images projected onto blocks.
The verdictHeidi said it made her bored and said no.  Howard wanted more dance, but along with Mel & Howie, ended up saying yes to put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: *sigh* Ok, the whole “let’s dance in the dark with lasers!” act is getting a bit tired for me.  It was cool when Fighting Gravity did it in season 5; it was still kind of neat when Team iLuminate did it in season 6; it was getting a little old when Lightwire Theater did it last season; and now? I’m not sure America really wants another dance/optics act.  It was cool and fun to watch, no doubt – but I do agree with Howard that there could have been more dancing, and that they really need to work on their act a bit more.  They have a good idea; they just need to really flesh it out more.  Unless they blow the judges out of the water in Vegas, I don’t see them moving onto the live rounds.

New Orleans:

Yasha & Daniela – ages 9 & 8
The act: They’re ballroom dancing kids that performed a samba/jive medley to “Shake Senora” by Pitbull and “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner.
The verdict: Judges thought they were adorable and put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Ok, here’s another opinion of mine that probably won’t be popular: I actually thought these two were kind of sloppy compared to D’Angelo & Amanda and Jonas & Ruby. Very cute, and good stage presence, but I don’t think their skill level is up to snuff with what the Castros are doing this season. And I still think that only one ballroom act is going to make it through to the live shows this season – and my money’s on D’Angelo & Amanda.

Aerosphere
The act:A girl in an aerial balloon floated over the audience, do all sorts of twists & turns.
The verdict: Judges praised her uniqueness and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: We only got to see a brief clip, so I’m not sure if she did more than what was shown, but it just seemed to me like she’s another aerialist…just doing the same stuff while hanging from a balloon. It was cool, but I don’t know that the balloon made it particularly special.

Jimmy Rose – age 32, from Pikeville, KY
The act: Jimmy played the guitar and sang an original song called “Coal Keeps the Lights On”.
The verdict: Judges were amazed at his talent and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: What a beautiful, vulnerable performance. This year is quickly becoming the year of the original song, and I thought this one was fantastic – loved how he incorporated his coal mining background into his music. I also loved his voice – it was a little shaky at times, but it’s the kind of country vocal that is sought after by so many and I feel like this guy is a natural. At this point, I’d actually pick Jimmy over Marty Brown for the live shows – I feel like Jimmy’s a bit more organic and has more of a natural talent.

Abel Marillo – age 50
The act: Yet another “homemade instrument” act.
The verdict: No’s across the board.
Court’s thoughts: Not only am I kind of over the whole “hey, let’s make instruments out of household items!” act, but it seemed like half this guy’s instruments didn’t even really work.

Captain Explosion – age 65
The act: He exploded a box…while he was inside of it.
The verdict: Judges were split – Howie & Mel said yes, Howard & Heidi said no. No Vegas for him.
Court’s thoughts: Was it kind of cool that he managed to survive an explosion? Sure. But I’m not really sure that there was any way this could have been parlayed into an entire Vegas show – what would he do? Just sit in random objects and explode them and then wave at the audience? Cool that he does this, but I think this is better as a one-time thing.

Chloe Chanel – age 11, from Pensacola, FL
The act: Chloe sang “All American Girl” by Carrie Underwood.
The verdict: Judges praised her voice and put her through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I think this girl’s got a very natural, god-given singing voice. Definitely nice to listen to. But I feel like she really has no stage presence whatsoever – she just seemed to stand there, eerily staring at the audience, as she sang. If she wants to get past Vegas, I think she’s going to have to learn to move a bit more naturally onstage – she’s got a great personality offstage, so why not use it when she’s performing?

New York:

Megan Amigo – age 21
The act: She’s a self-described contortionist/belly dancer…and she’s a tad kooky.
The verdict: Judges liked her contortions, but found the belly dancing “corny”. Howie was a yes, the rest were a no.
Court’s thoughts: I admire her optimistic attitude and some of the creative contorting she was doing – but the kooky vibe and equally kooky music were lost on me.

Johnny Jetpack
The act: A puppeteering act where a little boy puppet got swallowed by a giant squirrel puppet.
The verdict: Do you even need to ask?
Court’s thoughts: If I had seen a puppet show like this when I was a kid, I would have been scarred for life.

Distraxion
The act: A “human puppet” and contortion act.
The verdict: I think the judges were having a hard time taking this one seriously, and it was an obvious no.
Court’s thoughts: Again…how do people dream this stuff up???

