America’s Got Talent Predictions – Quarterfinals – August 22-23, 2017

On August 22, 2017, NBC’s America’s Got Talent held its second quarterfinals live round for Season 12. The results will be announced live on August 23, 2017. After watching all of the performances, I made some predictions on who would advance. Below, I will include the acts that performed and my thoughts on how they did, and some thoughts on their odds of getting through to the semifinals. In all, 7 of the 12 acts advance. Last week, I predicted 5 of them only, as I felt that Puddles Pity Party and especially Just Jerk would advance.

Mandy Harvey:

This is the deaf singer. Although a lot of people moan about sob stories on AGT, the truth is that Mandy proved tonight that she deserves her spot. She sang well, and we found out that she is also a pretty good songwriter. Mandy wrote a song for her cousin’s wedding called “Mara’s Song.” It was written perfectly for her voice, and she hit a lot of beautiful notes that reminded me of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel.” I’m not saying it was that good. But Mandy earned her keep, and I believe she will easily advance to the next round.

Merrick Hanna:

The next act I believe will advance is Merrick Hanna. Although his robotic dancing moves are starting to get a little repetitive, Simon duly noted that he is a creative artist that keeps things fresh. His idea of playing a boy without a family worked great for a show like America’s Got Talent. Hanna is good, but he’s a few steps below Kenichi Ebina, who won the whole show a few seasons ago. Nonetheless, his storytelling and overall talent should be enough to at least get him to the semifinals. And when Simon says you deserve it, that usually means you are going to advance.

Johnny Manuel:

Johnny is very close to a surefire lock to advance from the quarterfinals to the semifinals and probably also to the finals. He sang “And I’m Telling You,” the song made famous by Jennifer Holliday and then more famous by Jennifer Hudson. This was a solid performance from a pure vocal perspective. I didn’t find it to have the kind of booming power as when a lot of others sing it. So from that perspective, I didn’t think it quite had the punch that the judges seemed to think it had. Nonetheless, this is a performance that is clearly deserving of a semifinal spot.

Pompeyo Family:

The Pompeyo Family has a dog act that is quite similar to Olate Dogs. Olate won the show and the million dollars a few seasons ago. I believe that it’s pretty objectively clear that Pompeyo’s dogs are not quite as good as the Olate bunch. Nonetheless, they are pretty close. And I think they have a great chance of advancing out of this round. My prediction is that they will advance. The dog tricks are some of the best I have seen. It just so happens that Olate is the best I have ever seen. So you can’t expect them to rise to that level. But a lot of voters probably won’t be comparing, anyway. Judged individually, which is probably what most voters do, I’d have to say that Pompeyo Family will probably advance to the semifinals.

The 4 that I strongly predict will make it are the acts mentioned above: Johnny Manuel, Mandy Harvey, Merrick Hanna, and Pompeyo Family.

I am going to put 5 in the Maybe category, so to speak. But when added to the 4 above, that adds up to 9 acts. Only 7 are going to make it. So I will have to predict which 2 of these won’t make it.

The acts in my Maybe category are Celine Tam, Evie Clair, Light Balance, Eric Jones, and The Masqueraders.

Celine Tam:

Celine sang “When You Believe.” It got good comments from all judges with a mix of negative from Mel B. She made the overused comment that the song was “too big” for Celine. I disagree with this. They always mindlessly say this with Whitney Houston songs. But the difficulty level on this song isn’t that high. The fact is that Celine is a soft singer, not a power singer. But she’s consistently good and gets the most she can out of the voice she has. That voice doesn’t appear to be as good as the other 9-year-old girl, Angelica Hale. Angelica advanced to the semifinal from last week’s live show.

From a voting perspective, not all kids make it just because they are kids. So Celine is not a lock based on the “cute kid” vote. This is a factor in voting, but it’s not always the deciding factor. Because Celine didn’t knock it out of the park, I am on the fence here. But because she got the Golden Buzzer in the second round, I am going to predict that she advances this week but may be in big trouble in the semifinals.

