America's Got Talent Season 9

I seriously hope so.

Also, the lasso cowboy. His act has gotten old quick. I really don’t see how he can step it up.

I got three out of five. I’m not really surprised Baila Conmigo made it through, their act really got crowd and judge reaction, and it was very high energy, a lot of wild moves. Putting the decision in the judges’ hands, I see why they made that call.

I’m also not surprised Miguel made it through. I haven’t been impressed with his singing, but he’s pulling charisma. I thought his singing was weak in the soft beginning, but got better in the louder chorus section.

Nobody, I think for Julia the style was an odd choice for that song, and that hurt her results. A different choice there might have given better results.

For the judge’s final choice, I too wonder why they didn’t say it was between the next two-highest scores; perhaps it wasn’t. Not to be cynical about choosing Conmingo, but I could see the network bigwigs arguing that they have to some non-white performers to keep up the ratings.

I was surprised about the Willis Gang (?) not making it, but no doubt they’ll be fine career-wise. They’ve already played Dollywood and you could see them taking over a theater in Branson. I would have preferred not having the parents being part of the act and just let the kids perform, kind of like the Von Trapp singers (at least in the movie).

I found myself oddly agreeing with most of the judge’s comments on this episode. I think the weaknesses of some performances were obvious, and the outcome was pretty much what I expected. I do keep in mind that this is not exactly a talent contest, it’s largely a flash popularity contest, and talent only comes into play when it is extraordinary. The young girl with the big voice, I think that’s Lara Justine, shows that kind of extraordinary talent, and very likely to win if she keeps giving more performances like she’s done before. However there are lots of other acts by talented people that could draw more votes based on demographics and personality.

So even though there’s at least one untalented person in the game, and several very talented acts are gone, there is still plenty of meat in the lineup. After this semi-final round it’s going to be a tough competition.

I do think Baila Conmigo was the right choice. There is a lot of talent being displayed in a very entertaining act. When you throw a pile of adorable kids into the equation I couldn’t see the judges deciding it differently.

Did they ever actually say that the other four that went through were the top four in the votes? I doubt the producers would take the chance of the bad publicity it would get if the choice wasn’t between #5 and #6 - especially if the judges were split 2-2.

Also, since there are only 5 acts advancing per quarter-final, but 12 performances in each, I wonder if there will be four Wild Cards advancing as well. The only problem is, when would they be announced? Usually, WCs are announced on a separate “special” episode, but there doesn’t appear to be one planned this year, so they would have to squeeze the announcement into the fourth quarter-final results show, since they have to know who advances from that show before deciding. (They probably could do it if they didn’t have any guest performers that night.)

Meanwhile, NBC’s AGT website has a pointer to the Planet Hollywood Hotel page where they are selling tickets to the AGT Vegas show (the one that the winner “headlines”). The only two dates listed for tickets are September 26 and 27, but for all I know, this could be just the Vegas stop in a planned tour.

The parents are not part of the act. They walked on stage after the act in the audition because the judges wanted to meet mom and dad, but they haven’t been in either of the other two rounds. The oldest is the 21 year old blond lead singer, Jessica.

Yeah, winners selected by mass voting audience does lean toward popularity.

Mara Justine. She’s definitely got the talent and the charisma. But it’s early yet.

They didn’t explicitly state it this time, but I agree, that’s been the formula and I can’t imagine them doing anything different.

Last year, that’s what they did. Well, actually, Howie announced his during a performance night when the hand balancer guys got injured, and he brought back the bowl balancing lady on a unicycle. But the other three were announced during results nights. Howard’s IIRC was one week and the other two were the final night. It doesn’t take long for a judge to say “my wild card pick is Doofus McGoofy, because I really like his personality and think he deserves another shot.” Less time than they spend in any of the various “lounges” that are just advertising gimmicks.

Nick to JD Anderson: “What are you going to do with that [giant can of Reddi-Whip]? Break it over your head?”

