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: Youtube August 9

10 08 2011

It was Youtube week on AGT last night – always popular, always a bit of crapshoot of talent.

Considering theses acts have not gone through the 3 tiered audition process, and are hitting the stage for the first time – I never have super high expectations.

Last night, however, was no better or worse than the previous quarter fianl groups – some good acts, some totally ludicris performances, and some completely unmemorable.

Here were the Highs and Lows of the evening:

Highs… a select group:

Cloggers – very talented bunch, totally insync, differnt form the other dance acts on this show. The drawback is that we’ve actually seen cloggers on this show before, so it’s not entirely unique,and may not be anough to put them through.

Gabe Rocks – The uber-talented bulldog. Need I say more? This dog absolutely made my night. But he wasnt just a pretty face, he rode skateboards, mounted a rocking horse, went through obstacles and had a sense of humour. Yes, a sense of humour.

Kevin Colis- singer in a tough field. He has a nice voice, but he didnt really show it off with his Bruno Mars song. I wouldnt mind hearing more from him, but he was a highlight of the night.

Beth Ann Robinson – dancer extraordinaire. Very young, so I’m not sure if she’s a true artisits that can put together and sustain a Vegas show, but she had a very cool performance last night – ballet/Hip Hop.

Gymkana – If tehre was no Zum Zuma, I would be more impressed with this group. They have great control, use tall ladders to balance on and do garvity defying movements. They were among the top acts of the night, but like I said, there are other acts in this competition with a similar style and appeal.

Lows… and there were many:

Brett Daniels- the boring illusionist.

Aeon– the cocky beach B-boy act.

Breena Bell – the too-young premadonna who loves to dance.

Kalani– the useless baseketball twirling act.

West Springfield Dance– another dance troupe.

Cyclist– another trick cyclist, been done.

Powerhouse Choir – There are at least 10 choirs in every city better than this group.

Maybe the pool was smaller this year, or maybe the producers were being safe trying to find the ‘next big thing’… but this show was boring and chalk-full of acts we’ve seen before. Young dancers, bicycles, acoustic singers, acrobatics, dance groups.

Thoughts?





AGT Quarter Finals: Group 4

3 08 2011

One last group to perform in the quarter finals of Americas Got Talent. ONe last hope for someone to knock my socks off!

Well last night had promise, there were some interesting acts and acts with alot of pre-show buzz. Unfortunately, many flopped big time. Seriously, there were some may-jor trainwreck performances.

1. The Kinetic King – ‘ doncha know’ the nerd from Minnesota was one of those acts I was excited to see again. It took him 3 full days to set up his kinetic masterpiece…and in one false move by his sexy ‘helpers’… nothing happened. let me ask you…what is the WORST possible thing to happen on live TV? The answer, is nothing. Nothing! He ended up walking around saying ‘oh dear’ and kicking the coloured sticks around the stage. I’ve never seen anything so tragically dismal.

2. Zuma ZUma – now here’s an act I really DO enjoy. A group of seriously fit men doing acrobatic high-flying stunts on poles in African War get up. Love it, it’s fabulous and it’s a fully fleshed out act that could run in Vegas tomorrow.

3. Avery and the Calico Hearts – excuse me for a minute, if you don’t already know me, this may come across as cold. I hate children acts. Sorry, sorry…I know I know. But here’s why. They are rarely good, they are rarely judged ont he same level and they are rarely likable. For example, you are going to vegas with your girls… are you going to shell out $100 to see 10 year olds sing Bieber songs? No it’s ridiculous. And, Piers finally said what I know to be true of most child acts… they arent GREAT singers, they have charisma and are better than most girls their age. But that’s as far as it goes.

4.Charles Peachock – This juggler wanted to do something different, and he performed one of the coolest acts I’ve seen in a while. He played the piano with his juggling balls (mind out of the gutter please!) It was unbelievable! He didnt miss a note! I’m all excited about this act…then both Howie and Sharon BUZZ him?! I hope voters were as taken with this talent as I was….

5. Sam B – useless. I mean, the man has mastered a funny dance style… record it and share it on Youtube. That’s all it’s worth really. It’s not serious.

