AGT Recap: Top 48 Group 2

11 07 2012

I’m finally at a point where I will be watching Americas Got Talent on a consistent basis, and will be able to post recaps and discussion. To be honest, I find AGT hard to watch in the beginning stages – there’s alot of the same kind of thing, there’s a lot of useless judge banter, there’s too much of Nick Cannon being a one-man Nick Cannon show, it’s uninteresting to me. And if I have to hear one more story about perseverance, overcoming the odds, and the American Dream… I will find a cruel and unusual way to end my life. Just saying.

Now that I’ve explained myself, let’s talk about last night’s acts…shall we?

Lion Dance Me – I don’t understand the name of the group, the grammar is incorrect… is it supposed to be? Is it ironic and I’m missing it? Whatever the case may be, I didn’t find the performance to be particularly earth shattering. There’s a Chinese festival every other weekend in Toronto… and you’ll see the same thing performed as part of a parade every time. Next…

Turf – the contortionist dancer got rave reviews from the judges. But I ask you, could this guy sustain a 60 minute headline show in Vegas? I agree, he’s talented and pretty unique… but the guy needs to be in a Kanye video, and make lots of money as a sideshow dance act… i don’t know if he’ll WIN but he was one of the most entertaining acts of the night.

All-Ways – a rock band? I guess. They look like they dressed up as a rock band for Halloween, it feels a bit forced, and I dont know if they’re any more talented than your neighbours kids’ garage band. They sang a Lady Gaga/Beyonce song with an 80’s tenor rock n roll vocal. Strange.

Hawley magic– a husband and wife magic team that lacks finesse and mystery. I could totally guess how the act was done, and that’s not really a good thing. I’m still waiting to be slack-jawed by a magician this season. They are charming, and I think they could be better…they’ve got a shot.

Lisa Clark Dancers – had some awkward exchange with the judges over their choreography. To be honest, I didn’t mind the choreography or the performance as a whole. I thought it was quirky and fun, and stands apart from the high flying, pop locking hip hop we ALWAYS see. However, Howie is right to say that you could walk into any recital and see something similar… it’s just not incredible enough.

Aurora Light Painters – the group that was supposed to be this year’s Blue Man Group, completely failed to WOW last night. I got it. I just didn’t like it. It was boring! I thought it would be creative and mystifying, instead it was just a cute children’s story told in black light. Too bad.

Danielle Stallings – a young singer, with not a lot of …gravitas. She doesn’t command a stage, and she doesn’t really have the BEST voice we’ve heard on this big stage. It was one of those performances you hear at a church, and later you marvel at the courage of the cute little girl… and you congratulate her parents. I actually switched the channel about halfway through, it was  pretty dull. However, the judges seemed to see something that I didn’t… she may have a shot.

Big Barry – is a big inside joke, and I don’t know if HE knows that. He performs Sinatra, brings out pretty women to pat him on the head,wears white suits and rocks a comb-over. He isn’t singing, he’s wailing. He sounds like a human kazoo. I absolutely, 100% agree with Howard Stern that he is jeopardizing the credibility of the show, and taking up the space of other talented acts who had their heart broken when they didn’t make Top 48. He’s the reason I don’t watch this show until the final rounds.

Donovan & Rebecca  – an acrobatic duo with some seriously amazing bodies. Their talent could just be standing still and flexing and they might just win. Wow. Their act was high-flying and controlled artistic movement – certainly a disciplined talent. I think I’ve seen a lot of THIS particular kind of thing – but Howard is right, if Rebecca is showcased for the strength she has, that would be something different enough to captivate an audience.

(sorry, I missed this act the first time around… thanks to a reader for catching the omission!)

Tom Cotter – has the impossible job of delivering a Stand up act to a theatre of people, ranging in age from 5-95,  in less than 90 seconds. Somehow, he pulled it off, and came across very funny and charming. I think his ‘every-man’ persona works for him (middle america) but you can tell he’s got a raunchy edge, which I love.

