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PureAGT Season 8, Episode #8, 9, & 10 Music List – Vegas Week

Please bear with me as I compile the Vegas week music list – there was a LOT of it in each episode! And a lot of the orchestral stuff is tripping me up…I promise the music from the second night of Vegas week AND the recap special (there was some new footage in it) will be up by the end of this weekend.  Thanks for sticking with me, guys! 😀

Night #1:

“Too Close” by Alex ClareToo Close - The Lateness of the Hour (opening montage)
“Stars (Hold On)” by Youngblood HawkeStars (Hold On) - Wake Up (contestants arrive in Vegas)
“Feel Again” by OneRepublicFeel Again - Native (Deluxe Version) (instant decision round)
“Hall of Fame” by The Script feat. will.i.amHall of Fame (Original Version) - #3 (Deluxe Version) (instant decision round)
“Violent Running” by Tobias Marberger; only version I could find was on Youtube, 2:22 mark (David Ferman performance)
“In the House – In a Heartbeat” by London Music Works28 Days Later - In the House-In a Heartbeat - The Definitive Horror Music Collection (Brad Byers performance)
“The Third Temple” by Nexus Trix & Oswin McIntosh (Alex Magala performance)
“Falling Angels” by Nexus Trix (Slackwire Sam performance)
“Realm of Power” by Two Steps from Hell Realm of Power - SkyWorld(Rong Niu performance)
“Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno MarsLocked Out of Heaven - Unorthodox Jukebox (singers intro)
“Without You” by AstonWithout You - Aston II (Forte intro)
“The Prayer” by Andrea BocelliThe Prayer - The Best of Andrea Bocelli - Vivere (Bonus Track Version) (cover performed by Forte)
“Home” by Phillip PhillipsHome - The World from the Side of the Moon (Deluxe) (Brandon & Savannah intro)
“Little Talks” by Of Monsters and MenLittle Talks - My Head Is An Animal (cover performed by Brandon & Savannah)
“House of the Rising Sun” by The AnimalsHouse of the Rising Sun - Retrospective (cover by The American Hit Men)
“Brighter Than the Sun” by Colbie CaillatBrighter Than the Sun - All of You (kid acts intro)
“Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley CyrusParty In the U.S.A. - Party In the U.S.A. - Single (cover performed by 2Unique)
“Don’t Stop the Party” by Pitbull feat. TJRDon't Stop the Party (feat. TJR) - Global Warming (Deluxe Version) (Lil Demon performance)
“Blizzard” by Two Steps from HellBlizzard - SkyWorld (Melody Caballeros performance)
“Moves like Jagger” by Maroon 5 Moves Like Jagger (Studio Recording from (D’Angelo & Amanda performance)
“Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)” by Gotan Project Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre) - Shall We Dance? (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)(Jonas & Ruby performance)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by QueenBohemian Rhapsody - Classic Queen (Hype performance)
“The Ender (Remix)” by Kid the Wiz; YouTube (Kid the Wiz performance)
“Ghosts N Stuff” by deadmau5 Ghosts N Stuff - Ghosts N Stuff - Single(Dylan Wilson performance)
“If My Heart Had Wings” by Faith Hill If My Heart Had Wings - Breathe(Tavi & Antonio performance)
“Me & You” by NeroMe and You - Welcome Reality (Deluxe Version) (Brandon Rosario performance)
“Too Close” by Alex ClareToo Close - The Lateness of the Hour (Duo Resonance performance)
“The Cowboy in Me” by Tim McGrawThe Cowboy In Me - Tim McGraw: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (Timber Brown performance)
“Boom Shack-a-Lak” by Apache IndianBoom Shack-A-Lak - Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (Original Soundtrack) (Kristef Brothers performance)
“Beneath Your Beautiful” by Labrinth feat. Emeli SandeBeneath Your Beautiful (feat. Emeli Sandé) - Beneath Your Beautiful (feat. Emeli Sandé) - Single (Deanna Dellacioppa intro)
“A Thousand Years” by Christina PerriA Thousand Years - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Version] (Skilyr talks with the judges after performing; Selena M. Gordon intro)
“A Broken Wing” by Martina McBrideA Broken Wing - Greatest Hits (cover performed by Selena Gordon)
“Summertime” by Janis Joplin Summertime - Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits (cover performed by Cami Bradley)
“I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal FlattsI Won't Let Go - Nothing Like This (cover performed by Deanna Dellacioppa)

“Best of Auditions” Recap Special:

(NOTE: I did not include songs from clips of auditions that we’ve seen previously – those can be found on the music lists for the auditions.  The only exception was the song performed by The Robotix, since this is the first time we see them.)