JD: “I’m going to eat it.”


My most favorite to least favorite.

My top 5 pick:
Andrey Moraru - Great background and great movements.

Aerial Animation - Better than the last time. Liked how she stepped it up with someone on the ground.

John & Andrew - They’re great dancers, but the stage was too empty. By themselves they didn’t do much for me, but with other people on stage I think I would enjoy it more.

Livy Matt & Sammy - Surprising choice for a song. I was shocked and I got a good laugh. At first I disagreed with the judges, but my wife made good points about the judges being right. Despite that, I still liked their performance and want to see them get another chance.

ACTE II - I had high hopes and they got kind of dashed, but I still think they were good enough to go through I think, I hope, they can do better next time.

Bottom 7:
Mara Justine - Mixed feelings. To me her singing quality was like a wave. Started bad, got better, got worse, then better again, etc…

Hart Dance Team - The cameras zooming in and out made it hard for me to judge what they were doing. But from what little I could tell, I agreed with Howard that they kind of repeated themselves and it fell a little flat.

Jaycob Curlee - If Livy, Matt, & Sammy were criticized for being safe, then he was 5x as safe. He was also very boring.

Loop Rawlins - Since his audition I haven’t seen him step it up, and in fact, he keeps getting more boring to me. So he lassoed in a ring of fire. Big figgin’ deal.

Mat Franco - I didn’t really pay attention. I’m sure it’s a fine trick. With misdirection he put a card in Howie’s back pocket. OK. He guessed Hedi’s and Howie’s cards. Gee, never seen that done before. Yawn next.

Darik Santos - The love child of Emo Phillips and Joe Machi (Last Coming Standing) bombed. Terribly. In a way, I was more entertained by Juan Carlos. Speaking of which…

Juan Carlos - 100% agreed with Howard. So many talented people went home, but he stayed. Hopefully that’s remedied tomorrow.

Wow, a couple agrees, and some disagrees.

Top 5:

Aerial Animation: I was blown away. I, too, spotted the boat was “Damfino”, but didn’t click it was where she left off. I loved her use of her aerials, loved the story flow, and her work with the guy on the ground blew my mind. When he was holding her up and she was blowing around in the storm, he was bobbing her up and down and she was wobbling around like a Weeble, I couldn’t see how she didn’t fall. My only criticism was the synch with the umbrella was off. Also, there appeared to be a lighting issue, like someone opened a door backstage, that put a weird bright spot in the background, but that’s not on her.

Andrey Moraru: Excellent use of background an music to enhance his show. Beautiful forms and strength.

Mat Franco: I thought he had great stagework and audience engagement. The gimmick with the first card not being right, then pulling it from Howie when he never approached Howie during the performance was well done. Obviously he either talked to Howie backstage or had someone plant it for him, but well-executed and left Howie stunned. The card reveal on stage was also good.

I’m sure the card pick was a free choice, not a force. Rather, I think the display board is the trick. There’s a box at the bottom of the stand. Looking at the image after the paper burn, I think it’s a projected image from inside, and so he had an accomplice see the card when Heidi showed America, then trigger the right image for the reveal.

Just because I see how it was done doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. Good way to do a card trick big for stage.

Mara Justine: Wasn’t quite as good this time, did start rough, but overall a good performance. I liked her stagework. The song might not have been the best choice, or it might just be that she needs to learn and develop her voice. Get a bit of subtlety, like Howard said. I still think she did well enough.
Fifth slot is a hard call.

ACTE II wasn’t bad, but it’s opera, and a pop song in operatic style, so it’s not my thing.

John & Andrew danced well and danced hard, but it is a bit different of a thing to see two guys paired with a lead and a follow. Like you said, maybe the stage was a bit empty.

Hart Dance Team are pretty good dancers, but their style of blending and camoflaging hides the work they’re doing. Also, they didn’t have quite as much big elements to the dance.

I think I’d go with John & Andrew, but I wouldn’t mind seeing if Hart Dance Team could shake it up.

