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maraleia

S09.E08: Boot Camp (1)

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Wendy Leibman, seriously? She has been around forever, including The Tonight Show. I've seen her on Just For Laughs many times. She has an imdb page and is married to a son of Robert Sherman (songwriter for Disney, including Mary Poppins). I'm tired of stars faking anonymity and amateur status.

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Just have to say I have no idea why Heidi is a judge. When she, who is famous for being down on comics, criticized the comic saying words to the effect of "If you are an entertainer, you an stand against the wall and entertain," I wanted Howard or Howie, heck even Mel B to ring her neck. No bobble-head, when you are a model whose sole skills are having come from a good gene pool and having learned how to walk in heels a certain way, you can stand against a wall and model because you are neither entertaining nor talented. Real talent requires more than that, and that is why your selection and retention as a judge is a travesty. I mean it is actually painful to listen to her trying to string together her pointless critiques.

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I thought the little girl they put through right away was off key in a number of places. I was surprised at all the tongue baths.

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Thank you I thought I was awful for cringing through her performance but it wasn't as good as they were making it out to be and to put her straight through. Now the boy on the other hand I thought was fantastic.

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Somebody needs to tell that one comic that making fun of your kids isn't a standup routine. That was one of the most uncomfortable, least-funny standup acts I've seen. I didn't like him the first time around, but this time - he choked, he just choked. Like Howard said, all set-ups and no punchlines. And it seemed mean. Ugh. Acting all passive aggressive to the judges didn't help either.

 

I kind of wish they would disallow acts under 18. It isn't entertaining to me to watch a kid get their dreams crushed. That said, I think they picked the wrong singer out of the group. The first kid, the 12-year-old-boy (forget his name), was awesome, a natural singer and performer. The rest IMo showed themselves to be good *for their ages.* Girl they put through seems like a sweetheart, but her singing is very effortful, if that makes sense. I get tired watching her. It seems like someone acting as a singer and is too shouty for my taste.

 

I don't know with the magic acts. They were all good, but I liked the card trick guy the best.

They did pick the right dance act.

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Ok, I have no use for singers on this show, but out of all the female singers they had, I think Emily West is their best bet. She is clearly a trained, professional musician, and she just has a look that could be easily marketed. I'm not saying I would necessarily buy her CD (she mentioned trying to get into country and I don't like country music) but she could go far, both in this competition and her career in general. And I really don't think she has much competition in her category. The girl with the ukulele is redundant when Colbie Callait exists, Anna is an unreliable contestant (I really don't mean to pick on her, but what happens if she has an attack before she goes on to perform at a live show? She is clearly not ready for this yet, if even just walking onstage is a huge achievement. Also, I didn't think her performance was that good. She was wayyyy too fast and she didn't get into her groove until she was well into the song), and the less said about Kelli Glover, the better.

 

I also have no use for the kiddies, but I call fucking BS on Mara Justine being put through right away ahead of the other three. The other three, like Emily West, have clearly been trained. They have taken a natural born talent and honed it with practice and proper technique. Mara Justine sounds like any eleven-year-old with an ok voice who just belts it out for the hell of it. If we have to have a kid singer on this show, I would have rather it be someone who knows what they're doing.

 

The comedian who hates his kids was so unbelievably awful. Did he even tell a joke? Yikes, I could do better than that. None of the comedians were particularly good. I liked Darrick whatever in his first audition, but he's already gotten stale.

 

Psycho Jack was dumb. Besides the fact that his trick was sloppy, I'm no longer impressed by the "woman goes into box, box is stuffed with saws, woman disappears" trick. Anyone can buy those supplies and do that trick with enough practice. I'm much more interested in things like what the card guy did, and Mike Super (though if he doesn't shut up about Desmond I might have to write him off as well).

 

I'm disappointed that the tap-dancing boys aren't better. I've been doing tap since I was six years old and I'd love to see a good tap act on this show. But they weren't in sync, and they barely tapped. When you only have 90 seconds, you shouldn't be wasting so much of it on pointless, disorganized filler.

