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Masterclass Discussion For America’s Got Talent Season Seven: The Wild Card Show


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I am very late adding this blog topic for tonight’s AGT Wild Card Show. I missed the first four acts and, truthfully, I can’t say that it bothers me.

Something is truly off about this show this year and I want to go on record and say that it is not the judges nor host, Nick Cannon. All four are outstanding in their role.

So, if I had to point my critical finger in any direction, I would have to say that the mix of talent this year is simply not mesmerizing. The majority of the acts do not make you want to tune in.

So, I guess it is a bit of a bust for me and, obviously, for many of the MCL readers here. These AGT Masterclass Discussion topics are becoming a bit desolate.

Comment away! The floor is yours!!

Major Update: Sebastien just stole my heart and saved this show. He just sang his way into the Finals.

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

22 Responses to “Masterclass Discussion For America’s Got Talent Season Seven: The Wild Card Show”

  1. Hey Rosanne,

    One thing for certain is …last weeks You Tube show , looked like the “America Has No Talent” show. I just have a problem believing that that was really the best talent that submitted videos.

    Having said that, concerning last nights wild card show?… I actually really enjoyed it.. For me, if I were to use a word as to how I felt about it l I would have to use the word , “awesome” because thats the word that came out of my mouth after a number of performances that I saw. There’s definitely not much there at all in the music department but so many of the other acts I thought were incredible.

    Spenser Horseman (escape artist) who was one of my favorites, which we talked about, was brought back as I had hoped and in my opinion he really redeemed himself. Todd Oliver with his talking dog act keep me laughing. The Banbaz Brothers who balanced each other by a stick in their mouths was incredible, as well as Ben Blaque’s bow & arrow act.

    Singing which I love best though (because I do sing) was very disappointing. I was looking for Sabastian to just “blow em away” but to me, like so many singers, he can hit the high notes but his lower registers weren’t there. Jake was just average to me, and Andrew ….I guess I just don’t get the fascination with him, as I mentioned to you before. All over the net though they’re saying he’s the next Susan Boyle. …What ???.

    Lindsey’s dance was great and just as graceful as it always is but I don’t know if her act will be received as well as the others

    As far as the folks here responding to the AGT postings. It could be a refection ofhow people feel in general about AGT this year or it could be that this community here for the most part just takes after you. You are a musician and they’re music lovers. Thats the main draw and unfortunately the AGT producers wanted to see a different kind of show this year and steered away “eyebrow raising” singers, because I heard not one.

    In that sense it is very disappointing. I tried to see if AGT producers were stating anywhere that the game would be changing a bit this year, but I didn’t see anything like that. However as I;m sure you know, this year was lowest ratings they have ever gotten.
    They must have brought in a slew of new producers with Howard. I know its not him,
    He in my opinion, is great for the show.

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  2. Brother Karl – last night’s show was an incredible surprise. It was probably the best show of the entire season. Go figure.

    I am like you, though. I do not see the fascination with Andrew. He is just not that good. I don’t know why everyone thinks he is so amazing?

    If one wants to hear a gifted singer vocalize with a high range, you need only listen to American Idol’s DeAndre Brackensick. He can sing circles around Andrew and with more flair and stage presence. And he doesn’t need to wear vampire eyes to do so.

    Tonight’s elimination should be interesting. Truth be told, I still don’t care who comes and who goes. This show lost me at mid-season.

    I did love the singer who sang the “Edge Of Glory” number. And Spencer. I do love Sebastien but there were some pitch issues.

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  3. Hi Rosanne

    Here we are again. The only two people of the MCL community interested enough to post something on this site about AGT. If their loosing this community (who truly knows and loves good music ) I’m sure they are loosing a ton of music lovers every place where the show airs. This years rating drops are horrible.

    The singer who sang “Edge of Glory” is Jake Wesley Rodgers He didn’t blow me away but I did enjoy him. I was also glad to see Sabastian get his second chance.

    I did vote last night …and my vote was for Spencer. Out of all the acts that I enjoyed the most, last night I felt he was the one that would need my vote the most.. There was a lot of audience support for some of the others that I think will do good with out my vote.

    The show is going to be different this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if not one singer made the top 4

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  4. Brother Karl: yes indeedy.. Just the two of us here! And I do believe it is, as you say, from the lack of singers. I don’t care what anyone says, singers add heart to the show – any show. You cannot beat the human singing voice for bringing together people from different walks of life.

