Category: America’s Got Talent

Last night, we watched the culmination the summer’s top rated show crown a new winner. And, boy, it was a doozy. Michael Grimm, the soulful crooner from Mississippi, was chosen over the seemingly unstoppable 10 year old Opera sensation, Jackie Evancho.

Here is a replay of Michael’s final performance from Tuesday.

The finale was actually pretty good. Not TWO HOURS worth of finale… really, did we need the Goo-Goo Dolls?… but still pretty good.  The four finalists got to perform with their idols. Prince Poppycock sang “Last Dance” with Donna Summer. I thought they would have really made a good pairing at Studio 54 back in the day. Michael Grimm performed “Me and Bobby McGee” with Jewel. That was a good performance, and Jewel was looking quite smashing in that purple jumpsuit. Fighting Gravity performed an entertaining routine as Lionel Ritchie sang “Dancing on the Ceiling.” and young Jackie cemented her position as Sarah Brightman’s heir apparent as they performed “Time to Say Goodbye” together.

We also had a lovely performance by the reject all-stars. Oh, yes, we got to remember why some men should not wear spandex and that dancing eyebrows really ARE creepy…. really… THEY.ARE.CREEPY.  But the creme de la creme performance came courtesy of Nick, who brought back Spongetta Parrish to sing her self-penned song “Studio”…yes, you are already singing it, aren’t you. “Up in my studio. Stu-dio… up in my stu-dio… ” hehehe… good.  The big surprise was when T-Pain came out and performed with her. I have to admit… if anyone could do something with that song, it’s T-Pain. Just sayin’.

And, just because I love you all…. here is Spongetta’s performance. You will thank me later.

As to the results, I have to admit, I was pissed that Prince Poppycock came in fourth place. I truly blame Piers for this result. Piers buzzed Poppycock during his performance of “Nussun Dorma”. Called it self-indulgent. Bull… it was a beautiful performance and not deserving of being buzzed. I really didn’t appreciate Piers saying he should have buzzed Poppycock 10 seconds earlier last night, either. That was rude. You. Do.Not.Mess.With.The.Poppies. We do not forget…

Imagine my happy surprise when I heard Michael’s name called. It tickled me to see the joy and excitement on his face… he truly didn’t know what to say, he was so excited. I am happy for him… and I am happy that he will be able to give back to the grandparents who gave so much to him. It really was a heartwarming moment.

So, all in all… a very good season for America’s Got Talent. I love this show. More than American Idol.  Yes, singers have won almost every time, but we STILL get the hope of variety and we get to see people of all ages and walks of life live their dreams. That gives me hope that my dreams are still worth chasing… and I can’t wait for next season and the new batch of dreamers to come through.


And then there were 4. Tonight’s America’s Got Talent results show was a nail biter. Oh, sure, we knew one person was a shoe-in: Jackie Evancho. Short, 10, sings like a 30 year old. Yeah, her.  But we’ll get to that in a sec. Let’s go in order, shall we?

First to be called up were my absolute favorites, Prince Poppycock and Michael Grasso. I ADORED both of these guys. I was pulling sooooooooo hard for both of them to go through and to see them together SUCKED. I was hoping Nick would say both went through… but alas, there was only one…. and it was POPPYCOCK!!!!! I’m a Poppy. I squealed like a school girl; but that squee was tinged with sadness. I am going to miss that handsome devil of a magician… but I think he will have a show in Vegas. He is THAT good.

Next two acts called center stage were Michael Grimm and Taylor Mathews. I thought that was interesting. You can never count out the tween and teen femal vote in these things.  The stars aligned, though, and I felt the redeeming announcement of Michael Grimm going through to the finals.

I have to admit, it was funny watching Michael and Le Poppycock standing side by side… Lovely juxtaposition of manhood there… and I was digging every bit of it.

The next acts up were Jeremy VanSchoonhoven and Christina and Ali. I was thinking one of two things: Major upset or neither of the acts were going through. Much to my delight, it was the latter. Gave me that much more hope for Fighting Gravity to make it through.

