America's Got Talent (Season 16)

Inside the theatre you're welcome to discuss your favorite television shows, musical artists, video games, books, movies, or anything popular culture!
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America's Got Talent (Season 16)

Post by bookworm »

I still haven't managed to catch up on the last several seasons yet, but I'm planning to follow this one live. If anyone else is watching please post along with me, it would be nice to get back to sharing thoughts on stand out acts as the show goes along.
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Post by Catspaw »

I don't usually watch this show but I keep seeing ads for it and it does look like fun. If I do end up watching, I'll come post about it!
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Post by bookworm »

It's a good show. This is the only one of the many competition show series there are out there that I can get into, because while the others are all singers or all dancers or whatever else, this can be literally anything. You truly have no idea what you will see.

Now that NBC has their Peacock streaming service it's easy to still watch along if you don't catch the episodes the night they originally air by watching on demand. (You have to be signed in it seems, but this should be one of the shows available with the free account.)
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Post by Catspaw »

I do like the idea of a variety show! You never know what you're going to get.

As a Canadian, I am discriminated against by the good folks at Peacock. I think I can access it through the website of the Canadian channel that airs it if I log in with my TV provider info to watch older episodes, or at least that works on some shows. Or I could set my PVR and just cancel if I don't want to keep recording.
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Post by The Top Crusader »

Is this the show Keith Apicary was on? If so I've watched one segment worth this season! \:D/

I watched it some when it was new but kinda moved on except for the occasional segment that goes viral or whatever the kids say these days.
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Post by bookworm »

Ep1: Auditions



This is the first I've watched since Simon became one of the judges! Looking forward to finally seeing him here.



Canine Stars was fun, but "The best animal act I've ever seen on this show" really Howie? Do you not remember Olate Dogs?



I was very surprised when Howie voted no on Mr. Cherry. I agree with his vote, but I didn't expect it from him. That seemed like the kind of act he would get behind.



There was no way the covid nurses weren't going to be advanced with that backstory; fortunately they can actually sing so the support is genuinely for their talent not just the emotions. I do think Howie gave into the emotions in using the golden buzzer here though. If they didn't have the story they have, if they were just some random choir group, would he have used it on them?



I'm not sure how I feel about Keith Apicary's act. This is a character, his real name is Nathan Barnatt he's a known internet personality. I wasn't clear on if the audience and judges are supposed to be aware that the whole thing is a performance and are reacting in that context, or if they don't know it was just a persona and they thought it was an odd guy that dances oddly and were judging him like that.



I had a mixed reaction to Dustin Tavella's performance. It was a moving act, mission accomplished in the engagement factor. But depending on how the trick was done my opinion of it changes significantly. If he manipulated the judges to somehow select those things that were actually in the pictures it's great. A style of trick that's been done countless times, but putting this emotional spin on it for the story to actually mean something is really nice. But if they were free choices and the trick was manipulating the pictures to match whatever the judges said I think that's despicable and invalidates the heartwarming premise that's supposed to be behind the performance.



And we have our first 'one of those' performances of the season.



This is apparently an ongoing saga with the show recently; I don't know anything about it since I'm not up to date, but looking it up I see he already auditioned three times over two previous seasons before this episode.

I don't understand how he got advanced, and actually achieved the uncommon feat of getting a yes vote from a judge that buzzed the performance, and from two judges no less.
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Post by Catspaw »

I missed the first episode, so I can't comment on bookworm's thoughts. I probably could find a way to watch but I'm not really that invested.

I just watched the second episode that I had recorded a few weeks ago, and it was pretty fun. I kind of skipped through some backstory and intro stuff - I feel like this is the kind of show that drags stuff out way too much and I just didn't have the patience for it today. There were some amazing acts! I won't be as organized or detailed as bookworm in my comments.


I loved the Riverdancing unicyclist group - that was totally amazing! (That's my name for them, not their group name, which I have forgotten.) Some things are fun for a couple of minutes but I can't imagine it as a whole show, but this totally could have been. Awesome!

The escape artist act was intense and makes me hope that there really was some kind of safety failsafe that they just don't show. Crazy.

The magician with the card tricks was really good! Obviously there must be a trick to it but I sure have no idea what it is, and he did it inches from the judges, who were also amazed.

The guy in the blue leotard was weird but funnier than I expected (though I think the judges were more amused than me).

I will not comment significantly on the towel guys, other than to say that it was hilarious but not quite family viewing. It was unique, that's for sure!

The lady who sang at the end was amazing. I realized based on the time remaining that it was probably the last act and that they likely saved something really good for the end, so I did actually watch the intro stuff, and her story was so touching and her song was beautiful. I was tearing up just watching it.
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Post by bookworm »

Ep2: Auditions



UniCircle Flow is a really neat act. I've seen unicycle groups perform before, in person a couple times, and it's always a stunt routine. Which is impressive enough, not putting that down in any way, but this is on a whole different level. I've never seen it blend with dance before; I never even imagined that was something that could be done. It's so elegant to watch on top of being technically impressive. I look forward to seeing what they do in their next performance.





