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S15.E21: Semi-Finals 2

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  • Heidi with the half-pony...I probably haven't worn my hair like that since middle school.
  • WAFFLEs! Mmm...I have blueberry waffles in the freezer. Some neat tricks but the routine felt kind of random. At least everyone was wearing a shirt.
  • Kenadi Dodds...oh, is she done? I don't come here for "hopeful-topical" songs from wide-eyed teenagers. A huge step up? Looked a lot like the last performance. I went to make French toast.
  • Max Major...shut up, Howie. You're always confused.
  • Bello Sisters...more of the same (okay, that bent-back leg thing was kinda crazy)...at least you could see them (mostly) this time. Guess it was past the young one's bedtime? Don't lech on their mom, Howie.
  • Celina...that was nice.
  • Jonathan Goodwin...why is there always fire? I hate danger acts but I hate the judges' insipid commentary and screaming more. 
  • Christina Rae...omg, her little boy and his big half-toothless smile. ❤️ Oh, yeah, I guess she sang a song, too...
  • God, this episode isn't over yet..?
  • BAD Salsa...damn, half those moves looked like they were on fast-forward. (I swear I wrote that before Heidi said it.) They're just fun to watch.
  • Voices of Our City Choir...that was very, uh, green.
  • Brett Loudermilk..."Young Brett" was cute. Can't watch the swallowing things. Or the regurgitating of things. Ick.
  • Daneliya Tuleshova...last time her dress was distracting...tonight she looks like she has a board meeting after the show.
  • I hope BAD Salsa goes through...I don't have particularly strong feelings about anyone else.
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Sofia’s look of disbelief and disgust before stammering “that was the most unnecessary thing” about Brett’s act is 2020 in a nutshell. 

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14 minutes ago, mtlchick said:

Sofia’s look of disbelief and disgust before stammering “that was the most unnecessary thing” about Brett’s act is 2020 in a nutshell. 

I have gotten a kick out of Sofia as a Judge this year...she seems like a good addition.  I have not heard anything about Simon's condition recently, wonder if he will be able to show up for the Finale?

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42 minutes ago, BuckeyeLou said:

I have gotten a kick out of Sofia as a Judge this year...she seems like a good addition.  I have not heard anything about Simon's condition recently, wonder if he will be able to show up for the Finale?

Agree about Sofia, and I hope Simon does not show up, ever again. AGT is so much better without him. JMHO of course!

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Soooo Max Major. During his pre-recorded spiel, I did not think of the shapes he suggested we would. AND I really really thought the little girl said 13, not 14. So that seemed sketchy. But also I find prediction tricks EXTREMELY boring. 

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Toss the singers name in a hat and pick however many as required.  Rinse and repeat.  zzzzzzzzz

Max's trick was pretty great, except that he should have taken more time comparing the lotto ticket to the magnetic board numbers (6 random picks).  I kept looking for the 13 on the ticket.  Never saw it.  So....I was actually confused.  The "billboard" was well done and brought home the point of it all well.  Definite Finale pick for me.

Loudermilk disgusted me.  Yet, I must give him props for innovation AND for the callback to the infamous regurgitating dude all at once.  Good on Howie for going there with the verbal colonoscopy suggestion.  No way he gets through, but I'd be fine with it if he did.

Danger act was very well timed.  Since I am sick to death of backstory singers, he's my second favorite tonight.

Bello sisters are fine.  But, it's one note.  I guess in this season, one is better than negative 53 notes, which is the average.

I always enjoy seeing the backlot in use.  It's an amazing place and brings me back to the many tours I took there.  I will never accept the deep advantage all the taped performers there received.  Which stage would you choose?  Inside, or outside?  Taped and edited, or live on stage?

 

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I asked my family who they wanted to vote for, and there was silence, mo real stand out favorites tonight. Last week harder stronger contestants. 

My daughter said give a vote Celina since she is Kaycee (big brother's good friend) and she sang decent.

Who do I think (not want) will go to the finals, Daneliya, Voices of our City, Bad Salsa, Christina and Max Major. 