Now we’re back to Jackie Evancho. I will admit this to everyone here: I’m not a fan. She can sing, yes… she’s cute, sure. I just don’t have the emotional attachment to her that I do to Prince Poppycock or Fighting Gravity or the two Michaels. But I digress…

Jackie gets called to the stage with another act. Now, it was going to suck for whatever act was called with her because that would be like a death knell sounding. Well, the act that got to hear the bell toll was none other than the other kid act, Anna and Patryk. I actually held out hope for a second that the dancers would pull the upset after recovering masterfully from Anna’s fall last night. Well, I can’t get that lucky. Jackie went through.

That left Fighting Gravity and Studio One Young Beast Society fighting for the last spot. I don’t even have to tell you how much of a non-surprise this result was…. Fighting Gravity takes the last spot.

I know everyone is calling it for Jackie to win this. But I really think that Prince Poppycock and Fighting Gravity have the more Vegas worthy shows. And let us not count out Michael Grimm. He has a MASSIVE following, major YouTube hits and the ladies love him. It is going to be a horserace and I, for one, cannot wait.

Oh, and one more thing:


I had to throw that one in there. Just sayin’.

Well, we are down to the Top 10 on America’s Got Talent.

1. Prince Poppycock

2 Michael Grimm

3. Jeremy VanSchoonhoven

4. Christina and Ali

5. Michael Grasso

6. Anna and Patryk

7. Jackie Evancho

8. Studio 1 Young Beast Society

9. Fighting Gravity

10. Taylor Mathews

This is an interesting Top 10. This season, instead of the Top 10 leading directly to the winner; the top 10 leads to a Top 4 which will then crown the winner of the 1 million dollars and headline show in Vegas.

We see a lot of singers in this Top 10. Half the acts sing. What will be curious to see is whether Jackie Evancho will ride her current popularity all the way    to the winner’s circle again the more “Gaga”esque Prince Poppycock.

Can Jackie win it all on "Talent"?

Will Prince Poppycock be the last Opera singer standing?

But what about Michael Grimm? He has been EXTREMELY popular on YouTube and it will be tough to beat the bluesy sound, good looks, and heart tugging story.

Maybe Michael's future won't be Grimm on "Talent"...

There are some dark horses in this contest, though. First up is Michael Grasso. I loved him in both original auditions and was ticked off when the judges didn’t send him to the Top 48. Well… I must have not been the only one ticked off. Michael was brought back in the wild card round and proceeded to WOW everyone with his slick presentations and stunning illusions. I LOVE Michael Grasso and I would not be sad AT ALL to see a magician– THE Hollywood staple– win it all on Talent.

Can Michael Grasso pull a win out of his hat on "Talent"?

The only other act that really has a chance to make things challenging for Evancho are the college variety act Fighting Gravity. This group is incredibly unique and they have been able to change up their routine each time. I expect tonight’s performance will be just as good… and will make for an interesting vote.

Can this variety act defeat the singers on "Talent"?

As for the other acts, I don’t see them making the Top 4–unless Christina and Ali’s story is enough to sway the voters to take away from one of the front runners.

I don’t know about you all… but I am looking forward to tonight. This is one of the strongest Top 10 fields ever on this show; and tonight will be a true battle royale.

The remainder of my favorites have performed on America’s Got Talent and there were a few surprises in the results. All in all, though, the fan girl is pretty pleased with how things have turned out.

Here is the review:

Haspop performed in the third quarter final. He danced/mimed his way through his “autobiography”; and I have to admit, it was definitely better than the first audition. The way he moves is AMAZING. You wonder if he is human, because it is tough to find a human who can move like he does. Haspop is definitely a true contender to win this season and I am looking forward to seeing what else he brings to the table in the semis.

Debra Romer finally came into her own in her quarter final performance. She combined innocence and sex-kitten appeal and started to really look like a star. She easily passed through to the semis. I don’t see her winning this outright, but she will get some great exposure from being on the show.

