Category Archives: People

Happy New Year 2013…Let’s Hope 1/1/13 Brings 13 More Blessings Than Superstitions!

Lucky number 13.

At least, that’s what this year brings, right?  1/1/13.  I know, I know…technically it’s TWO-ZERO-13, but still…seeing that “13” hanging off the end there is enough to make even the least superstitious a little nervous.

So, will this be a year of broken mirrors, opening umbrellas in the house, black cats, and walking under ladders?  Or, will it be a time of truly wonderful omens and special opportunity?

I laid in bed for a few extra minutes today and stared at the ceiling.  I thought about 2012 and all of its past glory and really had to smile.  It was quite a year for me, and I’m sure for you, too…whether or not you know it.  Not that much “exciting” really happened to me, but it certainly was a time of near misses, false starts, new beginnings that turned into false starts, and…well…let’s just say I still have all 10 fingers and all 10 toes and am counting my blessings for it.

I’m not really a resolution man by nature, so I won’t engage in too much of that here.  But if you know me, you know I’m counting the ol’ blessings every second I can, just in case.  So, since we’ve narrowly avoided a fiscal cliff and a Mayan Apocalypse, let’s take some time to count some before the cliff drops off…13’s a nice number, don’t you think?  Some of these may be a bit obtuse, but again, if you know me, well…then that’s no surprise!

1.  Near miss in hospital avoided for one whom I love.  Heard the phrase “just in time” one time too many for my liking, but so far have not heard it again.  All’s well going into 2013.  There was good spirits, laughter, and positivity the WHOLE time it was going on, and there continue to be, and yes…that made all the difference.

2.  Conversations about new ventures are ongoing with some really cool people.  Why count this?  Because instead of being stuck in a rut bemoaning the state of things, it’s actually nice to be able to think about fresh adventures and see them unfold.  I’m open to that.  I have that opportunity.  It takes work, but I’m happy for it.

3.  Chicken parm.  That’s right.  I know it’s not a hospital near-miss or the promise of a new business venture, but it’s delicious, right?  Right.  Enough said.

4.  The new playlist in my car.  Yup.  I listen to certain things in the morning to get me spiritually motivated, but in the afternoon?  Well, in goes a playlist of songs that I love to rewind:

Speed of Sound by Coldplay

Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve

Afternoons & Coffeespoons by Crash Test Dummies

April Come She Will by Simon and Garfunkel

Bitter Tears by INXS

The Broad Majestic Shannon by The Pogues

This Cowboy Song by Sting

Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen

Strawberry Swing by Coldplay

Hannah Jane by Hootie and the Blowfish

Lonely Girls by Ian & Sylvia

Only Living Boy in New York by Simon and Garfunkel

Talk by Coldplay

Wisemen by James Blunt

Time to Move On by Tom Petty

Tiny Daggers by INXS

Trip Through Your Wires by U2

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?  by REM

Why Should I Cry for You? by Sting

Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall by  Coldplay

Yes…thank goodness for that playlist.  Doesn’t get too too much better than that, my friends.  Go ahead.  Take your shots at it.  I’m immune.

5.  My agent.  Have to thank her again.  Why?  Just ’cause.  Y’know.  Just ’cause.

6.  Fresh faces and friends in 2012.  New spaces to fill with those new people in 2013.

7.  When I saw darkness in 2012, I was able to reframe it to see the message instead of trying to yell at it to become light.  Thank you 2012 for that.  Thank you thank you a million times thank you.

8.  That I continue to be able to forge ahead.  Thank you, 2012 for allowing that, too.

9.  I’m blessed for the ability to count blessings.  Yes.  Gotta list that one.  Thank you, Universe, for even allowing a count to happen.

10.  Thank you for dreams and reality.  Why?  Because when the line blurs, we know we’re on to something.  If you haven’t reached this state in life at least once, try it.  See that your world is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.  It’s interesting!

11.  Thank you for teachers, students, and the ability to connect with both.  You need to talk to people who think like you once in a while.  They’re your feel goods.  But, yes, you need to learn from the ones who yell at you for what you think.  Sorry.  That’s life.  But look for the people who believe what they believe out of conviction, and not because they’re told to believe or or believe it because of some lame news station.  Be a true teacher and a true student.  Nice.

12.  Thank you for the spice of life.  It ain’t always sugar.  It ain’t always lemons.  Sometimes…well…sometimes it’s just right.

13.  And lastly?  Thank you for allowing me to be Nobody in particular.  I love my Nobody brothers and sisters.  And, the more I watch reality TV, commercials, and sports (the NBA), the more glad I become for this one.  Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you a million times thank you to whatever is running this Universe that the world is not really about (at least I HOPE it’s not about…) the most money, taking talents elsewhere, or being “in”famous.  Thank you for quiet rooms, conversation over coffee at the local wherever, a special playlist, an honest day’s work, and knowing that when we point to heaven after something special, we know that everyone else is just as loved….Universe, we know you don’t only care about three pointers, touchdowns, winning a voice contest, and sunken putts.  These are special things, yes.  These are karmic things, I know.  But at the end o’ the day, you present glory to see how we handle it.  I have to believe you just want us to simply be grateful for what we have (except for the occasional blog post…sorry!), and we know you love that pitcher whether he gives up the homer or not.  I’m grateful for knowing that, even though I’m not a pitcher.

So, I know I said I wouldn’t make a resolution.  But I will.  As January 1, 2013 comes and goes I will vow only to do my best to keep on moving ahead.  To be open to new opportunity.  To let the past be the past.  To let the future be the future.  And…well…to keep on being the best Nobody I can be.

From this Nobody to you, whomever you are, have a safe, happy, and blessed 2013.


All Candidates, Including President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, Can Encourage New Thinking on Civility…and Incivility

As election season approaches, think of the history of these United States.  Think of the proud American spirit.  Think about living in a country that takes the time to have debates before an election, and encourages its great citizens to vote, and take part in the democratic process.

Then, think about how it must feel to live in Ohio right now.

Imagine watching TV in Cleveland and then seeing every attack ad ever made.  Imagine trying to live in that key election state.  Now, where I live, it is still pretty bad, due to hotly contested local elections.  But the presidential candidates have pretty much give up here, so I’m insulated from the presidential ads.

But Ohio?!?  I can’t even imagine.  Of course, I’m a Browns fan, so I’m trying to picture watching a Browns game (argh!) with attack ads throw in (double argh!).  Do the ads work?  Who knows?  The latest poll shows President Obama up by 4%, but you know how that can go.

The only tally that matters is the one on election night.

But this Nobody’s thoughts today are not with the Browns or percentage points.  They’re with the question of civility.  If you’ve seen the debates between President Obama and Governor Romney, you’ve seen a strange mix of incivility and civility.

There is fire and brimstone flying at debate time, then, at the end, the families gather on stage for some hand shaking and pleasantries.  One could almost get the idea they were all going to leave the studio and go for ice cream afterwards.  Can you see that?  The Romneys and the Obamas ordering hot fudge sundaes at a local Dairy Queen and talking about…well…who the heck knows?

Now, as amusing as that image is to ponder, it gets me thinking about the frontiers of civility in our country, and around the world.  Nobody’s view is for the rest of us.  Not the candidates, but the voters.  Not the prime ministers, but their people.

This isn’t just about politics.  It’s about societies.  We tend to vilify people from other places, or candidates from other political persuasions, but have you ever really thought about that?  I mean, really thought about it?  Think of your friends from different cultures or the guy at the side of the road you helped when his tire was flat.  Did you check their politics?  Their backgrounds?  Or did you just help?  People are, generally, people.  And we usually believe that as regular citizens.