 

The acts they sent straight through at the beginning were so random. The card-throwing triplets, really? The dance act that was only enjoyable because no one was expecting there to be so many of them? Go home, AGT, you're drunk.

 

Does anyone else get annoyed at the clearly-staged reaction shots of the contestants watching each other?

 

I wonder if the the rights to Ellie Goulding's music are on the cheap, the show likes to use her a lot. Not that I mind, I think she's awesome, it's just something I noticed.

 

Overall, I was underwhelmed. The people I was looking forward to seeing again (Smoothini, red-haired comedian) were gone, snatched up by better offers, I suppose. The only thing consistently good about this show is Mel B. Without her reactions this show could be dull as dirt.

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Almost all of the acts we saw being given a pass were not worthy of such - especially the children.  I was gobsmacked.  The mean comedian?  Well, we see where the fix is in, don't we?  The magician with the funky reading cards?  HE was the best of the magicians?  Really?

 

The misdirection scripted for the judges is so friggin annoying.  Spare me.

 

The lack of an audience makes an immense difference.  Many of the acts tonight rely upon energy building.  Without it, the task of finding fault is soooo much easier for a judge, or a viewer.  It is tangentially more difficult to find a reason to believe a given act should go through with a hiccup or two, as well.  All the dance acts really suffered for this.

 

I love Derek the emo comic, but to see the judges be so predisposed to liking him was off-putting.  Just telling it straight  ;)

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Just a question about the recap episode (7). Anyone know what music they were using during the old archer guy spot? It's at about 53 minutes in with commercials removed. It sounds so familiar. Thought it was from the Uncharted video game at first but not sure.


I feel like I should specify that I'm looking for the music during his interview, not during his act. Cheers.

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I also have no use for the kiddies, but I call fucking BS on Mara Justine being put through right away ahead of the other three. The other three, like Emily West, have clearly been trained. They have taken a natural born talent and honed it with practice and proper technique. Mara Justine sounds like any eleven-year-old with an ok voice who just belts it out for the hell of it. If we have to have a kid singer on this show, I would have rather it be someone who knows what they're doing.

 

I completely agree helenamonster - actually I agree with your whole post. There is no way that Mara Justine should have been put straight through. She was basically just kind of screaming into the mic and didn't show any real finesse, control or range. I was cringing the entire time and now we have to sit through her at least once more - thank goodness for the mute button. Hopefully America won't make the same mistake the judges did but America seems to favor kid acts, even the bad ones, largely due to the 'cuteness factor' and a lot of kids end up going a lot farther than they should (especially since most of them should have never made it past the first 5 seconds of their initial audition).

 

Putting the card throwing triplets automatically through makes no sense at all. They were horrible and I was bored 2 seconds into their audition. If they had to put a kid straight through, why not the 12 year old boy singer from tonight? He's far more talented than the triplets will ever be. I wonder if the fact that they didn't have an appropriate "kid group" to put the triplets into influenced their decision at all.

 

So we still have one more show of the cuts tomorrow night and then it's on to the live shows. I think most of my favorite acts will be on the show tomorrow as I sure didn't see any of them tonight except for the card trick magician. Given the amount of people that they put through, it seems like they would have to do more than just 2 cut shows. I wonder if they automatically sent people home before allowing them to audition again - this has been the format in past seasons. They usually separate them into three groups, one goes through to the live shows automatically, one has to perform again for the judges, and one gets sent straight home. They've changed the format this year so I'm not sure how it will all work out especially given the fact that the audition rounds seemed to drag on forever and it seemed as though they put virtually everyone that we saw on the shows through.

Edited by Rapunzel
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Thank you I thought I was awful for cringing through her performance but it wasn't as good as they were making it out to be and to put her straight through. Now the boy on the other hand I thought was fantastic.

Exactly!