CJ Dippa brought the house down with another one of his original creations during his quarter final performance. The problem with his act, and that of the other kid’s acts, is that America isn’t going to vote for them to win. I don’t think America wants to subject such young people to all of that pressure. CJ did not go through, but I think we will see more from him as he gets older. He has the dedication and the skill for it; and AGT was a very good first step in the right direction.

Strikers All Stars should have performed on a different night. Instead, they performed on the last quarter final night and went up against Prince Poppycock, Arc Attack,  Murray and more. Their performance was good, and on any other night, would have gotten them into the semis, but the talent was just too close to call on this last night of quarter finals, and the Strikers failed to move to the next round.

And, of course…

… there was my favorite royal, Prince Poppycock. I can’t tell you all enough how much I adore the Poppycock. He is so theatrical, and his voice is to die for. His is another unique presence on this show, and he has (as Piers says) the best technical voice on the show. He and Haspop are MADE for Vegas. I don’t know who I want to win more, so let’s just say I want to see these two as the last two acts standing. If that were to happen, I would be one thrilled fan girl.

If you want to read the play by plays of each week’s episode, jump on over to TV Warrior and catch up on my weekly reviews. Who knows, you might find some favorites of your own to root for.

This summer I have been writing weekly reviews for America’s Got Talent for I have written about some of my personal favorites for the Fan Girl Confessor; but I want to share with you, my wordpress peoples my weekly rundowns.  So, to help you all out if you have just started watching AGT, below is a link to all of my posts for the warrior.

DO feel free to poke around the warrior while you are there. There are a lot of good reviews. We celebrate the good on TV and mercilessly wish doom on shows that suck.

Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter  at Alexis_Rueal

America’s Got Talent

America's Got Talent judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel with host Nick Cannon

Some of our illustrious 14 were passed straight through to Hollywood. No second auditions were needed for Haspop, Future Funk, The  Strikers All Stars and Fighting Gravity. They joined six more acts ranging from a hula hooper to a cheer squad in filling the first 10 spots of the Top 48. I have to admit, this fan girl is feeling pretty proud of herself. I can spot talent… I ain’t gonna lie.

From this group, Future Funk and Fighting Gravity both performed live . Fighting Gravity made it on America’s Vote and Future Funk made it through from the judges’ vote. (Howie waited until the LAST second to make his mind up)

The rest of our top 14 had to try out a second time  in Vegas.  I will give a brief rundown:

Prince Poppycock: The Prince was sick and had almost lost his voice.  His second performance was good… not the greatest considering his illness, but it was enough to get him to the top 48 episodes (he still has not performed live as of this posting)

Carlos Aponte: He had a very good second performance, but the judges were unsure if he could handle the big stage and live shows. In the end, Carlos did NOT make the top 48. (I was EXTREMELY disappointed in this decision by the judges)

AscenDance: They did just as good on their second performance and were a shoe in for the top 48. They did perform live and added two more members to their troupe.  The judges were quite taken with their live performance and could see the start of a new art form. I admit, I can see it, too. It is breathtaking to watch their work.  They made it through to the semi-finals on America’s Vote.

Debra Romer: Debra did a very good job of getting over her nerves for her second audition. The judges thought she did a wonderful job during her Vegas audition and passed her through to the top 48. (she still has not performed live as of this posting)

CJ Dippa: This kid is still a player and he worked it yet again in his Vegas audition. The judges passed him through to the top 48. (He still has not performed live as of this posting)

Alice Tan Ridley: Alice has cemented her position as a front runner in this contest. She can totally TEAR UP anything she sings. She took on Tina Turner in Vegas and was sent through to the top 48. In her quarter final performance this week, she brought down the house with her take on “Midnight Train to Georgia” . Her getting sent through to the semi-finals was pretty much a foregone conclusion…

Michael Grimm: … as well as for this man. I see this contest coming down to a horse race between Michael and Alice. Michael did his thing in Vegas and cleaned up very nicely in his quarter final performance. Add to that, a soulful voice to die for and I have a feeling the women are going to fall all over him.  On top of that… he seems so humble and his love for his family is genuine. I look forward to seeing where Michael and Alice go from here. I think they both have wrote their own ticket, though. The people know them, now.