Bottom 5:

Loop Rawlins: He changed things a little with the whips, and running the lasso that big was cool. I’d be interested to see his guns, which we haven’t, but I don’t think he’s a top act.

Livy, Matt & Sammy: Bland, bland, bland. Yeah, I was surprised by the song choice, but not in a good way. And the vocals weren’t very clear. Didn’t work for me at all.

Jaycob Curlee: Separating his performance from his story, he was also pretty dull. As the judges commented, it was lifeless. I also find is tone off. And that song annoys me - beautiful is an adjective, dammit. You can’t see beneath an adjective.

Darik Santos: For such a schlub, he’s got a hot girlfriend. I wanted to like him, I was kinda almost amused, but it wasn’t funny. Like his vegetarian detectives on a stake out thing, didn’t work for me. It’s “stake out”, not “steak out”, so it’s conceptually struggling to take off. Very Emo Phillips, feels derivative, and not funny.

Juan Carlos: Seeing his big production number, with rocket skates and mustachioed dancers, just emphasized how pathetic his skate dancing really is. Best rollerskate dancer in the world? Hardly. He’s not even the best one in Houston. Sure, he has personality, but that can’t support a stage show. Here’s eight minutes of kids in Webster, Texas, (a Houston suburb) throwing in breakdancing. Or watch this showdown.

Howard was right, I don’t get the other three. Pass me some of that crack.

Hart Dance Team - I like it, but I agree with the judges that it seemed a lot like their first act.
Loop Rawlins - I like his act, but I feel like this act was a step backwards for him.
John and Andrew - Not my thing, but they’re definitely talented.
Livy, Matt & Sammy - Very talented, but the judges are correct, they lack ooomph.
Andrey Moraru - I’m not big into the hand balancing thing. I usually don’t get it but I liked this guys act last night.
Juan Carlos - I actually liked this act last night, maybe because my expectations were so low. Definitely his best performance, but that’s not saying much. He won’t make it through. Stern is right, a waste of a slot.
Mara Justine - Uhhh yeah. Wow. She’s in the next round. I’m not usually big on singers because there’s plenty of singing competitions but wow, just wow.
Aerial Animation - Going through. Amazing. Loved it!!
Jaycob Curlee - Lacked oomph.
Mat Franco - Great trick, good presentation, good speed. Will go through.
Darik Santos - Groaners aren’t going to get you through. Just not funny enough.
Acte II - Great performance. I enjoyed it.

Predictions (in no order):
Mara Justine
Mat Franco
Aerial Animation
Andrey Moraru

Judge’s Pick
John and Andrew vs Acte II

They pick John and Andrew.

I think he was using a Svengali deck. Every other card is the same. The alternate cards are slightly different sized so that flipping through the deck shows every other one making it look like they are all different. Still, impressively done with the flame, well timed.

Hoping she gets through, but it was a poor song choice that didn’t demonstrate her ability at it’s best. Also, distracting accompaniment and visuals, she can stand alone.

Also poor song choice. Not any more impressive as a duet than a solo. They are talented, they just need a good way to show it if they get through.

If John and Andrew make it through, isn’t that a forgone conclusion that they will pale in comparison to Baila Conmigo?

They have the opportunity to enhance their act much more than the dance group. Baila does mainly the same thing each time, and with a large group of young dancers probably can’t change too quickly. So those guys can step it up by doing something more interesting. However, for a big stage act, Baila does have an advantage. And as always things don’t always work out as expected in the acts.

Anyone else not surprised when the cliche came to life and that group’s drummer didn’t show up?

I’m pretty sure AGT works like American Idol - there’s a “preliminary” audition or two that you have to get through before you perform in front of the judges. The only reason any bad acts get through to the judges is, there are people who watch the early rounds mainly to watch Howard’s (and Piers’s before him) reaction.