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Heidi is a waste of space.  It seems to me that she also, for whatever reason, doesn't get humour unless it's blatent bash you over the head stuff.  May be cultural, or maybe she's not a brain trust. I don't know.  She seems like a nice woman but really this isn't her venue.

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I kind of wish they would disallow acts under 18. It isn't entertaining to me to watch a kid get their dreams crushed. That said, I think they picked the wrong singer out of the group. The first kid, the 12-year-old-boy (forget his name), was awesome, a natural singer and performer. The rest IMo showed themselves to be good *for their ages.* Girl they put through seems like a sweetheart, but her singing is very effortful, if that makes sense. I get tired watching her. It seems like someone acting as a singer and is too shouty for my taste.

I completely agree, the little boy is a natural talent, who truly does have the potential to go on and be a great singer. The girl was effortful, and I totally get what you were saying. She is an okay singer who over sings and people continue to mistake that for great singing skills. I hate when they put kids like that through because they are actually doing more harm to the kid in terms of vocals. Mira will overusing now but when she reaches a certain age, she will not be able to sing anywhere near the level she sings now because of the vocal strain. This happens to kids on Broadway all the time. They are powerhouses as kids and once they have fully developed, the singing skill is gone because of the damage to the vocal chords and larynx.

All I have to say is if they don't put the little boy through, I call foul. There is no way they think she is better than him.

Edited by Happytobehere
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Putting the card throwing triplets automatically through makes no sense at all.

Well, it makes perfect sense if you consider that the producers never intended for AGT to be a true talent contest.  Rather, it is a show, the primary goal is VARIETY entertainment and they stack the deck to provide the live shows with as much variety as possible.

TPTB do not want the live show to be the "best" acts, because then it would be possible to have six magicians or 8 dance groups or 11 singers.  So they group the "bootcamp" contestants so that each group competes for one or two spots from within that group.  Thus, when TPTB arrive at the live shows they will have ALL of the categories represented.

Then they look at all the contestants and decide which ones, based on cuteness factor, or unique dance style, or whatever, and guarantee that they will be a part of the live shows. 

It is not about competition, it is all about putting a VARIETY show on the air.

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The lack of an audience makes an immense difference.  Many of the acts tonight rely upon energy building.  Without it, the task of finding fault is soooo much easier for a jidge, or a viewer.  It is tangentially more difficult to find a reason to believe a given act should go through with a hiccup or two, as well.  All the dance acts really suffered for this.

 

I definitely agree for some acts, like comedians, that the lack of an audience is a detriment, but I don't agree about that for dance acts. I've done dance my whole life, and my studio only put on one show a year (though occasionally we'd participate in charity events and whatnot). We are expected to maintain a high level of energy whether we're performing in front of a mirror in the studio or a crowd of a thousand people. Serious dance training requires stamina and discipline. If you need a full audience to give an adequate performance, you are nowhere near the level of talent that this show should be expecting.

Edited by helenamonster

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Admit it:  Carly Jo Jackson, the woman singer with the guitar and the longish lank blonde hair totally looked like Janice from the Muppets.  

Edited by rollacoaster
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We finally got to see several acts we didn't see before, I don't remember psycho Jack, the first kid that sang, the old man pulling a truck, etc.

 

Is Smoothini performing today? or he already has a job in Vegas someplace? none of the magic tricks surprised me, the guy with chalkboards must had an agreement with Nick to say 23, otherwise the trick wouldn't work, and he googled Howie's personal life and picked some names and he put the one who mattered most.

 

Of course the can uncrushing guy's can was never empty, oldest trick in the book just removing a black sticker on top of the can. the water bottle obviously heated.

 

None of the dancing people were good, but they had to put someone through..

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I agree with all the remarks about the kid singers above.  When they put that girl straight through, there was still one girl left backstage to do her performance.  I thought it was horrendously rude of them to choose someone to send straight through when they hadn't even heard everyone yet.  And, of course, if they were going to put anyone straight through before hearing the rest, it should have been the young boy, because, really, how could you possibly deny him a spot.  He is phenomenal.  Now all the ones they have left to pick from are better than the one they put through.  What a fucking travesty.  I ranted about this for about an hour last night.