Eric Jones:

Jones had some good tricks that may have been good enough to get him to the semifinals. But his delivery was a bit choppy because his instructions to Howie were a bit confusing to Howie. This caused the performance to drag a little. What I didn’t like so much is the fact that the last two tricks were based largely on not being able to see what he was doing. It’s impressive to “walk through glass.” But it’s old-style magic. Once you put a curtain up there, it’s obvious that you are just using some kind of trick glass wall. And whatever he did to pull the card through the glass was hidden from camera view. This is not as impressive as it should be to win the whole show. But this season needs some magic at least in the semifinals. Based on the needs of the show, Jones will probably be picked if it comes down to a judge choice. So I predict he will advance this round.

Light Balance:

It’s hard to say what effect the technical problems will have on Light Balance. What happened was they got set to go live, and the equipment for the light show malfunctioned. Luckily, they had completely recorded the dress rehearsal. So AGT played the recorded dress rehearsal, and it was very good.

This kind of act (a dance-based light show in the dark) is visually impressive, and the dancing was pretty good. However, this kind of act has always come up short in the actual voting for America’s Got Talent. Some similar acts have made the top 3, but none has won.

Despite the technical problem, which may or may not have been the act’s fault, all 4 judges gave glowing comments. Based on that, my prediction is that they will advance to the semifinal. But they have an uphill battle to win it all since American TV voters don’t seem to prefer this kind of act.

So these are my other 3 picks to advance. To recap, they are Celine Tam, Eric Jones, and Light Balance.

I have 2 more in the Maybe category. They are Evie Clair and The Masqueraders.

Evie Clair:

Evie played the piano this time, showing a little bit more overall musician skills than before. But with a similar style of song as Mandy Harvey in this quarterfinal round, Evie’s voice just didn’t have the same level of clarity and emotion. she is competent but not brilliant at this time, pretty much putting her on a level that is very comparable to Celine Tam. I don’t know if her backstory, which is about her dad’s battle with cancer, will be a strong factor in voting. I would not be surprised if Evie makes it, but my prediction is she falls short this time.

The Masqueraders:

I would also not be surprised if The Masqueraders advance to the semifinals. However, I am predicting that they will fall a little short. The lead singer has flashes of being very soulful. But the other two seemed like random backup singers, at least this round. The group just didn’t really stand out, and their original song, “I’m Just an Average Man,” wasn’t very catchy in my opinion. I have nothing against them. But the lead singer just wasn’t quite exciting enough to push this trio to the top tonight. Again, though, I would not be surprised if they advance. But they would have to do something very different to have a chance of winning.

So my Maybe acts that I predict will not quite make it are Evie Clair and The Masqueraders. But both are worthy, and I would not mind seeing them in the semifinals.

My bottom 3 acts are Demian Aditya, Mirror Image, and Brobots & Mandroidz. I definitely don’t think that these acts will advance, although it would not be shocking if Brobots & Mandroidz somehow managed to squeak into the 5th, 6th, or 7th spot.

Demian’s act had a technical failure. He did escape from a box that was suspended over fire and some sharp objects that presumably would have stabbed him right through the box if it had fallen with him in it. But the box somehow got stuck on the metal scaffolding-type structure as it was falling. This caused Aditya to get a couple of Xs from the judges. Those who get Xs on a live show rarely ever advance to the next round. I don’t know if the glitch was intentional to create water-cooler talk or not. But it’s likely sealed Demian’s fate.

Mirror Image and Brobots & Mandroidz just didn’t stand out with their dancing or, in Mirror Image’s case, their singing, either. I have never liked these acts yet. It’s not like they have no talent. But both seem to be about something other than talent. Mirror Image is more about personality than pure talent. They could definitely succeed as actors, which is probably where they will end up. The Brobots group seems to be more about flash over substance. Their dancing moves really aren’t that hard. I was thinking I could do a lot of those moves, and that’s just not something I should be able to say when watching a dance crew in the quarterfinals of America’s Got Talent. This group’s choreography is for the birds.

So my prediction is that the following 7 acts will advance: Mandy Harvey, Merrick Hanna, Pompeyo Family, Johnny Manuel, Light Balance, Eric Jones, and Celine Tam. I figure I’ll get at least 5 of these right.