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2 hours ago, saber5055 said:

So did I. Which made me as confused as Howie.

Count me in as originally hearing 13 as well.  I think that's what she said but since 14 was the narrative (prediction) they told her to shut up (off camera) and pretended it was 14.  The Max Major act?  On a scale of 1 to 36, 36 being the Most Boring, I give it a 36.  How amazing was this phony set up?  Who cares?  Sorry, Max, you're a nice guy, but no million dollars for you.

Which brings me right to Brett Loudermilk.  Another nice guy who is likeable and cute, but the act was grossness as it's grodiness.  I don't wanna see someone's innards on endoscope camera, or someone throwing up, even if it's a cute little rubber ducky.  Sorry, Brett, go hang out with Max.

Danger act Jonathan Goodwin held my interest and was entertaining.  Although Jonathan risks his very life and seems like another nice guy, I don't think a danger act is going to win this show.  I think it's slated for a singer to win.

Which brings me to Cristina.  Cutest little boy eveh aside, she blew Celina out of the water tonight.  Cristina Rae really has a shot at winning the one mil.  Not my favorite song choice but she delivered the goods out of it!

Since I don't like either of the little girl singers, I'll just say I hope they go home and I agree that one was the same as before, and the other was wearing a Hillary Clinton pantsuit with too much bling around her neck.  I couldn't understand a word she sang either.

VOOC Choir performed their best so far, but that is probably because as soon as the male singer started in with the dolphins I teared up and thought, could it be?  Then was reduced to tears because of song choice and made me realize how much I truly miss David Bowie and what a wonderful shining star he was.  I'm happy we can still hear his music.  Do I think they'll win?  No, but I don't think a choir is going to win in any event.

Bad Salsa was crazy good.  Now that's entertainment!  Bello Sisters was more of the same as before, same slow pace and pretty much the same moves.  The mother did all the talking and the father didn't say a word!  Howie complimenting the mom was cringey.

Not to forget about Waffle Crew, I don't particularly like that kind of act or the music with it.

2 hours ago, theatremouse said:

Soooo Max Major. During his pre-recorded spiel, I did not think of the shapes he suggested we would. AND I really really thought the little girl said 13, not 14. So that seemed sketchy. But also I find prediction tricks EXTREMELY boring. 

I thought of a circle inside a square.  See my 13 vs. 14 comment below.  I'm with you.

Edited by CrystalBlue
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I thought tonight's program was the best in a while. I thought all the acts were entertaining and for the most part, stepped up their game.

11. VOOCC - Anyone remember "Up With People", they were a choir type group in the 70's. I remember they performed in one of the Super Bowls. They were a bit corny and cheesy. Well, that's the way I think of this choir. Sad stories and all, I think this is the end of the line for them.

10. Jonathan Goodwin - I usually like these type of acts, but for some reason I didn't like neither of Goodwin's performances. Again it looked like he was waiting for the right time to break out of the rope and probably was in no danger. Although, I don't think he expected the the burning rope to land on him.

09. Bello Sisters - If this were a contest to pick the prettiest performers, hands down they would win! But there act was very familiar. They didn't really up their game much. I hope they go through just to see their pretty faces again.

08. Kenadi Dodds - She sings well, but with another young singer in this group, I had to look at other factors to determine who was better. Performing in almost the same setting didn't help either.

07. Max Major - I like illusions and magic tricks. I would've placed Max higher but like others posted before, I thought I heard the the young girl say "13", which would've messed up the trick, because 13 was on the lottery ticket. It could've been a little smoother. Howie and Sophia got on my nerves by not understanding the trick. What's not to understand?

06. Celina - For the first time I liked Celina's singing. I thought it was her best thus far. 

05. Daneliya Tuleshova - She is going to be the reason why Kenadi Dodds goes home. Daneliya has an amazing voice. Both of the young girls had great performances, but like I said, I had to thread the needle here. Daneliya is the better looking one!

