Detroit Youth Choir secures spot in 'America's Got Talent' finals
The Detroit Youth Choir's hopes of competing in the "America's Got Talent" finals were answered Wednesday, and now they'll vie for $1 million and a Las Vegas residency.
The choir nabbed one of the five remaining spots in the Sept. 17 finals in Hollywood, after a dazzling performance Tuesday of Panic! At the Disco's "High Hopes." The winner will be announced Sept. 18.
"You know what, DYC? You earned this," said Judge Simon Cowell during Wednesday's results show. "You're now going to be in the best final we've ever had."
As the group's name was called, choir members jumped up and down, pumping their fists in the air.
"I’m overwhelmed right now," said Anthony White, the group's director. "I love everybody, my kids. The city of Detroit loves you. Thank you, judges. Thank you, America. We love you."
Since the start of their run on "America's Got Talent," the Detroit Youth Choir, which ranges in age from 8 to 18, has wowed judges and audiences alike with their powerful performances, dancing and raps. Host Terry Crews gave them the golden buzzer in June.
Judge Gabrielle Union called the group's performance on Tuesday "amazing." Cowell said it was as good as their audition.
During a clip aired Wednesday, an emotional White said at one point he was told to quit "and I just kept going."
The group will face nine acts altogether in next week's final and some serious competition. They'll face another choir, the Ndlovu Youth Choir, a group of singers ranging in age from 13 to 27 from rural Limpopo, South Africa. They'll also compete against Light Balance Kids, a group of Ukrainian high tech youth dancers who dance in the dark with synchronized moves and LED lights integrated into their costumes.
On Wednesday, four other acts also secured spots in the finals: V. Unbeatable, a dynamic team of youth dancers from Mumbai, India; and Voices of Service, a singing group; comedian Ryan Niemiller; and singer Emanne Beasha.
The winner of "America's Got Talent" will receive $1 million and a residency performing in Las Vegas.
No matter how the Detroit Youth Choir's run ends on the show, the group has already achieved serious celebrity status in Metro Detroit. They'll perform at the half-time show of the Detroit Lions game on Sunday. They'll also perform in America's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan applauded the group on Twitter on Wednesday.
"America has seen the true Spirit of Detroit through this group of amazingly talented young people and their inspiring Director, Anthony White," said Duggan in a tweet. "Nothing Stops Detroit (Youth Choir)!"