"America's Got Talent" Set to Reveal Champion

By Daniel Macht and Eric Alt
|  Wednesday, Sep 14, 2011  |  Updated 8:13 PM CDT
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Oakland's POPLYFE finds out if they have made the final four of this season of America's Got Talent.

Oakland's POPLYFE finds out if they have made the final four of this season of America's Got Talent.

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America’s got a decision.

The final four on “America’s Got Talent” took the stage for the final time Tuesday, hoping to win the show’s $1 million purse and a headlining gig on the Las Vegas strip. It’s up to the voters now.

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. went first, dressed in a white suit with a jet-black shirt and tie.

The once homeless, silky smooth crooner from West Virginia belted out Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Afterward judge Sharon Osbourne said Murphy’s performance gave her “goose bumps,” while Howie Mandel and Piers Morgan called him a contender to win the competition.

“What a moment that was,” Piers Morgan said. He called it particularly impressive that Murphy had nailed Sinatra’s “biggest song.”

“That was a million dollar performance,” Morgan said.

The judges were equally effusive for Los Angeles-based Team iLuminate, a dance troupe that reimagines the raver's humble Day-Glo stick to supersized effect. 

Team iLuminate shimmied and shape shifted across a blackened stage, intermittently flashing red hearts framed by Tron-esque neon outlines of the performers’ bodies.

“It’s groundbreaking what you do,” Osbourne said of what she called the group’s mastery of technology, creativity and vision.

Mandel said Team iLuminate also deserved to win but worried America would not deliver the necessary votes because the troupe lacked one personality to rally around.

“You are exactly what America needs right now,” Morgan said, referring to the group members' entrepreneurial zeal.

Next up was PopLyfe, a 6-teen fronted rock and soul band from Oakland, Calif. whose 15-year-old arranger, Dylan Wiggins, is a son of Tony Toni Tone artist and producer D’Wayne Wiggins.

PopLyfe's singer, Kehlani Parrish, teared up after belting out a medley of guitar-squealing Queen hits “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” that was stunted by a series of sour vocal notes.

“I want people to understand that we worked so hard. I hope people understand we really want this,” Parrish said.

“You’re a star no matter what,” Osbourne said. 

The dancers of Silhouettes went last, their performance delayed by technical difficulties during NBC’s live broadcast.

The Colorado-based troupe, whose members range from ages 3 to 19, had capped a previous performance by having dancers spell out "BELIEVE" against a backlit wall.

For Tuesday's routine, the dancers positioned their bodies into the shape of a bed that then transformed into various dreamscapes and landmarks like the Eiffel tower -- all to the tune of “What a Wonderful World.”

They closed by spelling out the word "LOVE," which Mandel called the “perfect ending.”

“Inspirational, beautiful,” Osbourne said.

But was it powerful enough to score the show's top prize? The overall winner will be crowned during Wednesday night's season finale at 8 p.m. on NBC.

 

 

Selected Reading: America's Got Talent Official Site, Los Angeles Times, XFinityTV

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