America's Got Talent (season 3)

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America's Got Talent
Season 3
Broadcast from June 17 – October 1, 2008
Judges David Hasselhoff
Piers Morgan
Sharon Osbourne
Host(s) Jerry Springer
Broadcaster NBC
Website www.nbc.com/Americas_Got_Talent/
Winner
Neal E. Boyd
Neal Boyd 08-10-08.jpg
Neal E. Boyd
Origin Sikeston, Missouri
Genre(s) Opera
Runner-up
Eli Mattson
Chronology

The third season of America's Got Talent, an American television reality show talent competition, premiered on NBC on June 17, 2008. Opera singer Neal E. Boyd was named the winner on October 1, 2008.

Preliminary auditions were held in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, and MySpace from January to April. David Hasselhoff, Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne returned as judges. Jerry Springer also returned as host.

It premiered in the United Kingdom on the channel ITV2, 7 months after the United States premiere. It premiered in Singapore on Channel 5 in September 2008, and in Hong Kong on channel TVB Pearl on May 23, 2009.

This season, the audition stage became different. This season, the X on the stages (above) and judges table matched the ones from Britain's Got Talent. After this season, Jerry Springer stepped down as host.

Selection process[edit]

Season three is similar to Season two in the audition process, except that the auditions were held in large theaters, there were three more audition episodes, and two more audition sites. The season also carried over the Las Vegas boot camp, but acts were divided into more groups, such as ventriloquists, male singers, female singers, opera, instrumental music, bands, and other variety acts. There were forty acts that passed through, instead of twenty. The semi-final process consisted of shows on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Ten of the top forty acts performed each of the shows for four weeks. Five were eliminated each show by public vote during the "Top 40" episodes. However, the contestants that come in fifth and sixth place faced the judges' decision. The panel was able to eliminate the act they wished not to put through. Afterward, the Top 40 was narrowed down to a Top 20.

Following the Top 20, the American viewing audience was given the chance to eliminate ten acts from this group, creating a Top 10. The Top 10 then trimmed to a Top 5 after the American viewing audience voted. Afterward, The Top Five performed in a two-part, two-week finale, that concluded the season.

In Season 3, when all three judges pressed their X's to terminate a performance in the semi-finals, the act was allowed to continue, but must end early.

Preliminary auditions[edit]

Week 1[edit]

Aired on June 17, 2008, 2 hours. Auditions from New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles were shown.[1][2][3]

Acts that were eliminated include:

  • Serious Mysterious Bill Curlee sang and danced to "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones.[4]
  • Nick Afanasiev, a teenager with a flexible tongue
  • Lady “J” Huston, a dancer/trumpeter
  • The Quiddlers, a puppet act with puppets that look like dwarfs or little people
  • Ed Jacques, a guy who hummed on his hand[5]
  • Adam Ace, a comedian who put a shower cap over his face.[5]
  • Mary Bly, 80-year-old tap dancer[6]
  • Chay Vang, Siamese electric guitar player[7]
  • Terry Christiansen, songwriter
  • Singing Santa Claus, a Santa-singer
  • Stumblebum Brass, a jazz/punk street trio
  • Dallas Dance Company, group of dance teachers
  • The Renegades, dance group performed to Michael Jackson's "Thriller"
  • Daniel Burton, a hip hop dancer
  • The M&M Twinz, a pair of twin dancers
  • Daisy Taste, an elderly woman on roller skates

Week 2[edit]

Aired on June 24, 2008, 2 hours. Auditions from New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles were shown.[8][9][10]

Acts that were eliminated include:

Week 3[edit]

Aired on July 1, 2008, 2 Hours. Auditions from Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta.[16][17][18]

Acts that were eliminated include:

  • Corky Duke - line dancer danced to "Cotton-Eyed Joe"[19]
  • The Rodeo Rhythm Kings - bluegrass trio, Morgan commented that the violinist "Should be charged with possession of an offensive weapon"
  • Nolan Leach - trick roping on a horse
  • Juli Blue - singer and banjo player
  • Jacque Kendall - hoop dancing
  • Smithfield - painting pot-bellied pig[20]
  • Diana Ross and Twinkle - dancing lady and dog
  • Sean Paul & Julianne - trained monkey act
  • The Busy Bee Dogs - trained dog act, left a dog on-stage after being X'd out by the judges.
  • Zane & Stephanie - married singers, sang "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers[21]
  • Alistair McQueen - male burlesque dancer[22]
  • Coburn Hartsell - stripper
  • Gravity Plays Favorites - pole dancers
  • Scandalesque - burlesque fire dance
  • The Hollywood Men - strippers
  • Busty Heart - crushed things with her breasts