 

Couldn't agree more about Heidi.  She's not an airhead, there's no air in there, it's a vacuum.

 

I like Mel B and am disappointed in her for not standing up to Howard more.  She knows that the singing girl they put through was not good.  She should have pushed back at Howard a lot harder.  He bullied all of them into going along with him on that decision.

 

Do I sound angry?  And I don't even like kid singers.

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You should be angry if Juan Carlos is put through... no longer funny, ran his course...

 

Let's see the rest today, so what's missing? male singers, variety groups, singer groups....

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Helena - I was unclear in my remarks about dancers and audience.  I meant to convey that it is more difficult for them to move the jidges.  It is highly disconsonant for the jidges to experience silence after someone puts forth something exciting - like the salsa dance last night.  However, a true dancer brings it regardless the audience.  Yet, it is human nature to display at least a little more when receiving positive energy from an audience.

 

It seemed to me that we did not see all the acts which were put through last night, or, we just didn't learn of more acts having been put through.  I note we did not see the reactions of many who assumedly were told they were done.  Methinks that's because they weren't eliminated.

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Female singers: count me as an Emily fan (the woman who looks like Jenna Elfman during her "Dharma and Greg" days, except w/ kookier hair), and I'm usually not a fan of any kind of singers on this show, as there are other TV opportunities for them. (We're looking at YOU, Rejects from American Idol.)  But by golly, I like the iconoclastic cut of Emily's jib, and her song interpretations are original and haunting.  So, if we must have singers, she'll do.  Her, and the female opera duo that got put straight through.

 

Comedianne Wendy Liebman is exactly how I remember. Her signature style of pausing, then tacking on a few words to the end of sentence which flips its entire meaning has not changed. Which makes it even harder to imagine why the show runners think we wouldn't remember her. Or maybe they're hoping we do?

Edited by A Boston Gal

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I agree with all the remarks about the kid singers above.  When they put that girl straight through, there was still one girl left backstage to do her performance.  I thought it was horrendously rude of them to choose someone to send straight through when they hadn't even heard everyone yet.  And, of course, if they were going to put anyone straight through before hearing the rest, it should have been the young boy, because, really, how could you possibly deny him a spot.  He is phenomenal.  Now all the ones they have left to pick from are better than the one they put through.  What a fucking travesty.  I ranted about this for about an hour last night.

 

I like Mel B and am disappointed in her for not standing up to Howard more.  She knows that the singing girl they put through was not good.  She should have pushed back at Howard a lot harder.  He bullied all of them into going along with him on that decision.

 

I so agree on the rudeness re: sending Mara Justine through before even letting that last girl perform. It almost seemed like she wasn't going to get a chance at all and they were just going to end that category there. I know the little boy was phenomenal, but out of all the kid singers, I enjoyed that last girl the most. Her voice was like a cool drink of water, so clear and crisp.

 

I also agree about Mel B. If stories from her former bandmates are to be believed, she can be an asshole when she wants to be and I kind of wish she'd show those tendencies on this show. She can be critical when it comes down to it, but she lets Howard walk all over her sometimes (so do Howie and Heidi), like with the kiddie choir. At the end of the day, though, all the judges are at the mercy of what the producers want them to say/do. This show would be 100% more entertaining if the judges were given free reign and could vote/criticize/praise however they liked.

 

Helena - I was unclear in my remarks about dancers and audience.  I meant to convey that it is more difficult for them to move the jidges.  It is highly disconsonant for the jidges to experience silence after someone puts forth something exciting - like the salsa dance last night.  However, a true dancer brings it regardless the audience.  Yet, it is human nature to display at least a little more when receiving positive energy from an audience.

 

My apologies for misunderstanding. Yes, I do agree on that point. That's actually one of the reasons I like Judgement Week: the judges are forced to look at the bare essentials of an act without being distracted by audience reaction. This round really does separate the good acts from the awful ones.