Ben Blaque – scares the you-know-what out of me. He’s a daredevil with a bow and arrow, and he’s gonna hurt someone some day, and it will be irreparable. That’s the danger, that’s what makes this act a knock out! He looks like Tom Cruise circa MI2, and he wields one of the most dangerous weapons ever invented. What an act!

Tim Hockenberry – has ‘The Voice’ of the season. He is phenomenal, and he deserves his shot on this big stage to make a splash (and a record deal). He sang Katy Perry, but it actually worked for me. He interpreted it differently than her, and his voice has such a unique quality. He was a stand out of the night for sure…

Who should make it through? Only 4 move on, there may have only been 4 deserving acts last night.
Here are my predictions:

– Tom Cotter

– Turf

– Ben Blaque

– Tim Hockenberry


AGT Final 4: September 7

8 09 2011

Last night on AGT The Top 4 acts were revealed…

The results were as follows:

First group, Team iLuminate and Smage bros

I’ll give you one guess, one guess as to who makes it through… Team iLuminate (were you right??)

Next group, Miami All Stars and Lys Agnes

Don’t make a guess, neither of them made it through, not surprisingly.

Poplyfe and Landon Swank take the stage

Nick says this was a close one… the votes were splitting hair at 1% difference. But in the end, Poplyfe received more votes and will advance to the finals. Wow.

Next, Silhouettes vs West Springfield dance

Silhouettes on the heels of a gret performance advance to the finals.

One more act will make it,  singers Anna Gracemand and Landau Eugene take the stage. WIll it be the little girl with the big voice? Or will it be the old fashioned crooner?

Landau Eugene is the final act through!

So the Final 4 looks like this:

Team iLuminate


Landau Eugene


I love the variety; 1 singer, 1 band, 1 lightshow, 1 dance group… there is no comparison between them, so America’s final vote will be interesting.



AGT Top 10 : September 6

7 09 2011

The Americas Got Talent Top 10 hit the stage hoping to land one of only four spots in the Finals!

This show is a marathon, from auditions to the group stage to the finas… it’s an investment in time. In doing that, however, we have seen these acts perform many times, giving the sudience a really good idea of who they are and what they will deliver. It is also crucial in this stage, to bring something ‘new’ without it being completely  divergent from what people expect. You have to ‘take a step up’ without falling off the edge… it’s tricky, but the ones that master it, are the ones that succeed in this kind of competition.

So let’s get to last night

Miami All stars – the large latin dance crew, decided to become a completely differnt act last night. They did a cheerleading routine that wouldnt have won any competition and did not show us anything other than a mess of people on stage dancing in formation. Wrong wrong wrong approach. Next.

Lys Agnes – I know I’m supposed to like this woman, I know she’s supposed to have incredible talent… but everytime I hear her voice, I cringe a little. It’s not pleasant. Particularly last night when she warbled through an Aerosmith classic. Yikes.

Landon Swank – is defying the magician curse on this show. He is fantastic! Last night he packed a wallop into a 2 minute set that was like watching a dance. He is so calm and confident in his abilities that it comes across as brilliant showmanship… he’s the greatest thing to come out of Alaska since… ?

Anna Graceman – the little girl wih the big voice (seems like there’s one every year), but this girl doesn’t make me crawl as much as some in the past. I don’t think this is HER time, I think this girl could continue on in years to be something BIG, but this is not the vehicle for her. What does she need a Las Vegas show for? She needs an album and intelligent producers.

Silhouettes – I have been mesmerized by this group from day 1 – even though they didn’t have athe BEST semi final performance, I was just waiting for them to break through. Last night, they put together a beautiful, stunning picture of a utopian America… it was exactly what they needed to prove themselves as one of the most creative and professional acts of this competition.

Smage Bros – Nothing new, or interesting. The tricks looked the same as the amateur teenagers at skateboard parks, there was no structure to the performance, and at the end they raised an ‘underage drink’ to the crowd. Very amateur. Next.