Week 4[edit]

Aired on July 8, 2008, 1 hour. Auditions from Atlanta, and New York.[23][24][25]

Acts that were eliminated include:

  • Billy Dodson - countertenor that was told to "sing like a man"[26]
  • Polka Today - polka dancers that performed a number set to "Walking on Sunshine", which was described by Hasselhoff as "dancing in a blender", Sharon saying it was silly dancing, and Piers noting that "there was nothing today about what you were doing. It was like polka 50 years ago." [27]
  • Philip Weiner - singer[28]
  • Peter McIntosh - ventriloquist who did not close his mouth.[28]
  • Ursula Knudson - singer
  • Rachel Star - read poetry while standing barefoot on broken glass
  • Debra Weiner - singer. She did not stop singing when X'ed by all three judges, and had to be escorted off the stage by Hasselhoff.

Week 5[edit]

Aired on July 15, 2008, 1 hour. Auditions from Atlanta, and Dallas.[29][30][31]

Acts that were eliminated include:

  • Michelle Wallace - sang "All by Myself" by Celine Dion.[32]
  • Barry Collier - barnyard animal noises[33]
  • Nance Upchurch - singer
  • The Freak Show - dance troupe
  • Music Makes the World Go Round - accordion duo. Morgan commented that the only thing worse than one accordion is two accordions.
  • Mac Jay - dancer
  • Fancy Ray McCloney - Little Richard impersonator

Week 6[edit]

Aired on July 22, 2008, 1 hour. Auditions from New York, and Los Angeles.[34][35][36]

Acts that were eliminated include:

Week 7[edit]

Aired on July 29, 2008, 1 hour. Auditions from Myspace And Facebook .[39][40][41]

Acts that were eliminated include:

  • Michael Trixx - rock and roll magician performed tricks such as turning a feather into a wand, making a handkerchief and an umbrella appear out of thin air, using flames to make two bandanas appear, and then using those bandanas to make a candle disappear to "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" by Judas Priest.[42]
  • Diva Boy and the Sexplosion Dancers - glam-rock dancers[43]
  • Eloy Rendon - motivational speaker.[44]
  • Del Hampton - nine-time "cluck-off" champion. Chicken impersonator. Morgan told him to "cluck-off".
  • David Deeble - Said he would set off fireworks in his pants. He was X'ed out before he even began his performance.
  • Suzy Trunquist - rock singer.
  • Cary Trivanovich - funny faces.
  • Sweetones - mother/daughter whistling duo.[45]

Second round[edit]

Las Vegas callbacks[edit]

Part 1 of the Las Vegas callbacks was broadcast on August 5, 2008 as a 2-hour episode.[46][47][48]

Part 2 of the Las Vegas callbacks was broadcast on August 7, 2008 as a 90-minute episode.[49][50][51]

A total of 113 acts made it to the Las Vegas callbacks. 19 of these acts were eliminated without even being given a chance to perform. The remaining 94 acts were trimmed down to a short list of 60 acts in the first of the two callback episodes, and the remaining acts were further trimmed to a Top 40 group in the second episode.

First cut[edit]

Acts that were eliminated without being given a second performance:

Second cut[edit]

Acts that did not make it to the top 60:

  • Lynn Ruth Miller
    • Preliminaries: Passed Through. Comedian. Was one of the top 4 comedians who auditioned, only shown briefly in a montage.[1]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Did 90 seconds of one-liners about the senior condition, her message was that "truth is often funnier than fiction."
  • David Martin
    • Preliminaries, Week 1: an illusionist[1]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performed the Shadow Vision illusion. Martin appeared to make several mistakes during his performance. He claimed they were intentional, and that he was playing mind games with the judges, but the judges did not appear to be convinced.
  • Cafidia Stuart
    • Preliminaries, Week 1: 15-year-old sang Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing"[1]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown, but was shown being eliminated.
  • Kevin "Big K" Taylor
    • Preliminaries, Week 2: martial arts brick breaking act. Broke 100 flaming cement bricks in less than 20 seconds with his fists. At one point in the performance, his hand was caught on fire.[8][53]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Broke more bricks, including breaking several stacks with his head.
  • Holly Hardin
  • Shakes
  • Mia Boostrom(Also seen in season 4)
  • Cat Williams
  • Randy Hanson
    • Preliminaries, Week 7: Ozzy Osbourne impersonator. Sharon commented that the only way she could tell him from her husband was if he "dropped his trousers so she could take a look at the goods." Sang "Paranoid".[39]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Only shown briefly in a montage.

