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9/6/11 is the first America’s Got Talent finals show. The top ten will perform tonight, and move a step closer to that million dollars.
Welcome, Nobody Nation, to the 9/6/11 AGT first finals show at Nobody’s View!
The AGT top ten: Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., Anna Graceman, Silhouettes, Lys Agnes, Poplyfe, Team iLuminate, Miami All Stars, West Spingfield Dance Team, Landon Swank, and Smage Bros. Riding Shows.
Who will be the best? Let’s watch together!
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(The usual disclosure: As you know, we are a site devoted to opinion, inspiration, civility, and tolerance. So, why this weekly ritual with AGT? Well, first, it’s our guilty pleasure [life can’t always be so serious], and second, it fits right into one of our pillars: inspiration. America’s Got Talent features folks who are going for it in a very real sense. They are living their dream, come what may [the big red “X”?]. Doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, or where you come from. On stage, you’re all equal under the lights. That’s pretty great to me.)
Ah, the show intro. Time to do some typing to fill the long hours. So, who is your favorite so far this season? If you read us regularly, then you know that one of my favorites, Daniel Joseph Baker, is not on anymore. Luckily for me, Team iLuminate, Poplyfe, and Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. are still around. It’s a good group this year.
Nick Cannon gave us some “big news” — no judges’ pick. The groups are totally on their own…just the acts and America.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills hosted the acts for a night, and they had a chance to hobnob with the judges. Of course, we got to see some (unstaged?) moments between acts and judges. Landau, thankfully, was still alive after the heart-attack-inducing trick Cannon pulled on him last week.
After returning from the hotel, we got to see Michael Grimm perform again. Nice! He’s touring with the fantastic Stevie Nicks. What a thrill that has to be. Grimm still has a great voice, and his stage presence is still terrific. Soulful as ever. And, he obviously has a personal tailor. Is that the big time? I wouldn’t know. I wear the same jeans forever. Then again, isn’t that a style all its own? Grimm told us that he just got married and that he is finishing his grandmother’s house. Love it! You are welcome in Nobody Nation whenever you want to visit, Michael.
Performance 1 — Miami All Stars
What can we say about Miami All Stars? Their last act was incredible. Loved the swing! Yeah, I was part of that craze in the late 90s. I wasn’t a talented part of the craze, mind you, just part of it. Their act tonight was a football theme — complete with bird-oriented mascot. Oh, and the cherry? An “X” from Piers. He wasn’t happy that they seemed to be a “cheerleading” act. I’m not sure I agree 100% with that, but then again, I’m no expert in talent…as my swing dancing will show you. However, the only opinion that matters is America’s opinion.
Performance 2 — Lys Agnes
Lys has an inspiring story and a strong voice. But does she have enough to make it to the finals? She says in her intro that she’s going “non-traditional.” Is the first finals show the time to do that? We’ll have to see. Tonight, she took on Aerosmith’s classic Dream On. The song really tested her lower register. I liked the effect of standing in the middle of a dreamcatcher. What did you think? Was that the best vocal choice? Sharon said her lower register sounds a lot like Cher. I was thinking that, too. She was really gravitating to Cher and Stevie Nicks tonight. Howie questioned the wisdom of her risk at this stage. Piers disagreed with both Howie and Sharon, and said that he really liked Lys’ pitch and song choice. He loved her performance. Will you?
Alright, I’m now armed with a green, Granny Smith apple. I usually prefer the pinks, but they seem to be out of season. Unfortunately, this particular green is a little…tart. I’ll liven it up with some peanut butter.
Performance 3 — Landon Swank
This guy is a great illusionist, isn’t he? From small-town Alaska, he’s now likely on his way to Vegas. His first bit was eating a cracker fish, then spitting a goldfish into a glass. Love it. Then, he stuck his hand through a tank and sent the fish home. Interesting! The judges really liked it, and I’m guessing America did, too. I love those little Goldfish crackers. But I’m not a huge fan of fish. Is that weird?
Man, this apple is sour!
Performance 4 — Anna Graceman
Anna’s an amazing talent. I’d wager she can sing any genre and make it convincing. I’m still waiting for my Carole King cover! She says that she’s taking a chance tonight. She came out with Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors. A chance, indeed. This is song is a staple. But Graceman’s voice was big enough to pull it off. Piers said that he loves Anna’s big voice. Sharon felt Anna was a victim of the knoll upon which she stood (probably a production choice). Graceman said she wanted to “connect” with the audience tonight, and that’s why she sang sans piano. I’d like to see her perform one more time. Will she make it through?
