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'America's Got Talent' reveals its next five third-season Top 20 acts


By John Bracchitta, 09/04/2008 

NBC's America's Got Talent revealed its third group of five Top 20 Round contestants during Wednesday night's live broadcast of the reality competition series.

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The broadcast began with an announcement from America's Got Talent host Jerry Springer that Bruce Block, a performance artist from St. Joseph, MI, was unable to attend the night's show due to an illness and hadn't received enough home viewer votes to continue the competition.

"Bruce, we wish you well," Jerry added.

Jerry then revealed that Jonathan Burkin, Sarah Lenore and Joseph Hall had been three of the top vote-getters from the previous evening's performance show and would therefore be moving on to the competition's Top 20 Round.

During the process, Springer also revealed that the Texas State Strutters, Shequida, Matthew Piazzi had received the three of the lowest home viewer vote totals and had been eliminated from the competition.
 
Because of Bruce's departure from the show, the remaining results process was slightly altered, with the three remaining groups --Michael Strelo-Smith, The Taubl Family and SickStep-- all coming forward for the revelations of who would claim the final two spots in the group.

After revealing that The Taubl Family had been the final top 4 vote-getting group, Jerry left the America's Got Talent judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osborne, and David Hasselhoff to decide whether Michael or SickStep -- the acts that had received the fifth and sixth highest vote totals from the show's home viewer voters -- should become the fifth and final second-group Top 40 act to advance to the competition's Top 20 Round.

After stating that he was basing his decision on the acts performances throughout the competition, Piers criticized Michael for his overconfidence throughout the competition.

"Michael your problem is that you're half as good as you think you are," Piers explained. "A bit of humility goes a long way in show business."

Piers added that the Castro Valley, CA opera singer's shortcomings had also proven to be one of SickStep's greatest qualities.

"What I like about these guys is that they've shown humility and they've shown dedication and they've shown a willingness to listen and to work hard," he explained through the cheers of the supportive crowd. "And for that reason I'm going to vote for SickStep."

Sharon pointed out that both acts were completely and had brought different qualities to the show. However she agreed with Piers in choosing to award the New Haven, CT dance crew because of their continued hard work.

"I love [SickStep's] vibe. I love their determination, their youth," she exclaimed. "Michael you've got a dream. You've got a huge dream. Everyone here has a dream and I think I'm gonna have to go with SickStep."

Since Piers and Sharon had already both voted for SickStep, David was not asked to vote.

After the five new Top 20 acts were revealed, the Top 40 Round's last ten acts began performing for the opportunity to advance to the Top 20 Round. 

Wednesday's Top 40 Round performers were: 

- The Dallas Desperados Dancers, a cheerleading squad from Dallas, TX

- Bryan Cheatham, a singer from Dallas, TX

- Flambeaux, a fire performance artist from New York, NY

- Kaitlyn Mahar, a 4-year-old singer from Ashburn, VA

- Dorae Saunders, a Tina Turner impersonator from Columbia, SC

- Donald Braswell, a singer from Boerne, TX

- Indiggo, twin singers from New York, NY

- Tapping Dads, tap dancers from Temecula, CA

- Eli Mattson, a singer/musician from Door County, WI

- Nuttin But Stringz, musicians from Jamaica Queens, NY

The five fourth-group Top 40 acts that will get to advance to the Top 20 Round will be revealed at the beginning of America's Got Talent's live September 9 broadcast.

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