“America the Beautiful” America the Beautiful - Patriotic Songs of America(opening montage)
“Miserlou” by Dick DaleMiserlou - Guitar Legend: The Very Best of Dick Dale (judges intro montage)
“God Put a Smile on Your Face” by Mark RonsonGod Put a Smile On Your Face - Version (New Orleans intro)
“Feelin’ Alright” by Joe CockerFeelin' Alright - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Joe Cocker (montage of good auditions)
“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Santa EsmereldaDon't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Santa Esmeralda - Hits Anthology (San Antonio intro & montage of auditions)
“Heartbreaker” by Pat BenetarHeartbreaker - Pat Benatar: Greatest Hits (cover performed by The Robotix)
“Miss Movin’ On” by Fifth HarmonyMiss Movin' On - Miss Movin' On - Single (montage of San Antonio auditions)
“Marry You” by Bruno MarsMarry You - Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Travis Pratt recap and montage from San Antonio auditions)
“It’s Your Thing” by The Isley BrothersIt's Your Thing - The Ultimate Isley Brothers (Chicago intro)
“Wild Ones” by Flo Rida feat. SiaWild Ones (feat. Sia) - Wild Ones (montage of good Chicago auditions)
“New York State of Mind” by Billy JoelNew York State of Mind - The Essential Billy Joel (New York intro)
“Apache” by the Sugarhill GangApache - The Sugar Hill Records Story (montage of good New York auditions)
“Hollywood Swinging (Wild)” by Kool & the GangHollywood Swinging (Single Version) - The Very Best of Kool & the Gang (Los Angeles intro & montage of auditions)
“I Love It” by Icona PopI Love It (feat. Charli XCX) - Iconic - EP (montage of L.A. auditions)
“Senorita” by BondSeñorita - Classified (Mel & Howard dance)
“Nobody But Me” by The Human BeinzNobody But Me - The Departed (Music from the Motion Picture) (montage of bad auditions)
“War” by Edwin StarrWar - The Very Best of Edwin Starr (montage of bad auditions)
“Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Terry SnyderPuttin' On the Ritz - Ultra-Lounge: Space-Capades, Vol. 3 (montage of bizarre auditions)
“Nero” by Two Steps from HellNero - Archangel (montage of Vegas performances)
“Feel Again” by OneRepublicFeel Again - Native (Deluxe Version) (montage of Vegas performances)
“Violent Running” by Tobias Marberger(see link in Night #1 section) (montage of Vegas danger acts)
“String Quartet #3: Mishima/Closing” by Kronos QuartetString Quartet No. 3 (Mishima): Mishima/Closing - Kronos Quartet Performs Philip Glass (montage of Vegas performances)

July 19, 2013 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 8 Vegas Week Rundown – Night #2

Well, the “WTF?” train didn’t leave the station after last night – still more shocking eliminations (and even MORE shocking advances to the live shows) than last night.  I’m now convinced that some acts are just going to be there for the sake of variety and to serve as cannon fodder for the REALLY good acts.

First, let’s get the verdicts out of the way…

Acts that made it to the live shows after performing in Vegas:

(acts with a * next to them did not appear in the audition round – Vegas is the first time we’ve seen them)

Collins Key
Leon Etienne & Romy Low
Brad Byers
Slackwire Sam
Alex Magala
Special Head
Brandon & Savannah
Forte
The American Hit Men
Marty Brown
Dave Fenley
Duo Resonance
Timber Brown
Kristef Brothers
Izzy & Aaralyn
Chloe Channell
2Unique
Ciana Pelekai
Taylor Williamson
John Wing*
Hype
Kid the Wiz
D’Angelo & Amanda
Jonas & Ruby
David Ferman
Rong Niu
Deanna Dellacioppa
Jonathan Allen
Cami Bradley (not shown, but advanced according to Wikipedia)
Selena Mykenzie Gordon (not shown, but advanced according to Wikipedia)