04. Cristina Rae - Awesome vocals and a cute kid! No other singer comes close to besting her.

03. WAFFLE - I liked them tonight! They were entertaining and fun! Not my type of music though.

02. BAD Salsa - Wow! They were great and really enjoyed them! I hope they go through.

01. Brett Loudermilk - I thought Brett was the best of the night! He was amazing and I can't wait to see what he has next. For the first time Sophia got on my nerves. What was disgusting about his act? Geesh!

 

I would like to see Brett, BAD Salsa, Cristina, Max Major and Celina go through

 

I think America and the judges will vote...

Cristina, Daneliya, WAFFLE, Celina and BAD Salsa

 

I was disappointed in Heidi Klum when she was thanking the first responders, she didn't even mention the police force. 

. Howie and Sophia basically trashed Brett Loudermilk. I think they were trying to influence the votes.

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9 minutes ago, rr2911 said:

I was disappointed in Heidi Klum when she was thanking the first responders, she didn't even mention the police force. 

. Howie and Sophia basically trashed Brett Loudermilk. I think they were trying to influence the votes.

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), paramedics, firefighters, and police officers are all considered first responders.

I think Howie and especially Sofia were grossed out by Brett tonight.  Heidi must have a stronger stomach!

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Actually stopped what I was doing and watched all of Bad Salsa's performance, even though it was on DVR and I could have run it back. Definitely hope they get into the finals. Brett did the Professional Regurgitator one better. Yeah, gross but pretty cool too. Can we get a cage match between Kenadi and Daneliya? No? They should both be eliminated just for the spelling but we just can't have an episode without a kid singer[sarcasm]. Not sure what Bello Sisters could have done to turn it up. Explosions and firewalking? Liked the floating song lyrics for the Choir but the actual singing was just okay. As was the danger act and WAFFLEs. Max had an actual California Lottery ticket, which was interesting.

Finalists: Christina Rae, Bad Salsa, Daneliya, City Choir, with Max, Brett and Celina in the Dunkin Save.

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Also I thought it was odd that with the one little girl singer, they bothered setting up her whole set with all the plants to make it look marsh-ey, and a bluescreen behind, but then they used a crane shot showing the blue screen and all the rest of the backlot stuff. I donno maybe they were intentionally going with "look at how backlot-ey it is!" but it didn't make any sense to me. Either they were intentionally giving her a specific scene for her performance...or they're not.

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8 hours ago, CrystalBlue said:

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), paramedics, firefighters, and police officers are all considered first responders.

I think Howie and especially Sofia were grossed out by Brett tonight.  Heidi must have a stronger stomach!

Yeah I know! That's my point! Heidi thanked the EMTs, paramedics, and the firefighters, but no mention of police officers! Did it slip her mind? Maybe. Did she intentionally not thank them because of what's happening right now? Probably!

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Bad Salsa. 100%. Had I remembered to watch it live, they would've gotten all my votes. 

Bello Sisters do amaze me, though. That is some strength and concentration, super impressive.

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I didn’t pay much attention to the girl when she said 13.  Watching back the video it was a little warbled ( intentional?). It is all over the web. Wonder if they will address it or not esp since Heidi was involved?

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WAFFLE Crew: Because of @ams1001 I bought strawberry waffles (not blueberry!) last week. So I thank you for that. But back to the act. They really are getting the best of the pandemic with the sets and choreo around all the Universal backlot things. I liked them. A lot. Great start to a show that, unfortunately, didn't hold up all that well.

Kenedi or Kennedy or whatever Girl Singer: I used that time to take the garbage to the curb and let some dogs out.

Max Major: WTH dude. You are being ripped all over the Internet today for your fakety fake act being exposed by a little girl on Zoom who forgot what number she was suppose to say. I still don't like this guy. Even if you had a good act that wasn't so transparent, I still wouldn't like you Max. And no, so far you have never once influenced me to draw something, real or imagined, the way you say I should have. Tool.

Bello sisters: They still are good, but maybe they need to do some back flips or something to "step it up and speed it up" which so many seem to want. Or how about speeding up their video, show? That would work too. Like BAD Salsa sped up.