“Speed ice sculpting group”
The act: Ice sculptors with chain saws that carved ice really, really fast.
The verdict: No.
Court’s thoughts: I actually thought this was kind of cool (no pun intended), and may have fared better if they had put a twist on it like David Garabaldi & His CMYK’s last season.

“Girl Making Animal Noises”
The act: An attractive blonde that was making some alarmingly spot-on animal noises – pigs, donkeys, dogs, etc.
The verdict: No, no, no, no.
Court’s thoughts: Does she get a lot of dates with this act? 😛

212 Green – ages 14-22, from Harlem, NY
The act: A band that performed a rock/soul cover of Adele’s “Rumour Has It”.
The verdict: Judges (especially Mel B, who saw some of herself in the kids) loved them and put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: What a talented, gorgeous group of kids. I know the lead singer was talking about how tough it was growing up biracial and looking different than everyone else, but both she and her sister and brother? STUNNING. And they’ve got this very bohemian, artsy vibe about them – they seem to be a group that fuses different styles together well. Loved the rap section the brother did in the middle, loved the fact that the girls were evoking a sort of Motown girl group-vibe with the choreography they were doing at the mics. One group I’m excited to see in the live show 🙂

Al Harris – age 64, from Long Island, NY
The act: The second “corny pun” comedy act of the evening.
The verdict: No’s across the board – but the judges did seem to get a good chuckle out of it.
Court’s thoughts: I was irritated with this guy at first – the puns were corny, and it got old fast. But then, as I watched the judges try in vain to get this guy off the stage, and he just kept going…then I started to laugh. Gotta admire his persistence 😛 Normally I have no use for bad acts, but this one did make me grin a bit.

So who were your favorite acts from last night’s episode? Tune in tonight for the last audition show of the season before Vegas!!!

July 9, 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 Audition Round Rundown #1 – San Antonio/New York/L.A. Auditions

Woohoo! A highly entertaining kickoff to season 8, if I do say so myself 🙂  A nice mix of good acts that actually made it through to Vegas, with a few trainwrecky auditions peppered in to make things interesting.  Heidi & Mel seem to be gelling well with Howie & Howard, and Heidi seems to have taken on the role of the “sweet” judge that makes all the contestants feel welcome…but that doesn’t mean she’s afraid to hit her buzzer, either. So far, Mel has been quieter than I thought she’d be, but we’re only one episode in.  Howie continues to be a bit of an oddball judge, who is often the lone dissenter when the other judges vote a certain way.  Thought it was a bit odd that they only showed us 2 auditions from San Antonio before skipping ahead to New York & L.A., but judging from the previews from next week, it looks like they’re back in San Antonio for more auditions.

For the audition rounds, I’m just going to go through each act in the order it aired, and give a quick summary (to jog everyone’s memory and my own – it’s easy to lose track of some of the acts during a 2-hour show!), and give some of my own input on what I think of them.  Since tonight’s episode spanned auditions in 3 different cities, I’ve broken the acts up by audition city as well.  For acts whose name wasn’t provided, I simply gave them an identifying nickname – i.e. “Asian male aerialist” or “girls’ clogging group”.  I’ll try to figure out any missing details and update you guys as I find them 😉

And I do apologize for not getting this up immediately after the show aired last night – while I’ve become accustomed to cranking out recaps of the 2-hour DWTS performance show within an hour of the broadcast ending, I had forgotten how much information gets crammed into a 2-hour AGT audition show…and while I had this post 75% done last night, I was tired, and I didn’t want to half-ass my way through the rest just because I was sleepy.  So here it is – thanks for bearing with me as I get accustomed to PureAGT 🙂

San Antonio:

David “The Cobra Kid” Weathers – 35 years old, from Hollywood, FL
The act: He does dangerous stuff with dangerous snakes – for his audition, he brought along the “meanest rattlesnake he’s got” and taunted it into striking (and subsequently popping) a balloon he held in his mouth.
The verdict: All 4 judges loved it and said yes – he’s through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Danger acts are great and I think they definitely have a place on AGT – but the one problem I have with them is that many of them end up kind of one-dimensional, without much to expand on from round to round.  Don’t get me wrong, some manage to parlay a rather limited “danger skill” into several different performances, each with an interesting twist to it (Ben Blaque, the crossbow act from last season, comes to mind) – but the majority seem to run out of truly different things to do after the Vegas round.  I’m afraid David might fall into latter camp – how much more is he going to be able to do with these snakes? I’m interested to see, but I can’t say I’m terribly optimistic that he’s going to continue to wow beyond Vegas.

