LOS ANGELES (AP) - Three very different singers and a group of special-effects wizards got talent _ and votes.
Soulful 30-year-old crooner Michael Grimm, flashy 32-year-old showman John "Prince Poppycock" Quale, 10-year-old opera phenom Jackie Evancho and 13-man performance troupe Fighting Gravity are advancing to the "America's Got Talent" finale. The four acts were revealed Wednesday to have received the most viewer votes on the NBC variety competition.
"It feels like a dream come true," beamed Evancho after the show Wednesday.
Evancho, the sprightly singing sensation who displays more natural effervescence offstage than any Nickelodeon or Disney Channel star, reached Susan Boyle status online this summer with her surprisingly classical opera style. The Pittsburgh native doesn't know what she'll sing in next Tuesday's finale but hopes to wear a "bigger, prettier dress."
The 13 fraternity brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., that make up Fighting Gravity plan to top their space-themed routine from Tuesday's episode with a new performance which promises to be "beyond space." The team, reminiscent of the Blue Man Group, utilize black lights and other props to create illusions within darkness.
"It's a tremendous amount of pressure," said 22-year-old member Danny Kang, one of three members that are actually visible in their routines. "We really, really want to step it up this time and just blow people away. We don't want to play it safe. We are going to take some risks this time. There are going to be some safety concerns in this routine."
Michael Grimm, the soft-spoken singer from Waveland, Miss., isn't sure about what he'll do for the finale after performing Tuesday for the first time on "America's Got Talent" without his guitar. Grimm, who collects stamps when off stage, said he's considering delivering a ballad with his guitar then taking it off for the rest of the performance.
"I don't know," he said. "I didn't think I was going to make it through tonight."
There are already several ideas for the next routine from Prince Poppycock, the outlandish operatic creation of Quale, whose previous spectacles include belting out "Bohemian Rhapsody" while smashing blue-and-white china and chirping "Yankee Doodle Dandy" in front of leggy backup dancers sporting U.S. flags and a replica of the Capitol building.
"I'm going to bring more of an emotionally connected performance than perhaps you've seen in the past," teased Quale. "I feel it's a strength that I have as a performer that hasn't really been showcased as much because I've been focused so much on spectacle. I'll still bring spectacle, but hopefully an emotionally resonant performance as well."
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