Celina: Now she is a star soccer player? When did that happen? Losing her sob story about being bullied because she wears dude's clothes is going to hurt her. No one cares that soccer gives her inspiration to be better. Show just got her kicked off tonight, count on it.

Zipline guy: I didn't care so didn't really watch his act. So dude ziplined. Big deal.

Christina Rae: She said if she won she would buy her dream house. Well Christina, that house you were in and outside of during your intro looks like MY dream house. So you can STFU about dream houses. I hope you go home tonight to your crappy house that's better than mine.

BAD Salsa: Wow, was their video set on top speed? It looked like an old Charlie Chaplin film, all jerky and too fast. I thought their intro video was a gender reveal, all those colors exploding into space. Although I do not know what sex green indicates. Maybe I don't want to know. Still, they were the best of the night, even though their dance looked like all their other ones, just set on "fast" to squeeze it into the time slot.

Brad Loudermilk: I had to quit watching him although his intro video was great and he is charming and funnier than any of the comedians this show has had on. The endoscope ... no thanks. And hacking up the little duck brought back suppressed memories of The Regurgitator. Still, I'll take him over any of the singers. I don't watch American Idol for the singers, I'm not watching AGT for them either.

Which means I don't even know who that last act was. Just another singer.

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WTH dude. You are being ripped all over the Internet today for your fakety fake act being exposed by a little girl on Zoom who forgot what number she was suppose to say.

There's another way to do this trick, without having the girl be coached--but I think the trick depended on no one picking 13.  Without giving the trick away*, I'd have done it with someone's age, so you'd have an excuse for a number not on a roulette wheel.

Mike Super did a similar trick on "Penn & Teller:  Fool Us", so my guess is someone's selling a lottery ticket confluence trick.  Done well, it's a good trick.  This time, the pacing was a little slow.

(Escape acts that are done when someone is set on fire have also been done before; the zipline is a more modern touch, and it's still risky enough to never try it at home.)

* Because specifically, I don't know how it was done.

 

 

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I thought it was the finale again; I couldn't even find a date for when it is, which goes to show that nobody cares. Ratings are down to around 6 million compared to the usual 10+ million. If I were a sub-50 IQ CNN viewer, I would equate that to 4 million people having died this year instead of the show being unwatchable.

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27 minutes ago, marketdoctor said:

(Escape acts that are done when someone is set on fire have also been done before; the zipline is a more modern touch, and it's still risky enough to never try it at home.)

Bummer! And just when I was ready to Flame On going down the zipline in my back yard!

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1 hour ago, saber5055 said:
  1. WAFFLE Crew: Because of @ams1001 I bought strawberry waffles (not blueberry!) last week. So I thank you for that. 
  2. Kenedi or Kennedy or whatever Girl Singer: I used that time to take the garbage to the curb and let some dogs out.
  3. Zipline guy: I didn't care so didn't really watch his act. So dude ziplined. Big deal.
  1. You're welcome. 🍓🧇
  2. So it was you🐕🐕‍🦺
  3. But he was hanging by his teeth! And the rope was on fire! And he got stopped in the middle until he unlocked his tether!
26 minutes ago, InternetToughGuy said:

I thought it was the finale again; I couldn't even find a date for when it is, which goes to show that nobody cares. Ratings are down to around 6 million compared to the usual 10+ million. If I were a sub-50 IQ CNN viewer, I would equate that to 4 million people having died this year instead of the show being unwatchable.

The schedule on the Season 15 Wikipedia page says the Live Final is Sept 22 and the Results/Finale is Sept 23 (TV Guide says it's at 9pm Eastern).

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4 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

But he was hanging by his teeth! And the rope was on fire! And he got stopped in the middle until he unlocked his tether!

*yawn* (Ha ha ha!)

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4 hours ago, Lunula said:

Bad Salsa. 100%. Had I remembered to watch it live, they would've gotten all my votes. 

Bello Sisters do amaze me, though. That is some strength and concentration, super impressive.