Court’s thoughts: Why the HELL are Aaralyn & Izzy still in this competition??? I find nothing about them talented, entertaining, cute, or unique – in fact, it actually disturbs me a bit that they’re being pushed in this direction musically, and that no one appears to be teaching this child proper vocal technique.  At this rate, she’ll be lucky if she doesn’t have chronic laryngitis by the time she’s 16! I officially dub Aaralyn & Izzy this year’s “Horse”.  Also a little miffed that 2Unique made it through – the DJ is pretty good, but I don’t think the other girl is anything special, nor do I think the act as a whole is worthy of a Vegas show.  Also a bit skeptical that Chloe Channell made it through, despite giving a rather lackluster performance in Vegas.  Gotta say, I’m surprised they took both D’Angelo & Amanda and Ruby & Jonas – not because one is less talented than the other, but because I thought for sure they were going to pit sibling-against-sibling for a slot in the live shows…guess they figured the sibling vs. sibling storyboarding angle could work for the live shows, too.  Beyond the acts that I mentioned, I guess I’m pretty happy with the acts that made it through.

Acts that were cut after performing in Vegas:

Ariann Black*
Naathan Phan
RJ Cantu*
Tavi & Antonio
“Accro” Brandon Rosario*
Travis Pratt
Paul Thomas Mitchell
Lil Demon
Melody Caballeros*
Archbishop Molloy Step Team*
Art Spark*
Skilyr Hicks
Genesis Nava*
Jimmy Failla*
Eric Schwartz*
Megan Piphus
Kennedy Davenport*
Dylan Wilson
Lil Mike & Funny Bone (cut immediately after performing)

Court’s thoughts: First, I feel I must point out the pattern here: most of the acts that weren’t featured from the audition rounds, did not make it to the live shows.  Guess that goes to show that if you don’t get a lot of airtime devoted to you, it’s probably because you won’t be sticking around long, anyway.  Now, a “WTF?!” moment: why were Travis Pratt & Paul Thomas Mitchell cut???  I think the former’s unique voice would have been an asset in the live shows, and the latter also had a unique voice and some genuine songwriting talent.  *sigh* Like Milton Patton, I guess I can only hope that they get called back for the wild card round.  Beyond those two, I think I for the most part agree with the acts that were cut – seemed like some of them really blew it in Vegas (notably Megan Piphus and Skilyr Hicks) while others probably never really stood a chance to begin with (Dylan Wilson and Lil Mike & Funny Bone).  The rest were acts that we didn’t really see much of, anyway, so it didn’t really affect me much to see them cut.

Acts that performed in Vegas (continued from Night #1)

Kid Musicians:

Aaralyn & Izzy
Chloe Channell
Genesis Nava*
Ciana Pelekai

Court’s thoughts: You already know how I feel about Aaralyn & Izzy….grrr.  I thought Chloe Channell actually blew it with her song choice – her performance ended up being kind of blah, and she may have fared better if she had switched songs with Genesis.  I think the only one that knocked it out of the park was Ciana – I was skeptical after seeing her in the audition round, but her rendition of “I’d Rather Go Blind” brought the house down. 

Magicians:

RJ Cantu*
Naathan Phan
Collins Key
Ariann Black*
Leon Etienne & Romy Low

Court’s thoughts: Only one real standout for me – once again, Collins Key aced his performance.  I love that he’s going the route of up-close, more intimate tricks as opposed to these large-scale illusions that so many other acts are going for.  Ariann totally blew it – her trick went wrong and she refused to admit it.  Thought RJ’s trick would have been far more impressive if he had done it with the lights on – it was so damn dark, you could tell he was trying to hide something.  I agree with Howard about Naathan – his magic is good, but his delivery is awkward.  I guess Leon & Romy’s trick was kind of cool, but it also struck me as a little boring. 

Variety acts:

Special Head
Kennedy Davenport*
Megan Piphus
Lil Mike & Funny Bone

Court’s thoughts: This category was a little bit of a dud for me – nobody really seemed to rise to their full potential.  Thought Special Head fared the best, but agreed with the judges that his audition trick was more impressive.  If we’ve seen one dancing/lip syncing drag queen, I feel like we’ve seen them all – so I wasn’t terribly impressed by Kennedy Davenport.  Megan and Lil Mike & Funny Bone both completely blew their Vegas performances – Megan looked downright amateurish trying to sing “ABC” with her puppet, and I don’t know that Lil Mike & Funny Bone even rehearsed at all, since they both seemed to be forgetting their choreography and just wandering around the stage aimlessly.  I think the latter may have wasted their one great song on the audition round and just didn’t have anything else that was equally strong to fall back on…so who knows, maybe they were kind of doomed from the get-go.  But they did seem rather lackadaisical about the whole thing, so I guess I agree with the judges eliminating them immediately after they performed. 

