Secrets of America's Got Talent’s Top 10
09/07/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Taylor Mathews: The 18-year-old singer and musician from Alexandria, La., is friends with soul singer Marc Broussard. "He actually was the one I listened to on the radio and learned to sing to on the way back and forth from soccer practice in Lafayette, La.," Mathews says. "And I'm friends with him! It happened through my art teacher, so that was kind of mind-blowing. I never knew she that knew him! I really want to extend that friendship on stage and perform alongside him."
Studio One Young Beast Society: The Orlando, Fla., dance crew got parental guidance on their moniker. "Studio One is actually a theater company full of kids and adults," says Bianca Nobel. "For this, we decided to make a smaller, more condensed group and have that on the show. We wanted it to still be Studio One, but we wanted to be a subgroup of it, so we added on the Young Beast Society, which one of the parents came up with. I know -- it's really long!"
Jeremy Vanschoonhoven: While the stunt cyclist is healing ("My arm's doing pretty good," he says, "but the bone's bruised pretty bad, so if I touch it on anything, it hurts"), Vanschoonhoven does have another talent that doesn't require two wheels. "I do close-up magic," he says. He also has AGT connections. "My favorite show in the world is Terry Fator's show," he says of the season 2 AGT winner. "We used to tour around at the fairs together! That's why I did the show. I definitely would love to be next to him in Vegas."
Michael Grasso: The magician from Cape May, N.J., has captivated audiences with his big illusions and big heart, but who is the captivating assistant accompanying him on his tricks? "She's Lindsay Browning, and she's absolutely amazing," Grasso says. "I first met her when I auditioned her. She loves magic and when I told her about my ideas and visions, it was so different from any type of magic show she had seen, and she just fell in love with it, and with all the bruises and cuts she's had to endure, she gives it 100 percent."
Michael Grimm: While the Henderson, Nev., singer bares his heart on his sleeve when performing, Grimm does have a secret passion … stamp collecting. "I have so many," he says. "That's how I get my mind off things. I love looking at them, sorting them, finding little treasures. I've always loved stamps and when you enjoy them, you are enjoying the art. I can spend my life looking through these things."
Fighting Gravity: The 13 members of the Virginia Tech black-light performance troupe have no trouble imagining themselves in a full-on show. "Our biggest problem is that we have so much we want to do but we only have 90 seconds to put everything on," says Danny Kang. "We treat it as an act, but at the same time we want to show America that we're worthy of a show in Vegas."
Anna Kaczmarski and Patryk Ploszay: The champion ballroom dancers have become stars on AGT but hope to one day cross over to that other show. "We love everybody on Dancing with the Stars," says Anna. Among their favorites? "I like Derek Hough because he's all about fun," says Patryk. "He's funny and has energy and I like that about him." Adds Anna, "I like Edyta Sliwinska because we're Polish and so is she!"
Christina and Ali Christensen: Since coming to Los Angeles from Idaho Falls, Idaho, the singing sisters have gotten an exciting taste of Hollywood. "We met the Bachelor, Jake Pavelka," says Christina, 13. "He was really, really nice," says Ali, 20, "and we met Selena Gomez, and we saw Jane Lynch from Glee at the pharmacy. Everywhere we go, we see a star in L.A. and we have to remember, this isn't Idaho any more!"
Prince Poppycock: The Prince Poppycock character "is my mask," says John Quale. "Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth, in the style of Commedia dell'arte." But on a practical note, how does Quale preserve his skin when using so much makeup? "That's definitely one of the hardest things about this competition," he says. "There are days when my skin feels like hamburger meat. I believe in holistic skin care approaches. I love jojoba oil, I love the Avalon products, and toning is very important!"
Opera singer Jackie Evancho: The 10-year-old opera phenom is competing for $1 million, but what would Evancho like most after the show ends? “I want to have a pony!” Evancho says. As a tribute to her mother’s horse, Cinnamon, “I would name it Cinni,” she says. “I want to get a cinnamon horse. I really wish that I could get a pony when I get home. Daddy promised that we would!” -- Cynthia Wang and Jessica Herndon