The problem is that, quite often, bullies and despots rise to power.  Then, in acts of “leadership,” these rulers create often hateful or vengeful policies, kill their own people, and do all sorts of horrid things, and we lay blame at the feet of their subjects…subjects whom we would gladly help if they crossed our paths in the everyday.

I’m not wise in the ways of politics, but something does not seem right about this.  Yes, we see people marching angrily in the streets supporting some horrific action, but don’t forget–in the great bell curve of humanity, there will always be those who agree with hate and rage.

But what about the rest?  What about the mother clutching her child in a bombed-out apartment, praying that the violence will end, or that her child can grow up someplace safe.  What about the masses who work their fingers to the bone for almost no pay under regimes that don’t care whether they live or die?  What about the student who has to look over her shoulder every day walking to school, lest a would-be policymaker will do more than simply discourage education for her gender?

Civility is courtesy.  Civility is tolerance.  Civility is respect.  Unfortunately, so many times, those who lead do not lead with a civil mindset, but with anger, hate, and rage…with selective agendas and desperation.  The grab for power is ultimate, all else, subordinate.

Now, in America?  We’re lucky.  For all the horribleness of election-season ads, we generally vote in peace and the sun rises in peace the next day.  However, I mention the seriousness of incivility because as the election season comes to a close, I am saddened to see how quickly civil words are replaced by bile.  How easily candidates are able to destroy others’ reputations, families, and good names.  How, without so much as a care, people insult sitting statesmen and stateswomen in an effort to unseat incumbents so they can move into their offices, readjust the chair, and get about the business of reversing the other person’s policies.

As you watch the elections come to a close in our country, remember, this is not an “American” issue.  This has nothing to do with one country or another or one candidate over another.  It’s simply about all of us.

However, we can teach our children differently.  We can use election season not as a time to hit the mute button on ads that most people find annoying.  We can take this opportunity to set a new example.  A civil example.  An “if-you-don’t-have-something-nice-to-say…” example.

Call this Nobody an optimist, but I am hopeful that within a few generations, we can reduce the acidity in the world and promote a more tolerant and civil atmosphere. I believe it starts with us.  It starts with hearing candidates on the issues and ignoring them on the incivility.

It begins with common sense.

But I will say this: if this optimist is wrong, he will certainly be thankful for the mute button.

The 2012 Society of Southwestern Authors’ Wrangling With Writing Conference Brought a Meet-Up, Inspiration, and Connection

Good lord!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post here.  Life just keeps on pushing!  So much going on.  So busy.  Highs, lows, heres, and theres.  Work I have to do and work I make up to avoid what I have to do.

So much so much so much!

But this last weekend?  Well, I got a reprieve.

I had the privilege of attending the 2012 Society of Southwestern Authors Wrangling With Writing conference in Tucson.  I went with a family member, and this was our first go at a writing conference.

And I must say, it was quite special.  I met a lot of incredible people, some of whom provided me books so that I could get better acquainted with their work.

Many weren’t just casual encounters, but people with whom I hope to work someday.  People who see a mission.  Who hold a vision.  People who want to change the world in humility.  In fact, I’m looking at two of the books right now: one on better leadership and one on reiki.  You wouldn’t know their names right now.

But you will someday.  You will.

Simply amazing.

Throughout the weekend, there were many great speakers, including the great Hazel Dixon-Cooper, the noted astrologer.  Her subject?  Using the astrological traits of characters to make them more robust.  I’d never really thought of my characters as having a “sign” that could affect their personalities, but it was fun to explore that.  To consider that we can connect even in fiction through creating characters that may share, or contradict, our own birth sign traits.

Another highlight was Kevin Smokler, author and speaker.  His folksy style and quick wit made a last-minute appearance into something memorable.  He’s a guy I’d love to work with someday.  His talk was terrific.  Check him out.  Please.

But perhaps the most special part of the weekend was spending time with my agent.  We’ve been in business together, and been friends, for almost two years, but this was our first live meeting.  It was so wonderful to come face to face with the woman who cares for my books, shepherding them like wayward goats.  We shared some meals, many laughs, and a vision.  There are so few opportunities to really connect with people, and when you get the chance, it’s special.  But when you get to actually work with them?  Well…indescribable.

I came home, and returned to the world of my work.  My jobs.  Now, I’m fortunate that my jobs enable me to write for a living.  It’s a dream.  But something else was there when I was back in the office Monday working on something other than a novel.  A sense of gratitude.  That’s right.  I was working on something for a client, and for a brief moment I had the chance to give thanks to whatever power in the universe that my living comes from my fingers.  From typing.  From creating.  Whether for business or pleasure, writing is a privilege not to be taken lightly.

Writing is a privilege.

Yes, the Society of Southwestern Authors conference taught about promotion.  Wrangling With Writing gave us direction on grammar, Facebook, Twitter, ebooks, and the like.  We had chicken.  We had cheesecake.  We swapped ideas and exchanged cards.  We watched hotel TV.  We took notes.  Some authors pitched.  Others simply listened.  It was a conference after all.

But in the afterglow, I hope we did something else.  I hope we inspired.  I hope we were inspired.

And, most importantly, I hope we connected.

Sir David Ramon Hawkins M.D., Ph.D. — An Obituary You Might Not See, but Should….

An obituary crossed my desk today.

You probably didn’t know the man.  But then again, maybe you did.

He didn’t make a big splash like a Kardashian.  He didn’t write a book-a-minute like some of the authors you may know.  No theme parks named after him.  No shock-jocking.  No infamy.

Nothing like that.

He was a psychiatrist.  A physicist.  A man who tried to show that the simple act of pushing on muscle could give an answer to any yes/no question known in the universe.

He was Sir David Ramon Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.  Or, as he was more simply known: David Hawkins.

He wrote books that maybe 100 people read (Orthomolecular Psychiatry with Linus Pauling), and books that were controversial and deep (Power vs. Force, Eye of the I).

Revered by some.  Reviled by others.  Always controversial.  Always entertaining.

I had the privilege of seeing Dr. Hawkins speak a few times.  Some of the things he said were quite illuminating.  Some were clear as mud.  Sometimes, he told himself a private joke and laughed alone.  At other times, we laughed with him.

But he always made you think.

I’m not going to launch into a description of his teachings (or findings).  It would be impossible.  It wouldn’t do them justice.  It would just make things more confusing.

Instead, if you feel moved, check out Veritas Publishing or his biography and descriptions at Hay House.

I don’t know why I felt moved to write about him today.  I just saw the obit and decided I wanted to say something.

Remember: whether you agree or disagree with a particular spiritual or philosophical teaching is no really the important thing.  The importance lies in engaging, discussing, and processing.

And David Hawkins gave us that opportunity in more ways than even he may know.

Rest in peace, Doctor.  May you now fully live the truths you believed.

9/13/12 Is the America’s Got Talent Finale Reveal–One Act, One Million Dollars! Your Choices? David Garibaldi and His CMYKs, Tom Cotter, Joe Castillo, The Untouchables, William Close and the Earth Harp Collective, and Olate Dogs

So, here we are.

The America’s Got Talent finals.  David Garibaldi and His CMYKs, Tom Cotter, The Untouchables, Joe Castillo, William Close and the Earth Harp Collective, and Olate Dogs.

Which one of these acts will take home the million?  Thanks for joining us at 7pm in the West here at Nobody’s View!