Nick Pike: This has been interesting for Nick. He did good in Vegas (juggling while blindfolded and walking on broken glass), but the judges did not send him through to the top 48. However, when the live shows started, we found out that Twisted Trystan and Krystan were not able to make the live shows– which means Nick was in. His live performance was okay… the judges were a little rough on him. Nick committed the cardinal sin of contestants, though… he talked back. The he went backstage and cussed about the judges. I lost quite a bit of respect for him after that. I think America did, too… he did not make it through to the next round. He DID, however, apologize to the judges.

New Directions Choir: I just adore this group. They are so inspirational and talented. Their Vegas performance was just as wonderful as their original performance, and I truly thought they were a shoe in for the top 48. Well… color the judges stupid on this one. They were passed over. What the hell?!?!?! I was epic pissed at this result. All I can hope for is that someone else dropped out and the judges saw the error of their ways… I can dream, you know.

Connor Doran: Conner was another one of my sentimental favorites. I loved his story and his indoor kite flying was absolutely divine. He performed in Vegas and I (again) was pulling for this young man to make it to the live shows… and (AGAIN) I was screwed over. Conner did not make it.  Yet… hand whistle lady (Sally Cohn) made it through  along with Ronith.

So there are the updates on my favorites. Just to show you the magnitude of the competition between Michael and Alice, I am adding in the video performances from their live show. It is going to be a tough contest this year. Too much talent…. and that is a good thing.

Sorry I haven’t been around too much.  I have been doing some  blogging on  As America’s Got Talent moves on to the Vegas round, I want to give you an idea of who you should be watching out for.  I admit, this is turning out to be a GREAT season so far. The judges have done a very good job of choosing quality acts to go to Vegas. I have a feeling it is going to be a tough choice to whittle these down to a top 40.  Her are my top acts so far:

1. Prince Poppycock— This store-clerk come singer is dramatic, talented and HIGHLY entertaining.   From the foppish aristocratic costume to the beautiful voice, I was enthralled with the Prince.  I had to watch and re-watch this performance the next day, I was so taken.  With the right music and costumes, I can see him going to top 3.  I am really looking forward to seeing what rabbits he pulls from his hat in the Vegas rounds.

2. Fighting Gravity— This is a performance dance group out of  Virginia Tech. The members are fraternity brothers, none of whom have had dance training.  They performed this wonderful black light, gravity defying dance routine that resembled a puppet show.  I was completely  impressed by the timing and the choreography of this group.  I think we could see even better from them and could make the top 5 to 10 of the show.

3.Carlos Aponte— We have this year’s Susan Boyle and his name is Carlos Aponte.  He is a young wedding singer from Puerto Rico; and at first blush you wouldn’t expect a whole lot from this unassuming man.  Yeah, you’d be wrong, too.  Carlos has a voice on him. It, and he, fill up the stage as the performance goes on.  Doesn’t hurt, either, that he’s a cutie. (fan girls notice these things) I could see him in top three or even winning this thing.  I can’t wait to see what he brings to Vegas.

4. Debra Romer— Debra is a 21 year old college student and waitress. She has one of those heartbreaking, yet hopeful tales that AGT (hell, ALL reality shows) LOVE.  She was a foster child who ran away from home at 17 and didn’t look back. She sang “Arms of an Angel” by Sarah McLaughlin.  I think Sarah Mac would have really liked Debra’s take on this song– even though Debra WAS nervous. There was a debate between Piers and the other two judges about how ready Debra is for the big stage. Howie had voted no and Sharon had to be convinced to vote yes. We will see if Debra can grow in presence to reach the top 40 this year.

5. Strikers All Stars– This is a hot dance group. They stem from the FAMU Strikers out of Florida A&M University.  These gentlemen have danced together for many years and were contestants on America’s Best Dance Crew.  This is truly one of the most talented dance groups I have seen in a long time. Their stepping and dancing was as tight as can be and the athleticism was a sight to behold. I can seen them going pretty far in this show.  Another act that I look forward to seeing more from.