Marty Brown – 47, from Franklin, KY
The act: He’s a country singer who performed “Make You Feel My Love” while playing the guitar.
The verdict: The judges all commented on how they were “pleasantly surprised” by how great of a performer he was, and loved that his wife had to trick him into coming to audition.  4 yes’s – see you in Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Easygoing, down-to-earth country boy with guitar skills and a voice reminiscent of Garth Brooks? He’s a pretty safe bet, methinks – but if he really wants to separate himself from what I imagine will be yet another large group of male singers this season, he’s gonna need to step out of the country box a bit…maybe sing something more “mainstream” with a bit of a country twist to it?

 

New York:

Miu – 31, from Japan
The act: Well…I think she was trying to be the Japanese iteration of Lady Gaga, so she was flailing around to “Born this Way” in typical Gaga attire: spiked bra, sparkly hot pants, some platform boots, and what looked like metallic cinnamon rolls on her shoulders.
The verdict: If you couldn’t guess from the description of the act alone, she didn’t make it through – she got early buzzes & no’s from Howard, Mel, & Heidi, in that order; Howie was the lone hold-out, and gave her a yes.
Court’s thoughts: It’s times like these where I really worry about Howie’s sense of judgement – I get the feeling tonight is not the only time this season where we’re going to see the 3 other judges giving a resounding “NO!” to a bad act, with Howie sitting there saying “I actually loved it…so it’s a yes for me!”

“The Animal”
The act: Errrr…it was a guy…and I guess he was trying to act like some sort of growling animal?
The verdict: Mel buzzed him before he even performed, and it was “NO!” across the board.
Court’s thoughts: Well, at least he had nice abs…if I were him, I would have quickly segued into a male revue-type act midway through the boo’s, and at least tried to salvage the performance 😛

“The Alien Wearing Lederhosen” Nezbit Blue
The actA guy in a blue alien costume…wearing lederhosen…and yodeling.
The verdict: No X 4…and Heidi schooled him on yodeling.
Court’s thoughts: Are all people born in mountainous regions just innately able to yodel??? I actually thought Heidi wasn’t half-bad! 😛

Avant-Garde Noise Music
The act: A guy & a girl in peculiar, vaguely country-ish costumes fashioned from pantyhose & gas masks…and they were playing banjos and some other instruments.  The result was bizarre & cacophonous.
The verdict: The judges weren’t feeling it – AT ALL.  Nick, however (in typical Nick fashion), cobbled together his own matching costume out of pantyhose and played along backstage.
Court’s thoughts: Dunno what this act was thinking, but it’s times like these when I realize just how PERFECT a host Nick is for a show like this – the guy rolls with the punches incredibly well and manages to inject comedy when it’s needed most.  😀

Catapult Entertainment – from New York, New York
The act: A silhouetted, acrobatic dance act that portrayed a jewel thief vs. detective storyline.
The verdict: All 4 judges loved it and said “yes” to Vegas. Howard even went so far as to do the “I’m not worthy!!!” bow.
Court’s thoughts: Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of silhouette acts – especially the one from either last season or the one before that always did these kind of schmaltzy storylines and were basically just a group of people running back & forth to form new shapes.  But I felt like this one actually brought something new to the table – instead of just running from place to place, this was fluid, and had several things going on at once…and the shapes they were making actually moved instead of staying static.  They also played with perspective & size quite a bit more, and seemed to tell an actual story, as opposed to just creating pictures that fit a certain theme.  I could see this act making it to the finale, for sure.

Unnamed female clogging group The Academy
The act: A group of adolescent-age female cloggers Irish step dancers.
The verdict: They made it through to Vegas.  Howard even went so far as to say “the Rockettes have nothing on you guys!”
Court’s thoughts: Whenever they show an act that made it through to Vegas, but don’t necessarily give us the name or any other info other than a brief clip of them performing, I’m inclined to think that they probably won’t be around for long and thus the powers that be don’t see the point in investing a lot of airtime in them.  I could be wrong, though.  Anyway, from what I saw, they seemed to be very clean & in sync…but how well-received is an Irish step dancing act really going to be?

