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“America’s Got Talent”: Five Acts Advance to the Finals


L-R: “America’s Got Talent” finalists Sal Valentinetti, Laura Bretan and Grace VanderWaal, judge Simon Cowell, finalists Tape Face and Jon Dorenbos; Trae Patton/NBC(LOS ANGELES) — Wednesday night’s installment of NBC’s America’s Got Talent saw five of the 11 acts that performed on Tuesday’s show learn that they had been chosen to advance to the finals. The other six acts were sent home.

Judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Simon Cowell, along with host Nick Cannon, were on hand for the live event airing from Hollywood’s Dolby Theater to learn which acts America had selected to advance for a chance at the $1 million top prize.

Also back for season 11 is the “Dunkin’ Save,” which allowed viewers to vote live to save an act in danger of elimination. They were instructed to search “Dunkin’ Save” on Google and select one of the three acts with the lowest vote totals that they wanted to see in the finals.

Singer/songwriter Grace VanderWaal, 13, crooner Sal Valentinetti, magician Jon Dorenbos, comic mime Tape Face and 14-year-old opera singer Laura Bretan all advanced to the finals.

High school choir Musicality, comic Lori Mae Hernandez, 12, Brazilian dance team Malevo, magician Blake Vogt, husband-and-wife knife throwing act Deadly Games and family singing group Edgar were sent home.

Cannon also revealed that the judges had a chance to bring back one act eliminated during the quarterfinals to return as a “Wild Card.” They chose jugglers The Passing Zone.

Here’s a rundown of Wednesday’s action:

The first three acts called to the front of the stage were high school choir Musicality, 12-year-old stand-up comic Lori Mae Hernandez and 13-year-old singer/songwriter Grace VanderWaal. Grace moves on to the finals. Afterward, Howie warned the youngster that her world was going to change drastically and told her “you stay you.”

Crooner Sal Valentinetti and Brazilian dance team Malevo were the next two acts summoned to the front of the stage by Cannon. Valentinetti advances in the competition. Heidi, who pressed her Golden Buzzer for Sal, was especially pleased with the results.

Magicians Jon Dorenbos and Blake Vogt, along with husband-and-wife knife-throwing act Deadly Games, were the next acts to learn their fates. Dorenbos moves to the next round. Earlier in the season, he revealed that his father killed his mother when Jon was 12 years old. Now, the professional football player uses magic to help victims of trauma. Howie praised Dorenbos, noting, “You were not only jaw-dropping [Tuesday] night, you are jaw-dropping in life…Good things happen to good people.”

Earlier in the show, Cannon revealed that family singing group Edgar, 14-year-old opera singer Laura Bretan and comic mime Tape Face were the acts with the three lowest vote totals, and gave viewers a chance to save one of them with the “Dunkin’ Save.” By the closest margin in the show’s history, America picked Tape Face to advance to the semifinals.

The judges then got to decide which of the remaining two acts would advance. Heidi and Mel picked Laura, while Howie chose Edgar. Simon cast the deciding vote for Bretan, who advances to the semifinals.

The evening also included magic from The Illusionists.

America’s Got Talent returns next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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