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'America's Got Talent': YouTube-spawned semifinalists revealed

August 10, 2011 |  9:49 pm

Those of us who predicted that ladder-loving acrobats Gymkana, glow-in-the-dark stunt biker Matt Wilhelm and curly-headed singer Kevin Colis would be the top three contestants from the "America's Got Talent YouTube Special" to make it through to the semifinals -- and that it would be a tight competition for the evening's fourth and final slot –- might feel somewhat smug right about now.

On the other hand, let's not pat ourselves on the back too hard: It wasn't exactly a tough race to call. Was anyone's money really on Gabe Rocks, the bulldog who lifted a leg next to a cutout of Piers Morgan, or cheesy teen show choir act Powerhouse?

But if Wednesday night's "America's Got Talent" results show revealed anything other than the all-but-predetermined fates of the four(ish) YouTube-launched acts that made it through, and the eight(ish) that did not, it was that Americans truly are a people of contradictory tastes: We can admire an imaginative collaboration between the dance troupe Pilobolus and the band OK Go and appreciate the unusual Irish step-dance duo Up & Over It's riveting "Hand Dance" even as we compulsively click on absorbingly abysmal viral videos from Tay Zonday (he of "Chocolate Rain") and Rebecca Black (she of "Friday") and Keenan Cahill (he of the riveting lip-sync) -– all of whom performed.

As for that fourth and final slot, it came down to two dance acts: "Thriller"-evoking West Springfield Dance Team and 14-year-old Beth Ann Robinson, who said she wanted "to prove a solo dance act can go through and win this competition." The judges did their usual split-vote thing: Morgan went with Robinson, Sharon Osbourne went with West Springfield, and Howie Mandel was left to ramble on for a little while before throwing the final and deciding vote Robinson's way.

But then Osbourne let us know that we hadn't seen the last of the West Springfield Dance Team and their creepy zombie contact lenses: They'd be back on the show next week to compete in the Wild Card round.

Also set to return from the dead next week: Landon Swank, the Kinetic King, the Summer Wind Skippers, Charles Peachock, Yellow Design Stunt Team, J Chris Newberg, Those Funny Little People, the Fiddleheads, Seth Grabel, Avery and the Calico Hearts, and some singer I don't remember at all named Shevonne.

I admit, I'm really not looking forward to seeing one or two of those acts again: specifically, Those Funny Little People, who never even deserved to make it past auditions, and Avery and the Calico Hearts, who definitely left at the right time.

What do you think?


'America's Got Talent' recap: YouTube stars go from screen to stage

'America's Got Talent' results: Did the judges make the wrong call?

'America's Got Talent' recap: 'If you're gonna blunder,' go big

-- Amy Reiter