'America's Got Talent' season premiere: Who'd you like the most? Team iLuminate? The SH'Boss Boys?


Image Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

America’s Got Talent kicked off a new season of adorable minors, inspirational seniors, acrobatic dance groups, dancerly acrobatic groups, mock indignation (Howie Mandel) and genuine indignation (Piers Morgan) with a double-threat performer: A man who could simultaneously ride a unicycle and juggle torches. That he did all of this with one hand on Howie Mandel’s cranium earned him the love of everyone in the arena who was not Howie Mandel. The season premiere from there had a few high points (all hail the Kindergarten-aged rap trio, the SH’Boss Boys), low points (the Forever Young Dancers — think Cocoon with more diapers and no ladies) and a high-low point (a Fart impersonator.) The night ended with an act that was pretty much as good as anything AGT has ever shown: The incredible group of dancers called Team iLuminate, who put on an elaborate light show that seemed initially inspired by TRON, but which quickly into something unique and wonderfully bizarre.

Not counting Piers and Howie’s sword face-off, Team iLuminate was my favorite performance of the night. What about you?

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Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • Danny

    For me it was the dude who cartwheeled off the stage.

    • glenn

      Landon Swank was a hottie, I hope he goes far!

    • Jess

      Yah, I was more entertained by the guy who fell off the stage than by Landon or Ryan. Everything about Ryan’s story, performance, and reaction seemed forced. And Landon was sooo incredibly boring for a magician.

  • ABC

    I could swear there was an almost exact replica of iLUMINATE from last year. maybe it’s just the similarities between the glowy lights?

    • Chris

      You’re talking about defying Gravity. I don’t know which one is better though. iLUMINATE seemed like the lights needed to be a bit brighter.

      • Sean

        Not to be an ass, but it’s Fighting Gravity, ha. I thought the exact same thing. I wanna love iLuminate so badly (not that it wasn’t awesome, cause it TOTALLY WAS) but I just loved Fighting Gravity so much and just won’t be able to not compare them, and FG did it a ton better.

      • !

        Defying Gravity was limited in what they could do because they were attached to the wall, weren’t they? I don’t remember them being able to move around on the floor freely like iLuminate could. I was more impressed by this group.

      • cul8rv8

        They were not attached to the walls, the guys in white were carried/picked up by the guys in black. To me they are similar, but not the same. With FG, they could not turn on and off without hiding behind a black curtain or behind the guys dressed in black. It’s a similar idea, but with the lights being able to be turned on and off, it gives more options.
        What would be a great show here would be to combine Fighting Gravity with iLuminate into one show.

    • Michael

      That was the group Fighting Gravity from last season why it feeels similar to you. Still, I can definitely say it is going to be really rough to find a millionaire this season. The acts are really getting better this year.

      • Julie

        Getting better? Every act is just a copy of past seasons. There will be an animal act, a magician or two, a ton of singers, stunt cyclists, oddball daredevils who put metal into their body cavities.The swordfighters seemed the most original. The show should end before someone gets killed.

      • Justin

        Geez, Julie, it sounds like you’re holding AGT to an impossibly high standard. How different are the singers on Idol or X Factor, or the dancers on SYTYCD? For me, AGT is perfect summer TV.

      • JulieB

        Justin, I agree, it is perfect summer TV. I never miss a season actually. You’re also right about the singers on Idol, but the top 10 dancers on SYTYCD are amazingly talented.

  • jace

    Didn’t vote because it was to hard for me. There was alot of talent on tonight.

  • Marilyn Huntress

    I tape AGT and so far I have gone back to hear Ryan Andreas. For me It doesn’t get any better than this.

    • pumpkin

      I totally agree with you Marilyn. Ryan’s voice made me sit up and take notice last night. I’m thinking he’ll be one I download this season.

      iLuminate was cool though…using programs to get the lights going in just the right places at just the right times was totally awesome for this geek. =) I think computer nerds will truly appreciate the work the choreographer put into that routine.

  • McFudge

    First and last time for America’s Got Talent for me. That show made me almost nervous…..too fast, too much audience craziness, the stage is a distracting hot mess. Just…ick. The Miami dancers were good but you could barely make them out for all the stars and stripes. Not enough to have them in the background, they had to have them all over the stage, too. I think I’ll stick with SYTYCD for my reality fix. In spite of Uncle Nigel.

    • Eurydice

      Same here – first and last time. I got a nervous “ick” feeling, too. Like the whole theater was drenched in desperation – like I wished that, just once, people would let their private dreams could stay private.

      • Eurydice

        Ooops, delete that “could.”

    • Kathy

      “Too fast,” @McFudge? It’s just a fun talent show, like Star Search or Ted Mack before it. I love SYTYCD too, but their ADD crazies (like Amber last week) are just as distracting.

  • LOL

    They should rename the show America Loves Crap and two Brits and a Canadian are going to judge you!