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  5. I am very happy that my male cloggers got through. Remember, I agreed with Sharon? :o) I would pay money to see All That! I can’t wait to see what they do next week.

    I thought Sebastian made a sincere effort, and he sure is cute! I think I like the dancers better this season, though. We’ll see. I wonder if Sharon Osbourne is really leaving the show?

    Brother Karl, I was not impressed with Andrew and found something creepy about him. His voice isn’t that good.

    I agree Rosanne, SINGING is the Universal Language!

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  6. Hey Kariann

    Missed you from around here the past few days this week. Hope all is well for you and your family.

    Looks like the old “fight back” took place again this week on AGT the same as it happens on Idol. Howey and Howard continually say that we’ll be seeing something other than singing or dance acts in the finals this season, and the viewing voters once again fought back and put the singing and dancing acts through to show who holds the power. In response to the viewers choice of Sabastian, Andrew and All That, over the “thrill stunt acts” that they love, Howard expressed that he thought the audience got it wrong. I say .. “as long as they continually say that singing acts won’t be there, the audience will continually bring them back. (The thing I’m still scratching my head over is Andrew. People love him. I really need somebody to help me to understand what the appeal is.)

    Anyway getting back to the show …AGT has built its show on bringing singing acts to the finals which has made (and proves that) their larger audience is an audience of music lovers. I think the audience choices this week show that AGTS’s music lovers are still in there, in the greater percentage just in smaller numbers. I also think those numbers are smaller this year because of AGT’s lack of focus on getting “knock em dead” musical talent in this season. There’s some good musical talent there, just not “knock em dead”, in my opinion

    One person the judges have continually praised over and over again through out the season is Turf. As much as they like him (and I do too), if they continue over praising like they’re doing, I think it will hurt him, back-fire and they’ll see somebody there other than who they favor. It happened on Idol with their continual praise of Joshua Ledet and I think we’ll see the same thing with Turf. Its something that none of these judges on these shows get. Putting down an act and over-praising another only causes a fight. They continually put down Hollie but her fans fought back and brought her all the way to 4th place. Its was very very obvious thats not what the judges were counting on. The audience brought her all the way right there with all of the acts they praised.

    To me one of the best singers this season is 49 year old Tim Hockenberry. If the audience does indeed go for a singer this year my hope is , they will be look at him but my bet is they’ll support Bria Kelly the 16 year country singer picked a couple of weeks from the You Tube videos. If its her, I think it’ll be their first female country artist.

    Oh well…enough of my blah, blah, blah!! :-)

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  7. BrotherKarl – I can’t help you understand Andrew because I don’t understand him myself. And those vampire eyes? Please! Give! Me! A! Break! He has some real personal issues that I cannot get passed.

    What’s the fascination with Andrew? DeAndre sang in that upper register all the time on American Idol and with more flair and personality. And certainly with more confidence.

    The show has lost me this year but next week is shaping up to be a fantastic show. And, as much as I love singers, I am not a fan of Bria Kelly at all. No wow factor. But, she may surprise us. Who knows at this point?

    KariAnn – nice to see you on this thread. Yay! So, now it’s a party of three and counting maybe? Haha

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  8. Rosanne,

    I’m with you on Bria. I’m just not a big fan of country period. But these audiences love their country singers and thats why I think she might be there. She ranks a 4 on my scale of 10-1 (10 being great).

    And Andrew … its got to be the gothic thing, It can’t be the singing. If you remember when I first heard him I asked you what you thought of him as a classical singer and you posted a video that showed what a good classical male singer in high registers sounds like and I loved it.

    It seemed like it took forever this year for AGT to get their contestants for the semi finals. TOO long but I’m looking forward to see it winde down and I hope we get a break before the new shows in September. Sometimes I must admit, it is a bit much and that the opinion of a true reality show die hard.

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  9. AGT this year is boring….. I barely watch it. Regarding Andrew, I think people just haven’t heard that many countertenors, though this probably applies to all “opera singers” on the show: sometimes I wonder if any of the judges has ever set foot in an opera house. I doubt they’d have had as much success if the show aired in the 80s when even people who hated opera at least knew what it was and had some base for comparison.