CNN News Video: New York City: Feature On Museum Of Modern Art’s “Rain Room”

The following CNN news video contains Quest Means Business’s feature on the Rain Room, which is an exhibit at the Museum Of Modern Art. This video was added to the CNN website on June 27, 2013.

The Rain Room combines art with photographic and GPS technology. It has a cool system that allows you to walk among falling rain but not get wet. The way it works is cameras are capturing the movements of everyone in the room. The camera images are fed into a kind of GPS system. Once the system detects your location, it sends a signal to the relevant portions of the rain machine to stop dropping water at your location. By doing this, you can walk around the Rain Room without actually getting wet.

The key is to walk slowly, though. The system has a little bit of lag time. So you have to adjust your speed to keep from getting wet.

Klaus Biesenbach is the chief curator at large for the Museum Of Modern Art. He says he is kind of surprised at how successful the Rain Room has been, as it is hard to win over New Yorkers. But it has intrigued them. Biesenbach said there is an ecological message behind this piece of art. It is that you have to slow down and not just abuse nature.

CNN Video With Quest Means Business Segment About The New York Museum Of Modern Art’s “Rain Room”

CNN News Video: Koreatown: Anthony Bourdain Features David Cho, An Artist Who Got Rich Working For Facebook Stock

The following CNN news video comes from Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” TV show. This segment was filmed in Koreatown (Los Angeles, California area). It is about David Cho. The video was added to the CNN website on April 12, 2013.

David Cho got extremely lucky one day. He was approached by a startup called Facebook. And they offered to pay Cho in stock for some artwork. David agreed, and the rest is history. The company exploded, and he made millions.

This is a preview to Bourdain’s program, which comes on on Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern time. You can tune in and watch David Cho painting Anthony in the next episode.

NBC Today Show Animal Video: Tupelo, Mississippi: Carol The Circus Elephant Shot And Injured In Drive-By Shooting

The following NBC Today show animal video is about a circus elephant named Carol. She was recently shot and injured in a drive-by shooting in Tupelo, Mississippi. This video aired on the April 10, 2013 episode of Today.

Carol is an elephant that performs with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum And Bailey Circus. She was apparently just an innocent bystander of the drive-by shooting.

This elephant is said to be making a recovery despite being shot in the neck. Carol is 39 years old and weighs about 7000 pounds.

No suspect has been caught in this drive-by incident.

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NBC Today Show Animal Video: Rocky Ridge, Maryland: Metro Meteor The Painting Racehorse (Ron And Wendy Krajewski’s Horse)

The following NBC Today show animal video is about a horse named Metro Meteor. This story comes out of Rocky Ridge, Maryland. The video aired on the April 9, 2013 episode of the Today show. Jill Rappaport did the reporting.

Ron and Wendy Krajewski bought Metro Meteor after this talented animal had a successful run as a racehorse. Metro Meteor even won 8 races before being forced into retirement due to an injury sustained a few years ago.

Ron is an artist, himself. And he has discovered and nurtured a special talent with Metro Meteor. The horse is a rather good painter, at least by animal standards. It’s not that no animal has ever painted. For example, I previously reported on an elephant in Arizona that had sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in paintings to zoo visitors. But it frankly looked like abstract art, with no actual ability to draw something beyond holding a paintbrush and moving it.

Metro Meteor’s work appears to be about the same. He can hold the brush and move it around. But there is no painting of actual objects. However, like the elephant, this horse’s work is impressive enough to attract buyers. So more power to him and the Krajewskis. I ain’t hatin. I just ain’t that impressed.

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CNN News Video: Tilda Swinton Sleeps In a Glass Box For An Art Exhibit At New York’s Museum Of Modern Art

The following CNN art news video is about an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City. The exhibit has actress Tilda Swinton sleeping in a glass box. This video was added to the CNN website on March 25, 2013.

Tilda just sleeps for 7 hours a day in this glass box. I guess it’s comfortable enough. Swinton has a mattress, some sheets, and a pillow. A nightgown would have been a nice touch. But Tilda is seen in this video sleeping in a button-down shirt and a pair of jeans.