[We here at Nobody’s View have a soft spot for America’s Got Talent.  Why? Well, contestants on the show are our kind of folks.  Just regular people like you and me who get to live their dream.  Getting their moment in the sun.  People doing what they feel they were born to do.  Hard to argue with that!  And, judging by the thousands of you who join me here each season, well, I think you agree!  Welcome to the LIVE Nobody’s View America’s Got Talent 2012 blog.]

So, how about Big Bang Theory?  How great is that show, right?

I assure you, Nobody Nation…I do lots more than watch TV, but Big Bang Theory.  So great.

Anyway, tonight?  The TWO HOUR finale of America’s Got Talent.  Two hours to make one announcement.  Sounds like a politician’s press conference.

I’m sure I’ll have lots of time to do some things around the house while some of the filler is going on, but I’ll be here.  Typin’ it all out for you.

David Garibaldi and His CMYKs, Tom Cotter, The Untouchables, Joe Castillo, William Close and the Earth Harp Collective, and Olate Dogs will also have a long wait.  I can’t believe we reached the end.  I can’t believe we’re here without Dittelman.

We love ya, Dittelman.  You’re not forgotten.

So, who was your favorite from this season?  Who is your pick here at the end?

The opening montage was each act talking about how badly they want this.  Beautiful scenery and music in the background.  And then?  The chaos of the AGT intro.

Then Nick Cannon dressed in a white/silvery tuxedo.  One of my viewing partners wants to know who provides his clothes.  Not to wear them…just to know.  I’m sure it’s somewhere in the ending credits.


Anyway, Nick introduced the acts, and one by one they waved to America.  Some with berets.  Some with dog collars.  Some with vests.  I’ve never been a vest person myself, but some people can really pull it off, dontcha think?

Wasn’t it great when they showed some acts from the past, including acts that put things through their tongues and eyelids?  Well, that last part wasn’t great, but it was nice to see some folks from the past.  Opera singers, magicians, comedians, dancers.

You have to admit, Nobody Nation, these are some brave folks.  Anytime you put it all on the line for passion, well…that’s great.


David Garibaldi and His CMYKs did a duet with Flo Rida.  Luckily, I still like the song Piano In The Dark.  The original.  By Brenda Russell.  I’m going to say that again.  Brenda Russell.  Thank you, Brenda Russell for Piano In The Dark.

Enough on that.

Oh, and great talent Garibaldi.  But then again, you know that already!


We’re back.

Ne-Yo is on stage.

I’m going to do some things around the house.  Maybe have a snack.  Whatever.

See you soon!


Then?  The judges talked about their favorite moments from last night.  Howie Mandel loved Tom Cotter.  Stern loved William Close and his originality…been his pick since the first show.  Osbourne gave well-deserved kudos to The Untouchables and (of course) Olate Dogs.

It really is a great final.  I’d really like to see any of these acts live.

And Dittelman.  Would love to see Dittelman live.

But he knew that already, right?


After the break?  William Close performed a duet with OneRepublic.

They actually suit his style.  It was a nice combination.

But y’know what I’d love to see?  William Close and Coldplay.  That would be amazing.  Strawberry Swing, Speed of Sound, Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, Everything’s Not Lost.  Yeah.

We can have dreams, folks.  Even about concerts we’d love to see!

Close and Coldplay.



After the break?  Popcorn in the Orville lounge.  You think they’d ever have a “Nobody” lounge?

Probably not.

Anyway, Olate Dogs and The Untouchables with Frankie J.  This was a really entertaining act.

The Untouchables are just incredible.  Every time I see them, they bring it.  And the dogs?  Well, amazing, too.

Anyway, after that wonderful act, we were treated to some great “X” moments.  Remember those?  I did too.

Whatcha gonna do?

Watch ’em again.

Speaking of which…Burton Crane came back to ask us, “Whatcha gonna do?”

He had a crew of rappers.  He had energy.  And I’m sure, some kind of licensing agreement for that song that will make him a mint!

Whatcha gonna do, Burton?  Live large.  You deserve it.


After the break, Howie wanted to surprise Howard Stern.  We got to see the video.  A Nissan Altima with Big Barry in the trunk.  Not a great gift for Stern, but very entertaining for the rest of us.  Love this guy.

When Howard unzipped that bag and found Barry?  Well…great.

Next up?  Blue Man Group.

I have yet to see these guys in Vegas.  Tonight they brought the ultimate dance party.  They gave us a beat, and the word “butt” 100 times in 100 ways.

Now, that’s an act.

They’re at the Monte Carlo now?  I love that hotel.  Hmmm…maybe I’ll try to see them next time I’m there.

After that was a look back at the judges’ season.  Their first day.  Their first day with Howard Stern.

What did you think about Stern this season?  I liked him.  I thought he brought a good vibe to the show.  Now, we can still hope that Sharon doesn’t leave, but if she does, at least we’ll have Howard and Howie.  But who’s going to be the creamy middle?

Make it right, NBC.

Then, we got a judge roast from past acts.

Tom Cotter was the roast master.  Ah, fantastic.  Slam-tastic.  Comedy Central needs to hire Cotter.  But then there was Joan Rivers.  That’s right.  She told Cotter he was “too nice.”


She took over.  And, well…Slamulous.

She’s still got it, folks.  Big time.

She really slammed ’em all.  I could have watched it all night.  So, Comedy Central?  Get them both on the same stage for your next roast.

Killer bit.

Please, Comedy Central.  Listen to this Nobody.


Joe Castillo and the PS22 Chorus

This was a nice pairing.  It wasn’t loud, in your face.  It was just calm.  Sensitive.  Good for all of you!


Elimination 1

The six finalists came on stage for the first result.

The act in 6th place and leaving the competition is The Untouchables.

I have to admit, I’m a little surprised.  I thought they’d finish a bit higher, but then again…the talent was incredible this year, and it was anyone’s game.


Elimination 2

The act finishing in 5th place and leaving the competition is Joe Castillo.

I had a feeling he’d be next, but I love his act.  He is just an amazing artist and he really seems like a genuine person.

His is an act that can change lives.


Elimination 3

The act finishing in 4th place and leaving the competition is David Garibaldi and His CMYKs.

Sad.  I love Garibaldi’s act.  And, I’m going to renew my request: Please!  Can I have an Einstein???

I know I won’t get one, but I felt like I had to put that out there.  Innovative.  Creative.  Heading for future success.


Next?  Justin Bieber.

Time for me to head outside to do some chores.

See you soon….


Okay, I’m back.  Went out and did some chores.  Now?  Time for Nick Cannon’s backstage antics.  And onstage antics.  We saw him on the Grand Canyon.  We saw him on the Golden Gate Bridge.  We saw him with snakes, archers, crotch shots, pole dancing.

It’s a good life, indeed.

Next?  A performance by Green Day.  Not bad.  You may not love ’em, but they’re pros.

Anyway, after a bunch of commercials for clothes, politicians, cell phones, and clothes…we’ll have more.

Remember when you didn’t have a cell phone?  I think it was sometime around ’94….


Elimination 4

The act finishing in 3rd place and leaving the competition is William Close.

Did you hear the boos?  Oh, my.  Wow.  I’m more than a little surprised.  My viewing partners?  Shocked as well.

But Sharon reminded Close that Simon Cowell would do great things for him, and I think that’s true.  Close is a sure bet.

I had him pegged to go all the way.


Wow wow wow.

Just shows to go ya….


Final Elimination

Tom Cotter and Olate Dogs

A tremendous comic and the best animal act on the planet (I can’t prove that…).  Tough choice.  Who would you pick?

