Two kinds of acts do particularly well on NBC's "America's Got Talent" -- those involving young people and those featuring impossibly twisty Cirque du Soleil-style moves.
For the girls representing the Studio 19 dance complex in Cranberry, that is doubly good news.
Eleven dancers ages 11-18 are scheduled to appear on the summer reality program Tuesday at 9 p.m. Producers saw their act and requested they try out. Their appearance was shot in New York City two months ago.
Tammy Croftcheck-Tallarico and Katie Watts are the studio's artistic directors. The girls are Isabella Febbraro, 11, Madison Fox, 18, Lauren Herb, 13, Shannon Herb, 18, Sarah Koenig, 18, Alaina Johnston, 11, Sarah Johnston, 16, and Erica Williams, 17, of Cranberry; Madelyne Spang, 15, and Michelle Spang, 18, of Bethel Park; and Riley Majiros, 17, of North Huntington.
CMU grad comes short of finish line
Faster than a speeding car, Eric Whitman's chance to win $50,000 and a job with an engineering design firm came to an abrupt halt.
Mr. Whitman, 27, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate student in robotics, was eliminated a week ago in the penultimate episode of Discovery's "Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius."
He and three others had to figure a way to monitor cars going through a checkpoint with the option of safely stopping one. He and teammate Tom Johnson created a device (build) that used netting to trap the car, and its execution was flawless.
The other two contestants vying for a spot in the final -- which aired Thursday -- used a road barrier that also did the job.
The judges called it the closest competition of the series but eventually went with Corey Fleischer and Amy Elliott's creation.
"With this build, I don't know we would have done anything differently, but I felt we could have done a much better job arguing our case," Mr. Whitman said.
Each Thursday night, Mr. Whitman watched the show with friends and occasionally fellow contestant Joel Ifill, a welding engineer working in West Mifflin. Once, he met up with contestants Andrew Stroup and Mr. Fleischer in Baltimore.
Mr. Whitman said if being on a reality show was surreal so was watching himself on one: "I don't know if I [learned] any grand lesson other than 'Wow, it's weird.' "
Mr. Fleischer won the grand prize -- which included a one-year job at design firm WET -- earlier this week with his superior execution of a portable bridge.
Maria Sciullo: email@example.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.