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'America's Got Talent' determines final four sixth-season semifinalists


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/18/2011 

America's Got Talent determined its final four sixth-season Top 24 semifinalist acts during Wednesday night's live broadcast of the NBC reality talent competition.

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West Springfield Dance Team, a high school dance team from Springfield, VA; The Kinetic King, a variety act from St. Paul, MN; and Landon Swank, a magician from Wasilla, AK, 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 The Kinetic King and Landon Swank were a Top 48 quarterfinalist act that had previously failed to advance out of their group during America's Got Talent's earlier sixth-season quarterfinal rounds, West Springfield Dance Team was one of the competition's online auditioneers who had not been selected to advance based on home viewer votes during last week's special YouTube auditions round.

America's Got Talent host Nick Cannon also revealed that singer and guitarist Shevonne, BMX bike tricks act Yellow Designs Stunt Team, singing trio Avery and the Calico Hearts, juggler Charles Peachock, variety act Those Funny Little People, magician Seth Grabel, and comic and musician J. Chris Newberg had received the seven lowest home viewer vote totals from the performance show and would not be advancing to the semifinals.

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 -- Summerwind Skippers, a jump rope team from Boise, ID, or The Fiddleheads, a bluegrass band from Dahlonega, GA -- should become the fourth act to advance to the semifinals.

Summerwind Skippers and The Fiddleheads had both previously failed to advance out of their Top 48 quarterfinalist groups. Piers then cast his vote for the act he had selected to advance.

"Here's the deal. We have two talented acts. We've seen you both four times, so we've gotten to know you very well and I know you know each other very well. It's a difficult decision. It's silly for Howie because obviously if you guys go home now, he doesn't get any of his picks through tonight and I get three, three! So, intense few minutes for Howie. But let's be serious," Piers said, referencing how Howie had selected The Fiddleheads as one of his "wild card" picks to return.

"I have been big fans of yours, maybe because I love the progression you have made in the competition. Every round [gets] better -- more theatrical, more dramatic, less mistakes. You guys, you know how I feel. I'm not going to change my view. [The Fiddleheads], I think you have a good lead singer, but I think you're in the wrong band. I do believe that. I think you are a different kind of musician. So, for me, it is a very straight forward decision and my vote goes to Summerwind Skippers."

Howie then cast his vote for The Fiddleheads.

"I have to say that I brought back The Fiddleheads and they did what I asked them to do and they delivered that. And the Summerwind Skippers, you turned me into a fan last night, but I have to go with who I brought back -- The Fiddleheads," Howie explained.

With the judges' voting tied, it was then up to Sharon to cast the deciding vote.

"Okay. Two great acts, two really good acts. Summerwind Skippers, you're unique. I have seen you grow more than anyone else, and so I'm going to cut to the chase right here and say Summerwind Skippers!" Sharon added.

Now that America's Got Talent's Top 24 semifinalist acts have been determined, the semifinals will begin on Tuesday, August 23 when 12 acts will perform and attempt to continue advancing in the competition.

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