Who did America pick?

In the end, it was Olate Dogs.  Can’t say I’m surprised.  I really thought it was Close, but still…tremendous talent.


Well, it was a long season, folks.  We’ve had a lot of fun.  A lot of craziness.

And, hopefully, we’ve all learned a little something.

Listen folks, we’ve been saying this since the start: America’s Got Talent is about regular folks like you and me (and, sometimes, their dogs) who are living the dream.

And that’s what Nobody’s View is about.  We’re done with AGT, but dreams never stop.

I want to thank the thousands of you who tuned in with us here at Nobody’s View.  Come back.  Keep reading.

Stay in touch.

9/12/12 America’s Got Talent–The Six Finalists Perform! Whose Talent Will Be Worth a Million?

On Wednesday, 9/12/12, the six America’s Got Talent finalists perform.

Whose act will be worth a million dollars?

Thanks for joining us here at Nobody’s View for the write-up as we join Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, and Nick Cannon, and try to guess which of the six will be America’s choice.

It’s been a long day.  I’m really looking forward to this!

[We here at Nobody’s View have a soft spot for America’s Got Talent.  Why? Well, contestants on the show are our kind of folks.  Just regular people like you and me who get to live their dream.  Getting their moment in the sun.  People doing what they feel they were born to do.  Hard to argue with that!  And, judging by the thousands of you who join me here each season, well, I think you agree!  Welcome to the LIVE Nobody’s View America’s Got Talent 2012 blog.]

Opening montage with lots of noise?  Check.  Disembodied voice of Cannon mentioning a million dollars?  Check.  Judges saying words like “sensational” and “million dollar act” to no one in particular?  Check.

So, William Close, Tom Cotter, The Untouchables, Joe Castillo, Olate Dogs, and David Garibaldi.

There they are.

Great finals, right?  Although, it would be better if Dittelman were here, but alas….

This is for all the marbles folks.  For the million bux.  The headline show in Vegas.  The life changing moment!

Did I build that up enough?


Act 1

David Garibaldi and His CMYKs

Love this act.  So great.  So creative.  I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I don’t know if we’ll ever see this again.

Tonight saw the group break out The Who and the tuxedos.  Tuxedos covered in paint.  In the end?  Great.  In the end?  Einstein.  Brilliance in physics and paint.

I agree with Howard.  I’d hang that in my house.  David, please…if you’re reading…can I have an Einstein?  Please!

I’m placing my order.

A Garibaldi Einstein.

How great would that be?


Act 2

Tom Cotter.

How funny is this guy?  He says he’s been scratching and clawing his way along.  Check to check with three kids and a wife?  That’s passion.  That’s dedication.

Cotter decided to roll the dice tonight.  He had Cannon roll a die and it came up: “Poor Examples.”  And off he went.  It was a brilliant tour of nursery rhymes that appeared to be written by crazy people.  Seriously.  Who DOES write those things?  Heh.  He really is fantastic.

Can a comedian take the whole thing?  I’m not sure, but I can tell you–he better clear his schedule, as he’s going to be touring for a loooooong and wonderful time.  Can’t wait ’til he comes to my town.

I’m just sorry I won’t hear him again on the show!

And yes, Sharon, I also love the filthy comedy!  I was actually the guy in the tie in my improv troupe who told the filthiest jokes.  Ah, those were times.  No one expected it, and man…good times.


Act 3

The Untouchables

How amazing are these kids?  How amazing are their coaches?  Seriously.  Amazing.  Get them on a cruise and have them teach the rest of us how to do what they do.

They really are terrific.  And a great song choice, right?  Proud Mary would be…well…proud.

How can they be that young and that perfect at what they do?  Practice, I guess.

Practice practice practice.  “The future of America,” indeed.


Act 4

Joe Castillo

How great is this guy?  How unique is this act?  Sand.  That’s right.  Sand.  Oh, and a beret.  And how great is his wife Cindy?  She just supports what he does.  I doubt she cares how much money it makes for him or how famous he gets.

She just gets him.


What’ll he show us tonight?  A band.  Choreography.

And Stern in a beret.  That was a nice touch.  I do agree with Sharon, though…maybe something a little more epic than the AGT judges, but still, it really is fun to watch Castillo work.

The only problem is, if you watch too closely, you get sand in your eye.


Act 5

William Close and the Earth Harp Collective

What can we say about this?  Close has to be the front-runner.  He has to be the favorite.  He is larger than life and his act is so polished.

He says that tonight is a “symphony” of his instruments.

Pachelbel Canon.  So beautiful.  He’s ready to go tomorrow.  Right now.  Tour it.  Take it on the road, Close.

I mean, c’mon.  The Jackie Evancho of large harps.  You heard it here first.

Stern’s right–Close packed it all onto the stage.  Everything.  He was front and center and the show went on around him.  Brilliant.

I can’t wait to get my tickets for Close’s show in Vegas.

Maybe I’ll even get an Earth Harp for my house.  And one of those dangling acrobats.  And a backup singer.  Do you think he’ll sell those at his souvenir stand?

Probably not.


Act 6

Olate Dogs

This duo and their dogs could challenge Close and his Earth Harp.

Sorry, Sharon…you have to give that dog back.

This is a great act, isn’t it?  These dogs are brilliant, and yes, they do make us happy.  I think it’s going to come down to Close, Olate Dogs, and Cotter.

Even if those dogs don’t win, they’ll still continue to be the most spoiled dogs in America…except for Sharon’s, that is.


David Garibaldi and His CMYKs, Tom Cotter, The Untouchables, Joe Castillo, William Close, and Olate Dogs.

Good luck picking this one, America.  It’s anybody’s game.

Join us tomorrow for the reveal.

Who is your pick?

9/6/12 America’s Got Talent Is the Second Semifinal Reveal…Did Your Favorite Make It to the Finals?

9/6/12 Amercia’s Got Talent is the second semifinal reveal.

Howie, Sharon, and Howard made their opinions known a few nights ago, but who was your choice?

Will they move on?

[We here at Nobody’s View have a soft spot for America’s Got Talent.  Why? Well, contestants on the show are our kind of folks.  Just regular people like you and me who get to live their dream.  Getting their moment in the sun.  People doing what they feel they were born to do.  Hard to argue with that!  And, judging by the thousands of you who join me here each season, well, I think you agree!  Welcome to the LIVE Nobody’s View America’s Got Talent 2012 blog.]

Well, it was pretty crazy the other night.  Lots of really great acts.  It was a better night than I thought it would be!  Hard to choose.

UNFORTUNATELY, we here at Nobody’s View won’t know.


Because once again, my cable company has hosed me.  It was all set for 9pm in the West.  DVR set.

And then?  Well, I checked what it taped and guess what?  It was “Today” and “Mad Money.”

I’m not kidding.

So, unfortunately, it was on an hour earlier than my cable company said, so we won’t have the write-up for a while.

I’m sorry, regulars.  I’ll try to get it here when I can.

In the meantime, well, I’ll consider a dish.


So here it is, Nobody Nation.  The show still hasn’t popped in to my “On Demand” feature on cable.  So now?  Well, now it’s 9/8/12, the 9/6/12 AGT second semifinal is old news, and I’m sitting here watching it on my computer and trying to blog it at the same time.

So forgive me.

Another apology to all of you.  I’ll try to do better next week!

But let’s get started here…as best we can.


Nick looked pretty sleek, right?  Nice outfit.