Hype – 20-25, from Hawaii
The act: Three young guys (“Headache”, “Hazmat”, and Mikey…who doesn’t have a nickname :-P) that danced a hip-hop dance routine to a techno-y sounding remix of “Singin’ in the Rain”.
The verdict: The judges (Howie in particular) were astounded that the 3 guys had only come up with that routine the night before, and were excited to see just what they could come up with when they had even more time to rehearse.  4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: I actually thought one of the guys in the group (I think maybe “Hazmat”) looked familiar right off the bat, and then when I heard the name “Hype” and that they were from Hawaii, I recognized him as being part of Hype 5-0, a crew that was on America’s Best Dance Crew about 3 years ago.  If the pattern of former ABDC-ers on AGT continues, we’ll at least see these guys in the first round of live shows – and if their choreographic talent is as promising as it looked tonight, they could make it even further.  I saw a lot of different styles in this routine – some breaking, some popping, some tutting – and if you can skillfully mesh multiple different hip-hop styles, you can really make a splash.

Unnamed male aerialist Tristan Jih
The act: 20-something guy that was a yoga instructor by day, and an aerialist by night – and this was his first real performance.
The verdict: We’ll see him in Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: He seemed a little nervous, but he handled those silks well – and he’s got a rather nice torso.  😉

Dave Shirley
The act: He’s a comedian that did some work behind a video screen – dragged a blow-up doll behind the screen, and made it appear as though he was appearing on-screen dressed like Howard (with the doll dressed like Heidi).  Managed to say in sync with the vid screen when walking out from behind it.
The verdict: Judges liked it – he’s through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: A cool little twist on typical comedy – I was definitely skeptical when he introduced himself as “a comedian, but I don’t tell jokes”.  Now I get it – but will this particular schtick wear thin after a few performances?

Kid the Wiz
The act: Did a sort of hip-hop dance that focused mainly on tricks he did with his hat.
The verdict: He’s through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Yeah, it was cool to watch – but can you REALLY create an entire Vegas show out of a kid doing hat tricks??? And how many tricks does he really have? I’m guessing the judges get bored with it in Vegas, and he gets cut before the live shows.

Chuck from the Bronx – 38, from (duh) The Bronx, NY
The act: I guess you could call it “extreme eating” – he ate 3 raw eggs (shell & all), chased a tequila shot by snorting the salt through his nose and squeezing the lime in his eyes, and finished by devouring the world’s hottest pepper…while sitting in a bathtub full of ice.
The verdict: In the second decision of the night that was not unanimous, Howard, Heidi, & Mel all hated it & said no – but Howie “got it” and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I can deal with sideshow & danger acts.  But for whatever reason, I get super-duper squeamish when I see professional/extreme eaters that either eat ridiculous amounts of food or eat weird things.  I literally start to get queasy and usually have to stop watching.  And poor Chuck looked like he was in such pain – I’d much rather see someone that was having the time of their life performing and was truly enjoying what they were doing, than someone that just suffers for the sake of applause.

Alex B. – 13
The act: He sang “Payphone” by Maroon 5.
The verdict: The judges (Mel in particular) all said “no” as gently as they could.
Court’s thoughts: I always feel bad for young kids that work up the courage to hit the stage, but maybe just aren’t quite ready for AGT yet and end up getting a “no” from the judges.  Poor Alex was only 13 – and his voice is probably changing, which could explain some of the shrillness that made his singing a bit hard on the ears.  The judges unfortunately probably see far more kids like Alex – and very few like Jackie Evancho or Anna Graceman.  I just hope kids like Alex do end up working on their skills a bit more and return in a future season when they’re better prepared.

Anna Christine – 10, from Henderson, NV (or as I like to call it – “John country” ;-))
The act: Sang “House of the Rising Sun” while playing the piano.
The verdict: Judges adored her – 4 yes’s.
Court’s thoughts: She’s basically this season’s Anna Graceman – but I think she’s actually better.  She’s got a VERY mature voice for her age – reminded me a bit of Kelly Clarkson when she was on Idol – and seems to have a bit more of a stage presence.  Another act that I could see making the finale.

