[08/16/06 - 12:00 AM]
The Stars Come Out for Exciting Two-Night "America's Got Talent" Season Finale

[via press release from NBC]


Tonight's Final Performance Episode Features 10 Finalists Receiving Expert Advice From Hip-Hop Mogul Master P, Grammy-Winners Yolanda Adams and Chaka Khan, Blues Traveler's John Popper and Penn & Teller Among Others

Popular Theatrical Performers, Blue Man Group and Singing Sensations Aly & AJ Perform in Thursday's Live Finale Where Million-Dollar Winner Will Be Crowned

BURBANK, Calif. - August 16, 2006 - NBC popular summer series "America's Got Talent" kicks off its two-night star-filled finale tonight (8-10 p.m.) with each of the 10 finalists partnering with an expert coach in their respective genre to fine-tune their last performance for a chance to win the million-dollar prize. Expert coaches include: Hip-Hop Mogul Master P, Grammy-Winners Yolanda Adams and Chaka Khan, Blues Traveler's John Popper and Penn & Teller among others. At the end of the episode, the phone lines will be opened and America will chose who they think should be crowned the grand prize winner.

The stars keep shining for Thursday's live results finale (9-10 p.m. ET), which will feature special performances from Blue Man Group and pop singing sensations Aly & AJ. The show will culminate with host Regis Philbin crowning the winning act.

Below is the list of the 10 finalists and their respective coaches who will appear in tonight's final performance episode:

� The Millers: The Millers are from Lafayette, IN. LD Miller, 11-years-old, plays the harmonica while his 21 year-old brother Cole Miller plays back-up guitar and sings. The judges chose The Millers to move on to the finale on July 12.

Coach - Blues Traveler lead singer, John Popper.

� Taylor Ware: Taylor is an 11 year-old yodeler from Franklin, Tennessee. Taylor won her spot in the finale via the audience vote on July 13.

Coach - Dollywood Arranger/Pianist, Tom McBride.

� Realis: Realis is comprised of Shenea Booth and Arthur Davis, who are 2-time World Champions in Acrobatic Gymnastics. The judges chose Realis to move on to the finale on July 19.

Coach - Gene Lucas, Artistic Director of Zumanity Cirque du Soleil.

� At Last: At Last is from Los Angeles, CA, and is comprised of Hans Cho, Michael Hyun Bum Lee, Justin Fong, and Sarann Say. They are a musical act that represents the many diverse cultures of Asian-Americans, including Chinese, Korean and Cambodian. At Last won their spot in the finale via the audience vote on July 20.

Coach - Grammy-winner Chaka Khan

� Rappin' Granny: Rappin' Granny (Vivan Smallwood) is 73-years-old, and is from Los Angeles. The judges chose her to move on to the finale on July 26.

Coach - Hip-Hop mogul, Master P

� Bianca Ryan: Bianca is an 11-year-old singer from Philadelphia, PA. Bianca won her spot in the finale via the audience vote on July 27.

Coach - Grammy-winner and gospel singer Yolanda Adams

� Passing Zone: Passing Zone is comprised of jugglers Jon Wee and Owen Morse. They hold five Guinness World Records, and are the first duo to pass 11 clubs. The judges chose Passing Zone to move on to the finale on August 2. Jon is originally from Northfield, MN, while Owen hails from Yorba Linda, CA.

Coach - Penn & Teller

� Celtic Spring: Celtic Spring is an Irish fiddle and dance band from Ojai, CA. They are comprised of a family of eight; parents Greg and Mary Wood, and their six children, Elizabeth, Deidre, Sean, Patrick, Maire and Aiden Wood. Celtic Spring won their spot in the finale via the audience vote on August 3.

Coach - Tara Barry, the lead dancer for "Riverdance"

� All That: All That is a clogging dance group comprised of Delohn Collins, Kenneth Fithen, Mark Clifford, Michael Curtis and Brian Staggs. They have been dancing together for 12 years and were the judges pick to move on to the finale during the Wildcard episode that aired on August 9.

Coach - Don Scott, Choreographer of the film, "You Got Served."

