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Chicago Boyz go for the finals on ‘America’s Got Talent’

The Chicago Boyz compete Tuesday night earn spot Sept. 17 finals 'America's Got Talent.'

The Chicago Boyz compete Tuesday night to earn a spot in the Sept. 17 finals on "America's Got Talent."

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Updated: September 9, 2013 6:12PM

The Chicago Boyz’ sky-high stunts on “America’s Got Talent” last week got Radio City Music Hall on its feet.

That performance also propelled the young acrobats into the top 12 of the hit talent show.

On Tuesday night, the tumbling team moves one step closer to the $1 million grand prize. Along with Chicago singer Branden James, they’ll be competing for a spot in the Sept. 17 finals.

“I always believed that we had the talent and the courage to go this far,” said longtime tumbler Matthew Owten, 20. “I always dream big.”

Yet the road from the Windy City to the biggest stage on television has had its challenges.

Practices during the “AGT” jaunt have been limited to the lobby of the historic New York City venue. One of the veteran tumblers shattered his leg in three places after a bad fall during a live show last month.

The team rebounded under the guidance mentor-coach Tim Shaw to deliver bigger jumps and more explosive tricks.

“We’ve been practicing hard,” said Martavius Owten, the limber 9-year-old who gets spun like a jump rope. “The whole show [on Tuesday] is new.”

Shaw can envision using the prize money to create a recreation center for youth on the city’s South Side.

Yet, for now, the Chicago Boyz’ next task at hand is to continue wowing the crowd.

“It’s getting on stage and proving to America and the show we’re an act that can get the job done,” Shaw said.

Natasha Wasinski is a local freelance writer.

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