Third cut[edit]

Acts that made it to the top 60, but not the top 40:

  • Sheila-Sheila of The Jungle, Salsa Singer (Sheila Korsi)
    • Preliminaries, Week 1: sang "Cucala" by Celia Cruz, only shown briefly in a montage.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): sang "I Will Survive," Salsa style, by Gloria Gaynor.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Eliminated after making it to the top 60. Piers Morgan told her that "she was a lot of fun."
  • David Militello
    • Preliminaries, Week 3: 9-year-old sang "Ben" by Michael Jackson[16][54]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): sang "If We Hold On Together" by Diana Ross Passed through.[55]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Eliminated
  • The Southern Belles
    • Preliminaries, Week 3: cloggersPerformed to "Are you gonna be my girl" by Jet.[16][56]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown. Only shown briefly in a montage.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Eliminated
  • Holly Stone
    • Preliminaries, Week 7: sang "A Broken Wing" by Martina McBride.[39][57]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown. Passed through.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Eliminated
  • Sterling Silver
    • Preliminaries, Week 1: clog dancing troupe[1]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Eliminated.
  • Russian Bar Trio
    • Preliminaries, Week 2: acrobatic act, with a lady performing aerial acrobatics on a 4-inch-wide (100 mm) Russian Bar held by the other two members.[8][58]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Only shown briefly in a montage. Passed through.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Passed through to the Top 40, but were forced to resign from the competition due to injury. This opened up a Wild Card slot in the Top 40.

Unknown cut[edit]

Acts that were eliminated at an unknown stage of the Las Vegas callbacks:

  • Scott Land
    • Preliminaries, Week 1: a puppeteer that created an unusual marionette, an uncooked chicken, that danced, laid an egg and picked up a flag. The act is named "The Amazing Sal Monella"[1]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Jazmin
    • Preliminaries, Week 1: quartet of female singers[1]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Polina Volchek(Also seen in Season 5)
    • Preliminaries, Week 1: woman hula-hooper[1]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Next II None (N2N)
    • Preliminaries, Week 2: family boy band performed "Bye Bye Bye" by 'N Sync[8][59]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • The Pendragons
    • Preliminaries, Week 2: 54-year-old husband and wife magicians. Performed their Guinness world record holding version of the metamorphosis illusion.[8][60]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Duo Genesis
    • Preliminaries, Week 3: hand balancers[16]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Shaolin Warriors of Chinatown
    • Preliminaries, Week 3: martial arts performers[16]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Paul West and Tucker
    • Preliminaries, Week 3: Frisbee catching dog act[16][61]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Nichole
    • Preliminaries, Week 4: Pole dancer[23]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Giwayen Mata
    • Preliminaries, Week 4: African dancers[23]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • SQ Entertainment (Also in the season 4)
    • Preliminaries, Week 4: family hip-hop dance troop[23][62]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Fast Wally
    • Preliminaries, Week 5: juggler[29]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Fun with Hand Shadows
    • Preliminaries, Week 6: hand shadows of various historical figures[34][63]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Only shown briefly in a montage. They did not know why they should win, when asked by Morgan.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • XL (Xavier Lewis)
    • Preliminaries, Week 6: 25-year-old Xavier Lewis sang "Ordinary People" by John Legend[34][64]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • The Awakening
    • Preliminaries, Week 6: dance troupe[34]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Georgia Force
    • Preliminaries, Week 6: Dance team for the Georgia Force Arena Football team[34]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Michael Harrison
    • Preliminaries, Week 6: ventriloquist, used an audience member as a human puppet.[34][65]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • The Lasalle Brothers
    • Preliminaries, Week 7: jugglers[39]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • Plastic Musik
    • Preliminaries, Week 1: Stomp-like performers with trash cans and colorful batons[1]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did make it to the top 40.
  • Lewis Warren, Jr.
    • Preliminaries, Week 3: 11-year-old pianist[16]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.
  • By My Side
    • Preliminaries, week 3: Mother and daughter duo singers.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Not shown, but did not make the Top 40, so presumed eliminated by the judges.

Wild Card acts[edit]

After the filming of the callbacks, one of the members of the Russian Bar Trio named Kristine was seriously injured. This opened up a slot in the Top 40 group. The judges selected eight acts, all of which had been eliminated during the callbacks. Viewers voted from among the eight, and selected Donald Braswell II to return to the competition, leaving the remaining seven acts eliminated.