West Springfield Dance – The creepy group dancers did more of the same – at least they are unique and interesting to watch. They slowed it down a little bit tonight which less impressive visually, but their moves are cool, their costuming is the best on the show and it was leagues better then the Miami All-Stars. I don’t think theyll advance, but they were true to themselves and I find them… entertaining.

PopLyfe – have a  shot at this thing. Yes, I said it. Their lead singer is dynamite and takes on big fat risky songs…and ends up slaying them with her extreme vocal ability. The group is JUST like the jackson 5, very much in the background, but htye add needed support and ‘cool factor’ for the lead – very good group, viable contenders.

Landau Eugene Murphy – is starting to get the hang of how you showcase in Vegas. You get a full orchestra, a full backup crew, you hit the lights and the glitter… and you’re golden. He was just liek Ol Blue Eyes last night, belting out a classic with charisma and spot on vocals. This guy is great… that’s all I can say.

Team iluminate- Their act is just plain cool. They can’t do much to bum it up at this point. It was more fo the same, but ‘the same’ is always a visual stunner, can’t miss performance. They are totally entertaining, and always the BEST way to end a show…

So 4 make it through to the (final) Finals.


Landau, The Magician, iLuminate and Poplyfe. Silhouettes could slip in there too…

AGT Results: The Top 10

1 09 2011

So last night’s semi final results solidified the Top 10 of this years Americas Got Talent.

The results last night, were as follows…

First group to take the stage for results, Silhouettes, Gymkana and Steven Retchless (to me this should’ve been the easiest decision ever… one group ended up on fire, and one called himself obsolete…) Silhouettes are the first ones to advance into the Top 10.

Next, my favourite crooner Landau Eugene and young songstress Anna Graceman. To my absolute horror, Nick reveals that Anna Graceman is the only one movingt hrough!! Shock, devastation… but only for a breath moment, when Nick psyches everyone out by retracting and telling Landau that HE IS moving forward! Nick… it aint funny, or cute, or dramatic.  You must stop this.

Next group, Professor Splash, Fatally Unique, Summerwind Skippers and Landon Swank. The hunky Alaskan illusionist Landon Swank makes it through. I called it, but he was paired with an interesting group of hopefuls…a good result.

Lastly, 2 more acts will make it through from the final group: The Kinetic King, Smage Bros. Riding Show and Snap Boogie.

The first act sent home…. Kinetic King. (which just means that the poor guy has to continue making stick-shows in his basement.)

It comes down the the judges choice between Snap Boogie and the Smage Bros. Danger always wins…. Smage Bros advance and are the final act to make the Top 10.

So it’s set then… Here is the AGT Top 10:

  • Lys Agnes
  •  Team iLuminate
  • Miami All Stars
  • West Springfield Dance
  • Landon Swank
  • Anna Graceman
  • Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.
  • Silhouettes
  • the Smage Bros. Riding Show


AGT Semi Finals: Group 2

31 08 2011

Last night, one group left to perform, one shot left at making the finals on Americas Got Talent.

In arguably th emost entertaining show all season, the second group of semi finalist took the stage and made it a true race to the finish line… now it’s a competition!

Here’s how it went down last night

Kinetic King – has to start off the show, beacuse it takes him weeks to set it up, and 30 seconds to tear it down. I love this act, I think it’s unique and surprisingly captivating. I do not, however, think that the ‘performance’ last night did much to convince me that this act could sustain a 90 minute Vegas show.

Fatally unique – needs to rebrand. They are no longer ‘unique’, nor are they rough ‘n tough enought o be ‘fatal’. Sharon brings u a good point, what’s the deal this year with ‘angry’ acts?

Landon Swank – This magician is bringing more to the table than any other competiting on the show. His performance was ultra professional, super slick, and totally mesmerizing. He’s got a shot.

Gymkana – Things were not looking good when Piers X-ed this gymnast group within the first 10 seconds. Things got even worse when one of their members caught on fire jumping through the ring of fire ending the performance abruptly. Yikes.

