10 "America's Got Talent" Acts That Are Sure to Go Far

10 "America's Got Talent" Acts That Are Sure to Go Far

These people are truly EXCEPTIONAL.

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NBC's longest-running talent show is at the halfway point of its 13th season, and as I always get when I watch season after season, I am super impressed. As the acts are getting past the initial audition process and being cut down to less and less, hoping to get into the live shows, I have some predictions for who is going to make it far.

Note: These predictions come from last week's "Judge's Cuts" as well as the week before and the auditions that have yet to come to the next round.

Another quick note: I wrote this directly after "Judges' Cuts," so the latest videos of some of the acts are not included. I trust you'll find someone you want to see more of and my links can direct you to the proper avenues.

1. Duo Transcend

This husband/wife duo is not only extremely talented, but managed to make such an impresson on the judges that even after a major drop, the danger and artistry was memorable enough from the first audition and thrilling enough from the second to warrant being put into the live shows. I'm curious to see what will come next.

2. Joseph O'Brien

This singer, besides being super adorable, has a voice that is still blossoming. The judges saw something in Joseph that was on the brink of excellence, and with last week's "Judges Cuts," performance being CUT OFF midway, and the performance directed towards another song on the spot, HE STILL MANAGED TO GET THROUGH.

I think redemption is going to be a major theme for this talented 20-year-old. And I'm so excited to see what he'll sing next (the judges have warned him about song choice now, so he'll have to be careful).

3. Vicky Barbolak

This performer not only has a funny, somewhat dark sense of humor, but she has made all 4 of the judges laugh and got guest judge Olivia Munn to rethink her Golden Buzzer a bit. in "Judges Cuts." A lot of her jokes are geared towards being a parent and how she has struggled to make a living, but I am still ready to see what Howie's "best comedian of the season" will do when America gets to vote.

4. Makayla Phillips

Not that this is a HUGE factor, but 15-year-old Phillips soared on every high note of Demi Lovato's ballad "Warrior," and she was the last Golden Buzzer of the audition portion (picked by Heidi Klum), which means she technically has a bit less time to prepare for the live show than other acts. With her vocal talent, I doubt it will be much of an issue, but it'll be interesting to see how she stacks up to the other singers (and there were a lot of them this season).

5. Rob Lake

This illusionist caught me in the feels with his first performance on AGT when he said he had dropped out of college to pursue his dream, and if he isn't successful, he'll be returning home to Oklahoma to work in his family furniture store. Not that working with his parents would be a bad thing, but his first illusion was STELLAR, and it would be upsetting to see him be unsuccessful with what he really wants to do.

Lake was told during his first performance that the set-up took too long, and with his "Judges' Cuts" performance, he made it snappy and quick but was told it was a bit corny for Simon's taste, though the illusion was AMAZING. (Find the video if you can. I screamed, and so did my mom.)

What's even more interesting is that his main competition, Shin Lim (a close-up magician), also made it through. It's going to be a showdown to witness, for sure.

6. Junior New System

This group has everything- an inspiring story, talent for days, and sparkly high heels. This dance group goes above and beyond, landing flips in boots I wouldn't even think about attempting (I can barely WALK in heels, let alone dance in them). I have seen a lot of dance groups, and a few that feature men strutting their stuff in heels, but I have never seen anything like this. SO fun, and they're getting better and better, so who knows what they'll bring next time!

7. Michael Ketterer

I won't lie to you- I judged this man by his cover first (he's got the glasses and the plaid and the cute/hot dad thing going on), and he had just said in his testimonial that he was a father of 6, so I was intruiged, to say the least.

As soon as he got into the good portion of his audition song, I knew he was going to be a Golden Buzzer. I'm SO ready to see what he brings to the live shows, because he has a raw, gritty quality to his voice with such a gentle quality weaved into it that it's going to be different than a lot of the other voices on the show. There are becoming less and less male singers on the show, but even so, I am sure he'd have no trouble giving other acts a run for their money.

8. Oliver Graves

Another confession- Oliver Graves is adorable, but you have to look past the appearance he gives for a moment. His black wig, makeup, and ripped red sweater make him hard to look past, but seeing him break down when he got his 4 "yes" votes after his audition tore at my heartstrings.

He's unique, has a dark sense of humor, and had some VERY relatable, stupid jokes that made me laugh long after he was done.

9. Angel City Chorale

I'm always down to hear a good choir. In fact, I would argue I root for choirs and chorales more than other groups, since I was in one from sixth to twelfth grade. That being said, this group is above average in every way. Their versions of "Africa" by Weezer and "Baba Yetu" had me shivering from beginning to end, and they weave choreography into every performance, so it's always fun, always unique, and you never quite know what they'll do next.

(PS. They are the most recent Golden Buzzer, so they are ingrained in the judges' minds. I'm curious to see if America will like them as much.)

10. Zurcaroh

The day after this dance group went on the show, Facebook was buzzing with this video- and it hasn't stopped yet. Not even with over a month since this was on, Zucaroh's dramatic, stunning performance is still being passed around. America has a liking for this group for sure, and I hope they can step it up the way the judges have been demanding of the other groups, because they are AMAZING, and I want them to go really far (and with their skill, I think they could make it pretty far).

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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How Art Can Help You Take Care Of Yourself

It's time to go on a date with yourself.

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Art is a quintessential part of the human experience: it has something that has been present in human culture beginning from prehistoric times, from when human consciousness first entered the world. It is also something that transcends definition and intertwines with our play of life and the meaning of humanity. Art is an expression of feeling in its most ethereal meaning and "for fun" at its most basic.

Personally, as an Art History minor, art has been a dimension of life for me that I have explored deeply and holds a lot of meaning. Painting is a huge outlet and way to deal with stress for me, and appreciating fine art teaches me about the aspect of history and how all of history is tied together throughout paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It helps me center myself and remind me of the place I hold in this world and the curious aspect personal experience of history. However, art doesn't need to be the stereotypical idea of art: it can be expressed through dance, the learning of a new language, or the coloring of mandalas to ease stress.

The exploration of art and the artistic side of human nature is something that everyone has in them: it's written in our psychology. We have an entire side of our brain that is inclined toward feeling and abstract interpretation, so it's natural to assume that emotion and expression of art are intrinsically intertwined. Thus, experiencing art is a way to personally develop yourself, and can be an unfound way of finding out things about yourself.

Different ways to explore your artistic side can be very easy: as easy as 3rd-grade coloring books, coloring mandalas, or finger-painting. Recently, I participated in a lantern festival and being able to paint a small lantern was an amazing outlet from a stress-filled week and allowed me to express myself through something besides just communication. Writing is also another good way to express emotion and create art: many books are just art pieces, and can be another way to further develop yourself. Additionally, other small fun things like carving pumpkins (spooky season!) or even curating the perfect Instagram profile can be another way to express yourself.

Appreciating the small things in your life as art and self-expression help put you more in touch with yourself, which is easy to lose throughout the mundane cycles of college, work, and life in general. Keeping yourself in harmony and balance might seem like an earthy-crunchy concept, but self-care and self-love are vital in keeping the rest of your life ordered. Being mindful of yourself and your goals is something that I have always have had difficulty with, but working toward learning more about yourself is taking the first step.

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