'America's Got Talent' determines final four fifth-season semifinalists
By Reality TV World staff, 08/19/2010
America's Got Talent determined its final four fifth-season Top 24 semifinalist acts during Wednesday night's live broadcast of the NBC reality talent competition.
Anna and Patryk, a pair of pre-teen ballroom dancers from New Hyde Park, NY and Maspeth, NY; Connor Doran, an indoor kite flyer from Bend, OR; and Michael Grasso, a magician from Cape May, NJ, were revealed to have finished as the Top 3 vote-getters after Tuesday night's performance show which featured 12 acts performing in a special "wild card" quarterfinals round.
While Anna and Patryk were a Top 48 quarterfinalist act that had previously failed to advance out of their group during America's Got Talent's earlier fifth-season quarterfinal rounds, Doran and Grasso had both originally missed the quarterfinals cut and not been selected by the show's judges during the competition's Vegas round.
America's Got Talent host Nick Cannon also revealed that 11-year-old rapper and dancer CJ Dippa, comedian Doogie Horner, tap dance group The Hot Shot Tap Dancers, dance group Kruti Dance Academy, circus acrobat Rudi Macaggi, all-girl hip-hop crew RNG, and sideshow performers Swing Shift Side Show had received the seven lowest home viewer vote totals from the performance show and would not be advancing.
The announcements then left America's Got Talent judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel with the task of deciding which of the two acts that had received the fourth and fifth highest vote totals -- Harmonica Pierre, a harmonica player from Tucson, AZ, or Michael Lipari & Ashleigh Dejon, an aerialist duo from Los Angeles, CA -- should become the fourth act to advance to the semifinals.
Harmonica Pierre had previously failed to advance out of his Top 48 quarterfinalist group and been selected to return by Morgan, who cast his vote for act he had selected.
"Who do I want to put through to the next round, Sharon's pick or my pick? This is quite a hard one, Morgan said. "No, let's be serious... forget the picks for a moment because we have two very talented acts."
"[Michael and Ashleigh], last night, I wasn't expecting that at all... when you did that amazing stunt in the middle -- I call it a trick, I think you're now a magic act -- that took it to a whole different place. Having said that... we've never seen anyone like you Pierre, and I don't think we're ever going to see another one like you, and for that reason I'm voting Pierre."
Osbourne then cast her vote for the act she had selected to return for the "wild card" round.
"Its really hard. I'm not going to be disrespectful to Pierre because I really believe he has the right to be here because he has a great unusual talent. And each time he performs, I love him a little bit more," she said. "However for me, it's all about my pick -- I adore them, I think they're edgy, different, exciting. Very, very exciting... they deserve to go through and that's my choice."
With the judges' voting tied, it was then up to Mandel to cast the deciding vote.
"[Michael and Ashleigh] you surprised us. It was wonderful, it was sexy, it was scary. Piers doesn't even know what it is, he calls it 'magic.' But I have to go with my gut, and my gut is who can win this? Who will people go see as a headlining act? Will you go see the world's greatest harmonica player, or will you go see a sexy, death-defying, edgy aerialist?" Mandel said.
"And my answer has to be Michael and Ashleigh."
Now that America's Got Talent's Top 24 semifinalist acts have been determined, the semifinals will begin on Tuesday, August 24 when 12 acts will perform and attempt to advance to the competition's Top 10 finals.