    I think Andrew has some talent, and if he really is completely untrained (which I doubt) and has never sang before as he claims to be, has some potential. If he gets some serious training he may be good one day. Or not… I seriously doubt of his being completely untrained though both because of how he sings and also his selection for the Vegas week – how many completely untrained people in the US would choose an art song by Rachmaninov for an AGT audition and then sing it in Russian, accented but not really that bad? BTW, I thought the Vegas performance editing was a bit misleading: they cut middle part of the song, and overall it looked like he stopped in the middle of the song when in fact it was near the end. No, he isn’t Scholl or Daniels or Mathew White or any of famous countertenors. Or not so famous, Nicholas Spanos and Jose Lemos aren’t famous but I think they should be. Anthony Roth Costanzo is an extremely promising young singer who sang/acted in a movie at 15 and is now singing at the Met: at 15 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsALVMsT4hU and now : /watch?v=jvY1Y4ja0NU . There are quite a few others.

    I didn’t really care for him during the last week. Really, he should’ve tried Voi che sapete or maybe repeated Rachmaninov but got it right this time.

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  10. Kitty

    Wow!! Anthony’s voice on this clip is amazing!!

    When I originally raised the question about Andrew, Rosanne put a clip on this site of another gifted counter tenor she knew named Daniel Taylor. He was fantastic as well. Prior to that I had heard a lot of guys who sang in soprano range’s before, (guys who sang like De Andre) but I had never heard it in classical music). Also let me say, while I’m not a fan of classical music, I have friends who are classically trained who are great in my opinion. So for me, I don’t think, its the the classical thing.

    I don’t necessarily think a person has to be into classical music to recognize an incredible talent. You know how classical music is. Its typically sang in another language and you don’t even have to understand whats being said to be blown away by it ….. when the artist is unusually gifted.

    The judges seem to LOVE Andrew (they give him standing ovations ever time he performs). Also as I said earlier, all over the internet they are calling him the next beloved Susan Boyle. So its not so much that the people don’t like him. They LOVE him. Since I wasn’t fascinated with him like everybody else was, I thought maybe there was something I wasn’t understanding, so I asked Rosanne.

    Every classical singer that has been on AGT. I have pretty much enjoyed (well …except for the black girl with the blond braids who was on last season …Oh My ..I just couldn’t get to that). Loved Jackie Evanco so much that she was the very first classical singer who’s cd’s I actually went out and purchased. She’s one of my favorite artist. Prince Poppy Cock (who I believe would qualify as a classical singer) was awesome, in my opinion. Andrew, on the other hand …it was hard for me Kitty. Some of his high notes would make me cringe …especially last week.Oh my. I have to admit I’m trying hard to see what it is about him that others enjoy SO much, so I can enjoy it to, but its not hitting me.

    And as far as him saying he has no training …well for me …I would rather believe that he has had no training than to believe he has been trained. That would make sense to me. Then I can excuse what I hear when he sings…as untrained. What I will admit though is …there is potential. I DO see that and I can see how , with training, he could actually be phenomenal. But right now, just too rough for me.

    People loved Hollie on Idol. I didn’t get that either. Everybody here knows it. But I saw her greatly improve over time and I got it. There was potential and in every performance it developed a little bit more. I don’t see it like that in Andrew now, but who knows. I’m open.

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  11. BrotherKarl. – I corrected the name of the counter-tenor you mentioned. You said he was Daniel Young but, in fact, his name is Daniel Taylor. I hope you don’t mind. I rarely – if ever – edit readers’ comments unless suggested but I felt that this would clarify your comment in case anyone wanted to search for Daniel.

    You and Kitty are very correct about Andrew. I have just about had enough of this nonsense. They are making a huge mountain out of a tiny molehill – looking for something that isn’t there or, at the very most, is not ready for prime time. And those gothic eyes?? Please. Just stop this train wreck already. Total madness!

    Thank you both for your comments!

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  12. Hi Rosanne

    Thanks for making the change. It was one of those situations where I went to the site first to double check on the name before I wrote it, so I could make sure it was right. I knew it was Taylor but some kind of way I still wrote Young. :-) I’m glad you fixed it.
    No other name should be credited with that kind talent. He and Anthony are both incredible.

