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Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.
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Did Kennesaw’s Flau’jae survive ‘AGT’ quarters?

Originally posted Thursday, August 16, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Well, I called this one wrong Tuesday night.

After gauging the competition, I figured Kennesaw rapper Flau’jae - with full-throated support from Simon Cowell and a solid performance - was a shoo-in for the semifinals on “America’s Got Talent.”

But she didn’t make the cut. 

The “AGT” voting audience clearly didn’t connect with her messaging or her rap style or... something. She didn’t even make the top eight and qualify for the Dunkin’ Save, which went to... Angel City Choir. I also did not see that one coming at all. Those types of acts don’t tend to do well in live voting yet somehow their inspirational story cut through. 

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In the end, I only got five of the acts correct: Shin Lim, Courtney Hadwin, Amanda Mena, Vicki Barbolak and Junior New System.

I figured it would be a close call for Junior New System and I was right. That dance troupe deadlocked with the judges with Mochi. America gave the vote to the Junior New System.

I also called We Three wrong. Again, I misread the “AGT” voting audience. I should have chosen them over Mochi. 

Anyway, I spoke with Flau’jae before the results show.

She said she was more nervous about the results than the performance. She had opted for an original song that was more upbeat than her first two performances.

She also took Mel B’s critique well. Mel B had asked her to do more rapid rapping the next time around. (Too bad there won’t be a next time.)

She said her time on “The Rap Game” was integral to her success now. Jermaine Dupri’s advice that stuck with her: “Never stop pushing. You can get a million no’s before you get the right yes that could change your life.” 

Flau’jae loved how well “AGT” took care of her and the rest of the acts. “They treat us like stars!” she said, including hair, makeup, choreography and the like. 

“AGT” flew her to Savannah to shoot at her dad’s grave. “It was emotional,” she said. She thinks about him often though she never got to meet him in person: “I think he’s proud of me. I’m living out my dreams. I feel a piece of him is with me through this.” 

She was psyched to have Simon’s enthusiastic support. “He doesn’t now much about rap but he knows talent,” she said. 

Of the other acts, she felt closest to We Three, the rock band trio that did make it through. “They’re so cool and original,” she said. And she loved Junior New System. “They are so transformative dancing in heels,” she said. 

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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