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Can not believe that the two male salsa dancers (John and Andrew) made it through.  I have travelled in the Caribbean and South America, and they are on the level of any number of couples you will see dancing in clubs in Columbia or the Dominican Republic on any Saturday night. Taken out of context, on AGT, it may look good, but if  you have seen high-level salsa dancing it is nothing special at all.

On the other hand, this is about producing an entertaining TV show, not a real competition, and the producers may've just liked the gimmick of a male dancing couple in which one is gay and one is straight.

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I enjoyed the card throwing triplets. The trick is entertaining and takes talent. The boy may have pushed his limit though. He probably should have saved the distance throwing for a future act. Since he didn't, I don't mind them being put through.

The skating twirling guy, I don't get. Are the judges laughing at him? That's the only humor that would make sense.

Can not believe that the two male salsa dancers (John and Andrew) made it through. I have travelled in the Caribbean and South America, and they are on the level of any number of couples you will see dancing in clubs in Columbia or the Dominican Republic on any Saturday night. Taken out of context, on AGT, it may look good, but if you have seen high-level salsa dancing it is nothing special at all.

On the other hand, this is about producing an entertaining TV show, not a real competition, and the producers may've just liked the gimmick of a male dancing couple in which one is gay and one is straight.

I wondered about them myself. I'm no dance expert, but they don't really entertain me. Being a male/male dance couple seems to be part of their big talent.

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Admit it:  Carly Jo Jackson, the woman singer with the guitar and the longish lank blonde hair totally looked like Janice from the Muppets.  

I'm so glad other people noticed this!  I think Howard Stern looks a bit like a Fraggle so it was like watching a Jim Henson variety hour with the two of them on my TV at the same time.  

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The whole kid singer segment was excruciating. I wish they would just set an 18 year old age minimum, but this show has gotten a lot of mileage over the years out of the over-the-top emotions of kids either celebrating or getting their dreams crushed. Or maybe I should say their parents' dreams, because it's obvious all these kids have been pushed into performing from a very young age,

 

Of all the kid singers, easily the worst is Marta Justine. I can't understand why the fix is in for her. She is Exhibit A in how American Idol has ruined a generation of singers (especially girls) by making them think that shouting is singing. To me there is absolutely nothing appealing about an 11 year girl imitating a diva two or thee times her age, and singing lyrics that are completely age inappropriate. She creeps me out, as does her stage mother. And I'm afraid we're going to be stuck with them deep into the season.

 

How can you compare an 11 year old singing robot with someone like Emily West, who is a real musician?  I loved the original of that Roy Orbison song, but I also loved her version. That is what a real singer does, take a song and give it her own personal interpretation. Something that the kids singers are years away from having the knowledge and maturity to pull off.

 

I didn't think the comic talking about his kids was all that funny the first time, but OMG, what was he thinking tonight? Was talking about wiping his kid' ass (complete with bending over) supposed to be cute and adorable?  Worst "comedy" performance I've ever seen on this show.

 

The other comic is too just too much of an Emo Phillips clone for my taste. Zero points for originality. The only surprise was that he actually does have a girlfriend. And an attractive one. I bet her parents really don't like. Security guard? Really? "But honey, you can do so much better."

Edited by bluepiano
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They really let a lot of acts fall through the cracks. Where was the young inappropriate kid comedian?

Hopefully back in school where he belongs (instead of EVER being on a stage again).

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I loved smoothini and was suprised when I didn't see him. I checked his Facebook page and looks like he went straight to the live rounds.

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I was wondering about Smoothini too, as I thought he was quite good and different.  Glad to know he may still be on the show.  There did seem to be a lot of "drop outs" and/or lack of follow up stories on acts that made it through.  However I will be forever grateful if I don't have see "inappropriate kid comic" ever again! 

 

As someone said upthread, I am generally against singers on this show, but I am really liking Emily West.  I will be happy to see her go far.  The rest of the singers can go far too... as in far, far, far away!

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