6. Taylor Davis – sang one of my favourite songs (Falling Slowly), and before he could even get to the chorus, Piers buzzed him. I hate that. The song was building! This kid has a great voice, has great musical sensibilities and style. I thought he was really strong last night,  but I can see the judges point: pick a song that has more mass appeal and an ‘I’m a Star’ moment.

7. Melissa Villensenor – the impressionist who killed a Kathy Griffen voice in her audition, was back to take on: Drew Barrymore, Owen Wilson, Sharon Osbourne, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. I like her, but I think she needs some work. Her bit isnt funny, her impressions are spot on.

8. Scott Alexander – performed a magic trick with a choir. A creative and theatrical way to perform a trick that was predicatable at best. Is he the best magician i’ve ever seen? No. Was that entertaining? Yes. Am I frustrated because the oldest trick in the book still gets me? I’m not answering that.

9. Fatally Unique – unfortunately, there is nothing unique about this dance crew. They are your run of the mill, hip hop infused dance crew…you see them every year, you see them in every audition city. They were good, but nothing I’d write home about…

10. Yellow Design Stunt Team – Is anyone else a little biy underwhelmed by bike acts? I am. They dont really excite me, and I think the only reason BMX acts work is because they are loud, and make for a good show. Bikes wthout motors dont do the same thing for an audience.

11. Frank Miles – another flop. The set up was long, the intro was not super engagin, and there was little payoff. His crossbows were dangerous, but they didnt hit their targets. I can see him being exciting with some help from circus producers, but right now…he’s just another forgettable act.

12. iluminate – a very cool and visually appealing act. THIS is the kind of act that could run in vegas, tour the world, and keep an audience int their seats for a full 90 minutes. Last night, they told a beautiful story and ended the show on a high note. You cant remember acts like Sam B or Avery and the Chipmunks after that…





AGT: Group 3 July 26

27 07 2011

I’ve been waiting for Americas Got Talent to really deliver this season. So far, the ‘talent’ has been hit or miss really. Last night, Group 3 took the stage… would here be a few stand out performances?

Summerwind Skippers– I had a group come into my elementary school when I was 11 doing the same thing. I thought it was very cool then, but I highly doubt that I would spend money to watch 90 minutes of it. The Blue Man Group could hire them to do a 5 minute set in their show, but it can’t stand on it’s own.

Sh’Boss Boys – I don’t get the name. I also think that having children on this show makes it very difficult to be honest as a judge. No one wants to say the obvious: I can’t understand waht your tiny voices are saying, and you will not headline an act in Vegas as a 6 year old rapper. You might make it onto the Ellen Show. Cute, but not a true contender.

Mauricio Herrera – I’m still confused by this man. He can’t sing or dance – yet he calls himself the ultimate performer. No, I think Bette Midler has you beat Mauricio. I won’t talkt oo much about him, I don’t think he is for real, and I’ll eat my hat if he makes it any further in this competition.

Seth Grabel – the Illusionist. I actually stunned myself by SEEING the ‘trick’ in his illusion. But that ruined it for me. I hope he has better ‘stuff’ because I love a good illusionist, although, they never seem to get many votes in this type of forum.

PopLyfe– The tween band with a killer front-woman. They were great last night, very enetertaining and professional. But Piers said he was looking for the point of the band…and I thought, more than ever, they were irrelevant last night. I mean, the lead singer couldve been singing with ANY back up band behind her and killed it.

Ian Johnson- YoYo ‘artist’. I love this stuff. This is the stuff you DONT see on American Idol. But i find myself asking how a YoYo artist could fill an entire 90 minute show. There are only so many tricks that will truly WOW an audience, and he jammed them into a 30 second slot. one dimensional, and probably not worth a million bucks.

Landau Eugene Murphy – The Sinatra singer. I remember loving this guy, and so I was hoping to recapture my initial surprise when he opened his mouth. And he delivered! He sang Fly Me to the Moon, a classic. His voice is such a throw back to good old American Standards and Crooners, what a talent. Wathc for this guy, he has the ‘it factor’ to do well in the later stages.