I initially rolled my eyes at the way the editing was setting up a boy band battle between Larger Than Life and Korean Soul because I didn't like the heavy handed 'look here are two groups with kind of similar stories but clearly this one you should not like and this one you should actually care about.' I want them to just let us see the acts and judge for ourselves, not be lead like that. I have to say though, they weren't wrong here. Something about the vibe of the first group just felt iffy from the start. And then when they went out and 'casually' mentioned maybe you could use the golden buzzer on us, like that wasn't something the judges were aware they could do, I was done with them. That majorly put me off. I don't like snap judgements about someone's attitude to override objective assessment of an act's talent though, so fortunately it did turn out they weren't great singers anyway.



I wasn't a fan of the escape artist. I subscribe to Penn and Teller's ideology that it's morally wrong to do a trick that has a chance of real danger, it has to be an illusion or there has to be a failsafe. Based on his backstory he seems to do things for real, in which case I can't support him as a matter of character. And if that was just made up to add drama to the performance I think it's a despicable manipulation of emotion, in which case I can't support him as a matter of principle. So either way I didn't like it. I do have major doubts that the producers would let him do that kind of stunt for actual real, in any circumstances but most especially with allegedly no rehearsal, and getting out at the last second so perfectly like that is a hallmark of a staged escape, so I lean toward it being just a trick and I would usually have no problem with that, but I have trouble reconciling that with the story he put out there about his wife. The whole thing just made me uncomfortable on multiple levels depending on how much of the act and the story were genuine or just performance.



Fantastic performance by Patrick Kun! Card to impossible location is one of my favorite types of magic trick plots and I don't recall seeing that variation before, signed cards back into a sealed deck and even in their original positions. The sleight of hand was also superb, and when done right in front of you like that is always incredibly impressive and shows true talent.





Nightbirde was very impressive. It's a huge risk to perform an original song on this show, especially in your audition where it's all important to have a good reception, if someone's going to try that it should really be down the line when you've had a previous performance or two so the audience has prior familiarity with you. But with her backstory everyone was predisposed to be positive in their reception so I think in this particular case it wasn't as risky as it otherwise would have been. (To be clear, I'm not at all meaning to imply she got by based on her story, she's a great singer and certainly would have advanced regardless, but she undoubtedly had an audience more open to giving her a chance with an unfamiliar song than someone who doesn't make a pre-performance connection like that.)
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Post by Catspaw »

I watched episode three and feel like I can't move on until I post about it, so here we are. It was a few days ago so I already forgot some stuff. I should have posted right away like last time.

The one act that I immediately wanted to post about is one that wasn't actually new to me! I love the a cappella group "Straight No Chaser" and during the pandemic they did some of their songs from their different locations. The Disney Medley is hilarious and awesome and well worth the watch, which I did multiple times - and there's a pause where some other singers I didn't recognize sing briefly that are listed as T3. I was excited when I was watching AGT and suddenly realized that I was seeing those other random singers! T3 even sang the same song on AGT as they sing a bit of in the Straight No Chaser video. it does make me wonder how big their repertoire is, but I guess we'll see in the future. They have amazing voices and I was so glad to see them move on, especially since I already felt a little attached to them through the SNC connection.

Here's the SNC video for anyone interested (which I highly recommend just because it's awesome) and the T3 part starts at 4:07.


The last act was another standout - with a crazy karate routine or something. It might not have been karate (my memory is super short) but it did involve a ton of jumping and smashing and super cool and fun stuff!


Bookworm, I'm interested in what you said about Penn and Teller's philosophy. That makes a lot of sense to me. I did feel uncomfortable with the idea that somebody was either actually in danger or was lying so seriously about being in danger as part of an act.
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Post by bookworm »

Ep3: Auditions



Thanks for posting that video Catspaw; I also follow SNC on YouTube but hadn't gotten around to watching that particular video yet and don't know if I would have remembered seeing T3 in it if I had anyway.



This was fantastic.



The aesthetic, the story of the trick, the trick itself and the extra flourishes thrown into the routine, I loved everything about it.



This was a very neat act, I've never seen anything quite like it.



I'm not sure when this filmed so I wonder if they meant they couldn't do the Olympics because of the postponement, so they went on the show in the meantime, or if they meant they can't do the rescheduled ones.



Ep4: Auditions



Shuffolution was a fun group. I'll be honest, I sighed during their intro package when they said they were social media dancers; I don't get that trend at all. They made it into a legitimate act though; I liked the energy and it was fun to watch.



Casper the singing dog was funny. It's not a full show's worth of material, but there's no harm putting them through at this stage.



Shoji was very impressive! Stage presence and sleight of hand skill equal to performers many times his age.