  • Miss Pussykatt
    • Preliminaries, Week 2: grinding act, pressed an angle grinder onto metal plates that had been affixed to various parts of her clothing to send sparks flying.[8][66]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Only shown briefly in a montage. Performed her grinding act while sitting in an aerial hoop. Passed through.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Eliminated (Judges Wild Card)
    • Semifinals (Part 1): Eliminated again, did not get the Wildcard slot.[67]
  • Junior & Emily
    • Preliminaries, Week 3: brother-and-sister salsa dance duo[16][68]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown. Passed through.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Eliminated (Judges Wild Card)
    • Semifinals (Part 1): Eliminated again, did not get the Wildcard slot.[67]
  • Dan Meyer
    • Preliminaries, Week 3: sword swallower, swallowed a medium sword, a long sword, 7 swords at once, and threw a sword into the floor.[16][69]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Swallowed a flaming sword, a curved sword, and juggled 6 clubs while a sword was whipped from his mouth with a whip. Passed through.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Eliminated (Judges Wild Card)
    • Semifinals (Part 1): Eliminated again, did not get the Wildcard slot.[67]
  • Kyle Rifkin
  • Lil Countrie and Page 1ne
    • Preliminaries, Week 2: street dancers/tumblers[8][71]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Performance was not shown.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Eliminated (Judges Wild Card)
    • Semifinals (Part 1): Eliminated again, did not get the Wildcard slot.[67]
  • Xclusive - Kenneth Parrio
    • Preliminaries, Week 5: robotic miming to a self-mixed sound effect track.[29][72]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): Danced to the theme of Inspector Gadget. Passed Through.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 2): Eliminated (Judges Wild card)
    • Semifinals (Part 1): Eliminated again, did not get the Wildcard slot.[67]
  • Victoria Jacoby
    • Preliminaries, Week 4: 11-year-old contortionist[23][73]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks (Part 1): More contortionism, this time on a slowly spinning horizontal bar. Eliminated. (Judges Wild Card)[74]
    • Semifinals (Part 1): Eliminated again, did not get the Wildcard slot.[67]

Top 40[edit]

The Top 40 acts performed in four episodes over four weeks. In the next episode following each performance episode, the results were revealed. First, the acts were presented in pairs, one from the top four of the previous episode, one from the bottom four. It was then revealed which of the pair had been eliminated, and which of them remained in the competition. After the top four and the bottom four were fully revealed, the acts in fifth and sixth place were all that remained. At this point these remaining two acts were put to the judges to decide which of them would remain, and which would be eliminated.

Top 40, Part 1[edit]

The first episode of the Top 40 performance semifinals was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on August 26, 2008, following a break for the 2008 Summer Olympics .[67][75][76]

Acts that were eliminated include:

  • Derrick Barry
  • Ronny B
    • General: Ron Belala, singer and dancer
    • Preliminaries, Week 6: Danced and sang to "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie. Hasselhoff disliked his performance, saying "This is a talent show, not a freak show."[34][80]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Performance was not shown.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Performed "She Bangs" by Ricky Martin. Hasselhoff said in an interview he had "0" talent.[67][81] Eliminated[79]
  • Shimshi
    • General: magician
    • Preliminaries, Week 7: Performed a clear box version of the classic "Sawing a woman in half" illusion.[39]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Performance was not shown.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Performed a trick where he had an audience member pick a card from a deck of playing cards, ripping a corner out of that card, and then kicking a group of cards hanging eight feet so that the ripped card stuck to his foot. He was criticized by Hasselhoff and Morgan for not having a more elaborate trick.[67][82] Eliminated[79]
  • The DC Cowboys
  • Elite
    • General: Alexandra Pyles, a 10-year-old martial artist
    • Preliminaries, Week 4: Beat up her dad.[23][85]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Shown briefly in a montage fighting multiple opponents.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Performed a pirate themed martial arts exhibition, including a slow motion flip, a fight versus a pirate sword, and a short set with a spinning staff.[67][86] Judges Choice, Eliminated in favor of The James Gang.[79]

Elimination table, Week 1[edit]

Key Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Buzz Crystal Clear app clean.svg Judges' choice
  Advanced
  Won the judges' vote.
  Lost the judges' vote.
Order Performer Act Description Buzzes and judges' choices
Hasselhoff Osbourne Morgan
1 Extreme Dance FX Contemporary Modern Clog Troupe
2 The James Gang Hip-hop Rap Quartet 1 Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg
3 Derrick Barry Britney Spears Impersonator Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
4 Elite Martial Artist
5 Ronny B Singer / Dancer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
6 The Cadence Percussion Group
7 Jessica Price Singer/Musician
8 Shimshi Magician
9 DC Cowboys Dance Troupe Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
10 Neal E. Boyd Opera Singer

^1 Because both Osbourne and Morgan voted for the James Gang, Hasselhoff's voting intention was not revealed.

