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Aerial Ice aims for 'America's Got Talent' semis

Skating team excited about prospects of advancing on bigger stage

The members of Aerial Ice hope they earn enough votes to keep performing.
The members of Aerial Ice hope they earn enough votes to keep performing. (Jill Schulz)

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By Sarah S. Brannen, special to icenetwork.com
(08/13/2013) - Figure skating takes the stage Tuesday night on NBC as the aerial skating team Aerial Ice makes its bid for the America's Got Talent semifinals. Twelve acts will compete live on the Radio City Music Hall stage during the live show, and viewers will have the opportunity to vote by phone and online.

Aerial Ice is made up of U.S. world team ice dancers Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, professional pair Tosha Handford and Chris Trefil, and aerial skating artists Angela Kim and Joel Dear. The sextet has been hard at work putting together a routine they hope will capture the imagination of a huge nationwide audience and put them one step closer to the prize.

"We're really excited," Navarro said. "We've been watching the shows on Tuesday night and when I watch, I have to admit, I get nervous. It's a huge stage, and Radio City is so iconic. The production is so good."

"It's much bigger," Dear said. "The proscenium is much higher, and the stage itself is larger. We're planning to use the larger stage. We have more synthetic ice we're using this time to help with filling out the space."

Four acts will move on to the semifinal round, vying for the ultimate prize of $1 million and the opportunity to headline a show on the Las Vegas Strip. The winner will also star in a two-month tour of several acts from the show.

To vote for Aerial Ice on Twitter, tweet "#voteAGT Aerial Ice" after the show.

"We've been watching the show every week," Dear said. "We show up at a local brewery and they let us just take over the place. Our number is all set and ready to go. It's been interesting to watch because we can see how our number will fit on that stage. It's exciting to think about."

"We've yet to put it together with all of the staging," Trefil added. "The number was set a few weeks ago, and we're a little nervous to see how it's going to play out."

The six skaters met up in New York City on Aug. 6 to rehearse and prepare blocking and camera angles.

"There's so much that goes into this from the show business point of view," Bommentre said. "I think all of that work is going to pay off. We're really excited by the feedback from the skating community already, so to imagine what we're going to be able to do with bigger ice is exciting. We're jazzed for how this is going to look and play out. We think we've got a great act, and we have the performance ability and training and experience."

The skaters are optimistic about their chances of moving on to the semis, and eager to show off their new routine for a big audience and judges Howie Mandel, Mel B., Heidi Klum and Howard Stern.

"I think it's going to be gripping, but also really accessible to the rest of the audience. Something cool and now and current," Navarro said. "Hopefully, a lot of non-skating people will say they love skating and aerial work."

"I think our chances are really good," Bommentre said. "We're bringing something so different to the show. I hope we get a huge turnout from the skating community for voting."

Icenetwork.com will be in the audience and on the red carpet for the live results show Wednesday night.