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'America's Got Talent' determines final five fourth-season Top 20 acts


By Christopher Rocchio, 08/27/2009 

America's Got Talent determined the final five Top 20 fourth-season semifinalist acts during Wednesday night's live broadcast of the NBC reality competition series.

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Barbara Padilla, an opera singer from Houston, TX; Drew Stevyns, a singer/guitarist; Recycled Percussion, a band from Goffstown, NH; and The EriAm Sisters, a singing trio from Seattle, WA, were revealed to have finished as the Top 4 vote-getters after Tuesday night's performance show that featured the season's fourth group of 12 quarterfinalists performing for home viewer votes, automatically earning them a spot as Top 20 semifinalists.

America's Got Talent host Nick Cannon also revealed that Bollywood dance group Ishaara, dog variety duo Pam Martin's Top Dogs, acrobatic group African High Flyers, slideshow performer Coney Island Chris, dancing and musical duo Matt & Anthony, and burlesque dance troupe The Lollipop Girls had received the six lowest home viewer vote totals and been eliminated from the competition.

The announcements then left judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff with the task of deciding which of the two acts that had received the fifth and sixth highest vote totals -- Erik and Rickie, two ballroom-dancing children from Seattle, WA, or Mia Boostrom, a singer and musician from North Dighton, MA -- should become the final Group 4 quarterfinalist act to advance to the semifinals.

"This is the part of the judging that I absolutely hate because you're both worthy of going through but only one can go through," said David. 

"Erik and Rickie, you're very great -- very incredible dancers -- but very, very young.  Mia, you gave a stellar performance last night.  You never gave up, you kept coming back and you did a great job.  But I think there are better singers in this competition.  For this competition alone, my choice tonight is Erik and Rickie."

Sharon also complimented both acts before announcing her decision.

"Erik and Rickie, what you do, you are just like a breath of fresh air on this stage.  You remind me of a little salt and pepper shaker.  Adorable," she said.  "Mia, you sing with your heart on your sleeve.  I know how badly -- how desperately badly -- you want this.  And I am going to have to put Mia through and send Erik and Rickie home."

With one vote apiece, Piers then cast the deciding vote.

"Well, if you asked me last night, I would have said Erik and Rickie because I wasn't overly impressed with Mia's performance," said Piers. 

"Then I watched it back on TV, and I was a bit more impressed than I had been in the room.  So it makes this decision a lot more difficult.  [Erik and Rickie] are very charming, but we have some great dance acts.  We know what this means to [Mia], we know you came back to get through.  We can see it in you.  But I've made a decision, and the act I'm going to send through to the semifinals is Erik and Rickie."

America's Got Talent's next fourth-season broadcast will air Tuesday, September 1 at 9PM ET/PT and feature performances by the first group of 10 semifinalist acts -- acrobatic basketball team Acrodunk, magician Drew Thomas Magic, singer Kevin Skinner, stand-up comedian Grandma Lee, dancer Arcadian Broad, dancing sisters Fab Five, sibling singing trio The Voices of Glory, tenor trio The Texas Tenors, husband-and-wife acrobatic dance duo Paradizo Dance, and dog-and-owner act Tony Hoard & Rory.

America's Got Talent's second group of 10 semifinalists -- contortionist breakdancer Hairo Torres, pianist Jeffrey Ou, married juggling team Mario and Jenny Ferreira, singer Lawrence Beamen, dance ensemble FootworKINGz, and the five acts which advanced on Wednesday night's broadcast -- will then perform Tuesday, September 8 at 9PM ET/PT.

America's Got Talent's fourth-season finale is currently slated to air Wednesday, September 16 at 8PM ET/PT.

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