Top 40, Part 2[edit]

The second episode of the Top 40 performance semifinals was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on August 27, 2008.[79][87][88]

Acts that were eliminated include:

  • Slippery Kittens
    • General: A burlesque dance group who are mothers.
    • Preliminaries, Week 1: Passed through[1]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Performance was not shown.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Performed to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by The Andrews Sisters.[79][89] Received an X from Morgan for strip teasing and unprofessional tattos. Eliminated.[90]
  • Jonathan Arons
  • George "the Giant" McArthur
    • General: 7' 3" carnival sideshow style performer.
    • Preliminaries, Week 3: Drank milk through a long bendy straw that went through his nasal passage and around an audience volunteer, and then set off firecrackers on his chest.[16][93]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Only shown briefly in a montage. Lay on a bed of nails.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Human Pinata act. Escaped chains while being held upside down and children were beating him with baseball bats. At a point in the performance, he dropped candy onto the floor. He received an X from both Morgan and Osbourne. The judges felt this is not an act.[79][94] Eliminated.[90]
  • Kazual
    • General: A cappella barbershop quartet style group
    • Preliminaries, Week 7: Passed through[39]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Performance was not shown.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Sang "Can You Feel It" by The Jacksons. Received an X from Morgan. They were heavily criticized that, besides the main lead singer, the others did not have solo quality voices and the group should stick to the other three backing up and harmonizing with the lead singer.[79][95] Eliminated.[90]
  • Beyond Belief Dance Company
    • General: 22 member dance troupe from Mesquite, Texas.
    • Preliminaries, Week 3: Danced to "Fashionista" by Jimmy James. Morgan said that the group's outfits and makeup were horrendous, but loved their performance.[16][96]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Danced to "Don't Stop the Music" by Rihanna.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Performed to "When I Grow Up" by the Pussycat Dolls.[79][97] Eliminated in favor of the ZOOperstars!. Morgan voted for BBDC, while Osbourne and Hasselhoff voted for the ZOOperstars!, with Hasselhoff saying that he had confidence that BBDC would go far.[90]

Elimination table, Week 2[edit]

Italics indicate the act was a wild card. Order indicates when the act performed during the performance episode.

Key Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Buzzed out Crystal Clear app clean.svg Judges' choice
  Advanced to the Top 20.
  Finished in either fifth or sixth place; Won the judges' vote.
  Finished in either fifth or sixth place; Lost the judges' vote.
Order Performer Act Description Buzzes and judges' choices
Hasselhoff Osbourne Morgan
1 Beyond Belief Dance Company Dance Troupe Crystal Clear app clean.svg
2 Paul Salos Frank Sinatra Impersonator
3 Kazual Singing Group Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
4 ZOOperstars! Mascot Dance Troupe Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
5 The Wright Kids Bluegrass Trio
6 Jonathan Arons Trombonist and Dancer
7 Daniel Jens Singer/Musician
8 Slippery Kittens Burlesque Dance Group Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
9 George the Giant Carnival Side Show Performer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
10 Queen Emily Singer

Top 40, Part 3[edit]

The third episode of the Top 40 performance semifinals was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on September 2, 2008.[90][98][99]

Acts that were eliminated include:

  • Texas State Strutters
  • Michael Strelo-Smith
    • General: Former professional opera singer who appeared on America's Got Talent, Season 2, however, was not passed through to the live shows for one reason, the judges felt he wasn't ready.
    • Preliminaries, Not Shown: Passed through.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: sang "Somewhere" from the musical West Side Story.[46][103] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Sang "I Am What I Am". Was X'ed by Morgan and Osbourne for being, as Morgan put it, "karaoke" and Sharon put it, "music teacher.[90][104] Judges' choice, eliminated in favor of Sick Step[102]
  • Bruce Block
    • General: Magician/general performer. Appeared in the previous season of the show as well, but was not passed through to the live shows.
    • Preliminaries, Week 5: Block lay on a bed of nails and held a board on top of himself for his assistant to dance on and sing "Anything Goes". Hasselhoff then asked to stand on Block as well, to establish that the bed of nails was indeed real.[29][105]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: escaped from a straitjacket.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Performed an act where he transformed a divided pantomime horse into a small living pony, with around a half dozen little people around him as various additional characters in the act. He was criticized by Morgan for doing a version of the "oldest trick in the book", and by Hasselhoff for creating confusion with the large number of assistants he used.[90][106] He did not attend the results show the next day due to illness. Eliminated[102]
  • Shequida Hall
    • General: Female impersonator and operatic singer. Able to sing both in a very low bass range and an extremely high tenor range, sounding both male and female in a single performance.
    • Preliminaries, Not Shown: Passed through.
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Passed through.[46][107] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Sang "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, completely in falsetto.[90][108] Eliminated[102]
  • Matthew Piazzi

Elimination table, Week 3[edit]

Italics indicate the act was a wild card. Order indicates when the act performed during the performance episode.