Reminds me…I need another suit.  One that fits well.  I have a really nice sportcoat outfit, but still…a good suit can go a long way, right?

The best judges in the business?  Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne, and Howard Stern?  Well, ok…


Reveal 1

Shanice and Maurice Hayes, All That!, Lightwire Theater

Three good acts here.  I tend to agree with Howie on the Hayes act.  Shanice, go and be a start.  Then, cut an album with your father.  All That!?  Like ’em, but just too much competition this year.

And Lightwire?  Well you’re spectacular.  No doubt about it.  As I said, I’d see you tomorrow.  In Vegas.  Tomorrow.

Sharon said this one was a “really tough call.”  Do you agree?  I think Lightwire is the incredible act here.

America has voted……..thanks to my cable company you already know…… know it’s going to be……………

Lightwire Theater!  Well, that was anticlimactic.  Too bad I saw the last 2 minutes of this the other night.


Reveal 2

Jacob Williams, David Garibaldi and His CMYK’s (not sure what Nick said), and Sebastien “El Charro de Oro”

There are some good acts in this group.  But for me?  Garibaldi.  I love his act.  I really love what he does and find it very creative and exciting.

Williams didn’t have the greatest act the other night, but I love his schtick.  Sebastien is great.  But David Garibaldi?  Just too good.

Who will it be…who will it be…I mean, I know who it will be, but will it be the same in reruns?????  (You know I’m kidding, right?)

And in the end….David Garibaldi.

Had to be.  Just too great.  Too too great.  I think he could have a Gallagher-type thing going.  Getting paint on the first few rows?  High drama.  High entertainment.  High dry cleaning bills.  People coming out of the theater covered in paint.  Nice.

What’s not so nice is that the player just crashed, so I had to start over and watch the same exact Verizon commercial two more times.  That’s right.  The same commercial twice, in case you missed it the first time.  Ugh.


And then?  I fast fowarded…and guess what?  The same commercial.  Again.  Twice.  Ah, the modern age.  Isn’t this a magical time in which we live?  At least the second commercial was different.

Anyway, where were we?

Ah, yes.  AGT.  I’m going to skip the music acts.  And the Orville Lounge.  Hope you don’t mind.  Twelve-year-olds singing “We’re Not Gonna Take It?”  I’m sure it’s great but…I don’t want to watch the same commercials again….

I’m not gonna watch it………anymore!


One of the commercials was for a pasta sauce.  I’m going to make some pasta now, but specifically use a different sauce.

That’s my way of taking a stand!


Reveal 3

Clint Carvalho and His Extreme Parrots, Olate Dogs, All Wheel Sports

My pick out of this group?  Olate Dogs.  The others are interesting, for sure, but there’s something about savant dogs that really makes me take notice…perhaps because the dog I had in my young life wasn’t quite so…able to do tricks.

America’s choice?  Olate Dogs.

Sharon was thrilled, for sure.  I think this is her pick to take it all this season.


Reveal 4

Tim Hockenberry, The Magic of Puck, The Untouchables

I really like Hockenberry.  Love his voice.  The soul in his music.  Imagine was a great choice.  The Untouchables?  Fantastic.  These kids are truly amazing.  I mean, I know the result, but I just have to say it.

The choice?  The Untouchables.  Who are apparently “over” the crying.

Love this act.  Looking forward to seeing them again.

Train is up after the break.

But for me?  Fast forward.  Sorry Train.  Can’t risk more insanity commercial-wise.


Wow.  So trying to fast forward made the thing start over.  Then I had to learn how to make chicken parm with mayo (ick!) and learned some more things about my gasoline and phone service.

But finally finally finally….


The first spot in the semifinals.  We have Garibaldi, The Untouchables, Olate Dogs, and Lightwire Theater.

The first to move on to the finals?

The Untouchables.

Wow.  How great is that?  They say sometimes picking a favorite act is like picking your favorite child…I guess that’s really true here.

The second act moving on to the finals?

Olate Dogs.

Another good pick.

Unfortunately…that leaves two amazing acts for the judges’ choice.  Who would your pick be out of these two?  Garibaldi and Lightwire.

That’s rough.  I love both of these acts.  If they were an act together, well…blockbuster.


Sharon said, “This should never have happened….a travesty.”  She’s right.  It really is.  But in the end, she choice Lightwire.

Howie?  He agrees with Sharon.  Both million-dollar acts.  Both creative acts.  Both amazing.  But in the end, Howie went with David Garibaldi–not better, not more worthy–just a choice.

Howard Stern?  The tie breaker.  Not a fun position here.  He said Garibaldi stumbled a bit last night.  I’m not sure I agree, but…y’know….Stern said he would go and pay money right now to see Garibaldi, so he picked him…and put him through.

I think this was the right choice.  Not because Lightwire theater isn’t mindbending, but because Garibaldi is so different.  So unlike anything we’ve seen on the show.  I think he brings something really different.

But Lightwire?  We’ll be seeing you on the Vegas strip soon.


So, it’s going to be a great finals.  Some creativity, some dance, some comedy, some well-trained animals.

This is what we love here at Nobody Nation.  A great group of acts that no one knew about a few months ago.  Now?  They’re standing tall on the biggest stage.

Who will get the million?

We’ll find out together…assuming my cable company can get it together.


9/4/12 America’s Got Talent Is the Second Semifinal–Who Is Moving Closer to a Million Dollars?

Another semifinal is on–9/4/12 America’s Got Talent.

Oh, and a one-hour interruption for the Democratic National Convention.  Sorry about the politics, but there’s nothing to be done about it!

I will do my best to be here live!  But you know the write-up will appear at some point, so…terrific!

[We here at Nobody’s View have a soft spot for America’s Got Talent.  Why? Well, contestants on the show are our kind of folks.  Just regular people like you and me who get to live their dream.  Getting their moment in the sun.  People doing what they feel they were born to do.  Hard to argue with that!  And, judging by the thousands of you who join me here each season, well, I think you agree!  Welcome to the LIVE Nobody’s View America’s Got Talent 2012 blog.]

So, here I am.  Have been dealing with a major issue, but found some time to blog.  Turned on the DVR (had to tape it) and discovered that the 9/4/12 AGT that was supposed to tape was actually the Democratic National Convention.  So, cable company said one thing in the listing and NBC had other plans.

Let’s see where we are here.  Can I recover the show from the bowels of the DVR?  Hang on….


Ah, miracle!

Somehow, my DVR gave me the whole lost gap of time.  So, let’s say goodbye to politics (who cares anyway) and get on with it…

Did you see the microphones they had at the end of the DNC broadcast?  Brian Williams looked like he was holding a giant ice cream cone rocket.  We live in an age of phone with computers, but mics are still huge…go figure.

Anyway, here we are with the second semifinal.

Tonight’s acts?

All Wheel Sports, Shanice & Maurice Hayes, All That!, Sebastien “El Charro De Oro”, The Magic of Puck, Jacob Williams, David Garibaldi & His CMYK’s, The Untouchables, Clint Carvalho & His Extreme Parrots, Tim Hockenberry, Olate Dogs, Lightwire Theater.

There are your 12 acts.  Some good acts there.  Haven’t seen some of them in a while!  It’ll be nice to see Hockenberry and Williams again, as well as Garibaldi and Lightwire Theater.

So, we won’t get to see the Howie Mandel eyebrow sweep, the Sharon Osbourne heart, or the Howard Stern…insanity hands…much longer.

I’m glad they read the blog, y’know?  It got them to really focus on their hand gestures.  That’s why we all tune in, right?  We tune in to see Howie sweep his brow.

