America’s Got Talent‘s Top Five Contestants Revealed
09/19/2008 AT 12:00 AM EDT
And then there were five. In dramatic fashion, NBC’s America’s Got Talent narrowed the season three playing field from 10 contestants to five finalists on Thursday night’s live results show. (Ten acts performed on Wednesday night and based on the popular audience vote, the top five acts will advance to the finals.)
Host Jerry Springer called two contestants at a time to center stage, revealing to the audience that one would stay and one would go. Moving on to next Wednesday’s live one-hour final performance show: singers Neal E. Boyd, Queen Emily, Eli Mattson and Donald Braswell, and violin duo Nuttin But Stringz. “I was totally emotional,” Talent judge David Hasselhoff told PEOPLE in his dressing room minutes after Thursday’s show ended, noting that it was hard to say goodbye to five “very talented performers. But I think the audience voted correctly. Every single (remaining) act can headline Vegas.”
Hasselhoff’s fellow judges Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne agree.
“I think it’s a brilliant day for Americans today,” said Morgan. “I thought the votes might be emotional, but it’s like they really watched the show, listened to the judging and voted sensibly. Any one of them could win next week.”
As the five contestants prepare their final performances, Osbourne says in order to nab the million dollar prize and the shot to perform in Las Vegas, “it’s all about the songs. They have to come out with epic songs.”
Last year’s winner, ventriloquist-comedian Terry Fator, signed a five-year, $100 million contract to perform at The Mirage Casino and Resort. --Monica Rizzo