Watching Bad Salsa makes me happy, and isn't that what "entertainment" is supposed to be about, and not guilt tripping people into voting with social issues or sob stories? Bollywood movies have amazing dance numbers, and watching those two is like watching a Bollywood movie come to life. Their skill level, given their ages, especially the girl, is amazing. I hope they win. They've been the ray of sunshine on the show this year in the midst of a lot of doom and gloom. (And not just from Covid)

The Bello Sisters thankfully had less smoke this time so you could see them better. (Can we kill the cheesy smoke machine entirely?)  I like them because they are also just trying to entertain, with no sob stories. (ie "It's hard being pretty, no one takes you seriously, and the ugly kids in school were mean to us.")

So if people are calling out Max Major as a fraud, does that mean until now they really believed he could read minds, or control people's thoughts? I just watched this again, and what didn't make sense was that the 14 was in a red circle. Shouldn't the power ball number have been the highlighted one? And shouldn't the numbers have been called in the order they were on the lottery ticket? That would've been more impressive. 

If MM is a "fraud," what about Jonathan Goodwin? Despite the phony screams of the judges, nothing he's ever done has made me feel for a second that he's in any real danger.

Is Howie breaking under the pressure of not having Simon around? He was a train wreck tonight, even worse than usual, with his "confusion" about the mentalist's act and his lusting after the Bello Sisters' mom. Then there was his question to the Bad Salsa girl about her knee brace, and trying to save face by pretending he knew it was for the act and was only asking for the sake of us poor stupid people in the audience.

Also, since everyone knows that Howie is a huge germaphobe, even pre-Covid, Brett was crazy to use him onstage. It was completely predictable that Howie would act with disgust to anything having to do with bodily functions, which didn't help the act.

Edited by bluepiano
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1 hour ago, bluepiano said:

So if people are calling out Max Major as a fraud, does that mean until now they really believed he could read minds, or control people's thoughts?

Hey, don't go throwing cold water on the Pixie Dust that Mr. Major has been sprinkling on us!

 

1 hour ago, bluepiano said:

If MM is a "fraud," what about Jonathan Goodwin? Despite the phony screams of the judges, nothing he's ever done has made me feel for a second that he's in any real danger.

This might be why I didn't even watch his flaming zipline performance last night.

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6 hours ago, rr2911 said:

Yeah I know! That's my point! Heidi thanked the EMTs, paramedics, and the firefighters, but no mention of police officers! Did it slip her mind? Maybe. Did she intentionally not thank them because of what's happening right now? Probably!

Oh, I see.  I wasn't paying that much attention to her babbling praise and I was trying to recall when she said "first responders" but couldn't.  So that's what she was babbling about?  When was this?  When VOOCC sung "Heroes" by David Bowie?  The song isn't even about heroes per se, it's a love song with references to freedom, inspired by his time in Germany where he witnessed things and wrote the lyrics incorporating them into a song.

Here's the lyrics:

Heroes
David Bowie
Produced by Tony Visconti & David Bowie
Album: Heroes

[Chorus]
I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be heroes, just for one day

[Verse 1]
And you, you can be mean
And I, I'll drink all the time
'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact
Yes, we're lovers, and that is that

[Refrain]
Though nothing will keep us together
We could steal time, just for one day
We can be heroes, forever and ever
What d'you say?

[Verse 2]
I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim

[Refrain]
Though nothing, nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, forever and ever
Oh, we can be heroes, just for one day


[Chorus]
I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day

[Verse 3]
I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (By the wall)
And the guns shot above our heads (Over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (Nothing could fall)

[Refrain]
And the shame was on the other side
Oh, we can beat them, forever and ever
Then we could be heroes, just for one day

[Bridge]
We can be heroes
We can be heroes
We can be heroes, just for one day
We can be heroes

[Outro]
We're nothing, and nothing will help us
Maybe we're lying, then you better not stay
But we could be safer, just for one day
Oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, just for one day

**********************************************

Who knows what Heidi was thinking?  I agree that not talking about police officers to be PC is (unfortunately) a thing right now.

