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PureAGT Season 8 Vegas Week Predictions – Dancers/Dance Groups/Acrobats

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

Dancers:

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

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

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

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

 

Dance groups:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Acrobats:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 13, 2013 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 8 Vegas Week Roster

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

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

Singers:

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

Classical Singers:

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

Bands/Musical Groups:

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

Dancers:

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

Dance groups:

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

Acrobats:

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

Danger acts:

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

Magicians:

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

Comedians:

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

Novelty acts:

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

Kid Acts:

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

July 12, 2013 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 8 Social Media List

 

For those wanting to follow some of this year’s cast on Twitter (or just looking to find out more about some of them), I’ve compiled this list of links to various social media resources for the judges, hosts, and contestants.  I’m going to do my best to update it after each audition, but I can always use some help – if you locate a contestant’s Twitter, Facebook, website, Instagram, etc. (and I haven’t already posted it), please mention it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.  I’m also working on an AGT Season 8 Twitter list at our @pureagt account…stay tuned!!!

Judges & Hosts:

Mel BTwitter, website, Facebook, Instagram
Nick CannonTwitter, website, tumblr, Instagram, Facebook
Heidi KlumTwitter, website, Facebook, Instagram
Howie MandelTwitter, website, Facebook
Howard SternTwitter, website

Acts that made it through to Vegas:

The Academywebsite
Marty Brown – Facebook
Catapult EntertainmentTwitter, website, Facebook, YouTube
Angela HooverTwitter, Facebook, myspace
Hypegroup Twitter, Headache Twitter, Hazmat Twitter, Mikey Twitter, tumblr, Mikey YouTube, Hazmat Youtube, Headache YouTube, Facebook
Tristan Jihwebsite, Facebook, Vimeo
Pacific Boys Choirwebsite, Facebook
Dave ShirleyTwitter, website
Special HeadFacebook
David “The Cobra Kid” WeathersFacebook, website, mySpace
Travis Pratt – Twitter, Facebook
Duo Resonance (Nina & Yury) – website, Facebook, YouTube
Ron Garber & Liza SatorovRon Twitter, blog, YouTube, Facebook
Jonas Terleckas & Ruby CastroRuby Twitter
D’Angelo Castro & Amanda CarbajalesD’Angelo Twitter, Amanda Twitter, D’Angelo Facebook, D’Angelo & Amanda Facebook
Mariachi Nuevo Estilo AVMTwitter, Facebook
Brad Byerswebsite, YouTube
Collins Keywebsite, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
Megan PiphusTwitter, YouTube, website, Instagram
Alexanderia the Greatwebsite, Facebook, blog, YouTube
Slackwire SamYouTube
Paul Thomas MitchellFacebook

 

Acts that got cut:

Chuck from the Bronxwebsite, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
MiuTwitter, YouTube
Nezbit Blue (alien in lederhosen) – Facebook
Pistol Packin’ Paulawebsite
JC Starbright – website, Twitter

June 10, 2013 I Written By

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

PureAGT 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!