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S18.E01: Auditions 1

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I don't know if I'm just bored or what but this is the most attention I've paid to this show in a few seasons, at least. I did not retain a single act's name, however.

  • What on Earth is Heidi wearing? (Referring to the green...thing. The orange dress was better.)
  • I was only half paying attention to the dinosaur, but was he really dancing? What I did see was just flipping.
  • Howie and Itzhak Perlman really are distant cousins...who knew?
  • Violinist was good.
  • I wasn't sure if Steel Panther (okay, I retained one name) was a comedy/parody group or a real band, but I guess they're a bit of both (wikipedia describes them as a "comedic glam metal band"; not really my kind of music (despite growing up in the heyday of hair bands), but they were good (though I couldn't understand any of the lyrics).
  • Felt bad for the Ukrainian acrobats.
  • The magician was pretty cool. Something different, at least.
  • The helicopter guy's translator was funnier than he was.
  • The 11yo singer is adorable. Interesting song choice...
  • If you had told me my best laugh of the night would have been shadow puppets, I would not have believed you, but here we are.
  • The stand-up comic got a few laughs, too. I wasn't sure if I liked him at first but by the end I decided I do.
  • I know we always get a little choired-out every season but I really liked the South African youth choir (even though the cynical side of me suspects they show might have had a little something to do with the song choice...).

Wasn't sure if I was going to watch tonight but I'm mostly glad I did. I didn't even want to yell at the judges to shut up too much.

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I felt bad for the Ukrainian acrobats though I admired their determination. I don’t think they should’ve gone through, they weren’t ready. The judges should’ve told them “the skills you completed were great, your dedication is amazing but this isn’t your year. Keep practicing, get stronger, wobble and shake less and come back next year.” 

A little over an hour into the first episode and I’m already annoyed at Howie thinking the stupidest crap is funny. 

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2 hours ago, ams1001 said:

Felt bad for the Ukrainian acrobats.

 I did too, at first.   The judges obviously loved them so I thought they would return later in the season, the first act to be given a second chance in the same year and triumphantly nail their routine.  I was shocked they actually let them through after that performance.   I don't care what your story is, legitimate or producer manufactured.  If you can't nail your act--after two tries no less--you shouldn't move on.



2 hours ago, ams1001 said:

The helicopter guy's translator was funnier than he was.

 Thanks to incessant drug commercials, I know he landed his helicopter on his perineum.   image.png.c6d4e293fe5e70842e3663e6cf9f4b78.png


2 hours ago, ams1001 said:

The 11yo singer is adorable. Interesting song choice...

 It was an eleven yer old doing Whitney Houston doing Journey.   Yeah, let's go with interesting.


2 hours ago, ams1001 said:

I know we always get a little choired-out every season but I really liked the South African youth choir (even though the cynical side of me suspects they show might have had a little something to do with the song choice...).

 That was the first Golden Buzzer because they had to get it done before the writer's strike. 

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My lord, that was hell. The last season still feels like a fresh wound, so that would explain why there was zero anticipation for this. Usually I wait until the 18th year to say how I really feel about a "bitch" to avoid backlash, but this show is the exception, as I've been complaining for a decade. I'm not satisfied with what I wrote, but what can you do when the show is a genuine 0/10.


T-Rex Flips - On an as always unrelated note, it seems every Asian named Patrick is guaranteed exempt from the Chinese military due to the 5'3 height requirement, I laughingly say while refusing to take off my Father's thickest loafers when leaving the house to avoid being pointed at. Anyway, the act was boring. It's hard to tell whether the American audience was cheering at a rarely seen 90 second burst of cardio or if it's confirmed that anything suggesting existence beyond a short 6000 year window is deemed pure entertainment. I got nothing to say, about this act or any other, which is basically the whole point.

Philip Bowen - Since he's from Detroit, I'm guessing the original owner of that violin is 50 robberies removed. He should really think of moving to the slightly better but still terrible Gary, Indiana if he wants to feel safe in comparison but still not safe at all. Hmm..anyways, there's nothing to say as usual, as this act has been done many times before, such as that violin playing kid from last year(?) whose name I genuinely don't remember - the epitome of fame.