8 hours ago, theatremouse said:

Also I thought it was odd that with the one little girl singer, they bothered setting up her whole set with all the plants to make it look marsh-ey, and a bluescreen behind, but then they used a crane shot showing the blue screen and all the rest of the backlot stuff. I donno maybe they were intentionally going with "look at how backlot-ey it is!" but it didn't make any sense to me. Either they were intentionally giving her a specific scene for her performance...or they're not.

She wore the same sparkly cowboy boots too.  Must be her "lucky boots."

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5 hours ago, Diana Berry said:

I didn’t pay much attention to the girl when she said 13.  Watching back the video it was a little warbled ( intentional?). It is all over the web. Wonder if they will address it or not esp since Heidi was involved?

Yikes!  Sure, it's warbled!  They can't cut it out and a voiceover wouldn't match, so they practiced shenanigan AGAIN on AGT!

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46 minutes ago, saber5055 said:

Hey, don't go throwing cold water on the Pixie Dust that Mr. Major has been sprinkling on us!

 

This might be why I didn't even watch his flaming zipline performance last night.

The judges were part of the act, acting all scared and frightened, I'm sure.  Also, I think the Max Major mind reading act is all rigged with the judges and anyone else from "the audience" in on it.  Anyone can buy a CA Lottery ticket and pattern their act around the numbers.  And yes, I also noticed that the 14 was red while the others were black.  WTH.

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I thought their intro video was a gender reveal, all those colors exploding into space. Although I do not know what sex green indicates.

It's the colored powders used during the Holi Festival. Green is 'the color of nature and happiness.'

The big Las Vegas show(s) may not happen until next year. Nevada still has a limit of 50 people for gatherings and none of the major Strip venues have re-opened. And the international acts would have to free to travel. Usually it's really the top ten and some special guests. I think Bad Salsa is enough of a fan favorite they would normally get a slot even if they don't make it into the finals. Normally.

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48 minutes ago, CrystalBlue said:

Oh, I see.  I wasn't paying that much attention to her babbling praise and I was trying to recall when she said "first responders" but couldn't.  So that's what she was babbling about?  When was this?  When VOOCC sung "Heroes" by David Bowie?  The song isn't even about heroes per se, it's a love song with references to freedom, inspired by his time in Germany where he witnessed things and wrote the lyrics incorporating them into a song.

I blank out when the judges start babbling so didn't hear anyone say anything about first responders. And who gives a care if Heidi or any of these judges name specific departments or not. It's not them speaking, it's AGT's writers telling them what to say and how to act, like "Be sure you three get all OTT OMG! during the fake danger act."

I was so zoned out by the last act that I barely remember last act was the choir. I for sure couldn’t tell you what song they sang. For that matter, I don’t know what song anyone sang, they all fail to register with me.

I’m really getting cranky! I hope tonight’s show is better. BAD Salsa for the win.

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4 minutes ago, saber5055 said:

I blank out when the judges start babbling so didn't hear anyone say anything about first responders. And who gives a care if Heidi or any of these judges name specific departments or not. It's not them speaking, it's AGT's writers telling them what to say and how to act, like "Be sure you three get all OTT OMG! during the fake danger act."

I was so zoned out by the last act that I barely remember last act was the choir. I for sure couldn’t tell you what song they sang. For that matter, I don’t know what song anyone sang, they all fail to register with me.

I’m really getting cranky! I hope tonight’s show is better. BAD Salsa for the win.

The last act was Danileya Tuleshova, 14-yer-old girl from Kazakhstan.  I don't know what she sang either and don't care.

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1 hour ago, CrystalBlue said:

Also, I think the Max Major mind reading act is all rigged with the judges and anyone else from "the audience" in on it.  Anyone can buy a CA Lottery ticket and pattern their act around the numbers.  And yes, I also noticed that the 14 was red while the others were black.  WTH.

Serous question for the people out there who understand stage magic. Are all the mind reading and mentalists acts built around the judges or "randomly selected" audience members being accomplices? I know it's not real mind reading or clairvoyance, but I'd like to think there's something more clever involved than just telling people in advance what to say or write down. 