Summerwind skippers – taking a page out of the Fally Unique handbook, decided to darken their performance and go for the angry skipping approach. Interesting. I like the group, I liek how versatile they cann be and I can actually see this sustaining a full length show…but with all the other talented acts competiting against them, I don’t think they have a prayer.

Snap Boogie – the street dancer, took things a little too ‘Vegas’ for me in this performance. He started off with an etherial mime, then went into a cheesy upbeat ending that seemed completely out of place. It was a scattered performance, he tried to ram in everything he could do… and it missed the mark.

Ana Graceman – She’s got a great voice, and she has all the confidence in the world (insane for someone of her age and experience!) I always forget about this girl, until she opens her mouth and blows me away.

Steven Retchless – the male pole dancer. He was right in his video package, other people have started to incorporate pole dancing into their acrobatic routine, making him virtually obsolete. This was evident in his lacklustre performance… we’ve seen it all, there’s nothing new.

Smage Bros- the stunt bikers. I get it, it’s dangerous, it’s loud… but i can tell you that at every spring fair or county festival, you’ve got guys pulling the same stunts every year. It’s not the most unique act ever, but it’s got the ‘you could see a mistake and someone could die’ factor that never seems to get old.

Professor Splash – lives and dies ont he build up… because his entire ‘act’ is a 2 second fall. You know it’s coming, it’s not going to change…that’s the act. You can only go ‘higher’ and ‘shallower’ to make it more dangerous, and he did. So, now what?

Landau Eugene Murphy – could also use a bit of a name change, frankly his name wears me out! But kidding aside, this diamond in the  rough is shining amazingly bright on this stage. He is astonishing. His voice is a beautiful throw back to Sinatra days, and they are called ‘the classics’ for a reason… people do not tire of hearing them sung well. This guy has a very real chance of winning this whole thing.

Silhouettes – are one of the more intriguing acts in the competition. A dance group that forms iconic silhouettes… this time, however, we needed to see something amazing and it fell a bit short. Their previous silhouettes were so breathtaking, last night it was just… mediocre.

Who will advance?

AGT Semi Finals: Round 1

24 08 2011

Last night on Americas Got Talent, the ‘best of the best’ from the quarter finals, Youtube and Wildcard round hit the semi final stage.

By now the talentless have been weeded out by democracy…right?


Let’s get to last night’s performances:

Zuma Zuma – one of my favourite acts from the quarter finals, this team of nimble afro-acrobatics is a crowd pleaser. I agree, it was slower than I wouldve liked, but the actual stunts they were performing were….huge.

Beth Ann Robinson – tween-dancer. Normally, I would roll my eyes at the sound of that, but this girl definitely has a mature talent. I don’t think she has a chance of making it any further, but good news for her, only a few short years and she’ll be on SYTYCD.

Russian Bar trio – what a disaster. Oy Vey. This was the high flying, death defying totally unique Bar act that blew us away in the early rounds… tonight, they sang badly and performed mediocre aerials. just…bad.

Kevin Colis – made it through from the Youtube round. I wasnt sure about him in that round, and i’m in the same boat tonight. His voice is, ok. He chooses songs that are upbeat and light which doesnt show off alot of range. I dont think he’ll be back.

Matt Wilhelm – Glow in the dark Trick Cyclist. I get it, it could be good, but I didnt enjoy it. It was cool for like, the first 8 times he spun around. After that, it gets old… and it didnt help that he missed a trick and fell flat on the floor.  Costly error.

Poplyfe – teen singing group. Ok, anyone who knows me knows this… I hate tween/child acts. Particularly with this prize on the line, they don’t excite me, they don’t connect with me, I am never a fan. However, I am loving this little group of art school misfits! They did Come Together, and I dont know WHO arranged it, but it was fantastic!

West Springfield Dance – need to change their name. Sorry. It’s not memorable, and they ARE! This si the creepy dancing zombie act… and they could come up with a ghoulish name to fit, but I never remember them until they perform. A different dance act, very unique… not sure if it’ll fly with everyone voting.

