A Downingtown man earned third place on America’s Got Talent as a part of the blacklight dance troop known as Fighting Gravity.
Jordan Powers, a 2008 graduate of Downingtown East High School, never thought his dreams would go to the final episode of the show when one of his fraternity brothers at Virginia Tech University and fellow group member sent in an audition tape.
“We sent it in on a whim and thought it would be funny to be on TV,” Powers said of the audition tape. “It was a complete surprise that we went that far and were in the final four of the biggest talent show in the world.”
Powers and his fraternity brothers had no dance experience before starting the act, which began as a part of a charity event they were involved with at college. He said that it is in his personality to try anything and that is why he got started with Fighting Gravity despite a lack of experience.
The dance act makes use of blacklights and bright colors to display only a few dancers in the group at a time despite all 13 being on stage at once. Powers said he could not reveal how the illusion works.
The group had two or three days to prepare their performances before appearing on national television, Powers said. He added that because of the props and sets required to perform their act, it made rehearsal more difficult for Fighting Gravity.
“We can’t practice as much as a singer or something, because we need an entire set to practice,” said Powers, who is a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in aerospace engineering. “There are nine or 10 guys who are all important, but it’s tough for them to get things done in the dark.”
Powers is one of the members of the group that wears all black and performs in the dark.
During the final performance on Tuesday, one member of the group, who was dressed in black, made a mistake and appeared on a lighted section of the stage. The error gave away some of the mystery of the act.
“I wasn’t even aware that we made a mistake (at the time),” Powers said. “But when we watched the video, you could definitely see it. We were disappointed, but I don’t think it killed us too much.”
Powers said when he immediately heard that Fighting Gravity had finished in third place, he felt disappointed.
“I can’t tell you how much time and effort we put into the act,” Powers said. “It was disappointing that we couldn’t be there in the end and win.”
While Fighting Gravity did not win the competition and the $1 million prize and headlining show in Las Vegas that goes along with it, Powers said the act is not quitting. They have already decided to take this semester off of school to be a part of the America’s Got Talent Tour.
He also said the group has been offered an opportunity to perform on New Year’s Eve in Las vegas and is still negotiating that possibility.
While he is prepared to completely pursue the dream of Fighting Gravity, Powers said that his future in aerospace engineering will still be there.
“I will definitely come back to (aerospace) some day, but when is anybody’s guess” Powers said. “Hopefully it’s far away, because we are enjoying ourselves right now. Fighting Gravity is the focus right now. But school is a priority I will definitely come back to eventually.”
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