� Quick Change: Quick Change is comprised of married couple David Michael Maas and Dania Kaseeva. Their act combines a series of elegant ballroom sequences into a progression of dramatically colorful costume changes. Quick Change won the last spot in the finale via the audience vote on August 10.

Coach - "Crossing Jordan's" Steve Valentine (actor and accomplished magician).

On tomorrow night's live finale, theatrical performance troop, Blue Man Group and popular musical duo, Aly & AJ will perform.

Blue Man Group is a creative organization dedicated to creating exciting and innovative work in a wide variety of media. They are perhaps best known for their successful theatrical productions which combine comedy, music and multi-media artistry to create a form of entertainment that is totally unique. Blue Man Group has also recorded two albums; the Grammy nominated Audio, and The Complex, which became the musical basis for The Complex Rock Tour and Blue Man Group's live concert DVD. Recently Blue Man Group has branched out into musical scoring with their work on Barry Levinson's "The Jury" and on the animated film, Robots. Most recently, Blue Man Group has brought an updated version of their show to a state-of-the�art theatre at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Blue Man Group opened at the New London Theatre in London on November 10, 2005.

Aly & AJ's brand of melodic rock is refreshingly unique in today's musical landscape, harkening back to a time when rock music ruled the radio with giants like Heart and Fleetwood Mac, while still evoking modern day themes. Celebrating their first gold album on the Hollywood Records label, aptly entitled "Into the Rush" (August 2005), the duo has been propelled into the music scene at an astonishingly rapid pace. Their first single, "Rush," was recently released to Top 40 radio and immediately became one of the most added songs (#2). The video for "Rush" debuted on MTV's TRL on February 15 and was shot in Hawaii by award winning director Marc Webb. Impressively, music isn't their only talent. The girls recently signed a multi-layered deal with Disney, which includes their own pilot on the Disney Channel called "Haversham Hall," which was created as a starring vehicle for the sisters to spotlight their acting abilities. Aly & AJ also recently filmed Cow Belles, their first movie together, in Toronto which premiered on The Disney Channel March 24. The premier was the second highest rated cable program of the week; second only to The Sopranos. With so much activity going on in such a short time, Aly & AJ are truly becoming a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.

At the end of tomorrow night's broadcast, the voting results from tonight will be revealed and the winner of the competition will be crowned.

Hosted by television legend and Emmy-winner Regis Philbin ("Live with Regis and Kelly"), "America's Got Talent" features a colorful array of hopeful future stars -- singers, dancers, comedic performers and unique acts of all ages who have a chance to strut and perform in front of celebrity judge panel including David Hasselhoff, Brandy and Piers Morgan, who determine which acts make it to the semi-final rounds. During each of the semi-final rounds, one act is chosen by the celebrity judge panel as well as the television viewing audience to move on to the finals. America determines which act will win the million-dollar prize.

"America's Got Talent" is produced by Cowell's SYCO TV production company and FremantleMedia. Cowell, Warwick and Cecile Frot-Coutaz ("American Idol") are the executive producers. Jason Raff ("Three Wishes") and Charles Boyd "American Idol") are the co-executive producers.

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is on the leading edge of global broadcast production, developing some of television's most innovative and watched new programming. Based in Santa Monica and with offices in New York, FMNA is known for producing such genre-bending shows as the musical/reality phenomenon "American Idol" (Fox). In 2005, FremantleMedia programs garnered 16 Emmy nominations, including six for "American Idol." Other credits include "The Price Is Right" (CBS), the longest-running game show in television history, the daily syndicated game show "Family Feud," the comedy game show "Distraction" (Comedy Central) and the hit lifestyle show "How Clean Is Your House?" (Lifetime). FMNA is currently producing "American Inventor" for ABC and "Game Show Marathon" for CBS and "America's Got Talent" for NBC.

FMNA is a division of FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of program brands in the world, with production operations in more than 25 countries. FremantleMedia is the production arm of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company. With interests in 34 television channels and 30 radio stations in 11 countries, RTL Group is a division of leading integrated media and entertainment company Bertelsmann AG. For further information, visit www.fremantlemedia.com.

  [august 2006]  


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