Melissa Villesenor – comedienne. I laughed! She had SPOT on impressions of Wanda Sykes, Sarah Silverman, Christina Aguilera and Shakira. This is a super talented girl… her abilities are insane. Try, just try to imitate a SINGER liek Christina to perfection. Amazing, I hope she continues…

Team iLuminate – human light board. They are definitely an act that could draw a crowd every night! They could pack any theatre in Vegas tomorrow. Last night, they recreated a video game… it was…a geek’s delight. So cool, so entertaining, what a show!

Daniel Joseph Baker – strayed form singing Gaga and took on Adele (no , not Rolling in the Deep…thank goodness). This kid, looked like Liberace, but sings like no other male power singer I’ve heard. Unreal. HE is why other singers like Kevin will not stand a chance…if anyone should make it through for voacls, it’s this guy.

Miami All Stars – the dynamic dacne troupe from Miami. They have so much energy, so much showmanship, so much entertainment value. It’s almost hard to watch, because there are SO many of them, and double the amount of feet moving at the speed of…dance!

Lys Agnes – Opera singer. Took on Evanescence and truly did ‘bring it to life’. Lets be honest, that song is old….but it has the potential to hot a home run if sung by a great vocal performer. Lys Agnes has the chops to slay any song…and she definitely did that last night. What a way to end the show!

AGT Wildcard Round: August 16

17 08 2011

Last night, the chosen Wildcards got their second chance on the AGT stage.

I understand the concept, giving people a second chance. I get it. But it only works for me if the acts chosen to represent themselves again are worthy in the first place. These acts were a repeat of what we’ve seen from them in the past, that wasnt enough to get them any further in the competition.

The Youtube round makes more sense to me, these are people who didnt get the chance to audition and are given a chance, The Wildcards HAD their chance, and unless something major changed in their acts… it’s the same old story on a different night.

At any rate, here’s who we saw last night:

The Kinetic King – he might be my exception. The poor guy had a dynamo act that went very very wrong last time. An epic collapse. He needed redemption and he got it BIG time.

Funny Little People – Thought you’d never see them again? wrong. I hvae mixed opinons about this act… I get it, but I don’t love it.

Avery  and the Calico Hearts – Avery and the Chipmunks performed the same, out of tune, tween-song and dance routine they were ousted for in the first place.

Charles Peachock – Uh oh. He dropped one of his juggling swords. Still one of the more entertaining acts of the night.

Shevonne – judges loved her, but I bet if they watch it back they’ll hear what I heard. Very out of tune.

J CHris Newberg – Comedian, actually pretty funny. Way to take on Piers ‘Roast style’.

Seth Gabel – cocky magician. But really, I’ve seen a million times before… ‘look, theres nothing behind me! Cue fire! Now there’s a car behind me”.

The Fiddleheads – bluegrass group. Judges absolutely ripped them a new one for their cover of Billie Jean. I didnt hate it, but the judges opinion matters to voters.

West Springfield Dance– another dance troupe, but I enjoyed their creative interpretation of Marilyn Mansons Beautiful People… it was like the Monster Mash meets The Joker.

Landon Swank – the’ Other’ magaician. This guy, however, looks more like Houdini than Criss Angel… which is refreshing. He escaped from a small vat of water in front of our eyes.

Yellow Designs Stunt Team – More BMX bikers. Not much more to say, theres room for one of those acts, but not two…and the other act might be slightly better. And the Pirate costumes were confusing.

Summerwind Skippers– nothing has changed. It’s a skipping group – it’s high energy and entertaining for 2 minutes, but drags after the initial awe wears out. They have as good a shot of moving forward as any, particularly with this rounds level of competition.


The only acts I saw IMPROVE from the last we saw them, were the Kinetic King, Landon Swank and perhaps J Chris Newberg. I can predict that The Kinetic King will move forward… but after that, it’s really anyones guess.


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