Steel Panther - I kept going back and forth between thinking this was actually them or not, but my level of care for both options remained at zero. Insert picture of me itching my ass.

Allan Reinikka - Old men are getting sexier by the day. Yum.

Nancy LaFancy - I was surprised that this unhinged rainbow makeup covered being wasn't charging into an elementary school.

Three G - All of them looking healthy made me think they must be from the unaffected part of Ukraine, which in my imagination made me picture a map of the entire country blooming with posies, despite the new national flower being the money tree. I can say this with some fire in my voice, as my donations to the cause have ceased as girls stopped calling me a nice person for doing it. It was pretty rare for them to show the act fail several times without some grand redemption, which made it slightly more interesting, even though if they were 35, I'd have fallen asleep with my mouth open.

Trigg Watson - With the amount of times I've wished to be able to touch (or taste) TikTok, he's really wasted this opportunity. The audience was clapping when augmented reality was on the screen, which reminded me of the past several years of people in masks overreacting to something that wasn't really there. *snooze*

Kozo - The audience claps every time someone is from a different country, almost as if bypassing a useless border security is an accomplishment. I got nothing.

D’Corey Johnson - Calling him "d'cor" for short implies that this would be pleasant for the senses, but as expected it was boring. If you thought I would somehow misinterpret him singing the song "Open Arms" to imply him endorsing the second amendment and me chucking a full smoothie at the TV in idiocy, you'd be right. If he wants to be in Hamilton in several years, I guess Broadway is the only entertainment where productions have any sort of staying power, since everything these days is so transient. Of course as the collective attention span continues to dwindle, by the time he's old enough to join, there's a possibility that Broadway will turn into the cast reacting to a previously filmed performance.

Shadow Ace - He made me feel a little less obsessed about height as I laughed at the TV "He's probably only 5.35866656 feet tall!". Due to his effeminate voice, I wonder if his Father is concerned with what he's doing with his fingers in the dark, although I appreciate the shoutout to Beyonce, as I also idolize attractive women who like men way older and uglier than themselves. I found it a little hard to follow as the only puppets I am familiar with are the ones masquerading as world leaders, a truth I seem to forget come election season when a family member doesn't support the same stooge.

Orlando Leyba - It got boring really quick.

Mzansi Youth Choir - They claim to be from "beautiful" Johannesburg, which I guess when having to drive through urine soaked Skid Row to get to the AGT venue, anything would look good. They said the choir's founders were carjacked 20 years ago, which is a long time to hold onto any non-girl related issue, I write as I dab the tear from my aged and withered cheek remembering a certain unrequited middle school valentine. Singing was boring.


It was so hard to think of anything to say about this, since I don't talk about the actual acts. I'm in pain.


Edited by InternetToughGuy
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I seemed to recall saying AGT was bad as an in-joke or something, but tonight's episode was dreadful.

Trex Flips - My circle of zealots and I can confirm zero evidence of dinosaurs in the entire past 6000 years, so this costume was farcical at best. As usual, almost any Asian guy is treated like a joke/meme act and even more common, a performer with a low ceiling is let through only to disappoint in later rounds.

Philip Bowen - "Oh, fiddle" is what the audience said when seeing a violin player was only the second act in a very long night. I mainly listen to rappers talk about ruining their own cities, so it took a while to notice that this was System of a Down. It's nice to not only have to hear traditional violin music, but this has been done before and has limitations that everyone but the judges will observe soon.

Steel Panther - I listen to a lot of music in hopes of impressing people I don't like, but Steel Panther is a new one in my rotation. I remember them as a joke band from over a decade ago, so waiting this long to come on the show makes no sense unless the fans of this genre are dying and need to be replaced. Even though hair metal bands are passe these days, I still discuss poison all the time, though it's regarding my extreme fear of drinking tap water. Anyway, a decent act, but they shouldn't be fooled by a temporarily captive audience that is only pretending to be fans.

Three G - Just mentioning their location made the crowd leap to their feet, even though polling the average citizen would show they don't know what's going on over there. (I don't, either) However, due to my proclivity of sending full paychecks to nebulous activism, I would have liked to know what these women looked like in advance to spoil them directly and cut out the middleman, as I also donate to girls online for no benefit, despite them already living better lives than I ever will. Between their name and the trio contorting themselves into the shape of a cell tower, I felt a cyst on my neck growing in real time, but them failing at the same trick multiple times was decently suspenseful for once. A rare time where it a moment didn't feel manufactured.