Anyway, act 1.  All That!  Do you like this act?  Do you think they should be here?  Cannon says they’re going to take a “big risk” tonight.  Will any risk be enough of a risk to move on?

Started with one guy.  A feature guy.  Then three.  Then four until all 8 were going at it pretty good.

Then, some of them danced with fire on their feet.  Interesting.  Then water.  Ah, the great clogging metaphors of old.  Don’t you remember studying clogging metaphors in your Greek mythology class?  The ancient cloggers of Delphi and Athens who danced with fire on their feet before jumping into a pool of…forget it.

Did you like the act?  Are you a cloggin’ fan?  Or a floggin’ can?

Sharon loved it.  Howie?  Said it was “one dimensional.”  Stern?  Somewhere in the middle.

What did you think?


Act 2

Sebastien, “El Charro De Oro.”  I really like this act.  This kid has the voice and the maturity.  He’s got it all.

He really nailed it tonight.  He picked a song in his vocal wheelhouse, and the dancer was a nice addition.  The harp was pretty cool too (am I the first person to ever use that sentence?).  It was the whole entertainment package tonight.

The judges seemed to like it as well.  And why not?  Kid’s livin’ the dream.  Kid’s makin’ it real.



Next act?  The Magic of Puck.

He had Howard autograph a handkerchief, then made it float toward him.  He tied it to another assistant who got on a table.  He covered her in a sheet, levitated her, then made her reappear in another box.  She still had the handkerchief on her wrist.

Stern said “well done” and thanked him for the bigger act.  Sharon loved it as well.  Howie made the “magic” appeal, and now it’s up to America.


Next, Clint Carvalho & His Extreme Parrots.

This is an interesting act.  We’re getting more daredevil Kitty tonight.  Remember that first act?  Pretty impressive.  But can he build on that?

Well, we got some flying.  Some hopping.  Some mail in the mailbox.  And a totally unscripted, off-the-cuff, surprise plug for 7up.

Judges?  Well, they didn’t think it was necessarily worth $1 million.  Do you think a bird act is worth the money?  Are you voting for Clint and Kitty?


Jacob Williams is next.  I like this schtick and have been looking forward to seeing this again.

So, he wants to trade the day job for comedy.  Ah, don’t we all?  Good for him.  I hope he gets his wish.  We can live vicariously through him.

I have to agree with Howie’s comments.  Jacob is the act…the awkward act who is who he is.  There has to be a place for people to be who they are…and to get paid for it!  Imagine what that would be like!  I mean, I’d probably be poor, but still….getting paid for who we are.

Nobody Nation could be rich…as long as we pooled our money together.


Next?  A musical duo–Shanice and Maurice Hayes.

This is a sweet act.  Something about a daughter and father duo…even when he uses the phrase, “kick her out of the nest.”  Families are families folks, even on AGT.

I liked their performance tonight.  The backup singers were a nice touch.  Added a whole new dimension to the act.  But yes, she is the star of the show when she’s on stage.  Powerful pipes.

Stern wanted more Shanice.  He insists she’s the star and should be more front and center.

Howie?  He was insistent on it.


All Wheel Sports is up next.

Energy.  Bikes.  Craziness.  Potential for disaster.

Do you like acts like this?

I’m already nursing a headache, and those flashing lights didn’t help.  The lights on the wheels were a nice touch, and the darkness was interesting.

Danger.  Will America go for danger?

Howie loved it.  Howard not so much.

Can’t tell.  Does it end here or do they move on?


Tim Hockenberry.  I like this guy.  I love his voice.  I’ve been waiting to see this act again for a long time.  Another great story of a person who almost gave up on a dream, but kept on pushing.

That’s what it’s about!

Tonight he tried his rendition of Imagine.  A tall order for any singer, but I liked his rendition arranged with cello.

I agree with Sharon–simplicity.  That’s so terrific.  She’s right.  No lights, no crazy.  Just a guy singing along with cello and piano.  Howard gave high praise, and I think it was well-deserved.


So, football is on its way back.  Are you excited?  I’m a Browns fan, so “excitement” is a strong word, but football…yeah….

Anyway, next?  The Untouchables.

I love this act.  These kids are incredible.  How old is the oldest?  Thirteen?  Wow.

Tonight looked incredibly difficult technically.  These kids are incredible.  The lifts, the costume changes, the synchronicity.  I can’t even put on my shoes without creating an international incident.  What’s that about?

But The Untouchables?  A well-deserved standing O.

The judges couldn’t say enough.  And what is there to say?  Young kids living the dream is good currency here at Nobody’s View, as much as anyone else.

Never too young.  Never too old.  It’s all just right.

Exuberance, folks.  It’ll carry you.


Another great variety act, folks.  Olate Dogs.  Otherwise known as Olate-more-intelligent-than-the-writer-of-this-blog-Dogs.  Seriously.  That’s their second name.  Catchy, right?  I know!

So, how great was a jump roping dog?

And how mind bending was Bella’s last trick with all the trips and flops and craziness?  Amazing.

I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing these dogs again.  Howard’s right.  If Olate Dogs don’t get into the finals, well…it’ll be a bigger crime than Dittelman not moving on.

And that was a crime.


Now another great act.  Lightwire Theater.  This is a terrific act.  Remember the bird performance?  I’d love to see that again.

But tonight?  Apparently “dangerous” and “epic” are on order.

We started with a cat.  Then what appeared to be dinosaurs with light sabers.  Was that what that was?  Who cares?  It was cool.  The slow motion effects were terrific.  And when you think that they have to keep re-creating and re-creating, it gets even more incredible.

I feel it’s a million dollar act.  I’d see it live tomorrow.

As long as Dittelman opens for them.


Last but not least?

David Garibaldi and His CMYK’s.  I’m not a fan of that apostrophe, but hey, I’m home and they’re painting for millions, so…who cares about my grammar preferences, right?


They wasted little time getting messy and acrobatically crazy.  Flashing lights, moving pictures, smeared paint.

In the end?  The Statue of Liberty.

This is an amazing show.  I love it.  I could watch it for hours.  It’s incredibly creative and the puzzle element makes it even more incredible.

Garibaldi really is the complete package.


So, who is your choice?  How will we only pick three?  How will that be possible?!?

Well, it’ll happen.

Who are your choices?


8/29/12 Is the America’s Got Talent First Semifinal Results: Great Night…Impossible Choice…Did Your Favorite Make It Through?

8/29/12 is the results show for what was a very stacked night last night on America’s Got Talent–the first semifinal show.

Did your favorite make it that far? Will they make it to the next level?

Thanks for joining us here at Nobody’s View for the results!  LIVE at 9pm in the West.

Let’s get started.

[We here at Nobody’s View have a soft spot for America’s Got Talent.  Why? Well, contestants on the show are our kind of folks.  Just regular people like you and me who get to live their dream.  Getting their moment in the sun.  People doing what they feel they were born to do.  Hard to argue with that!  And, judging by the thousands of you who join me here each season, well, I think you agree!  Welcome to the LIVE Nobody’s View America’s Got Talent 2012 blog.]

So, before the show I watched that Survivorman show.  You know that guy, right?  Les Stroud?  He films himself.  Survives by himself.  No camera crew.  Nothing.  Now that’s a talent right?  The episode I saw was a two-parter…surviving on a desert island in Mexico.  Pretty cool.

Now, which of our acts will survive tonight?  (Neat segue, huh?)