Key Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Buzzed out Crystal Clear app clean.svg Judges' choice
  Advanced to the Top 20.
  Finished in either fifth or sixth place; Won the judges' vote.
  Finished in either fifth or sixth place; Lost the judges' vote.
Order Performer Act Description Buzzes and judges' choices
Hasselhoff Osbourne Morgan
1 The Texas State Strutters Precision Dance Team Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
2 Michael Strelo-Smith Classical Crossover Singer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
3 Bruce Block Magician/General Performer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
4 Shequida Hall Female Impersonator/Opera Singer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
5 Taubl Family Family Musician Group
6 Jonathan Burkin Baton Twirler
7 Sarah Lenore Singer/Musician
8 SickStep Hip-hop Dance Crew Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg
9 Matthew Piazzi Impressionist Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
10 Joseph Hall "Young Elvis" Impersonator

Top 40, Part 4[edit]

The fourth episode of the Top 40 performance semifinals was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on September 3, 2008.[102][110][111]

Acts that were eliminated include:

Elimination table, Week 4[edit]

Italics indicate the act was a wild card. Order indicates when the act performed during the performance episode.

Key Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Buzzed out Crystal Clear app clean.svg Judges' choice
  Advanced to the Top 20.
  Finished in either fifth or sixth place; Won the judges' vote.
  Finished in either fifth or sixth place; Lost the judges' vote.
Order Performer Act Description Buzzes and judges' choices
Hasselhoff Osbourne Morgan
1 Dallas Desperados Dancers Cheerleading Dance Team Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
2 Bryan Cheatham R&B Singer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg
3 Flambeaux Fire Breather Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
4 Kaitlyn Maher Singer
5 Dorae Saunders Tina Turner Impersonator Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
6 Donald Braswell II Singer
7 Indiggo Twin Singers Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
8 The Tapping Dads Tap Dancing Group Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
9 Eli Mattson Singer/Pianist
10 Nuttin' But Stringz Sibling Violinists

Top 20[edit]

Top 20, Part 1[edit]

The first episode of the Top 20 performance semifinals was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on September 9, 2008.[114][123][124]

Terry Fator, the winner of the previous season, made a brief appearance to announce that he would perform the following night, and to announce that the Las Vegas headline show by the winner of the current season would be on October 17.

Acts that were eliminated include:

  • The Cadence
  • The James Gang
    • General: Dressed as newsies, this hip-hop rap quartet mixed lots of old fashioned style into their routine.
    • Preliminaries, Week 4: Passed through[23][128]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Performance was not shown.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Performed in 1920s-style tuxedos, adding a few elements of magic to their act. They were criticized by the judges for trying to do too much.[67][129] Judges Choice, chosen to remain in the competition in favor over Elite. The judges commented in passing them through that they felt that they had not seen the best of The James Gang.[79]
    • Top 20: Performed "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles.[114][130] Eliminated[127]
  • Daniel Jens
  • ZOOperstars!
    • General: Oversized animal mascot versions of various sports celebrities, already a popular pre-game and halftime act at various sporting events.
    • Preliminaries, Week 5: Performed to "Tootsee Roll".[29][133]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Performance was not shown.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Performed to "Macho Man" and "Y.M.C.A." by The Village People, including having one of the members swallow a second performer into the costume. During the performance, one of the members accidentally fell off the stage.[79][134] Morgan commented that he would like to take five arrows and harpoon them. Judges Choice (chosen instead of Beyond Belief Dance Company). Osbourne said that "this competition needs a bit of wackiness."[90]
    • Top 20: Performed to "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory. The routine consisted of feats such as members of the group pretending to sing, somersaults, dropping to the floor from the ceiling, and an attempt to walk a tightrope. Hasselhoff commented that the act didn't come together as a group.[114][135] Eliminated[127]
  • Extreme Dance FX

Elimination table, Part 1[edit]

Key Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Buzzed out Crystal Clear app clean.svg Judges' choice
  Advanced to the Top 10.
  Finished in either fifth or sixth place; Won the judges' vote.
  Finished in either fifth or sixth place; Lost the judges' vote.

Italics indicate the act was a wild card. Order indicates when the act performed during the performance episode.

Order Performer Act Description Buzzes and judges' choices
Hasselhoff Osbourne Morgan
1 The Cadence Percussion Group
2 Queen Emily Singer
3 The Wright Kids Bluegrass Trio
4 The James Gang Hip-hop Rap Quartet
5 Daniel Jens Singer Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
6 ZOOperstars! Mascot Dance Troupe Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
7 Neal E. Boyd Opera Singer
8 Jessica Price Singer/Musician Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg
9 Extreme Dance FX Contemporary Modern Clog Troupe
10 Paul Salos Frank Sinatra Impersonator


Top 20, Part 2[edit]

The second episode of the Top 20 performance semifinals was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on September 10, 2008.[138][139][140]

The episode included a special guest performance from Terry Fator, the winner of the previous season. Fator had Winston the Turtle sing "Let's Get It On", and Elvis impersonator Maynard Thompkins sing "Viva Las Vegas".

