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Singing soldier makes semifinals of 'America's Got Talent'

Aug. 14, 2014 - 05:27PM   |  
Pfc. Paul Ieti, a 21-year-old American Samoa native who serves with A Company, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, found out on Wednesday's 'America's Got Talent' results show that his performance the night before earned him enough votes to reach the semifinal round.
Pfc. Paul Ieti, a 21-year-old American Samoa native who serves with A Company, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, found out on Wednesday's 'America's Got Talent' results show that his performance the night before earned him enough votes to reach the semifinal round. ()
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Pfc. Paul Ieti’s “unreal” ride through network TV fame will continue at least a few weeks longer.

The 21-year-old American Samoa native, who serves with A Company, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, found out on Wednesday’s “America’s Got Talent” results show that his performance the night before earned him enough votes to reach the semifinal round.

“It’s still all so unreal to me right now,” Ieti told show host Nick Cannon live on the Radio City Music Hall stage. “And thanks so much to everyone who voted. Mom and Dad, this is for you. I love you guys so much.”

He managed to choke back tears — Cannon told him “it’s OK to be emotional. Let it out” — and make it to the commercial break.

Ieti, a petroleum supply specialist when he’s not performing for millions of viewers, had a similar message for his Facebook fans after the show: “Thank you all so so much. I’m speechless. Without you all i wouldnt be here.”

He was one of five contestants to make it through the third of four quarterfinal rounds for the NBC talent show, now in its ninth season. The last quarterfinal round takes place next week, with semifinal performances on tap for September. The show wraps up Sept. 17, when the winner claims a $1 million grand prize.

Ieti sang the One Direction hit “You and I” on Tuesday night; the date of his next performance hasn’t been determined.

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