How great was last night?  I spoke to some people I know who watch the show and they all agree that the person who put last night’s lineup together should be fired.  Immediately.  Too many great acts in one night.  Not fair.

But here we are.  And as you know, nobody listens to us here at Nobody Nation.  Heck, that’s how we got our name!

But that’s okay.  We speak our minds anyway.

I actually turned on the very end of the last-night recap and got to see Tom Cotter again.  Funnier the second time.  Love this guy’s act.  Sharon, Howie, and Howard all agreed as well.  Who’d a thunk it?  Tom Cotter is the AGT messiah.  Is it possible?

Did he make it to the finals?


So, do we really have to do this?  Do we really have to send away some great talent?  Ah, the bittersweet symphony that is America’s Got Talent.  (That’s a great song, by the way…Bittersweet Symphony.)

So, Steve Harvey came on stage to do…something.  I donno.  Give his thoughts.  Apple time?  No.  Not yet.  I hear there’s a music act on tonight, so as you all know, that’s when I’ll be snacking.

Oh…there it is.  A plug for some new show or something.  Can I get on AGT and plug my books?


The four acts that got the most votes are getting revealed tonight, then we discover who moves on.


Reveal 1

Turf, Joe Castillo, The Scott Brothers

I really like Joe Castillo from this group.  Not that the other two aren’t great, but still…I’ve never seen anything like Castillo.  Sand.  Pictures.  Too cool.

But anyway, the first of tonight’s top four acts is…Joe Castillo.

Wow.  Nice.  I think that’s a good pick.  I think people are really taken by his unique act.  Sharon sure seems to be.  And the berets?  Well, that’s just the frosting on the Joe Castillo brownie, right?

I have a feeling I’ll be seeing Castillo live on stage before I wear a beret.  Still, stranger things have happened….

Turf, wherever you go next, keep being great.  You reminded America how badly you wanted this, but somehow, I have a feeling you’ll be known even though you didn’t win AGT.

I guess sometimes we chase fame, and sometimes fame finds us.


After the break?  You guessed it.  A totally unscripted and surprise visit to the Orville lounge.  Yup.  That’s right.  Just popping in for a surprise visit out of nowhere.

Ha!  Popping….

Anyway, moving on.


Reveal 2

Andrew De Leon, William Close, Academy of Villains

Well, looking at this group, I have a feeling that one of my favorites won’t be moving on.  De Leon.  Too bad.  I mean, I love William Close’s act, but…De Leon speaks/sings for a whole lost group who feels no one values them or what they do.

But the reveal hasn’t happened…am I right?  Is it Close?  Howie seems to think all these acts should be going through.  Do you agree?

Anyway, the next act going through is…William Close.  And that’s probably the right choice.  This guy could easily take his act to Vegas tomorrow and be ready to go on a 10 year contract.  He’s that talented and that polished.

Howard Stern said he’s “pleased” because Close “shines” and is an original showman…a headliner.  I agree.  Hard to argue.


Donovan & Rebecca, Todd Oliver, Edon

Yet another great group.  A truly incredible acrobatic/artistry duo, a fantastic comedian, and a terrific singer.

I can’t predict this one.

But America spoke (is texting “speaking”?) and the next act is……………Todd Oliver.


Howie says that “variety” is winning.  He’s right.  That’s nice to see.  It’s not always singers.  Sometimes there’s room for something else!

Maybe my throat-playing ability has a place on the stage after all.

Whaddya think?

And don’t worry.  My throat does turn red while I do that, but it doesn’t hurt.  Actually, I’ll wear a turtleneck while I do it.

Wait…where was I?  Oh, yes…AGT.  Variety.  One commercial break closer to an apple.


Okay.  The break is over and now?  Everybody Talks…which apparently is some platinum-selling thing by Neon Trees.

You know what else everybody does?  Or, should I say–you know what else Nobody does?

Eats a snack.

See you in a few….


Right.  Great.  Everyone done talking?  Apparently everybody does it.  I didn’t know that until Neon Trees told me….

So, anyway, on to….


Reveal 4

Tom Cotter, Bria Kelly, Eric Dittelman

I’m sad.  Two favorites are here.  Cotter and Dittelman.  I can’t believe both of these acts aren’t moving on.  Too bad.

Hey guys…I still say you should both team up and go on the road.  Incredible act.  Comedy.  Mind tricks.  Genius.

But for now?  Only one of you is going on.

And that act is?

Tom Cotter.

I have to say…I’m crushed Dittelman isn’t going on.  Maybe America just couldn’t believe Dittelman.  Couldn’t believe his act was real.

Dittelman, I’m sorry.

But Cotter?  You’re great too.  If you go through, I can’t wait to see your next set.

I learned tonight that, apparently, everybody talks.  But not everybody can get up in front of millions of people and make ’em laugh.  You can.  You rock.


So, how about the commercial that tells us if we aren’t whitening, we’re getting yellow…or something like that.  And not the good kind of Coldplay Yellow.  The tooth yellowing yellow

Y’know what I say to that?  From the moment we’re born, we’re on our way out.  I think a little yellow on my teeth may not be my primary concern.

But then again…I’m no expert on anything, so what the heck to I know?


William Close, Todd Oliver, Tom Cotter, and Joe Castillo

That’s your top four.  First act moving to the finals?

William Close.

That one was an easy call, no?  Yes.

The second act going to the finals?

Tom Cotter.

Again, another good call.  Can’t wait to see his next comedy set.  If it’s half as good as last night, it’ll still be freakin’ hysterical.

Now?  The judges pick between Castillo and Oliver.

Who would you pick?

Well, after the break the judges had to make their decision.

Howard said he was “definite” about this.  He said Castillo may have run his course.  Stern said Oliver has been building each week, so he picked Todd Oliver & Irving.

Sharon said Oliver has been “upping” his game.  She said Castillo brings “heart and emotion” to the show.  I love the idea of Castillo and Close working together. So, it was down to Howie.

Howard and Sharon made their appeal, but in the end it was Joe Castillo moving on.

So there it is.  William Close, Joe Castillo, and Tom Cotter.

Is that what you expected going in?

I wanted Dittelman, but somehow, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of him.

Be sure to join us next week for more AGT, but check in through the week for more opinion from Nobody’s View!

8/28/12 America’s Got Talent Is Going to Be Big; the Semifinals Are Stacked and America Has to Choose

8/28/12 will be an incredible night of talent.  How will America choose?

Sorry we’re a little late tonight.  Had some stuff I had to do.  So, I’m just settling in now.  How’s it been?  Wait, don’t tell me.  I’m about to join Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, and Nick Cannon…and…you…and we’ll see.

Enjoy, Nobody Nation!

[We here at Nobody’s View have a soft spot for America’s Got Talent.  Why? Well, contestants on the show are our kind of folks.  Just regular people like you and me who get to live their dream.  Getting their moment in the sun.  People doing what they feel they were born to do.  Hard to argue with that!  And, judging by the thousands of you who join me here each season, well, I think you agree!  Welcome to the LIVE Nobody’s View America’s Got Talent 2012 blog.]

So, the semifinals.  I see as I’m fast-fowarding on the DVR here that part of the Republican National Convention preempted AGT.  It’s nice to be able to fast forward politics, don’t you think?

Let’s get away from the whole political spectrum where dreams seem to consist of money, power, and pain, and get to what matters: talent!

Who’s up tonight?  Ah, yes.  The crazy night of talent.  The impossible voting night.  The stacked competition.  It’s Turf, Edon, The Scott Brothers, Eric Dittelman, Bria Kelly, Todd Oliver & Irving, Tom Cotter, Joe Castillo, Academy of Villains, Andrew De Leon, Donovan & Rebecca, William Close.