Acts that were eliminated include:

Elimination table, Part 2[edit]

Key Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Buzzed out Crystal Clear app clean.svg Judges' choice
  Advanced to the Top 10.
  Finished in either fifth or sixth place; Won the judges' vote.
  Finished in either fifth or sixth place; Lost the judges' vote.

Italics indicate the act was a wild card. Order indicates when the act performed during the performance episode.

Order Performer Act Description Buzzes and judges' choices
Hasselhoff Osbourne Morgan
1 SickStep Hip-hop Dance Crew Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
2 Donald Braswell II Singer
3 Joseph Hall "Young Elvis" Impersonator Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg
4 Taubl Family Family Musician Group Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
5 Sarah Lenore Singer
6 Nuttin' But Stringz Sibling Violinists
7 Kaitlyn Maher Singer
8 The Tapping Dads Tap Dancing Group
9 Eli Mattson Singer/Pianist
10 Jonathan Burkin Baton Twirler Crystal Clear app clean.svg

Top 20, Results Show[edit]

The results show for the Top 20 performances was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on September 11, 2008.[127][154][155]

Top 10[edit]

Top 10 Performance Show[edit]

The Top 10 episode was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on September 17, 2008.[156][157][158]

Acts that were eliminated include:

Top 10[edit]

Key Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Buzzed out
  Advanced to the finals.

Italics indicate the act was a wild card. Order indicates when the act performed during the performance episode.

Order Performer Act Description Buzzes
Hasselhoff Osbourne Morgan
1 Paul Salos Frank Sinatra Impersonator Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg
2 Kaitlyn Maher Singer
3 Donald Braswell II Singer
4 Jessica Price Singer/Musician
5 Joseph Hall "Young Elvis" Impersonator
6 Neal E. Boyd Opera Singer
7 The Wright Kids Bluegrass Trio
8 Queen Emily Singer
9 Nuttin' But Stringz Sibling Violinists
10 Eli Mattson Singer/Pianist

Top 10, Results Show[edit]

The results show for the Top 10 performances was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on September 18, 2008.

The episode included a guest performance by Natasha Bedingfield of her new song "Angel". This time there were no more "Judges Choice" eliminations, and all acts that were eliminated or continued through did so on the audience vote totals.

Top 5[edit]

The Top 5 performance episode was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on September 24, 2008.

The finale was broadcast from Los Angeles, California on October 1, 2008.

[185][186]

Fifth place[edit]

Fourth place[edit]

Third place[edit]

  • Nuttin' But Stringz
    • General: Sibling violinists Tourie and Damien Escobar. They combine classical music with hip-hop. All the songs that they have performed are their own original compositions, many from their 2006 album Struggle from the Subway to the Charts.[203]
    • Preliminaries, Week 1: Performed "Thunder". Passed through[1][204]
    • Las Vegas Callbacks: Performance was not shown.[46] Passed through[49]
    • Top 40: Performed "Broken Sorrow". Their performance earned a standing ovation, including the judges.[102][205] Passed through[114]
    • Top 20: Performed "Thunder Remix"[138][206] Passed through.[127]
    • Top 10: Performed an original piece titled "Winner".[156][207] Passed through.[164]
    • Top 5: Performed "Thunder" again. Morgan said that they are the most likely act to win the competition.[193][208]

Second place[edit]

Winner[edit]

Finals[edit]

Key
  Winner
  Runner-up
  3rd Place
Finals, October 1–2, 2008
Order Contestant Performance Description Result
1 Nuttin' But Stringz Sibling Violinists; performed Thunder 3rd Place
2 Donald Braswell II Singer; performed You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban 4th Place
3 Neal E Boyd Opera Singer; performed Nessun dorma from the opera Turandot Winner
4 Eli Mattson Singer/Pianist; Against All Odds by Phil Collins Runner-Up
5 Queen Emily Singer; One Moment in Time by Whitney Houston 5th Place

Elimination chart[edit]

