AGT and Cocktails – The 2017 Voting Starts (and Vampires)

(Peviously recorded – the winners of this round are listed after all act descriptions.)

In the summer of 2017 I started posting about AGT, sharing the comments of the peanut gallery of friends and family, and telling you what cocktails Teddy was making for the night.

Last night was the first night of votes for the 2017 season. Tonight we’ll find out what the first batch of talented folks going in for the finals will be.

So here is a run down of who performed, and what was said. This gets pretty brutal. Vampires are not an easy crowd.

Christian Guardino 

This kid is only 17 and I gotta admit has a huge voice. Last night my family was not part of his fan base. The peanut gallery gave the following comments:

He’s not that good.

Like Catsup and Ice Cream, but the judges will rave about him.

The judges did rave about him but I don’t think he is that great.

Yes, the judges ate him up.

Our vote: NO

Artion and Page (Dancers)

This eight and ten year old pair is so full of energy and sooooo cute. I have no idea why I like them. I usually don’t like kid dancers. Maybe that was after years of a certain dance school exploiting and sexualizing their hoochie dancing baby salsa stars. Ugh. BUT this isn’t the case this year. These kids are absolutely genuine and precious. They are just funny. Their facial expressions are hilarious and joyful and real. And these kids can move – but they move like kids. They just fun. Puppy and kitten cute. By the way, they danced to Footloose.

Our vote: Yes (except Teddy who doesn’t like any of the dancers)

In the Stairwell

This group is made up of a group of fine young men who attend the United States Air Force Academy. They are all great singers, good looking, and just darned cute (suck it up Vlad, you’re not the only one.) I love them. One Tuesday they sang the Fun song “Some Nights. Even Simon stood up to cheery. They are fine indeed.

Our Vote: YES YES YES

Singing Trump

This is a guy who is in his 50’s, obviously a professional performer, and entertaining. Unfortunately he was off on Tuesday, with a bad choice of songs. He did “Shut Up and Dance,” which was weird and confusing done by “Trump.” Then he switched to M.C. Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This.” A sad fail indeed. Yes, the man will never get my vote.

Comments from the peanut gallery: He’s not fat enough to be trump. Whoever he is the man is a professional. Tremendous, greatly, and very very bad tonight.

Our Vote: No

Angelica Hale

A nine year old girl with big pipes. We like her. She is cute with a mature sounding voice. She can really sing.

Our Vote: Yes

Bello Nock

This guy is a classic circus clown in the old time Barnum and Bailey tradition. He does dare devil stuff. He is good at what he does. He makes it look fun. Alas, he didn’t grab any of us enough to get our vote.

Our Vote: No

Just Jerk

When I saw the name I thought of Jamaican cooking. No such luck.

This is yet another group of teenage boys (with a couple of token girls) who dance as good as an average high school drill team. Ho hum. Boring music. Boring Dancing. I don’t know why they were even chosen in the first place. This is where the formula aspect of the show comes in – they need people in every group (singers, dancers, teens, adults, kids, dare devils, etc.)

Our Vote: NO

Puddles Pity Party

This guy is a talented mature singer dressed like a sad turn of the 20th century clown. 

Comments from the peanut gallery:

Fast forward. NOW.

Simon should come out and beat him to death.

This is bull shit.

The song is horrible enough and even worse when he sings it.

Simon gave him an X.

Our Vote: No

Preacher Lawson

Comedian

We love this guy. OMG he is funny. He is a shooting star. Love love love! Look him up on YouTube. Preacher Lawson.

Our Vote: YES

 

Yoli Mayor

No good comments from the peanut gallery EXCEPT that she looked great and had a wonderful dress on that was super flattering. It was a bad song to start with and she can’t even sing it. I don’t know why the judges (Simon) are so intrigued by her. She is a lovely young woman, but not the million dollar act.