In addition, Swinton does not talk or do any other kind of acting. She just lies there and sleeps.

So this is art? All it does is prove that artists who are successful are the ones who get lucky. This exhibit wouldn’t win your average 5th grade art contest. The judges would say it is too simple and isn’t really art.

CNN Art News Video: London, England: Victoria and Albert Museum’s “David Bowie Is” Collection

The following CNN art news video is about an exhibit at London, England’s Victoria And Albert Museum. It is about the career of singer David Bowie. The collection is called “David Bowie Is.” This video was added to the CNN website on March 21, 2013.

Victoria Broackes is Victoria And Albert’s curator of theatre and performance. The exhibit includes things such as photographs, costumes, music videos, and stage and set models.

The name “David Bowie Is” signifies that he is a great entertainer. But it also ponders the question of exactly who Bowie is.

Geoffrey Marsh is V&A’s director of theatre and performance. He says the museum was essentially given access to Davie Bowie’s personal archive of memorabilia. He thinks Bowie is one of the 10 most recognizable people on the planet. That seems way off the mark, but maybe he is just trying to hype this seemingly boring collection of David Bowie items.

David Bowie’s latest album sold almost 100,000 copies in its first week in the UK. According to HitsDailyDouble, Bowie’s “Next Day” did it again in his US debut, with over 80,000 units sold (#2 behind Bon Jovi).

CNN Travel News Video: Feature On Seale, Alabama’s Museum Of Wonder

The following CNN travel news video is about a place in Seale, Alabama. It is called the “Museum Of Wonder.” This video was added to the CNN website on March 15, 2013.

Seale is about 80 miles east of Montgomery. It proudly calls itself the home of East Alabama’s oldest public building.

You go down a gravel road to get to the Museum Of Wonder. Butch Anthony is the owner of the museum. It is pretty small, so he is also the curator and does some artistic work there, as well.

Looking at this Seale, Alabama museum, it’s hard to tell exactly what the theme is. It has a lot of random displays of various different things. Butch Anthony says that some people even come and just leave stuff on his doorstep. But if there is a theme, it is apparently “wackiness.”

The story of how the Museum of Wonder started (about 20 years ago) is about as wacky as the exhibits. A guy was plowing on the Anthony place and hit a turnip, apparently creating some weird face-like shape on the turnip. Anthony sold it as an antique for $50. He then figured he could sell other weird stuff and eventually decided to start the museum. Many of the displays are just things that Anthony made. So it is part art museum and part history museum and whatever else you can fit in the kitchen sink.

NBC Today Show Video: San Diego, California – Controversy Over Seward Johnson’s Huge “Kiss Statue” That Is Called “Unconditional Surrender” (February 21, 2013)

The following Today show video is about a new piece of art along the shores of San Diego, California. It is a giant “kiss statue.” Some people find it romantic. Others find it tacky or offensive. This clip aired on the February 21, 2013 episode of the Today show. Kristen Dahlgren is reporting from San Diego.

The statue is of a Navy sailor kissing a woman. It is 25 feet tall and weighs 14,000 pounds. The artist is Seward Johnson. A similar statue already exists in Sarasota, Florida. Johnson constructed that one, as well.

The statue is a physical representation of that famous photo of the Navy guy kissing a woman at the end of World War II. Although dubbed the “kiss statue,” the work of art is actually called “Unconditional Surrender.”

It’s odd that some local members of the Ports Art Committee resigned in protest over the addition of this San Diego statue. Resigning because you think something is tacky and lost a vote over it? Oh, boy. How do people like this ever even get on a committee.

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MSNBC And NBC Nightly News Dutch Crime Video: Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Multi-Million-Dollar Art Theft At Kunsthal Museum

The following MSNBC crime news video originally aired on the NBC Nightly News. It was on the October 16, 2012 episode.

A huge art theft has occurred at Holland’s Kunsthal Museum, which is in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Although the exact amount is not certain, the stolen paintings are said to be valued at several million dollars.

The stolen art includes, among others, the paintings of Gauguin, Picasso, and Matisse.

You can visit the official Kunsthal home page for more information about the museum’s extensive art collection.

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