Purrfect Angels – I feel like a group of really hot women decided they needed to come up with a telent to show off their…assets. This group is formed by a bunch of ex-cheerleaders who consider themselves dancers. A useless act really, I have nothing better to say than that.

Monet- Singer. Another child singer, oy vey. She was, fine. She crakced a bit under pressure and had some really bum notes. It was cringe-worthy at times, and again the judges struggled to criticize her efforts. Not even in the same league as most of the other acts to be frank.

The Captain and Maybelle – A sideshow act. Its hard to describe their act – but there are lots of heavy and dangerous objects, hanging from body parts and dangerous contraptions that could be suicide if used incorrectly. It’s hard to watch, but hard to turn away. A very cool act, and it has the potential to grow intoa full show.

Lys Agnes –  Opera Singer. Well,  I had high hopes for this one, but she didnt totally deliver as I had hoped. The thing about Opera, is that even if you are slightly off… it can be a trainwreck. Last night, Monet missed a few notes here and there and didnt have a stand out moment in her performance. I was really hopping for more.

Professor Splash – Tell us he is attempting to break a record of diving from 36 ft into a pool only 12 inches deep. Now you’ve got my attention! And of course, he did it! What a spectacle, what an act this guy has… a fantastic way to end the show!

 





America’s Got Talent: Group 1 July 12

13 07 2011

The LIVE shows kicked off on last night’s Americas Got Talent.

Finally, we are in Hollywood and the top acts are set to hit the stage for America’s vote. AGT is back! I have to admit, I found the auditions stages exhausting this time around…. much better to tune in for the ‘good stuff’ – that is, I assume if the judges have done their jobs right, we will only see really great acts…right?

We’ll see.

Last night we saw some good performances from the likes of the Miami All Stars, The Fearless Flores Family, even the comedian J Chris Newburg (it’s a tough crowd for a comedian).

The standouts were the Russian Bar routine, kicking it up a notch by adding…fire! Echo the talking parrot was a riot, although arguably not a million dollar Vegas act. The little girl that sings always has promise…but we’ve seen enough of them by now, right?

Some acts were a bit useless if you ask me… Sqonk Opera bombed, Dezmond Meeks went for cornball, Fiddleheads were a disappointment with their song choice. Some groups just didnt rise to the challenge.

I’m hoping next week will bring out the ‘fight’ in some of these acts, maybe it was just a weaker group.





July 4th TV Programming

4 07 2011

Quick July 4th Programming note:

Bachelorette is NOT a new episode.

America’s Got Talent is NOT a new episode.

What IS new tonight?

SYTYCD Canada is back in a monday/tuesday time slot – and it’s the perfect night to get into the Canadian version of this franchise! Super talent, great auditions, fierce competition. Oh, and it’s a whopping 2 hour special tonight!

That’s what I’m watching tonight… Sorry, fireworks on TV (on every network) is just not my thing.





AGT: Wednesday June 8th

9 06 2011

On a new 2 hours of Americas Got Talent last night

I was pleasantly surprised at the talent. Of course, we saw alot of non-talent too…

My picks for best of the night were: The sword throwers, the kid-dancer, the Gaga boy, Russian Bar gymnastics,the Bieber-girl,the vocal parrot, and the Ave Maria singer.

Some great characters and faces getting through, although i wouldnt say there is one clear frontrunner at this point. A few more jaw dropping moments last night…but overall, less impressive than last year. In my opinion. Although, the Russian Bar and the singing Parrot were pretty close to dropping my jaw. Seriously, what’s with the talented Parrots coming out of the woodworks this year? I can’t wait for them to battle it out in Vegas… Parrot vs Parrot.

Thoughts?

What act got your attention last night? Any early favourites?

There are still a few more stops on the audition tour… what havent we seen yet? I get the feeling, there will be at least one YouTube moment left… you know what I mean. One person will WOW us instantly go viral on youtube. It happens with the British version, and recently, the Korean version…it’ll defintely happen for someone in the American installation.








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