Male singers:

Dave Fenley
Marty Brown
Paul Thomas Mitchell
Jonathan Allen
Travis Pratt

Court’s thoughts: I love Dave Fenley more and more each time I hear him perform – loved his gravelly acoustic take on “These Arms of Mine”.  I agree with the judges that I thought Marty was better in his audition than he was in Vegas – he wasn’t terrible, per se, but I just found myself a bit bored.  Seemed like Paul fumbled a bit with “Sunday Morning”, but I still loved his voice and thought for sure he’d be going to the live shows.  Jonathan Allen definitely improved from his initial audition – seems like he has a lot better control over his voice now.  Poor Travis Pratt – I think he did a commendable job with “Ave Maria”, but the judges just couldn’t seem to get past the fact that he sings like a woman. 

So the roster is set for Radio City Music Hall!!! Who are you most excited to see in the live shows? And who are you sad to see eliminated?

July 17, 2013 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 8 Vegas Week Rundown – Night #1

Well…let’s just say I’m left a bit surprised by some of the decisions that were made tonight.  The instant decision round seemed to put more acts than ever before (30) straight through to the live shows, they cut one individual instantly that really shocked me, and some of (in my opinion) the stronger acts were forced to perform again in Vegas, while weaker ones made it straight through to the live shows.  In addition, we saw some acts in Vegas that we didn’t get to see in the initial audition rounds – which kind of annoyed me, as it’s hard to predict who’s gonna make it through when I don’t have a full list to choose from 😛 I guess I’m still left going “hmmmm” after tonight’s episode, and I can only wonder what tomorrow night’s episode will bring!

A lot happened in tonight’s 2-hour show, so please bear with me as I work through it 🙂 I may have to post now and finish sometime tomorrow, as I require sleep at some point. I’m gonna start with the “instant decision” acts – those who were either sent straight through to the live shows or sent home without getting to perform in Vegas.  There were 2 acts that made it straight through that I didn’t recognize from the auditions – those are the acts in quotation marks, since I don’t know their names.

Instant Decisions

Acts that made it straight through to the live shows:

Catapult Entertainment
Fresh Faces
Tone the Chiefrocca
Sprice
Anna Christine
Kenichi Ebina
Alexanderia the Great
Mitsi Dancing School
Innovative Force
“Bald guy I didn’t recognize” Dave Shirley
Jimmy Rose
Tummy Talk
Aerial Ice
Kelsey & Bailey
Chicago Boyz
3Penny Chorus & Orchestra
American Military Spouses Choir
University of Virginia Gospel Chorale
Angela Hoover
Jim Meskimen
David “The Cobra Kid” Weathers
Kevin Downey Jr.
Branden James
Struck Boyz
SensEtion
Tellavision
Aerosphere
Spintacular
“Group of adolescents I didn’t recognize” The RobotIx*

Court’s thoughts: I agree with this list, for the most part – if there was one act I thought deserved to make it straight through, it was Aerial Ice; if there were two, it was Aerial Ice and Kenichi…and thankfully, both were on this list.  Also glad to see Alexanderia, Chicago Boyz, Jimmy Rose, and Sprice on this list…and THRILLED to see Tone.  Yay B-O-O-T-Y!!!! Was a little surprised to see both Angela AND Jim Meskimen on this list – I thought for sure they’d only take one impressionist, and it would be Jim.  The only two acts I’m a little perturbed to see on this list are SensEtion & Tellavision – I thought the latter was just terribly cheesy, and the former wasn’t particularly original.  I have to wonder if some of these acts were put straight through because a) the powers that be didn’t think their Vegas week performances would be a huge ratings draw, or b) the judges knew that some of them (like Tone and maybe The Cobra Kid) have acts that can quickly grow old – and thus by sparing us watching them do the same act again and again.  Still think there’s a few cannon fodder acts peppered in, too – somebody’s gotta go home each week, and you may as well deliberately throw some weaker acts in to protect your stronger ones.