    • Kim

      Love your comment, LOL

  • Terry

    I thought the integrity of the show was tainted last year by Piers Morgan’s buzzing on Finals Night, so didn’t watch.

    • Steve

      Integrity of the show? LOL

    • pumpkin

      It’s entertainment…there is no integrity in entertainment…ask Barnum and Bailey.

  • !

    They need to stop mentioning Howie’s OCD and trying to get him to touch people. I’m not a fan of his, but seeing that bit with the unicycling juggler and Howie’s face looking like he could kill somebody made me cringe. Hands down the best act was iLLUMINATE. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re going to do next.

    • So Agree

      ITA. OCD is no laughing matter. People just think someone can ‘get over it’. He was a great sport, but leave the man alone.

      • Ken

        Howie was clearly NOT amused. Although in the juggler’s defense, Howie goes on talk shows all the time and jokes about his OCD. It’s part of his act! I can see how people don’t always take his disorder as seriously as they should.

  • sternum

    How can a group blatantly rip of fighting gravity and then be praised as “the most exciting audition EVER” what a joke.

    • !

      Some say that Fighting Gravity got the idea from a Japanese group. Fighting Gravity might have taken that and made it their own just like iLUMINATE did. Both groups are entertaining.

    • ST

      I liked Fighting Gravity last year but I liked Team iLuminate a lot more. Fighting Gravity was good but they seemed limited in what they could do. These dancers seemed to bring the show to life more. I also really enjoyed Ryan Andreas. I’ve never heard a voice like his before! I hope he goes far in the competition. Right now, I’m picking him to win.

      • Alex

        I will disagree. Fighting Gravity looked better & brighter. Music was better. It didn’t look like an 80’s cheesy outfits. Illuminati could be better but the outfits and the dancing were mediocre – had this been tha Young Beast Society doing dancing/acrobatics and better neon lights – then yes.

    • pumpkin

      I agree with !. iLuminate made it their own by using computer programs to direct the light instead of black walls like Fighting Gravity used. The programs give the concept a whole new dimension.

  • sternum


  • PN

    I’ll wait 2 to 3 weeks to watch the show–I’m still winded out after watching American Idol’s strong 10th season. I don’t like it when the competition shows are so close together like that, one starting 6 days after the other shows season finale!

  • Ladylou

    I am so sick of gimmicks (lights on dancers) and let us see some real talent. I wish I could have seen them dancing. This show sucks.

    • pumpkin

      Hate to tell you Ladylou but that choreographer has talent. That is talent – designing and programming the software that controls the lights with the dancers’ abilities. A shame it’s lost on some.

      • Jerry

        Well said, @pumpkin. The dancers of iLuminate were crazy talented. Their moves were amplified by the strong choreography and amazing software programming. Not sure how Ladylou could have missed their dancing, but to each her own.

  • Shiney and New

    I’m not a fan of any little kid rapping, singing or dancing acts.

    Ryan Andreas was incredible.

    • GS

      I really like Ryan Andreas. He was a big surprise. I also liked Debbie and the bird. They cracked me and my son up. I also liked the magician and the guy that juggled stun guns. And I did like Illuminate even if they did rip off Fighting Gravity. It was just a little different. But I’m tired of the kids. They were cute but you couldn’t understand a word they said. I really wish parents wouldn’t bring them to the auditions. Looking forward to seeing what else is in store.

      • pumpkin

        I’m with you, GS. I was wishing there were subtitles when the kids were talking and even rapping. Couldn’t understand a singlw word. I’m betting they’ll get voted off for that in the first half. They’ll only last that long cause they’re cute but cuteness only goes so far.

      • Dave

        I actually loved both Ryan Andreas AND The SH’Boss Boys (the kid rappers). They weren’t just adorable, they were talented as well (and since I always have my closed-captioning on, their words weren’t a problem for me).

    • blurb

      Really? Not a Jackie Evancho fan? By far the most talented person ever on that show.

      • Don

        Jackie Evancho isn’t exactly a “little” kid (okay, she was only 10 when she competed). As for “most talented person on that show,” you must have been away when Terry Fator was on during Season 2.

  • Dianna

    I saw a bit of Team iLuminate but I will go back and watch again… I also liked the little kid/Samoan dancer.. I am looking forward to the performance of the act (from upcoming previews) that looks like Pilobolus Shadow team… Also the magician who did the trick with the girl on the water.. that has been done by David Copperfield I wonder if certain tricks are trademarked???

  • Jason

    I still like AGT, but why can’t they fix the problem with the editing: show us the talent! Not Nick Cannon, not the judges, not the audience – just keep the cameras on the performance!

    • GS

      I disagree. I love seeing Nick’s reactions. He’s hilarious! Now I could do with A LOT LESS of Howie and Piers irritating each other. They are like little kids. “Leave me alone! No you leave me alone.” It’s juvenile and annoying. But Nick is a great host and he brings a lot of out of the contestants.

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