Trigg Watson - Based on his name, I wanted to know what his "angle" was with this until he unveiled the gigantic iPad, which I assure you would have done something to my dopamine receptors if they weren't already fried from infinite scroll. He interacted with the videos much like I do when trying to grope on-screen women like an ape in captivity, and I assume the display was larger than it appeared and partially transparent so the objects looked like they were floating. He was good, but it's so easy to get numb when watching most acts.

Kozo - Wow, another Asian guy who only gets screen time for acting like a goof. Japanese crowds are known for being respectful and not making any noise, which will bring an international flavor to local Iam Tongi concerts in the near future when he inevitably fails to deliver. Off topic already. Anyway, this was another pointless waste of time and you know it's bad when something shitty goes on for so long that the judges and crowd pretend that it's good as some kind of *wink moment.

D’Corey Johnson - Is D'Corey his real name, or is he another one of those performers who no longer stutters when singing? He has a pretty good voice, to the point where one could serenade their wife with the musical stylings of someone a fraction of their age and ignore the emasculation. Still, singers on here are almost always dull, not helped by still being in recovery from the most recent season of American Idol.

Shadow Ace - I've hired a few virtual assistants from the Philippines and it's surprisingly common for them to act like this guy. This was pretty much a shrunken down version of any silhouette dancer on here that uses interpretive dance to convince you that life is worth living or other pretentious themes, but at least this was rather absent of it. You know you're down bad when getting aroused at a shadow puppet on a pole, but she was livelier than most of the other girls you'd see on a Tuesday night.

Orlando Leyba - A comedian on AGT without having some sort of ailment was so confusing, I almost broke my own back to maintain some kind of status quo. This was until seeing that he had a mental handicap of terrible material. I didn't smile once and would say he's getting most of his laughs from charisma instead of what he's saying. Unless, God forbid, I am not the arbiter of humor and people can like different things.

Mzansi Youth Choir - Does anywhere in the entire continent have agriculture and energy sectors, or are choirs their main export? They said they're from "beautiful South Africa", but are likely already trying to set down permanent roots in the US without question. I screamed in persecution when the choir suggested they had been carjacked by the usual scapegoat of black men, despite this taking place in Africa. They're "good", but I was tuned out after such a bad show and can't pretend to care. Howie had an expression of shock and awe on his face that can only come from watching hundreds of people who can sing in his more than ten years on the show. The choir receives the new 'audience golden buzzer' because the paid plants in the first ten rows deserve a voice, too.

This show was effing painful. There's something about the auditions that are particularly bad.

Edited by Neet
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I'll say, without fear of contradiction, this was a show that happened.

OK, Perd Hapley out of my system, I liked the acts generally--but rarely more than "liked."  Philip Bowen was perhaps my favorite, though Shadow Ace and Trigg Watson have me wondering what's next.  (I think I know how Trigg Watson did his tricks, but he did them well enough that I enjoyed it anyway, so I'm calling that a win.  His last trick kind of gave it away, though it's possible I have that wrong.)  I hope Three G don't have long-term damage--they're an act that has me concerned for how they try to go bigger.

What really concerns me is that these were some of the best acts they had.  I'm glad we saw mostly good acts, but if it doesn't get better, it's going to be a long summer.





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I would call that "more of the same." There was nothing that we haven't seen before. I thought the cell phone magician had cool tricks, even if he didn't have any charisma. I thought the comedian had a lot of charisma without good material. 

The biggest surprise was that the Ukrainian girls didn't end up doing their trick correctly. Maybe they'll do it for a later round and we can all be inspired. But we've seen half-naked good looking people balance on each other every season. Speaking of inspired, that choir was perfect for this show. Heart-tugging story, that choice of song and Simon blubbering? That's what this show is all about. 

I feel when established acts are on they're kind of cheating. I don't begrudge Steel Panther any additional exposure they get from this, but I really don't want to see them in the finals. 