Acts that got sent straight home:

Olivia Rox
Yasha & Daniela
Sully Dunn
Milton Patton

Court’s thoughts: Was not surprised by Sully Dunn and Yasha & Daniela being put in this group – I had already kinda predicted they probably had a slim-to-none chance of making it to the live shows.  I think Sully is just too raw for AGT at this point, and Yasha & Daniela would look like amateurs next to D’Angelo & Amanda and Ruby & Jonas.  Was slightly surprised by Olivia Rox, then I rewatched her audition and found that her vocals were not as strong as I initially thought and her performance seemed rather manufactured.  The one name that did surprise me? Milton Patton.  Completely drawing a blank as to why he wasn’t chosen – I think the judges made a big mistake on that one.  My only explanation is that they may be planning on bringing him back for the wild card show, similar to the Bandbaz Brothers last season (instantly cut in Vegas, brought back for wild card).

Acts that performed in Vegas

(acts with an * next to them were not shown in the audition round – this is the first time we’re seeing them)

Danger acts:

Slackwire Sam
Rong Niu
David Ferman
Brad Byers
Alex Magala

Court’s thoughts: Seemed to be some struggles in the danger group – Rong Niu dropped a bowl, Slackwire Sam’s hair caught on fire, and David Ferman seemed to struggle with showmanship once more.  I wouldn’t say Brad did bad, per se; I just think his act tends to gross people out, as opposed to amazing them.  I think Alex probably fared the best last night – his act seemed to impress the judges, and he didn’t have any problems.  I think Sam, David, and Alex will probably make it through to the live shows, given that their acts are so freakin’ dangerous & amazing; unfortunately, I think Rong and Brad are probably goners. 

Music groups:

Forte
Brandon & Savannah
The American Hit Men

Court’s thoughts: My one explanation as to why Forte ended up in this group instead of automatically going through to the live shows? The lineup change.  Hana (the South Korean guy that performed with them in the L.A. audtions) backed out at the last minute, and the remaining two members had to scramble to find a new member – enter Sean.  I’m guessing the judges wanted to make sure this new combination of members was every bit as good as what they saw in the audition round – and honestly, I agree with the judges that Forte might have a bit of a problem now: Sean is so good that he kind of overshadows the other two guys.  In the initial auditions, I don’t think any one member stood out – their sound as a unit was just so pure that you couldn’t really single anyone out.  Now it’s rather like “Forte – featuring Sean! And two other guys.” I still think they’ve got a spot on the live show, but I do think the judges will bring this new development to their attention.  I found Brandon & Savannah to be a bit bland – not sure that they really attacked their cover of “Little Talks” full force.  Liked the American Hit Men, but I don’t know that “House of the Rising Sun” fit them as well as “Simple Man” did.  I think Forte & American Hit Men will move through – not sure about Brandon & Savannah.

Kid acts:

2Unique
Lil Demon
Melody Caballero*
D’Angelo & Amanda
Ruby & Jonas

Court’s thoughts: Thank god I’m not the only one that has been pondering why 2Unique is still in the competition – Howard expressed concern that they weren’t terribly…well, unique.  I just don’t find myself entertained by what they do – it’s rather like watching two girls singing along to a boom box in their living room, to me.  Lil Demon can breakdance every bit as well as some adults we’ve seen.  Wasn’t terribly impressed with Melody’s contortion act – she seemed to struggle with balance and seemed very, very nervous.  Now we come down to the dueling siblings: D’Angelo & Ruby.  Honestly, I think they probably would have put D’Angelo & Amanda in the group that automatically made the live shows – but they couldn’t resist the temptation of a little storyboarding, and probably wanted to show off the drama of sibling vs. sibling in Vegas.  I think D’Angelo & Amanda knocked it out of the park once more with their cha cha – my only complaint is that we just see so much Latin on the show…which is why I think Ruby & Jonas actually had the more daring, creative routine.  We rarely see any of the standard dances (waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, & Viennese waltz) on AGT. They did a tango, but Jonas lost his balance at one point and both he & Ruby toppled to the floor.  They recovered well & kept going, but some tears were shed after the fact that made me feel terrible for the young couple 🙁 If it’s any consolation, I don’t know that going out there and dancing that tango perfectly would have really mattered – I think the judges probably already had picked D’Angelo & Amanda as the ones to advance.  I’m guessing Lil Demon advances too…and maybe Melody. 