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  13. Brother Karl,
    Glad you liked Anthony. I heard him recently at the Met, and his voice is really much more beautiful live. I agree one doesn’t need to like a genre to recognize if somebody is talented. I don’t really understand why they keep comparing to Susan Boyle either. Susan Boyle has never pretended to be a classical singer. She sang pop and musical theater songs, but she did it beautifully – great voice, musicality, phrasing and expressiveness. The singer on AGT that I think is comparable to her is Landau Eugene Murphy – he has a great voice, his phrasing and expression are fantastic. They are not classical singers, but they are as good as the best in their genre.

    True, you don’t need to understand the words of classical music pieces as AGT to enjoy it, but I think knowing the words enriches the experience. For that reason, in operas these days there are English surtitles, and in classical recitals they sometimes give pages with words of the songs. There are art songs in English e.g. The Last Rose of Summer.

    I enjoyed Prince Poppycock, but I thought his voice was more musical theater than classical. He was a lot of fun, I enjoyed him. I thought he was treated unfairly in the finals.

    Jackie Evancho is super talented. She classifies herself as a classical crossover singer not classical, and I agree with her. Classical crossover is a bit of in-between pop and classical, it includes both pop songs and arias sung in almost-classical manner, but with a microphone and often with more emphasis on sound than interpretation.

    For me a classical singer who isn’t also an opera singer would be a singer with similar voice and training who specializes in “art song” rather than opera. But classical singers can sing without amplification if not with a full orchestra like opera singers do but maybe with a piano. They also work on diction in many languages, on phrasing, on near-silent breathing, on style and on interpretation. In both opera where the singers have to act with their voices and in art song where singers have to tell a story in a single song – phrasing, artistry is very important.

    This would be an example of a classical singer who isn’t an opera singer – the song is sung by someone sitting in a boat enjoying the play of waves, tranquility, beautiful nature around it, and says how it’ll be gone tomorrow, and the time will pass:

    Now this song illustrates very well the artistry and interpretative ability of the best classical singers. This is an opera singer who is also famous for Lieder (German-language art songs) interpretation. This is my 2nd favorite interpretation of this song in which the singer has to show 4 distinct characters – my favorite is Jessye Norman’s – but I choose this one because I thought subtitles are really important here. There’s been multiple interpretations of the poem, but the most obvious one is that the father is riding fast to get help for his sick son who is hallucinating:

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  14. Kitty – well, thank you so much for posting these videos. I never thought I would see the day that a reader would be adding links to German Lieder performances. What a find! Both of them!

    I actually accompanied both these songs and I thought my hands would fall off my wrist. They are very difficult for the pianist as well as the singer which is oftentimes true of German Lieder compositions.

    Dietrich has interesting vocal technique, doesn’t he? He sings out of the side of his mouth during the softer passages but, when he navigates the louder passages, the mouth and jaw are free, round and open.

    You are also correct with the comparison of Andrew to Susan Boyle. It makes no sense whatsoever. Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. Is the perfect comparison and, to this day, I cannot understand why his “people” have not marketed him more aggressively. Crazy! I did purchase his album and it is very good.

    Thanks once again for your informative comments.

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  15. Kitty

    On the two videos: Loved them both and particularly the male voice. So powerful! It;s not making me a fan of classical music but I must say I absolutely loved them both and if invited I;d go to both concerts

    I learned of Jessye Norman from a good friend of mine who is a classically trained soprano. Her name is Jacqueline Paige Green. I may be bias because she is my friend but to me she is the greatest classical singer I have ever heard. :-) Back in the 80’s when she was younger she was a very popular classical artist. She is now a professor of music at Louisiana State University. She also sang from time to time with a classical group called the Charles Lloyd singers. Her and her husband were once very good friends of mine when they lived here in Detroit. Once they moved, I lost touch

    She would always speak so highly of Jessye Norman. I was actually drawn to this site because when Rosanne critiques she reminds me so much of my good friend Jackie. Jackie never talked a whole lot about how someone sounded. She more spoke about the way someone used their voice and how misuse of the voice could destroy it. I sang professionally a while back before I changed careers and while performing I often thought about the things Jackie would say. I really wish I could get back in touch with the Greens. Until I do though … I’ll just hang out here with the great Rosanne. And now Kitty, knowing that you are familiar with that kind of quality of music, it even gives me reason to want to hang out here more. That doesn’t mean I’m a converted fan of classic music though. :-)

    Re; Andrew: I ‘m thinking what they mean …when they say he’s the next Susan Boyle, I don’t think they mean he sings similar, I think they mean ..in the way no one would look at Susan and think she could sing like that …I think they mean …no one would look at a man who looked like Andrew and think he would sing that kind of music. He looks like a punk rocker, not a classical singer. I HOPE they are not meaning that he SOUNDS like Susan …. umm …no. The sound he has bothers me the same way Lys Anges’s sound bothered me last year on AGT and she made the top 10. I just didn’t get it.