Good luck.  Who put all of these acts together?!?  There’s at least 6 in here that could go through blind, no vote.

Only three move on from tonight to the finals.  To the Venetian.


First up?  Andrew De Leon.  I really like this act, but then again, you know that Nobody Nation.  You know we love the loner-to-opera story.  He’s up against some crazy good competition tonight, no?  Yes.

“Ave Maria” came out of nowhere.  Sounded great to my untrained ear.  I mean, what do I know?  I’m still trying to learn Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” on my guitar.  Imagine trying to sound like him.  (I can’t!).

But De Leon?  Sounded great.  Love the act.

But the judges had some criticism.  Some of it is fair–he doesn’t have formal training and he does have a different look.  But that’s what makes him a Nobody Nation favorite.


Up next?  A man and his dog: Todd Oliver & Irving.

This act was terrific last week.  Incredible.  If it’s just as good this week?  Well, he may just squeeze through.

He had a whole talk show set tonight!  Looked like Leno.  But the material was fresh.  It was now.  It was really funny.  I could watch this act for a long time.  It really is clever.

The judges loved it, as well.  They especially loved the “Tonight Show”-ish originality.

Good job, Todd Oliver.


So, they’re showing poll results at the bottom of the screen for the Republican and Democratic primaries here.  Talk about a buzz kill.

Good lord.

Anyway, back to the show.

Up next?  A husband and wife gymnastic duo–Donovan & Rebecca.  They said they took up acrobatics late in life, going from dancing and singing to pure artistic strength.  Tonight?  Features Rebecca’s strength.

They really are impressive.  The strength and danger is at a really high level.  Is it enough to compete with comics and singers?  America will decide.

But I agree with Stern.  It is a “spectacular” act, and Rebecca’s strength is amazing, but…will it translate to the TV audience?  Howie seems to think it should be one of the AGT 3 from tonight.  Do you agree?


Ah, the commercials fly by.  Isn’t that just the best?

So, we’re back with a young singer, Edon.  Another great act.  I wish I could play piano like this kid.  Check that…I wish I could play piano at all.  Ah, shoulda stuck with it.  Oh, well.  I have the guitar.

But anyway, back to Edon.  Living the dream.  Loving what he does.  Lucky guy!  Tonight he went for the votes with One Direction’s “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful.”  Can’t blame him, can you?

How is anyone going to decide on which three to put through?  This is impossible.  Who organized this night?

Anyway, Howie and Sharon loved it.  Howard?  No so much.  But listen, Edon: ignore that.  It’s noise.  You were terrific tonight.  I can’t say I’m a One Direction fan, but your rendition was great.

That being said, if someone threatened me and forced me to name another One Direction song?  Well…

Let’s just say it would be a bad day for me.


Next?  The Scott Brothers–mirrored dancing.  That hat trick they did a while ago was spectacular.  Remember that?  They said the routine tonight is more technical and precise.

And it was.

This act is so freakin’ watchable, y’know?  It’s mesmerizing.  Howard said he thinks people might be getting “fatigued” by the act.  I’m not sure I agree with that.  Every time I see it, I enjoy it.  But I do agree with Sharon–this is a tough week.


Next up?  Illusionist Eric Dittelman.  So, how about this act?  Dittelman.  The Dittelman.  Love it.  This guy is a million dollar act.  He’s out there on a limb right now.  Living at home.  Trying to make it.  I think he will.

He involved Stern tonight.  He told Stern to pick up a colored marker and color in his face on the Stern self-portrait.  Then the glasses.  Then the hair.  Then add some devil horns, a goatee, and moustache.  Then he got all of America at home.  He had us imagine a triangle inside of a circle and a lot of people in the audience said they guessed that.  Then, Dittelman revealed that he, in fact, colored in a picture the same way Stern did.  Wow.

Love this act.  I want to see it NOW, in Vegas. Right now.  I want to buy tickets.

He says he has a “finale” planned for the last show.  I can’t wait to see that!  Absolutely cannot wait.

Forget Republican and Democrat.  VOTE DITTELMAN!


Now?  Turf.  You know him.  You’ve seen him.  You’ve cringed when it looks like he’s popping his shoulders out.  But you gotta admit, he’s great.  And he wants this.

He’s been dancing on the streets for years, and now he has to have the performance of his life.  He says that tonight, he’s going to push his comfort zone and “jump out” a bit more into dancing.

He’s great.  But is it enough?  Lots of love from Howie and Sharon.  Will America give the love?


We’re back

A singer–Bria Kelly–from the YouTube competition.

She was a standout on that show, and she has a great voice.  I’m disappointed she didn’t have the band tonight, but she still gave a great performance.  Whether it’s enough to get through?  Not sure.

But here’s another act that should be making its way to the Disney Channel.  Just sayin’…but then again, Disney doesn’t listen to me.  And why should they?


Disney aside, here comes a favorite of mine: Joe Castillo. He’s a sand artist, and it’s just fantastic.

Do you like the beret?  Are you a beret fan?

He says he wants to tell “epic” stories that can change people’s lives.  And I think he’s probably done that a few times in his life.

He made doves, then turned them into shaking hands.  Brilliant.  Then he created a child’s portrait with a brilliant sun.  Beautiful.  Then that sun was transformed into another person, with a hug.  Was it Jesus?  Who knows?  It looked great.

Do you agree with Stern?  Is it similar each time, or is it something new and wonderful to your eye?

I could watching this for a long time.  Love the act.

Oh, and love Castillo’s plea for peace.

That’s worth a few votes!


Next is William Close and his Earth Harp Collective.  I love this act.  The sound is mind-bending.  Last time he was on, the judges went nuts, pledging their own money to produce his show.  I can’t blame them.  It gave me chills.

Tonight he played…his significant other.  Then he had a guy playing a double guitar.  Then he jumped to his incredible harp.

This guy is a whole production.  Everything.  The whole package.  Voice.  Rhythm.  String.  Charisma.  It can’t miss.

Howie called him the “favorite.”  Then Sharon went on and on about his professionalism (she’s right).  And Stern agreed.

Look, folks.  The guy has a passion and has created an empire of creativity out of it.  Good lesson for us all.  Do what you do with gusto!

Even if it’s a harp!


Now?  Comic Tom Cotter.  Cotter has clearly been influenced by his father who may not have “agreed” with Cotter’s professional choice, but has supported him nonetheless.  Love that.

Cotter had Howie pick a topic: College.  Then, he went off on a hysterical rant of college-related one-liners.



Really clever.  All I can say is, “Dang it!  Why is he on on this incredible night!?!”  Cotter and Dittelman need to team up and hit the road together.  I know a slew of people who’d pay to see it tomorrow.

Tom Cotter, you rocked it.


The final act?  Academy of Villains.

How great were they on the YouTube show?  The red gloves were a stroke of genius.

One of their dancers got a broken kneecap during rehearsal, forcing a re-do of the show.  Ouch.  How will they do?

Incredible.  As you know, I’m not always a huge dance crew fan, but they are spectacular.  They’re a show ready to go.  I agree with Sharon.  Unique.  Exciting.  I actually want to see them week to week.

Stern said he got a little bored.  Sharon disagreed big time.  What’s your take?


Well, it was a tough week for the acts.

And it was a long day for me.

So, I’m heading for bed and America’s heading for the phones.

Tomorrow?  The results.