Comedians:

Jimmy Failla*
Eric Schwartz*
Taylor Williamson
John Wing*

Court’s thoughts: Was interesting that 3 of the four acts in this category were acts that didn’t appear in the audition rounds – I had heard a bit of controversy surrounding Jimmy Failla’s act (apparently he wasn’t shown during the audition rounds because Mel B “thought his act was racist”), and had heard that he was actually trying to get his Vegas performance eliminated from last night’s episode because he said the show “duped him”.  So I’m guessing he’s not going to be gracing us with his presence in the live shows – which is fine with me, because I didn’t find him funny.  Liked Eric Schwartz – thought his comparison of Jewishness to hip-hop was clever, but he did seem at times like he was trying too hard.  I had a hard time following Taylor Williamson’s act – I think a lot got cut out, because there is no way the judges should have been laughing as hard as they were at just him standing onstage being awkward.  I liked what I did manage to follow, though.  I found myself just slightly chuckling at John Wing’s act…not laughing, just kind of “hehe”-ing.  I think Taylor’s gonna move on – and I’m on the fence about Eric. 

Dancers:

Archbishop Molloy Step Team*
Art Spark*
Hype
Dylan Wilson
Kid the Wiz

Court’ s thoughts: Was glad to see a step team – too bad I think they looked a little sloppy, and the judges commented that they had performed the same routine at their initial audition.  Was also glad to see a hip-hop group from Indianapolis 😀 Before they even said that, I thought to myself “Wait, they look a little familiar.”  I’m guessing that some of the members were part of Destined2B, another hip-hop group from Indy that was on season 4.  I thought their routine was creative, but lacked a lot of content.  Hype seemed to struggle a little – I think they just came across as a bit chaotic & disorganized, which was an unpleasant contrast to how clean & organized they looked in their initial audition.  I don’t remember a whole lot of Dylan’s routine…which makes me uneasy, because it probably means it wasn’t terribly impressive.  Kid the Wiz actually dropped his hat at one point, and I just didn’t find his act as amusing the second time around as it was the first.  I think the only group that’s a lock for the live shows is Hype – even if they were disorganized, I still think they handled this round better than any of the other groups in their category. 

Acrobats:

Tavi & Antonio
“Accro” Brandon Rosario*
Duo Resonance
Timber Brown
Kristef Brothers

Court’s thoughts: I think Tavi & Antonio kind of dropped the ball this round – their routine seemed a bit too artsy and didn’t have enough tricks…and the song was just saccharine-sweet.  I think Brandon Rosario came across a bit cocky, which I can’t understand because I don’t think his pole routine was terribly impressive.  Duo Resonance is, for me, the strongest technically in this category – but they really seem to lack a stage presence, and can come across as boring.  I actually agree a bit with the Kristef Brothers, who remarked backstage that they come across cold “because they’re Russian”.  😛 I think Timber probably fared the best out of this category, as his cowboy-themed routine was a good combination of creativity and skill; I actually found myself enjoying the Kristef Brothers as well, and came to appreciate their humorous approach to acrobatics.  I know Howie didn’t really “get” the humor of the act, but I do think it sets them apart from all of the other acrobats this season.  I think Timber is definitely going to move on, and probably Kristef Brothers as well; Duo Resonance could go either way; and I think the other two acts are toast. 

Female singers:

Deanna Dellacioppa
Skilyr Hicks
Selena Mykenzie Gordon*
Cami Bradley

Court’s thoughts: Had some pleasant surprises and not-so-pleasant surprises in this group.  I’m finding myself starting to dislike Deanna Dellacioppa – the way she freaked out about her background track being too low, and the subsequent way she had a breakdown about it backstage just kind of rubbed me the wrong way.  I get that this “is her dream”, but man – I feel like this chick is always crying and getting caught up in her emotions…even when she’s performing.  I still feel like she’s putting too much effort into her singing, and like Mel said, “it sounds like she just ran a marathon”.  She’s striking me as a bit too high-maintenance for this show.  Poor Skilyr just looked like a deer in the headlights during her entire performance – she did another original song, but to me it sounded a lot like the first original song she did at her initial audition.  Seems like she may not be ready for big audiences.  Selena did ok-to-good, but seemed to have a few notes that fell a bit flat; the big surprise of the category for me was Cami Bradley, who, despite my initial predictions that she would struggle in Vegas, was the only one in her category that knocked her performance out of the park last night: she performed a haunting, sultry version of “Summertime” and played the piano, and was the only one that didn’t seem to let nerves get the best of her.  I think at this point, she’s the only I feel confident saying “She will make the live shows.” The other three are up in the air for me. 