If she does, perhaps a rendition of I Feel the Earth Move…
Performance 5 — Silhouettes
They have a great act, this group. Shadow pictures. In the intro, we learned that many of the kids in the group are suffering from difficult illnesses, including cystic fibrosis and diabetes. Ah, but when they perform? Well, they’re just another group of great performers. Tonight’s theme — believing in oneself. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Genius. They went back to the “WOW” of their first show. Vegas act? Oh, yeah. I don’t know how they do it, but keep on doing it. The audience went nuts. The judges went nuts. I’m positive America will go nuts, too. Howie certainly made their case for them. Then, Piers said that the story of Silhouettes is a story that makes people proud to be American. I agree. And again, let me extend yet another invitation — Silhouettes, you are more than welcome to Nobody Nation. Keep believing.
I’ll never look at hand shadows the same way.
Performance 6 — Smage Bros. Riding Shows
What can we say about the Smage Bros.? Troy Smalls — the person with the most dangerous job in America. They jump his face, push exhaust up his nose. This Troy Smalls guy is my hero. The question is, who is his hero? Evel Knievel? Tonight, the brothers did some skateboarding on their bikes. Mr. Smalls took a small nick on the leg and head, but he didn’t seem the worse for wear. Piers wasn’t completely enthralled, but Sharon disagreed, and said she found it quite exciting (I can use the word “quite” when I talk about Sharon).
But when you have Troy Smalls in your act, you can conquer the universe!
Come and join Nobody Nation, Mr. Smalls!
Performance 7 — Poplyfe
Love this group. Love them. Kehlani Parrish (lead singer of Poplyfe) has an amazing devotion to her band mates. It’s inspiring, really, especially in light of that first show. When she started up with I’ll Be There, The Jackson 5 classic, I knew it was going to be another great night. It was. Poplyfe’s energy is just fantastic. I cannot even begin to imagine what they’re going to do next week. Good lord. They even had enough post-performance energy to convince Piers to give the standing o. He called them “a great pop band.” Amen. Sharon was incredibly complimentary, especially to Kehlani. Howie begged America for Poplyfe votes. I’ll join that chorus.
Kehlani said that tonight, the band wanted to show that even kids in the industry can sing the classics. THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT. Maybe there’s hope for a revival of greatness.
There. I’ll get off my Pop-box.
Performance 8 — West Springfield Dance Team
The horror returns. The scary team with the incredibly horrifying name (not really) is back. Will they make it to the finals? Well, they’re relying on a good ol’ gothic scare to do it. A big ol’ red “X” from Piers was pretty scary. Sharon said that she is starting to find it “predictable.” Howie didn’t find that went to the next level. As for Piers? He suggested they go horror-less to give a little extra flavor. Might’ve been a good time to take a risk.
I don’t know. I think the “scariest” place on earth is probably the AGT stage during the finals.
Auditions coming up in October? Nice. I’ll get my throat-playing act in gear!
Performance 9 — Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.
Landau Sinatra Murphy is in the house…and he sounds fantastic. I never get tired of hearing this guy sing. Since day one, we’ve all been rooting for him. Tonight’s selection from Dean Martin, Ain’t That a Kick in the Head, was as smooth as glass and as classy as champagne. Loved the band in the background. Loved the voice. Loved the performance. Loved the standing o. Piers said that Landau would be the act he’d pay his own money to see, right now. Can you imagine if it was a Landau/Poplyfe bill? Good gracious. I think a lot of us would be parting with our money.
If Landau doesn’t move on, well, that’d sure be a kick in the head so big, even Mr. Dean Martin couldn’t recover.
Did you see that ad for the air-filled chocolate kiss things? That sounds pretty good. But you haven’t tasted anything until you’ve tasted an Aero bar. Seriously. If you live close to the Canadian border, go get an Aero bar. Yum.
Enough food talk!
Performance 10 — Team iLuminate
What can you say about Team iLuminate? Genius comes to mind. Incredible, dazzling, ground-breaking, future Vegas show. All these things come up. The leader says she is going to dance tonight for the first time in a long time. She battled cancer, now she’s battling for a million bucks. Great, right? Right! Tonight had some mind-bending effects, especially near the end of the act. The music was fantastic as well. Piers went so far as calling this the freshest act in six years. What’s the point of keeping them around? Just put ’em on a plane to Vegas right now.
Great stuff tonight all around. Who are your favorite acts? Poplyfe? Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.? Team iLuminate?
Tomorrow night should be interesting! Join us for the LIVE blog at 8pm (in the West) for the top ten reveal, when we find out which four acts move on to the big finale.