Lemme see what else - dinosaur break dancer was dumb. Helicopter ass landing was dumb. Kid singer was good, but so polished. I can't imagine how many talent shows he's already done. I can see him going pretty far though. Violin guy was pretty good. Shadow box wasn't. 

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There was a rare "OMG!" moment for me while watching this ep.  No, not the double fall of the pretty girls.  Steel Panther.  No, not for their performance.

SYCO came with an all-timer snarky irony in their choice of back track that accompanied the deserved applause/reaction/jidges remarks and scoring.  Here we had the build-up of a genre of hard core music.  There were countless shouts of Rock, with the Devil's sign (imo).  The one that otherwise is most famous as "Hook 'em Horns!" of University of Texas fame.  There was a genuinely kick-patootie performance of a super bawdy song.  And what does SYCO choose to back it with?  The acknowledged most horrific sell-out in Rock & Roll history:  "We Built This City."  Jefferson Airplane's Grace Siick speaks to this day of her shame and how deeply she regretted having sung this claptrap of a song.  She and the Airplane were particularly respected for their biting truths which were expressed in their lyrics.  And they reduced themselves, as "Starship,"  to this.  Full credit to SYCO for perhaps its finest bit of ironic insult evah.  Who were meant to be insulted?  Why, it was us.  They obviously have contempt for a large percentage of their viewers.  That's how they justify their ubiquitous shenanigans (We do not deserve better).  Anyway, this was as sublime as it gets.  Mega kudos!

I am pretty sure that the Ukraine acrobats were not repeating the failed stunt.  The second disaster was on a different one.  I do wonder if the mat had been planned all along, or if it was in reaction to the first bad tumble they took.  I think Simon and Co. should have withheld a judgment and simply announced that the group would be invited back next year.  They really aren't ready for prime time, but they do have serious guts.

I am convinced that part of the reason the choir got a GB was to ensure they would either stay in SoCal or would be sure to return with full confidence they would move past a 2nd qualifying performance.  That is one heckuva a trek and it is expensive.  I am not sure why they are especially "all that," but they most certainly merited being sent to another AGT performance.

All the others were blah, including Bowen the violinist.  However, we got another fabulous and REAL moment when his mom approached Simon to hug and she earnestly said to him, "Thank you for being so nice to my son."  And he was, indeed, nice to him.  More so than standard - beyond all doubt.  It's rare, imo, for this level of sincerity on AGT.  For all the "HA HA HA" and deserved snark involved in AGT, many of these folks deserve respect.  Mrs. Bowen's son was given it.

Edited by Lonesome Rhodes
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7 hours ago, Superclam said:

Speaking of inspired, that choir was perfect for this show. Heart-tugging story, that choice of song and Simon blubbering? That's what this show is all about.

Unless I wasn't paying attention (I wasn't), I recall the story being essentially "a bad thing happened a long time ago to people who aren't even here". Maybe emotional to the pregnant women demographic, but sounds like a pretty low bar for a sob story.

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The acknowledged most horrific sell-out in Rock & Roll history:  "We Built This City." 

If you forgot, Starship and Grace Slick are also responsible for Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, from the movie Mannequin

I'm sure I've heard the name Steel Panther before, but not from where. They've been around for 20 years so it could have been anything. Well I like rock and at least they were entertaining. The kid asking the band member if that was his real hair was pretty funny.

Schlumpy looking guy whips out a violin, states he was inspired by Itzhak Perlman and proceeds to play really, really well. Unexpected. Also nearly sniffed when he talked about dreaming of performing and the crowd going wild, and there he was with the crowd actually going wild. 

Choirs know they get a pretty automatic pass just for existing now. They were good but when they said South African choir I was hoping to hear a performance like Ladysmith Black Mombazo. 

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6 hours ago, InternetToughGuy said:

Unless I wasn't paying attention (I wasn't), I recall the story being essentially "a bad thing happened a long time ago to people who aren't even here". Maybe emotional to the pregnant women demographic, but sounds like a pretty low bar for a sob story.

I meant more the Nightbirde thing, which is a well they'll obviously be tapping often over the next few years. 

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On 5/31/2023 at 3:09 PM, marketdoctor said:

His last trick kind of gave it away, though it's possible I have that wrong.

I think you're right. I was baffled until he did that last trick, and then I wasn't. 

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