Our Vote: No

 

Trashy Roller Skaters

We’re a skating family. My daughter is a US National Roller Sports Champion. We DO NOT like this act. This brother and sister pair CAN skate. They have expensive boots and plates. They know what they are doing, BUT they are so trashy. She dresses slutty. He usually has his shirt off. They were spinning around and his head is right in his sister’s whoo haw.

Comments from the peanut gallery: All they do is spend. People are doing this in Vegas (naked.) All they do is spin. All they do is spin. All they do is spin. This would be a good 90 second opening for another act. If she wasn’t hot it wouldn’t work.

Our Vote: No

 

Darcy Lynne

This young ventriloquist could win it all. I can’t even describe how good she is (so here is a video.)

She is amazing. She sings better than 99% of the singers. She keeps in character with her characters. She has amazing stage presence. She’s a winner.

Our Vote: YES YES YES YES YES YES

And the acts that went through to the finals are:

In the Stairwell

Darcy Lynne

Angelica Hale

Preacher Lawson

Trashy Roller Skaters

And two acts saved with some Dunkin Donuts weird vote thing were:

Yoli Mayor

Christian Guardino

 

While we’re all watching this silly show my husband Teddy is making cocktails.

Forget the fruit and the fluff.

We’re going for the hard stuff.

 

That’s No Bull Shot

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 oz blood
  • 1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2-cup of cold beef concentrate
  • 2-6 dashes of Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste
  • A dash of ground pepper
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • A dash of kosher salt

Instructions:

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with liberal amounts of ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Note: If you’re not a Vampire leave out the blood.

 

vm_eve

 

Bloody Bovine

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 4 oz of V8 or Trader Joe’s Vegetable Cocktail Juice
  • 4 oz chilled beef concentrate
  • 4 oz blood
  • 1 tsp of peeled and finely grated fresh horseradish (If you don’t have fresh use the kind in the jar. Don’t use the cream horse radish sauce because it will be disgusting.)
  • A pinch celery salt
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes of Tabasco Sauce or more to taste
  • A liberal sprinkle of ground pepper
  • 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice (just squeeze in a few wedges)
  • And a big green olive or two. Try a blue cheese stuffed one.

Instructions:

Combine everything over ice in a big glass (or two if you want to share). Stir. Ganish with a long piece of fresh red bell pepper.

Note: If you’re not a Vampire leave out the blood.

 

Now Let’s Talk BACON

vm bacon cocktail

It’s all about the bacon. And the news is good.

You can now have your bacon and drink it too.

 

How to make Bacon Washed Booze.

 

You can add bacon flavor to vodka, whiskey or broubon. And it is easy. AND best of all you’ll get to eat the bacon.

This is fantastic in a Bloody Ceasar or Bloody Mary.

 

Bacon Washed Booze

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound good quality bacon
  • 26 ounces vodka, whiskey or bourbon (some people like to use rum too. I say go for it.)
  • 2 quart Mason jars
  • Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and funnel
  1. Fry up your bacon on low heat until nicely crisp but not charred. You don’t want to burn it. Pour fat from the pan into a heat-safe bowl (like a Pyrex bowl).
  2. Remove bacon strips and put them on a plate that’s covered with a paper towel. Let stand for five minutes.
  3. Pour alcohol of your choice into a large mason jar.
  4. When the bacon has cooled slightly, add strips into the Mason jar with the alcohol. Pour bacon fat into the jar as well. Let jar stand at room temperature for four hours and stir mixture every hour. Remove the bacon strips (but not the fat)
  5. Put the jar into the freezer overnight. The fat will solidify and rise to the top, scrape as much fat out of the jar as possible.
  6. Using a fine-mesh strainer pour vodka from one jar to a new empty mason jar. The strainer should catch lots of bacon fat and other stuff.
  7. Wash the original jar used and train the bacon infused alcohol one more time into the now clean and empty Mason jar. Enjoy.

 

vm_rick

Make a dry Bacon Martini and garnish with a strip of bacon. Or try a Smokey Vampire. Yum.