So what did you guys think of the instant decisions? Who are you glad to see headed to the live shows…and who are you sad to see leaving? And what do you think will be the outcome of some of the performances we saw? Keep your eyes peeled for my rundown of night Vegas night #2 later this evening! 🙂

July 16, 2013 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 8 Vegas Week Predictions – Danger Acts/Magicians/Comedians

Only 24 hours till Vegas! Who’s excited? 🙂 I continue my predictions with my thoughts on the danger acts, magicians, and comedians.  If you haven’t already, check out my analysis of the singers and dancers.

Danger acts:

David “The Cobra Kid” Weathers: Could go either way.  He’s the only animal danger act this season…but how much more can he really do with these snakes?

Brad Byers: Could go either way.  He’s a great sword swallower, but there’s another sword swallower this season that can do other things while swallowing swords.  However, I think Brad probably has the better stage presence.  Which will win the judges over?

Alexanderia the Great: Looking likely.  She’s a novelty, in that she’s a middle-aged mom doing dangerous escapes that we typically only see from young men. She’s also go some flexibility in her act – the escape possibilities are endless.

Slackwire Sam: Could go either way.  It’s a cool and daring act…but is it all he can do? How can he switch things up in Vegas to keep the act fresh?

Omega Force Strength Team: A long shot.  Howie was skeptical about this act from the get-go, and unless they’re flipping cars in Vegas, I think they may fall a bit flat. There’s only so many heavy objects they can lift before it becomes repetitive.

Team Rock: Could go either way.  The only martial arts act this season, but they don’t seem to have a very unified act…it’s just a series of tricks.  Can they create more of a “show”?

David Ferman: A sure thing. He’s this season’s only juggler, and I think he’s got a pretty broad skill set in that respect.  He also knows how to set up an act in order to make it suspenseful.

Alex Magala: Looking likely.  He swallows swords – then proceeds to do other things with the sword down his throat.  I’d say that’s probably pretty impressive in the judges’ eyes.

 

Magicians:

Special Head: A sure thing.  People are still talking about the levitation he did – and he’s got this great mystical persona to carry off tricks well.  He’s unique, and not really like any other magician we’ve had on the show.

Collins Key: Looking likely.  Young, attractive, well-rehearsed kid with cool up-close magic tricks.

Leon Etienne: Could go either way. I doubt we’ll see more than two magicians this year, and I’m having a hard time remembering Leon’s act…other than the fact that it was kind of cheesy.  But we do need some cannon fodder acts, so maybe he has a shot.

Naathan Phan:  A long shot.  I really like this guy, but he basically flubbed his first trick at the auditions and only made it through based on an impromptu trick the judges let him do to redeem himself.  Will he be able to avoid dud tricks in Vegas?

 

Comedians:

Dave Shirley: Could go either way. The LCD screen thing is cool, but I’m not sure how much more he can really do with it.

Angela Hoover: Could go either way.  I would have had her pegged for the live shows…until Jim Meskimen showed up, and he’s unfortunately a better impressionist.  Not sure if we have room for two impressionists this season…but she is the only female in the comedy category, so who knows.

Taylor Williamson:  Looking likely. He’s got this adorably awkward manner about him, and manages to make it work for him in his act.  His comedy is relevant, relatable, and amusing.

Jim Meskimen: A sure thing.  One of the best impressionists the show has ever seen…and I’m sure he’s got a lot more up his sleeve.

Kevin Downey Jr.: Could go either way.  He was amusing, but I felt as though the judges were just chuckling at him, while they belly-laughed for Taylor.

So which acts do you think stand a chance in Vegas?

July 15, 2013 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 8 Vegas Week Predictions – 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 Predictions – Singers/Classical Singers/Bands/Music Groups

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

Singers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Classical singers:

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

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

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

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

Bands/Music Groups:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 12, 2013 I Written By

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

PureAGT Season 8 Vegas Week Roster

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

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

Singers:

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

Classical Singers:

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

Bands/Musical Groups:

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

Dancers:

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

Dance groups:

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

Acrobats:

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

Danger acts:

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

Magicians:

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

Comedians:

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

Novelty acts:

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

Kid Acts:

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

I Written By

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

PureAGT 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!