3Penny Chorus & Orchestra – from Connecticut
The act: A full orchestra & chorus comprised of non-professionals that performed an orchestral version of “Call Me Maybe”.
The verdict: Judges (even Howard, who claims to “hate orchestral music) loved it.  They made it to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: It was definitely cool – especially when you consider that none of them are professional musicians.  But there were a few moments that I found it a bit grating on the nerves…maybe it was the song choice? Who knows.  I’d be interested to see them tackle something totally out of their element – like Jay Z or Kanye.

 

Los Angeles:

Pacific Boys’ Choir – ages 9-14
The act: They sang a choral version of “California Dreamin'”.
The verdict: They made it through to Vegas – Howard especially loved it, citing it as “one of his favorite songs”.
Court’s thoughts: It was a beautiful, haunting performance…definitely a pleasure to listen to.  But I wonder if they might connect better with the audience if they performed something a little more young & current.

Special Head
The act: He’s an eccentric, Buddhist monk-ish street performer who makes this weird humming noise to “get his chakras in line” before levitating.
The verdict: Judges were skeptical at first – Howard even buzzed him early in the act.  But after the levitating, Howard actually “took back” the X, and all 4 judges said “yes” to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Special Head is no spiritual – he’s just a magician that has found a really kooky (and clever) angle with which to frame his illusions.  It’s all an act – even the name betrays the fact that he doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously.  However – I think it’s brilliant.  I think I’ve figured out the trick (if you’ve ever caught Magic’s Greatest Secrets Revealed on the Bio channel, it’s just a simple levitation – hint: the staff he was holding isn’t just there for show), but I think the true genius behind his performance was more in the presentation than anything else.  We’ve had goth magicians of the Criss Angel persuasion, very mysterious illusion-based magicians of the David Copperfield persuasion, escape artists of the Houdini persuasion, and even very campy magicians of the Penn & Teller persuasion.  But we’ve never had a magician of the “spiritual magic” persuasion – and when you can inject that element of mysticism into a performance, the effect on the audience can be pretty powerful.  I’m very curious to see what he’s going to do for Vegas – maybe conjure up some spirits? Summon the 7 plagues?

Angela Hoover – 42, from Redondo Beach, CA
The act: Comedienne/impressionist that impersonated Celine Dion, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Chenoweth, & Penelope Cruz.
The verdict: 4 yes’s, through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Glad to see another female impressionist since Melissa Villa Senor a few years back – it’s unfortunately a genre of comedy that seems to be dominated by men, since it’s far easier for a guy to humorously imitate a female voice than it is for a female to imitate a male voice.  Her Celine, Kristen, & Penelope impressions were spot-on – I thought the Drew could use a bit of work, though, and found myself comparing it unfavorably to Melissa’s Drew impression.  I do want to see her do well – but I think in order for that to happen, she’s going to have to tackle some male impressions, too.  Melissa was unique in that she was able to do some male impressions, too – her Owen Wilson sticks out in my mind.  Hopefully Angela can pull out a decent Nick Cage or Robert De Niro 😛

Barbie & Mina
The act: Two bimbos in hot pink outfits (kind of) singing some silly song.
The verdict: No way, Jose – and Howard said they “reminded him of the Spice Girls”, which of course got a rise out of Mel.
Court’s thoughts: Just…why????

“Guy with pony-like headdress & female backup dancers”
The act: Well…it was a guy in some vaguely S&M outfit with a pony-like headdress singing some weird song while some female backup dancers clad in metallic spandex danced around him.
The verdict: Ummm…no.
Court’s thoughts: I’m sure this would have been a hit in a gay club…but AGT maybe wasn’t the right audience.

Anthony Granger, aka “Tone the Chiefrocca” – 27, from Englewood, CA
The act: Tone and his “hype guy”, Cody (who I think he said was his little brother) performed an original song called “B-Double O-T-Y” – which Tone hopes will make him a one-hit wonder.
The verdict: All 4 judges were on their feet & shaking their b-double o-t-y’s – and said yes to Vegas.  Nick also joined in for an impromptu 2nd performance and help Tone & his hype guy come up with an “official b-double o-t-y dance”.
Court’s thoughts: I gotta give props to a guy who openly admits that his only goal is to “become a one-hit wonder” 😛 On paper, I really should hate this act – but I loved every single second.  The song is catchy as hell, these two guys are ridiculously entertaining, and they’ve got no illusions about what they are: they’ve only got one song, and they intend to perform it over and over again for each round.  Normally I would think this would get really, really old, really, really quick – but I’m thinking their angle might be to perform the song with a different theme each time.  At least that’s what I’d do – yes, the audience already knows that I’m going to be singing “B-Double O-T-Y” again, but am I going to be singing it dressed as King Tut? Or the Village People? One thing’s for sure – “B-Double-O-T-Y” is this season’s “Whatcha Gonna Do?” 🙂