Key
Winner Runner-Up Judges' Choice Eliminated
Stage: Top 20 Top 10 Finals
Place Contestant Result
1 Neal E. Boyd Safe Safe Winner
2 Eli Mattson Safe Safe Runner-Up
3 Nuttin' But Stringz Safe Safe Eliminated
4 Donald Braswell II Safe Safe Eliminated
5 Queen Emily Safe Safe Eliminated
6-10 Jessica Price Judges' Choice Eliminated
Paul Salos Safe Eliminated
Kaitlyn Maher Safe Eliminated
Joseph Hall Judges' Choice Eliminated
The Wright Kids Safe Eliminated
11-20 Jonathan Burkin Eliminated in Judges' Choice
Tapping Dads Eliminated
Sarah Lenore Eliminated
The Taubl Family Eliminated
SickStep Eliminated
Extreme Dance FX Eliminated
The Cadence Eliminated
The James Gang Eliminated
Daniel Jens Eliminated in Judges' Choice
ZOOperstars! Eliminated

Contestants who appeared on other seasons[edit]

  • Michael Strelo-Smith competed in season 2 but didn't make it past judgment week.

U.S. Nielsen ratings[edit]

Show Rating Rating/Share
(18-49)
Viewers
(millions)
1 7.8 3.8/10[221] 12.80
2 7 3.1/9 11.51
3 7.5 3.2/10 11.98
4 7.6 3.3/9 12.40
5 7.8 3.1/9 12.53
6 7.8 3.3/10 N/A
7 7.9 3.6/10 13.61
8 7.8 3.5/10 12.42
9 N/A 2.7/8 8.57
10 N/A 3.1/9 10.96
11 N/A 2.7/8 10.13
12 N/A 6.5/10 10.58
13 N/A 2.7/7 10.15
14 7.1 2.6/10 11.60
15 N/A 2.5/8 11.49
16 N/A 2.3/8 9.64
17 N/A 3.1/9 12.05
18 N/A 2.3/7 9.83
19 6.6 2.7/7 10.23
20 7.7 3.3/8 12.55

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  177. ^ Joseph Hall in the Las Vegas Callbacks Archived July 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  178. ^ Joseph Hall in the Top 40 Archived September 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  179. ^ Joseph Hall in the Top 20 Archived September 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  180. ^ Joseph Hall in the Top 10 Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  181. ^ The Wright Kids NBC bio Archived September 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  182. ^ The Wright Kids in the Top 40 Archived September 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  183. ^ The Wright Kids in the Top 20 Archived September 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  184. ^ The Wright Kids in the Top 10 Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  185. ^ "Finalle Results". America's Got Talent. Season 3. Episode 20. 2008-10-01. 
  186. ^ RNO summary Episode 20 Archived October 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  187. ^ Queen Emily NBC bio Archived September 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  188. ^ Queen Emily's initial audition Archived July 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  189. ^ Queen Emily in the Las Vegas Callbacks Archived July 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  190. ^ Queen Emily in the Top 40 Archived September 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
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  192. ^ Queen Emily in the Top 10 Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
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  194. ^ Queen Emily in the Top 5 Archived September 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  195. ^ Interview with Detroit Public TV, March 15, 2009.
  196. ^ San Antonio Express News column on Donald Braswell Archived June 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  197. ^ Donald Braswell NBC bio Archived September 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  198. ^ Donald Braswell's initial audition Archived July 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  199. ^ Donald Braswell in the Top 40 Archived September 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  200. ^ Donald Braswell in the Top 20 Archived September 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  201. ^ Donald Braswell in the Top 10 Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  202. ^ Donald Braswell in the Top 5 Archived September 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  203. ^ Nuttin' But Stringz NBC bio Archived September 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  204. ^ Nuttin' But Stringz's initial audition Archived June 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  205. ^ Nuttin' But Stringz in the Top 40 Archived October 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  206. ^ Nuttin' But Stringz in the Top 20 Archived September 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  207. ^ Nuttin' But Stringz in the Top 10 Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  208. ^ Nuttin' But Stringz in the Top 5 Archived September 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  209. ^ Eli Mattson NBC bio Archived September 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  210. ^ Eli Mattson's initial audition Archived June 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  211. ^ Eli Mattson in the Top 40 Archived September 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  212. ^ Eli Mattson in the Top 20 Archived September 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  213. ^ Eli Mattson in the Top 10 Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  214. ^ Eli Mattson in the Top 5 Archived September 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  215. ^ Neal E. Boyd NBC bio Archived September 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  216. ^ Neal Boyd's initial audition Archived June 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  217. ^ Neal Boyd in the Top 40 Archived September 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  218. ^ Neal Boyd in the Top 20 Archived September 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  219. ^ Neal Boyd in the Top 10 Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  220. ^ Neal Boyd in the Top 5 Archived September 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  221. ^ "Tuesday 6/17/08". 2008-06-18. Archived from the original on 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Season 2 (2007)
America's Got Talent
Season 3 (2008)
Succeeded by
Season 4 (2009)