 The Smokey Vampire

  • 2 oz. Bacon Infused Bourbon (or Whiskey)
  • 1/4 oz. maple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange juice (just a bit)
  • Blood (just a bit)

In mixing glass, stir 2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters with ice. Strain into chilled rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with bacon and if you want add a splash of orange juice and blood.

Note: If you’re not a Vampire leave out the blood.

 

Have fun and we’ll see you next week for more ATG and Cocktails (and Vampires.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer TV Update (with Vampires, guilty pleasures, cooking, movies, AGT, and more)

Fall is just around the corner. I know that because I am painfully aware that books for the fall quarter for two college aged kids will run around $1,600 – $2,000, maybe a little less if they are lucky enough to get used books. But on a good note, the summer TV season is still in full swing.

I know I’m not the only person on the planet who is NOT watching Game of Thrones. I was turned off the first season by all of the gratuitous doggy style sex in every single episode. Really? Come on folks mix it up. I think that is an HBO thing. Seriously it gets annoying after a while (like after the first five or six times within an hour.) There were also a couple of other annoying things. I tried to read the first book and couldn’t get through it due to the writing style. It was well written, but I just couldn’t get into it. Hey, I have read a lot of fantasy, more than most, and a lot of difficult literature (which I loved) but I couldn’t get into Game of Thrones. Sort of like I can’t get into any Wally Lamb book (sort of like waiting in Hell, I mean on hold with any technical support department with any cable company, phone company, or eBay.) But if you like it then go for it. Have fun. As us Vampires say, “sink your teeth into it.” And there are dragons. Dragons are always exceptionally cool.

I also don’t watch Dr. Who. Never have. Never will. I will not discuss the subject. Period.

By the way, I have a funny bit. This morning my husband answered the phone at some early still-dark hour. He said, “Microsoft Technical Support,” and presto – the caller was gone. HA HA HA. I love that man.

So what stupid things have I been watching this summer? Not a lot. Mainly movies. Mainly small indie films. I’ll do another post for summer theater films (maybe) later. This is what I’ve watched and highly recommend that I’ve seen on cable.

Juliette’s Short List for Summer Movies You Can Watch On Your TV or Computer:

  • The Fundamentals of Caring
  • Shimmer Lake
  • I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
  • Tangerine

Note: All of these are small Independent films. Good stuff. None of them will make you want to strangle me after you see them. Please see the ratings and descriptions before you watch them with kids. 

 

The Bachelorette

Late one night, while I was alone, I discovered The Bachelorette. I discovered Rachael. Who couldn’t love Rachael. She is a beautiful, lovely, charming, sweet woman from Texas.

I usually don’t get hooked into this stuff but I did. I watched it in secret without family or friends. I wouldn’t admit to anyone that I was following Rachael’s adventures. But I couldn’t stop watching it.

You know, if it was a guy picking out a girl from the usually room full of chicks in too high of heels and too tight dresses I wouldn’t have watched. But this was different. This was so different. I’m not going to even try to explain today. Maybe later. Not today (I have stuff to do and need to finish this post.)

She started out with about thirty guys who all wanted to marry her, or at least get the chance to find out if they wanted to marry her. Each week she’d give a rose to the guys she wanted to keep in the running. The guys all stayed together in a stable, I mean house. Some were nice. Several were real douches. Some spent their time back stabbing other guys. That got them nowhere. In the meantime Rachael went around the world having romantic adventures with the fellows and FINALLY picked the last THREE. Oh what a heart break and what a sweet ending.

She picked…one of my favorites…the right choice… Bryan. Woo Hoo. I wish them a long happy life together.

I hope it works out for them when reality sets in. You know the reality I’m talking about. How will they handle it when one of them gets sick our injured? How will she deal with his weird high school friend Kyle? What about their morning routines, holidays, decorating styles, views on how they’ll raise their kids, where they’ll raise their kids, morning coffee breath, what they watch on TV and a variety of weird things? Life after dating can get complicated – yes, that is what marriage is. Marriage is rewarding but it isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work, and it isn’t always romantic.