So which acts stood out to you? Let’s hear it 🙂

June 5, 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 Premiere Preview – “Level of Talent is High in San Antonio”

Hello AGT fans! Allow me to introduce myself – I’m Courtney, and some of you may know me from my work over at PureDWTS.  For those of you that don’t – hopefully I can entertain you this season here at PureAGT, and we can have some great discussion over what seems to be a promising season 🙂

Speaking of which, mysanantonio.com has some very interesting previews of what we can expect from the San Antonio auditions in the premiere tomorrow night, and some very high praise for the city from the judges.  Howie & Howard were both impressed by what San Antonio had to offer:

“The variety was fantastic! The level of talent is way high in San Antonio,”  Howard  Stern said during an interview with the judges between auditions at Lila  Cockrell Theatre.

“I’m the elder statesman of this group,” Howie  Mandel added, “and I can say I’ve never seen more talent in one session in  one city in my four years on the show.”

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/entertainment_columnists/jeanne_jakle/article/S-A-gets-spot-on-NBC-Talent-premiere-4563146.php#ixzz2VCGVHYHe

The fact that these particular auditions have the judges so excited makes me hopeful that tomorrow’s premiere will make a strong showing.  Some of the previews they offered for some of the acts that we’ll see also sound very intriguing. Warning! Spoilers after the jump… Read more..

June 3, 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!

It’s Official – Howard Stern is New Judge on America’s Got Talent 2012 – AGT Live Shows Move to New York

I just got the official press release from NBC and Fremantle Media announcing Howard Stern as the new judge on America’s Got Talent.

This announcement is going to anger a lot of America’s Got Talent fans. I know since after I first posted about Howard Stern possibly replacing Piers Morgan as an America’s Got Talent judge I got a bunch of backlash from readers of this site. The most common response was, “I will not watch America’s Got Talent if Howard Stern is judge.”

I certainly appreciate the sentiment. America’s Got Talent has broad appeal across a large spectrum of ages and has generally (with a few exceptions) been a pretty family friendly show. Howard Stern represents the opposite of family friendly for most people. Maybe that’s the intent of the producers. There’s little doubt that Howard Stern as judge will make quite a splash with the media. AGT and Simon Cowell seem to enjoy a little bit of controversy.

For me personally, I’m still going to watch America’s Got Talent. I don’t like most of what Howard Stern represents either, but I wasn’t fond of Jerry Springer’s show either and I was amazed at how different Jerry was on America’s Got Talent compared to his show. Audiences loved Jerry. I’m not sure Howard will have the same sort of friendly transformation as Jerry had, but I’m willing to give him a chance.

The move of the America’s Got Talent live shows to New York is pretty interesting too. I’m sure it was to accommodate Howard Stern’s schedule. I’m not sure where the live shows are taped will matter much to viewers of the show. Although, it looks like my dream of finally attending a live show taping probably won’t happen. The trip to NY is a lot farther from Las Vegas than LA was.

Here’s the official press release from NBC:

12/15/2011 08:40

NBC ANNOUNCES HOWARD STERN AS THE NEW JUDGE ON THE TOP-RATED SUMMER COMPETITION SERIES “AMERICA’S GOT TALENT” AS IT HEADS INTO SEASON SEVEN

Series Finds a New Home as Production of the Live Shows Moves to New York

Auditions for Season Seven Continue Around the Country

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – December 15, 2011 – NBC announced today that Howard Stern, American radio personality, television host and author, will serve as the new judge on the top-rated summer alternative series “America’s Got Talent,” produced by FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell’s SYCO Television.

Stern will provide his feedback on the colorful array of hopeful future stars who are currently auditioning in major cities around the country for the show’s upcoming seventh season.

Production of the live shows of “America’s Got Talent” also will be moving to New York, where Stern will continue to helm his SiriusXM radio program.

The announcement was made by Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC.

“Howard Stern’s larger-than-life personality will bring a thrilling new dynamic to ‘America’s Got Talent’ starting this summer,” said Telegdy. “He’s a proven innovator and his track record in broadcasting is truly remarkable. Howard is very passionate about this show and is fully committed to its future success.”

Stern helped to transform American radio and put syndicated satellite radio on the map on SiriusXM. As the outspoken, unedited and headline-grabbing host of “The Howard Stern Show” radio program, Stern was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2005 and became a pop-culture icon with a massive loyal fan base. Since 1987, he has hosted numerous television shows, record-breaking pay-per-view events and home video releases. He also embarked on a five-month political campaign for governor of New York in 1994.

His two books, “Private Parts” (1993) and “Miss America” (1995), spent 20 and 16 weeks, respectively, on The New York Times bestseller list. The first book became a national sensation and was adapted into the feature film “Private Parts” (1997), a biographical comedy film that starred Stern and his radio show staff — and was a box-office success. Additionally, Stern performed on the film’s soundtrack which topped the Billboard 200 chart. Stern currently broadcasts his show “Howard 100” on the SiriusXM satellite radio station.

“America’s Got Talent” was the #1 non-sports telecast on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox in total viewers every week it aired over the summer of 2011, making it the #1 summer series in total viewers for a sixth year in a row. Last summer, “America’s Got Talent” delivered its highest-rated cycle ever.

“America’s Got Talent” is the only talent competition show that is open to any age and any talent. Auditions for season seven kicked off in October with upcoming open calls set for Austin, Texas, Charlotte, N.C. and San Francisco, Calif. For all the latest information and to pre-register, go to www.AGTauditions.com.

“America’s Got Talent” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell’s SYCO Television. Simon Cowell, Cecile Frot-Coutaz (“American Idol”), Jason Raff, Ken Warwick (“American Idol”) and Georgie Hurford-Jones are executive producers.

For embeddable clips and full episodes of “America’s Got Talent,” please visit NBC.com’s official show site: http://www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent/

For artwork and a complete press kit from the show, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com.

Please follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nbcagt and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nbcagt

About NBC Entertainment:

NBC Entertainment develops and schedules programming for the network’s primetime, late night, and daytime schedules. NBC’s quality programs and balanced lineup have earned the network critical acclaim, numerous awards, and ratings success. NBC has earned more Emmy Awards than any network in television history. NBC’s roster of popular scripted series includes critically acclaimed comedy Emmy winners “The Office” and “30 Rock,” starring Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey. Veteran, award-winning dramas on NBC include “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Chuck.” Unscripted series for NBC include the new vocal competition hit “The Voice” as well as the popular “The Biggest Loser,” “The Celebrity Apprentice” and “America’s Got Talent.” NBC’s late-night story is highlighted by “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Last Call with Carson Daly” and “Saturday Night Live.” NBC Daytime’s “Days of our Lives” consistently finishes among daytime’s top programs in the valuable women 18-34 category. On Saturday mornings, the network broadcasts Qubo on NBC, a three-hour block that features fun, entertaining, and educational programming for kids, including the award-winning, 3-D animated series Veggie Tales.

About FremantleMedia North America:

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. production division of global media giant FremantleMedia. Based in Burbank, California, FMNA produces entertaining and innovative programs for network, cable, syndicated and online platforms, including the Emmy-nominated musical/reality phenomenon “American Idol” (FOX), “America’s Got Talent” (NBC), “What Chilli Wants” (VH1), “Hole In The Wall” (Cartoon Network), “Let’s Make A Deal” (CBS), “Family Feud” (syn), “The Price Is Right” (CBS), and “The X Factor” (Fox).

About SYCO:

Syco, with offices in London and Los Angeles, is a global music, television and film production joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment. Syco Television owns and produces the BAFTA Award-winning “The X Factor,” which has topped the charts around the world. Syco Television is also the owner of the “Got Talent” television format. Versions of both “The X Factor” and “Got Talent” are co-produced by Syco, and are shown in more than 70 countries and have won multiple awards including national television awards and BAFTAs.

Syco is also the record label home for such diverse international recording stars as Leona Lewis and Il Divo. Cowell has worked with artists selling more than 200 million albums and delivering more than 180 #1 records. Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 launched the global singing career of Susan Boyle. Her debut Syco album sold over 8 million units in six weeks, making it the world’s biggest-selling album of 2009 and the fastest-selling album in history, selling a total of 20 million records to date.

December 15, 2011 I Written By