6. Ascendance— This is an engaged couple who combine dance with rock wall climbing. I was skeptical, I admit; but after watching them, I was impressed.  They are graceful… and (DAMN!) athletic. This is also a very UNIQUE act. That could work very well for them as the contest moves on.  Should be interesting…

7. Nick Pike— Nick is a young British juggler who now lives in the US and performs his juggling act on cruise ships and the such. He has talent, wit (catch the Riverdance bit… hella funny), charm and he’s cute to boot.  Yes, he did drop one thing… but he juggled while on FIRE. He juggled a CHAINSAW. I know I will get some disagreements on Nick… but I enjoyed him and I REMEMBERED him. That is important in a show like this– who is memorable and who is not.  Those are the people that get the votes.

8. New Directions Choir– This is a choir made up of formerly homeless veterans from all branches of the armed forces.  Some members of this choir were homeless for one or two decades  before finding New Directions and rebuilding their lives. This act is GOOD… their a cappella was lovely and their stage presence was wonderful.  Seeing this choir reminds one that our veterans should NEVER.EVER. be forgotten.  I am hoping against all hope that this group goes far.  They are good enough for it. They deserve it.

9. Alice Tan Ridley– Another singer, and yet, not another singer.  This is Academy Award nominee Gabby Sidibe’s mother. Alice has raised her family, now she is chasing her dream of becoming a singer. She spent the past 20 years singing in the subway stations, entertaining the passers by. Well, she gets the big stage and she TORE IT UP. Her version of  “At Last” was superb and powerful… honestly, there aren’t enough adjectives to describe how good this lady is.  She has a great personality and stage presence, too.  Could definitely be a real contender.

10. HasPop– HasPop is a 32 year old dancer/mime originally from France.  His dance routine left everyone amazed. Piers had even said that he’d never ever seen  anything like that before.  I agree with that.  He uses his body very well. This dance is artistic AND entertaining.  The tempo changes are things of beauty…. and I have to give props to anyone who can use the song “Barbie Girl” and get away with it.  I see a top 10 for HasPop.

11. CJ Dippa– This is an 11 year old rapper and dancer. Yes… a mini-Eminem– except “Eminem can’t dance” (his words, not mine).  Thing is, though, he’s good.  He’s got the little swagger, he has the pre-teen ladies eating out of his hand.  I don’t see him winning, but he’ll be cute to watch for awhile. I do think that he will also get better as he gets older.

12. Conner Doran– Conner is a 16 year old who lives with epilepsy. Conner’s talent is indoor kite flying, which he does to take his mind off his health difficulties.  This act was beautiful.  It truly does take a lot of skill to fly a kite indoors and do so with the amount of choreography that Conner used in his performance. What was amazing is that the audience was spell bound. You could hear a pin drop during this performance.  The audience knew they were seeing something special and you will too once you watch.  I am hoping this kid goes far.

13. Future Funk– This is the most adorable kids act on this year’s AGT. These kids are 5 and 9 and they were gettin’ all funky with their little selves.  They are very good little break dancers.  And they are  cheek pinchinly cute, too.  I am excited to see what other routines these little guys give us.

14. Michael Grimm– Michael is a singer who seems to have stolen everybody’s heart. Almost a million hits on YouTube since his performance aired a month ago. He has it all. The backstory, the looks, the talent.  I think he is an easy lock for the top 40, and from early buzz, he might be the one to beat this season. His performance of  “You don’t know me” was smoking hot… and I don’t think we’ve seen everything he has to offer, either.  I have a feeling we are going to be in for a treat.

These are just the acts that have struck MY fancy.  I am sure you will have differing opinions. Please, feel free to write me and let me know.  Also,  come join me on Twitter by following  Alexis_Rueal. You name it, I’m usually tweeting about it.  I will keep everyone posted on this weeks Vegas editions of AGT. We’ll see how my top 14 acts do on the strip.

Til Then!


(fan-girl confessor)