Military spouses eliminated from 'America's Got Talent'
Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine
A string of wins ended Wednesday night for the American Military Spouses Choir and Lewiston, Maine native Abi Hodgson as they were eliminated from NBC's "America's Got Talent" television show.
Hodgson is one of 37 members of the choir, which was vying for the top spot and $1 million prize.
Entering Wednesday's program, Hodgson and her chorus were one of 18 acts hoping to make the cut and go on to the show's finals.
They'd made it pretty far, considering 19 acts had been eliminated. Those included Auburn native Colin Britt, whose orchestra was sent home Aug. 14.
Hodgson's choir is made up of women whose husbands are all active-duty military. It has meant travel for the singers, practice sessions over Skype and rare moments at home with husband, Ben, a Marine. He leaves this month for his sixth deployment.
Hodgson, a 2004 Lewiston High School graduate living in Holly Ridge, N.C., had sung at her father's church, South Lewiston Baptist, for years. In high school, she sang in the jazz choir, concert choir and women's chorale.
The current chorus was formed by the Center for Military Music Opportunities for a Kennedy Center event in 2012.
The chorus succeeded through several performances, including auditions in Chicago, performances in Las Vegas and one round onstage at Radio City Music Hall.
They performed again Tuesday night on the New York stage, singing the Sarah McLachlan song, "Angel."
Judges had cooled on the group after Tuesday's performance. Celebrity judge Howie Mandel urged his cohorts to "... judge them on what they did, not who they are married to."
Judge Howard Stern had similar words, saying the performance was pleasant but not the best he had seen.
The judges didn't have the final say in Wednesday's result, however. Telephone votes determined the fates of the acts, and Hodgson's choir had plenty of support.
"I voted 10x and would have continued if 2 hrs. straight had been an option!" one supporter wrote on the group's Facebook page.
However, that support was not enough to keep the choir onstage. They were among the first two acts eliminated on Wednesday's show.