| Dance |

Simon Cowell Gives Southlake Carroll Senior High School’s Drill Team a Standing Ovation

The Emerald Belles on America's Got Talent
The Emerald Belles on America's Got Talent
Trae Patton/NBC
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During last week's episode of America's Got Talent, judge Simon Cowell gave The Emerald Belles of Southlake Carroll a standing ovation after their audition.

Melissa Page, the instructor for Carroll Senior High School's drill team, says the reality talent show reached out to her and her team about auditioning after one of their routines started to gain steam on YouTube.

Page changed the song and shortened the routine for the AGT audition, and she says she was shocked when Cowell gave her team a standing ovation.

"I think at that point I immediately started crying, I'm not really sure," she says. "It's just so exciting. This whole process, I just can't really grasp it, you know that they're on this stage and (judges) Julianne Hough, Simon and Howie (Mandel) and Gabrielle (Union), they're all watching them, so that was kind of a surreal moment."

Page says her team begins practice every morning at 6:45 Monday through Friday. After the team finished performing at halftime during their school's football season, they continued to rehearse for AGT.

Cowell, Union and Hough gave the drill team a yes to pass through to the next round of auditions, however, Mandel said he couldn't compare them with the Radio City Rockettes.

"I'm going to be totally honest with you," he said on the show. "I didn't even feel like it was even close to the level of what I have watched there."

Page says she wanted to tell Mandel not to compare her team to the Rockettes because they are different.

"I mean I know we're high-kicking, but the Rockettes are the Rockettes," Page says. "That's the Rockettes. No one can touch that. And they're a professional group and what we do — these are high school kids that go to a public school, not a dance company, you know, they practice before school every morning and then go to school. I think what we do is different. Yes, it's kicking, but it's different. We just kind of have a little different flair to it. We don't really do the same thing. I know that sounds crazy because we're kicking, but we really don't."

Cowell countered Mandel's critique by saying if there's only one point of reference for a precision dance team, it's time someone replace them.

The Emerald Belles got three yes votes and are one step closer to the million-dollar grand prize.

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