I was aware of Josh Blue prior to his performance here; he won Last Comic Standing several years ago and is already an established comedian. I've never felt like it was right to have people who are already known on this show, I feel like it should be a place for unknowns to be discovered. Just my personal take; clearly the producers don't have a problem with it or they wouldn't let established performers on but it has happened a number of times over the years.



I can't say I've ever seen an aerial act performed by someone's hair before. I don't know how that's even physically possible. And it can't be good for you right? I was too occupied with being uncomfortable and concerned to really appreciate the acrobatic ability.



That was a pretty cruel prank by Simon. It would have been regardless of who he had help do it, but especially given what happened the last time Ryan and Amberlynn were on the show.
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Post by Catspaw »

bookworm wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:02 pm Ep3: Auditions



Thanks for posting that video Catspaw; I also follow SNC on YouTube but hadn't gotten around to watching that particular video yet and don't know if I would have remembered seeing T3 in it if I had anyway.
Part of the reason I remembered is that I have seen that video multiple times because I love it so much. If I just saw it once I might not have remembered.
bookworm wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:02 pmEp4: Auditions



Shuffolution was a fun group. I'll be honest, I sighed during their intro package when they said they were social media dancers; I don't get that trend at all. They made it into a legitimate act though; I liked the energy and it was fun to watch.
Yes, I'm not big into social media trends (I'm old and boring like that) but it really was a lot of fun! I could see it actually being a show.

bookworm wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:02 pmShoji was very impressive! Stage presence and sleight of hand skill equal to performers many times his age.
He was cute. Maybe I'm just a worry-wart but I do worry sometimes about child acts and if the rest of their life is going to be ruined because they were too cute and got too much attention for an act too young. Not saying that always happens, but it does seem to sometimes. His confidence at 9 years old was quite impressive!

bookworm wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:02 pmI was aware of Josh Blue prior to his performance here; he won Last Comic Standing several years ago and is already an established comedian. I've never felt like it was right to have people who are already known on this show, I feel like it should be a place for unknowns to be discovered. Just my personal take; clearly the producers don't have a problem with it or they wouldn't let established performers on but it has happened a number of times over the years.
I was unfamiliar with him so it was new to me. He was pretty funny! I'm with you on the amateur status thing - it seems like the show should be more for people without an established audience. Maybe there's a level of success/awareness they're okay with? It's not like it's Jerry Seinfeld up there competing.

bookworm wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:02 pmI can't say I've ever seen an aerial act performed by someone's hair before. I don't know how that's even physically possible. And it can't be good for you right? I was too occupied with being uncomfortable and concerned to really appreciate the acrobatic ability.
The actual show was pretty impressive, but I found it hard to enjoy the act for the exact same reasons as you, bookworm.

bookworm wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:02 pmThat was a pretty cruel prank by Simon. It would have been regardless of who he had help do it, but especially given what happened the last time Ryan and Amberlynn were on the show.
I wasn't familiar with their previous incident (beyond what was shown in the episode) and it was kind of mean, though it didn't last for long. I found myself wondering to what extent she thought something was off. Her reaction seemed maybe forced to me? I don't know.

Lots of great acts! Thanks for typing your thoughts up so nicely, bookworm. It makes it a lot easier for me to reply since I don't have to remember anyone's name or act description. ;)
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Post by bookworm »

Ep5: Auditions



It's amazing how we can continue to see acts that do elements of things we've seen so many times before, but turn them into a performance that's completely unique. It's what I love about this show. There have been countless gymnastic/strength/acrobatic acts on over the years, yet none have put together something quite like what Positive Impact Movement did before.



This is so fun!





The Sklar Brothers are already established comedians so once again I have trouble getting behind giving them a spot here over unknown acts trying to break out for the first time.



I've always found quick change acts really entertaining, and this is a great one!





I never thought I'd be on Howie' side of a split panel, but I have to agree with him about Thomas Evans. Impressive, yes. Talent, absolutely. But an act worthy of advancing, I'd have to say no. Not for any negative reasons at all, there's nothing wrong with it, it's just not something on the level the show is looking for.



The Grinch Howie segment was funny. It was also strange; he's never been the difficult judge to get a yes from.



I'm really not a fan of mentalism acts, but I kind of liked Peter Antoniou's performance.



Dokteuk Crew was entertaining; I like when dance groups put something extra into their performance on top of their impressive synchronization. Adding a theme or defining style is a nice bonus that makes them even more fun and memorable. West Springfield Dance Team is a prime example that comes to mind.
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Post by Catspaw »

The dancing dog act was definitely cute, and very well executed! I'm not much for animal acts overall but it really was so sweet and honestly looked like dancing, which really impressed me.

The quick change artist was very good. I started out not overly impressed because I wasn't sure how long she could go on, but she keep doing impressive stuff, and the outfits were fun. I still don't know if it's a whole show, though. A great two minutes, yes, but unlike singing or comedy etc. I don't see how it could really expand to a whole show. That might just be my lack of imagination, though.
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