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.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.