    Do you guys remember her? What did you think of her voice?

    [Three times I typed this post and 3 times it disappeared]

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  16. I’m SO hoping that between the 2 of you at least one of you have heard of my friend Jackie. What a phenomenal singer. I went on …because I was just hoping ..because you know the music ..that maybe you might know her. Just hoping. I see her music online, but no videos and no email.

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  17. Oh … And just in case anybody can actually help it was Southern University and not Louisiana State University

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  18. Rosanne – you are welcome, I am glad you liked these performances. Yes, the accompaniment is difficult, I took piano lessons as a child – though I am not a professional like you, and they are I think beyond my abilities. You Tube is really amazing with these selections – anything from greats of the past in all genres to today’s performances. Have you had a chance to listen to Malena Ernman? She is seems one of those rare singers that I think can do anything – sing in operas, sing arias from habanera in mezzo range to Queen of the Night aria as well as jazz and pop without sounding “too operatic” in the latter, just doing anything well.

    I didn’t pay attention to Dietrich’s technique, I guess because I am neither a singer nor a voice teacher, even though I had some piano lessons as a child (and yes, I know the accompaniment is difficult, but I don’t think I’d ever be able to accompany these songs) and some voice lessons for personal enjoyment as an adult. I did sing some of the Lieder, but not good enough to try in public. Now that you said it, I did notice it. I wonder if he does it on purpose to show these different voices or if it’s something he always does. I’ll have to look at his other videos and see. Very interesting. Do you think this is how he sings all the time or if he might just be doing it on purpose in this song to show different voices?

    BrotherKarl – I am glad you liked the selections, too bad it didn’t make you fan of classical music… BTW, it’s not either or proposition – one can like some classical pieces and dislike other classical pieces. It’s more like a continuum.

    I am afraid I’ve never heard of Jacqueline Paige Green. I am sure she is wonderful, there are many singers I’ve never heard. There are many singers who are/were very famous but I’ve only encountered them recently thanks to you tube. Like Barbara Bonney – she is an opera/Lieder singer who is quite well known in German operas and Lieder, but I’d not heard of her until recently.

    I see what you mean about Susan Boyle’s looks and voice. Yes, you have a point. Being an opera fan (and by the way, it doesn’t mean I like all operas, there are many I don’t care about), I am not really surprised – after all in opera we accepted Pavarotti as a starving poet or Jessye Norman as a Germanic demi-goddess or young Irish princess – but AGT just loves those. Sometimes I wonder if a perfectly good-looking, simply dressed, 20-something talented man or a woman without any kind of a sob story or “surprise talent given the looks” would have a chance to even get before the producers.

    Regarding Lys Agnes – I thought she had a good voice but was untrained, a bit rough. Rosanne – do you think she could be a real contralto? I thought she had potential after she did Caccini(Vavilov) Ave Maria, I thought habanera was too difficult for her, and she shouldn’t have touched it, and she completely lost me in the last song.
    I also enjoy this blog and for the same reasons you mentioned.

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  19. ??? I’m not getting this last post that just came on. Is there something reposted ..or something. I clicked on the link but I don;t see a new post. Maybe I don’t know who the poster is.

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  20. Brother Karl. I mistakenly published the X Factor Discussion topic for tonight’s show too early. It’s back online now. Sorry for the mix-up!!

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  21. Oh …Okay… It had me a little confused …The title was about America’s Got Talent and I thought maybe something had happened on AGT back that you omitted back then that you thought we should be aware of. Looking forwards to tonight. I just hope its not interrupted by our presidential debates here. Talk to you soon

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  22. BK – yes, the poster added two separate comments. I deleted both. SPAM. Haha

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