Arts & Culture

Did the Silhouettes make the finals of America's Got Talent: The Champions?

Dance troupe is directed by Cedar Rapids native

The Silhouettes shadow-dance troupe, directed by Cedar Rapids native Lynne Waggoner-Patton, performed on Monday night's
The Silhouettes shadow-dance troupe, directed by Cedar Rapids native Lynne Waggoner-Patton, performed on Monday night’s episode of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” Season 2 on NBC. (Chris Haston/NBC)
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The Silhouettes shadow-dancers are basking in a golden glow after they shot straight to the finals Monday night on “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” Season 2.

“That was just so moving, so beautiful ... I want to see more,” celebrity judge Alesha Dixon told the dancers as she reached for the golden buzzer on the NBC-TV talent competition. “I wanted to see something different and be inspired.”

She and celebrity judge Heidi Klum were in tears as the Denver-area troupe — founded and directed by Cedar Rapids native Lynne Waggoner-Patton — created characters and scenery showing the way a shelter dog and its new owner brought love and healing into each other’s lives.

In just 3 minutes, the story progressed from the girl’s childhood to graduation to enlistment in the military, with the dog at her side. The steadfast canine waited patiently by their favorite swing as the seasons passed, until the girl came home — in a wheelchair. Eventually, the dog coaxed her to her feet. Three dancers formed the dog, which looked so real that judge Simon Cowell couldn’t believe it wasn’t a real animal.

“The whole message about your life is better because of animals, I thought that was also incredibly creative,” he said, “absolutely why we have made this show.”

Even actor/comedian Howie Mandel, who said he doesn’t usually get emotional, admitting to crying “real tears.”

“I felt the light, I felt the story and I felt you,” he told Waggoner-Patton, who performed with her 16 dancers on the Pasadena, Calif., Civic Auditorium stage.

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The episode was taped in October, and marked the last in the four preliminary rounds that narrowed the field of 40 competitors down to 16. The Silhouettes join three other acts skipping the semifinals, which begin next Monday.

The Silhouettes placed second in “America’s Got Talent” in 2011, and various dancers from Waggoner-Patton’s studio have performed across the United States, Ireland, London, Poland, Mexico and more, raising funds for children’s causes and service dogs for various medical needs, including PTSD among veterans.

“America’s Got Talent: The Champions” airs at 7 p.m. Mondays on NBC-TV.

Comments: (319) 368-8508; diana.nollen@thegazette.com

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