1 hour ago, CrystalBlue said:

The last act was Danileya Tuleshova, 14-yer-old girl from Kazakhstan.  I don't know what she sang either and don't care.

I've read comments here that she has a great voice, but if so, why bury it under background singers and echo effects as they did last night. Well, that was what I heard in the first 30 seconds, because I fast forwarded through the rest. As I do with almost every singer on this show.

Edited by bluepiano
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10 hours ago, theatremouse said:

Also I thought it was odd that with the one little girl singer, they bothered setting up her whole set with all the plants to make it look marsh-ey, and a bluescreen behind, but then they used a crane shot showing the blue screen and all the rest of the backlot stuff. I donno maybe they were intentionally going with "look at how backlot-ey it is!" but it didn't make any sense to me. Either they were intentionally giving her a specific scene for her performance...or they're not.

That was so whack, all I could think of was this:

 

tenor.gif.0e5fe11af3eff04dcd7cc9539540299d.gif

 

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On 9/16/2020 at 9:03 PM, bluepiano said:

Serous question for the people out there who understand stage magic. Are all the mind reading and mentalists acts built around the judges or "randomly selected" audience members being accomplices? I know it's not real mind reading or clairvoyance, but I'd like to think there's something more clever involved than just telling people in advance what to say or write down. 

 

I'm not sure how most of the tricks are done; I mainly read the Fool Us threads here and/or watch Youtube videos. 

 

But most of the time, the mentalist tricks actually do NOT involve preselected stooges. (Especially the ones on Fool Us where that isn't allowed). 

 

The most common tactic is the Force, they use their patter to guide the choice to their desired outcome, so it feels like a free choice but it really isn't. Loudermilk basically did this with the pictures, by splitting the piles and throwing away the pile that didn't have the rubber ducky pick. (He didn't say what he would do with the pick until AFTER the pick is made, letting him decide "your pick is the one I keep" or "Your pick is yours" ).

Another tactic they will use is to have multiple outs available, so they can adjust on the fly depending on what is picked. If there is a video reveal, this often happens. As Penn would say "You've been doing a lot of filming before the show haven't you?" implying they filmed all the combinations so the right one can be shown at the end. 

And another way is to have an off-stage assistant matching the pick while the magician stalls; then they just need to load the prepared pick onto the reveal without being noticed. (With electronic devices this is even easier nowadays).

And sometimes you just play the odds on human habit. If you tell someone to think of 2 shapes that are not a rectangle, most people will drop down to the Triangle and Circle. The "rectangle" comment primes the mind to think of a 4 sided figure, and if told not to pick those, you tend to think simpler, which shoehorns you into Triangle and Circle. (For me, I went the other way to Pentagon and Hexagon so that part of the trick failed for me)

 

Now, I have no idea how Max's trick would have worked. It's not Fool Us so loading the picks ahead of time is an option. But even if the choices weren't prearranged, there are ways that his trick could have been done. (Magnets to make the ball land where he wanted to; a simple printer in the box to print the numbers before the ticket is revealed). 

 

As for Loudermouth's trick (which was basically fluff on his main act), the only 'tricky' part of his is what would have happened if the duck wasn't the one picked for the last 4. I suspect if that happened, he would have eliminate it and another non-duck picture and asked for another pick to make sure he could force the duck. He just lucked out in the 25% chance pick. Or he had all 4 objects primed to go, so any photo would have been valid (but the duck was certainly one of the more visible ones for the trick). I know even less of how regurgitators do their tricks and if they could swap items that easily or not. 🙂

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3 hours ago, Diana Berry said:

I hope Simon shows up for the finale.

I hope Simon continues his recovery behind the scenes at home.  His broken back injury is very serious and this is no time to be burdened with appearances.  Simon letting everyone else he trusts be in charge and handling things shows he is not a control freak who thinks the planet can't spin on its own axis.  Simon can make a grand reappearance when he's fully healed next season.

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