I agree with TriPolar - whenever somebody chooses a card by sticking their finger into the deck (or saying “Stop”) as the cards are being riffled and appear to be different, it’s a Svengali deck. These were also sold under the name “TV Magic Cards” in the 1970s.

Gee, I don’t know, how about the same way they did it last year, when they also had 5 acts from each of 4 quarter-finals plus 4 wild cards? They are announced after the fourth quarter-final judges’ vote (and an NBC press release for the fourth results show says there will be 24 semi-finalists, so there will be four wild cards) - in fact, Heidi’s wild card last year was the loser of the last vote.

Once again, only two of my top five pics make it through. I guess I don’t have my finger on the pulse of America. :smiley:

A shame ACTE II didn’t go through. I think with a different song choice things could have been different. I’m also sad about Livy, Matt, & Sammy.

I was shocked Jaycob Curlee went through, but I’m guessing he got the teen girl vote because they find him cute.

I’m glad Juan Carlos handled his defeat with dignity. Some guys who are usually very flamboyant and bubbly like is are only like that when things go their way. He seems like a genuine nice person though. Not very talented, but nice.

Ahhh… the teenage girl vote. I forget to take that into account. My prediction was reasonably close by a purely personal subjective measure (i.e. because I say so). :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

So even though I think Mara Justine has the musical talent (but don’t trust my judgement on music), I also think she’s being viewed as a variety act, a little girl who sings like an adult. If she doesn’t focus on that aspect of her talent she’s not going to make it through.

My wife predicted the teen girl vote for Curlee. There seems to be one every year.

My four faves made it in, and two of my 3 options for the fifth slot were in the mix. I didn’t try to outguess America this time, but the teen girl vote definitely skewed the fifth slot.

Maybe so, they still sit through a lot of acts. Watch the montage segments in the auditions weeks.

Hmm, I see how that would work. Makes the finger into the deck work. As they say, simpler is better, and with magic, it’s often the case.

I wonder, for the card in Howie’s pocket

maybe he got Nick to do it? I’m betting he used some accomplice, as that gets rid of the “I talked to you earlier backstage” question. I mean, often people will blank out those possibilities, but it still is more reliable to avoid any contact. And Nick is often dragged into acts. If not Nick, get the staff to plant it in Howie’s pants before he gets dressed for the show. It’s a minor risk he’ll check his pockets, but if the pants are wardrobe and he’s not carrying his wallet et al, then it’s much less likely he’ll poke around in the pockets.

Possibly. Last season the operatic acts did really well. Weren’t there three teams in the finals?

She’s got a big voice, and it has that interesting growly edge, but she’s raw, untrained talent. She’s got a lot of potential, but a lot of room for improvement. A bit of training to dial in on the softer elements and balance it out a bit would help. Plus, just the performance experience to handle the nerves.

I think she’ll do okay, but I’m not confident she’ll be in the mix for a win. Strange how one performance takes her from a shoe in she felt like after auditions round to suddenly she’s merely good. :wink: But we’ve had the chance to evaluate more acts, and more performances from some of the really strong ones. We can see where the consistency comes out.

Groaners indeed, and then trying to break the tension with his dumb laugh, so didn’t work.

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but what happened to the one hand balancer guy who made the tower of handles up to the ceiling? He didn’t show up in the Vegas shows, and didn’t make it to the live show selections. Did they offstage decide between him, Andrey Mararu, and Christian Stoinev, and decide he didn’t measure up?

Next week, we get more Desmond. I can’t wait. :rolleyes:

Ah, the board’s back. OK, so a fairly good episode overall. And my opinions are:

Top 5
Adrian Romoff - He filled the stage all by himself. I thought he was the best act of the night.

Christian Stoinev - His dog took a very good hand balancing act and made it adorable. And also added an element of danger for his poor dog. I loved it.

Cornell Bhangra - Colorful; Surprise by the dancer in the audience; And they engaged the audience, well, the judges anyway. I thought it was a step above the dance acts we’ve been seeing lately.

AcroArmy - Seemed to be a few false finishes (they’re done now. Oh wait, OK, now they’re done. Oh, they’re still going.) Anyway, I liked their act.

Blue Journey - In the same vein as last years Kenichi and this season’s Aerial Animation. I happen to love all three acts. I noticed a couple of timing issues, but I still thought it was better than most of the other acts.

The rest:

Tied. Although in my opinion not as good as the acts above, I’d still be fine if these three went through.
[li]Kieran & Finian - Very interesting song choice for what they did. It could have been a disaster, but it wasn’t. I thought it turned out pretty good.[/li]
[li]Wendy Liebman - Rough start but she got better. She made me laugh, but not very hard. She’s better than Darik Santos, but I was still hoping for funnier.[/li]
[li]Sons of Serendip - They’re a good group, but they picked a lousy song choice in my opinion.[/li][/ul]

Tied. I’d be surprised if any of these three went through.
[li]Dragon House “The Agent” - I liked the music, but the dancing didn’t do anything for me. They were probably technically just fine, but it didn’t connect.[/li][li]Anna Clendening - I wonder if her nerves got the better of her. I agree with Howard; She didn’t have as much passion as she did with her other performances.[/li][li]Paul Leti - He was pretty good. But not that great really.[/li][/ul]

And finally, the worst.

Mike Super - Didn’t do anything for me. Used the power of suggestion, rigged the chair. Big whoopty-do. And Irishman, I see you’re not the only one who hates Desmond. Looks like Howard hates him too.

A very tough night for voting I think. There were a lot of good acts.

Dragon House “The Agents” - Dance needs to either tell a story or evoke an emotion. Their dance did neither. Will not get through.

Anna Clendening - I liked it but there were too many acts that were better. She might get some story votes.

Cornell Bhangra - Wow. Amazing. Favorite act of the night. If they don’t get through I will cry.

Kieran and Finian Makepeace - They did well, but again, so many good acts last night, I’m not sure it will be enough.

Mike Super - Howard is right. Ditch Desmond. The act was mediocre to start with but even if it had been amazing Howard is right he will lose votes because of the cringeworthy Desmond bit.

Adrian Romoff - Very talented for sure. For me he comes across as non-personable as opposed to the cute 9-year old.

AcroArmy - Hmm. Can I have two favorite acts of the night? Amazing!

Wendy Liebman - I watch a LOT of stand-up so I’ve seen her act before. Her act was in her prime when she was doing it between 2002-2005. She had very highly tuned material. Started poorly, ended great. On another night, she’d make it through, but not tonight.

Sons of Serendip - Can I have three favorite acts for the night? I was a little concerned when the lead singer was singing so softly at the beginning. Then they picked it up. Beautiful. I loved it. I think that they sunk the chances of Anna and Makepeace. People who vote for singers / bands I think will vote for them. Will it be enough? I hope so. Any other night they get through.

Blue Journey - Hmm… Can I have four favorite acts for the night? Dance should tell a story or evoke an emotion. Their dance did both. Bravo!

Christian Stoinev - Get the dog vote and so goes through even if he was half as talented as he is. But he’s very good, and will go through.

Paul Ieti - Well done. Might be in the 5 / 6 spot as I think he’ll get some story votes as an ex-soldier.

There were very few really poor acts last night. A very bad night to be a mediocre act where you might normally hope for that 5th / 6th spot.

My Hopes

(1) Cornell Bangha
(2) AcroArmy
(3) Blue Journey
(4) Sons of Serendip
(5) Christian Stoinev

My Predictions
(1) Cornell Bangha
(2) AcroArmy
(3) Blue Journey
(4) Christian Stoinev

Judge’s Choice
Sons of Serendip vs Adrian Romoff

Adrian Romoff wins.

I’m fairly happy with the results. I would have preferred Paul Leti go home, but I’m not surprised he made it. I’m just really glad that Mike Super went home. And I’m shocked that Adrian Romoff went home.