I still can’t believe I got sucked into this. Awww, must be the romantic in me. Hey, Peter, dude, you blew it.

America’s Got Talent

This is my flagship show. What I mean by that is that when I first started this blog back in 2012 I started blogging about this show every single week during the summer. All of us (me, family, friends) would gather around and watch. I publish comments from the peanut gallery – unfiltered and unapologetic. The honest truth. The show is good this year and now in the judges cuts for the top acts. I’ll be posting on it again… and YES WITH COCKTAILS. Do a search for previous blog posts on this show.

I have to add one note about this season’s “golden buzzer” choices. A small girl with a big voice sang a lovely song and received the “golden buzzer.” My daughter looked the girl up on Google and found that she’d been in talent shows all over Asia. No wonder she was so good on stage, so slick, and utterly fantastic in a practiced and staged way. Her parents have made her into an industry – starting with what they named her (after a famous singer.) Unlike many of the other children we’ve seen on the show I feel this child is exploited by her parents. There is nothing natural about her. This isn’t talent. This is force fed performance – like a trained dog or monkey. She is their cash cow – raised to be a cash cow. By the time she is 23 she’ll be washed up, but who cares – mom and dad can retire in comfort. It is too bad the guest judge who pressed the golden buzzer couldn’t have seen through the blatant exploitation of a small child.

Vampire Cocktails – two parts mixer, one part blood. Cheers. And never drink and drive.

Next Food TV Star

This season had a bunch of likable folks (except two who were just annoying.) In my opinion it was the best season ever. They are now down to the last three. All men. All fun. All guys you’d want to hug and have as neighbors. All great. My bets are on Jason, a wonderful guy from Tennessee with an accent that will melt your heart away. I could just eat him up. This man can cook and entertain. Let’s see what happens.

If you don’t want to win on this show do the following:

  1. Refer to yourself as “Mama” something.
  2. Talk non-stop about a distant country you identify with, that nobody has ever heard of, even though you are 5th generation American. Then rather than educating us, and sharing with us the wonders of your beautiful family culture, be so confusing about it that nobody knows what the crap you’re talking about.
  3. Be totally clueless in the kitchen.
  4. Show the other contestants how ignorant and helpless you are.
  5. Act surprised that you’re going to be on TV and have to talk about your food.
  6. Don’t know what a vanilla bean looks like.
  7. Make the other contestants want to cry when they are paired up with you.
  8. Don’t follow directions.
  9. Act like a Martha Stewart wannabe.
  10. Make some sort of shrimp and grits for every single challenge. Yes, we know you’re from the South, but I know damn well that folks from the South eat a lot more than grits.

Preacher

I love this show. I fucking love this show.

Life Below Zero

I’m hooked. Love Sue. Love the others too. But I wish they’d show more than just hunting and fishing. I’d like to see other aspects of their lives as well. We get a hint, but I’d like more. OK I admit, I watch for the foxes at Sue’s and the puppies with everyone else.

Forged in Steel

People make knives. No drama. They are craftsmen and women. They are awesome. Wow. Check it out.

Ink Master

Yes, we’re watching this weird and wonderful train wreck of a show. This year is a team effort (teams of two in competition against each other.) There is less drama and better ink than on previous shows. Thank you producers for raising the bar a little. And did I say better artists? Yes, they’re better than we’ve seen in years. Like most shows this is just something we watch together, talk about while we watch it, and don’t take too seriously. It is family time. Don’t like to watch it alone cause it just wouldn’t be fun. And Dave is still hot.

If this Vampire wants to tattoo your image on his arm…you’ll have to check out his entire body first. Hey, look at the Vampire Maman tattoo (yes, he has a tattoo.) Is that me on his arm? Hell yeah!

 

So have a nice week everyone, and try to get outside too. Have fun – as only the summer can give you.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman