Ok, auditions are over... and we're heading to Vegas. We have seen okay acts, good acts, and some really great acts during the audition phase and now we are ready to separate the wheat from the chaff and find a top 48 for the live shows. I hate the heartbreak that comes with seeing some of these people get turned down but that is the nature of the beast, though, so we'd better steel ourselves for it.
Tonight's AGT is two hours, so we are going to be busy.
We start out with the acts arriving in Vegas. They talk to quite a few of them and everyone is talking about how badly they want this.
Day one and they are going to as Howie says,"start being ruthless". They divided the groups into A, B, and C. Group A (which had CJ Dippa and Michael Grimm among others)is the judges favorites. They will perform for spots in the top 48. Group B (which had Nick Pike, RNG and Jeremy Vanschoonhoven among others) has to wait to see if there are spots left out of Group A.
The biggest surprise is Group C. They are automatically going to Hollywood. These first 10 acts of the top 48 are:
Belly Dancing Duo (dance)
Paulina Volchek the hula hooper (novelty)
Strikers All Stars (dance)
Cheer SF (novelty)
Future Funk (kid act)
Arc Attack (novelty)
Da Maniacs (dance)
Fighting Gravity (novelty)
South Philly Vikings (novelty)
Now the auditions begin with the magicians. They are sizing each other up.
Willam Scott Anderson performed a body split trick and judges are giving him a wait and see. I thought it was good, myself.
Michael Grasso. He wowed them in his initial audition and now is going to more detail work and sleight of hand. He is elegant. His was smaller tricks, but done impeccably. Howie said it was good, Piers said it was slick. Is it enough, though?
Murray is up next and he made a car appear. Big and slick. Personally, I like Michael better, but we will see what the judges think.
We end with Chipps Cooney. He said the magician's union had been griping so he wouldn't talk about giving away his secrets. He said he was going to, anyway. He performed his "tricks" and then explained them. Hella funny... to everyone EXCEPT prissy Piers. Piers never did like him and admits he doesn't get the joke. I love Chipps, myself. It takes talent to be that deadpan.
Next up are the harmonica players:
Pierre vs. Jia Yi He. Jia played 4 at his original audition and now is playing 5. Pierre sticks to his one harmonica. They are both good and it will be a tough choice. The judges aren't sure if the show even NEEDS a harmonica player. Oh, I think they need at least ONE, myself.
Next up are the acrobats.
Ascendance performs and they are very good.
We have a rope act (Michael and Ashley)and they messed up. I don't see them going through.
Rudi Macaggi, during his New York audition, balanced on a basketball on top of glasses. This time he is balancing on his assistant. Then she supports BOTH of them with with her arms. They are good together. A lot of strength.
Next are the danger acts.
Twisted Trystan and Krystan make the judges cringe, but are quite talented with the sword swallowing and other trippy tricks.
Miss Donna drops one of her flaming swords.
John Beatty, the strongman takes the judges outside. and picks up about 8 women sitting on a wooden beam, THEN holds two motorcycles trying to go at full speed.
There was also a lumberjack show. They were cute, but I don't see them going through.
Antonio Restivo-- a fire act that deals with magic, went big. There was a lot of fire, a coffin box he gets into and puts his hand through a loop. He then switches places with one assistant and then ends up with two assistants in the box. There was a miss with some of the fire, though. The judges tell him that there are a lot of acts that are good and that some of them were flawless. Antonio ends up close to tears. Let's see what happens.
The classical singers are next. They are having trouble with the dry Vegas air and it is affecting their voices.
Prince Poppycock is sick and is close to losing his voice and he has to hit a C sharp (which is difficult for him). He really gave it his ALL. There was some trouble though... and he is close to tears. Dammit. That is one act I have liked since the beginning. Sending up fan girly prayers.
Hannibal Means is next. Met him at the LA auditions. Piers didn't like him originally. He comes out in a rooster hat, and I have to admit... I love the rooster hat. He says it is the symbol of a new day. Sure, Hannibal. Sure. Hannibal is good; he has a strong voice and is very talented. I ADORE Prince Poppycock's character, though, and truly feel he could put on a full and solid show.
Carlos Aponte is up next. He's still cute, dammit. He has Sharon smiling with his strong voice and wonderful presence and then he ends with a cute little "thank you". Howie didn't think it was AS impressive, but the other two thought he was one of the best vocals so far.
We move on to Dance. This is a strong category.
The Hot Shots Dance group is first. One of the family members messed up, however. He tripped and missed a step. That could come back to hurt them.
Both of the Indian dance troupes performed and they are both good. I think one of them will go through.
Style Pros Crew is up and they do their thing. Very good tricks. We will see how they hold up against Wreckless.
Wreckless did very good. There was more dance than athletic tricks with Wreckless. The thing is... did they step it up a notch? That is up to the judges to decide.
Female vocalists were next.
We get a small snippet of Alice Tan Ridley and she tears up some Tina Turner. Woman can sing.
April Lane, a single mother and hairdresser was in Orlando. In Vegas,she sings some Whitney Houston. It's not bad; it's not Whitney, but not bad.
Debra Romer is next. She sings "Foolish Games." I don't think she is as strong as her first audition. As Sharon says, she brings her sadness. Piers understands that as she has had a tough life. They agree she is good, though.
Mary Ellen,also known as the woman who has single handedly destroyed the ozone layer, is last in this category. She starts singing and Piers is giving an epic facepalm. He had to actually get up to get coffee and start bitching. Our Mary Ellen performed for 10 minutes or more and Howie actually got up on stage to tell her she had only 90 seconds.
Howie said that there is nothing like that out there and that it has to go all the way. I think Piers threw up a little in his mouth.
The kids acts are up next. The kids have become friends, but it is all business once they get to the stage.
All of these kids are good at what they do. We have ballroom dancing, gymnastics, little mozart.
Now we have Conner Doran and his indoor kite flying. He is feeling so much more confident, he has something to be proud of. His is a lovely performance. The kids backstage notice that Sharon looks like she is about to cry. The judges wonder if he can handle going live. I think so... I am really an pulling for this boy.
CJ Dippa is next. He comes onstage and that swagger is still there. He starts rapping and he's got the people waving their hands in the air. The judges love him and Sharon asks him how old he is-- his answer "one one". His mom is SO going to have to beat the cougars off him with a stick.
The comedians are up next.
We get a second dose of our dear Doogie Horner. I personally adore Doogie and he was funny. Piers thought he was funnier when he was getting heckled. Shut up, Piers. Let the Doog man through.
Novelty acts are next.
The cat woman painter... yeah, she can paint... I'm not impressed. So not impressed I don't even care about her name.
We see a few more and then get to Arthur Nakane. He of the epic one man band machine is back and is SINGING ELVIS!!!!! He's singing TEDDY BEAR!!! Ok, the fan girl is digging it. Piers is not... he wants his buzzer back. Dude, get that British stick out of your ass, 'kay?
Sally Cohen is next. Please, LORD, don't lube up on stage for the hand whistling. Pretty please. She hand whistles to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and my dog actually woke up... he's literally stared at me wondering what the hell that noise is. Sorry to interrupt your nap, Sam. Howie loves Sally. Piers can't envision her in the top 48.
The male singers are next and they have let more singer-songwriters here than ever before. The judges say they'd better bring more than they did at the audition because they can afford to be ruthless this year.
Taylor Matthews sings, and he's good, but the judges feel he was stretching it some. I think his version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from the original audition was better.
We'll see what happens once Michael Grimm performs.
Michael sings "Try a Little Tenderness" and he is wonderful. Tore it up!!! But... there is an issue. He went over 90 seconds. Piers said he can be disqualified for going over. When the judges talked about it, Piers said he went over to his detriment and Howie disagreed. I know a few hundred thousand people who will be pissed if he doesn't make it through.
The judges start making their decisions. The contestants are nervous and the judges are brutal. Now it is time to deliver the news. They will call them out in the groups they auditioned in.
Here are (most of) the acts that made it through: I missed some because they went SO quickly through the list. I will update this as I find out all of the names.
John Beatty (strong man)
Twisted Trystan and Krystan (swords and danger)
Antonio Restivo (danger act w/ fire)
Chips Cooney (magician /comedian)
Prince Poppycock (classical singer)
Hannibal Means (classical singer)
I am going to gripe right now. CARLOS DID NOT MAKE IT!!! What the HELL, judges?!?!
Oh, second gripe: Conner Doran did not make it. I am beyond words at the moment.
CJ Dippa (kid act)
the damn cat lady painter (novelty)
Sally Cohen (novelty) makes it through to Hollywood. She jumps... didn't think she had it in her.
Hot Shot Tap Dancers (dance)
One of the Indian dance troupes (dance)
Fiddle player who dances (dance/novelty)
ballroom dancers (kid act)
pre-teen singer (kid act)
Rudi Macaggi (acrobat)
Doogie Horner (comedian) Hell yeah!
Oh.My.Good.Lord.Above. Mary Ellen makes it to Hollywood. What in the HELL are the judges smoking tonight??? Don't send Carlos through or Conner, but this bat-shit crazy walking natural disaster?!?! I don't get it... not at all.
Debra Romer (singer)
Alice Tan Ridley (singer)
Taylor Matthews (singer)
Michael Grimm (singer) Thank goodness.
37 acts are on their way to Hollywood. I am impressed with most of the acts. A little pissed off at a few that were sent through for sheer "what the hell" factor. Wednesday will show Group B performing for the final 11 spots. I am pulling for my man Nick Pike, that hot little British juggler. We will see what happens.