Hundreds of dancers, singers and musicians shared their talent, while a few offbeat acts stood out from the pack. Oprah says she saw one piano prodigy who could play while standing backward, as well as aspiring Elvis impersonators. One young man even reenacted Oprah's memorable monologue from The Color Purple!
After reviewing thousands of entries, Oprah and her team chose a few to perform for millions of viewers. "These kids are going to blow you away," Oprah says. "Together they're going to dance and sing and hula and bend their way into your hearts."
Alongside her parents—performers in New Zealand's Loritz Circus—Americus began learning routines before most children learn to ride a bike. At first, Americus performed with her parents, but over time, she developed an act of her own—hula hooping! In the fall of 2008, her gravity-defying moves helped her land a spot on New Zealand's Got Talent.
Six-year-old Americus starts her act with one hula hoop and slowly adds more as the routine progresses. She shimmies into many of the hoops using her feet! "Well, I've never seen anybody do that before," Oprah says.
Watch Americus's amazing performance.
How did Americus develop this unique talent? "I practiced and practiced," she says.
Jalen gets the crowd pumped up by performing flips, flares and spins. Many of the moves are done as Jalen balances on his head, which he protects with a thick, black hat.
"Great job!" Oprah says. "Thank you, Jalen."
As soon as Taylor could talk, her parents say their daughter started singing. Then, when she was 7 years old, Taylor picked up an instruction book and taught herself to yodel. Yodeling is an ancient art form that dates back thousands of years, and in just two years, she mastered the craft. "I immediately fell in love with it," she says. "It's so beautiful and unique that I thought I just had to try it."
Taylor rocketed to the top of the yodeling world by winning first place at the Yahoo! Yodel Challenge and performing on the Jerry Lewis Telethon and the Grand Ole Opry. Then, at age 11, she landed a spot on the hit television series America's Got Talent. "I wish everybody could yodel," she says. "It's a great way to start your day."
The first step? Repeat the letters A-E-A-E-O-O-O-O. Then, incorporate a common yodeling phrase, "Little old lady who."
"Then you put it into a yodel," Taylor says. "A-E-A-E-O-O-O-O, little old lady e-hoo!"
It wasn't long before Kyle began winning dance competitions throughout Detroit, his hometown. In 2005, he entered a contest that changed the course of his young life. The competition was sponsored by renowned director and choreographer Debbie Allen. "Kyle stepped on that stage singing, dancing with his presence, and I was like, 'Wait a minute. Stop.' I just had to go find his mother," she says. "I had to find out, 'Who is this child?' It was like seeing little Sammy Davis Jr."
After seeing his fancy footwork, Debbie offered Kyle a scholarship to her dance academy. He accepted and, along with his family, moved to Hollywood. "Kyle has that energy, that shining light where people just kind of love you," Debbie says. "When you perform, they go, 'wow.' That's what he has."
Watch Kyle show off his tap dance talent.
In addition to dance, Kyle, now 13, says he also enjoys acting and singing. "It's just my way to express myself," he says.
The information Graham knows ranges from what George Washington's teeth were made of to knowing that Howard Taft was the heaviest president at 327 pounds. "I just started really liking presidents, and I started getting interested in it," he says.
This first grader can also compare President Barack Obama to the legacies of several former presidents. "He is a good orator like JFK. He will end the war like FDR. He will end the American economy crisis like FDR did, and he'll try to make healthcare better like Bill Clinton did," Graham says. "But I have a feeling Obama will succeed."
Dalton's fourth-grade teacher, Ms. Redmond, sensed his passion, as well. In fact, she entered him in a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. oratorical contest, where he won a $1,000 prize. "I love that [talking] inspires people," Dalton says.
After winning the contest, Dalton was invited to speak at events all over Dallas. He was even asked to address more than 17,000 teachers and administrators of the Dallas Independent School District. "I was very nervous, [but] you couldn't tell," he says. "I was shaking a lot." Dalton didn't let his nerves get the best of him. "He gets up there and he just knocks it down," Carlos says.
Dalton says one day he'd like to become a news reporter—a passion Oprah knows a lot about. "I was a speaker, did you know that?" Oprah asks him. "I was doing this when I was 3, 5 and 7, and I wanted to be a news reporter. Good luck. I think you're on the way."
"It affects my violin playing so much because you have to be in the moment. You can't think about the future or the past when you play the violin," he says. "It's amazing."
Michael performs "Zigeunerweisen" by Pablo de Sarasate. "Wow," Oprah says. "The truth is, even if you don't listen to a lot of violin music, you can feel his passion and you know that was good."
Connie also made the Guinness Book of World Records. "I got it because I was the youngest person to be on the charts," she says.
Seven-year-old Connie performs "Ben" off of her new album, Over the Rainbow, but when she grows up, she says she wants to be either a singer or a doctor. "Or a singing doctor," Oprah says. "Why not?"
Watch this teen trio's incredible routine.
Sixteen-year-old Julie agrees but says their previous training did help. "We started out doing gymnastics, and we worked on contortion, which is a lot of flexibility work and strength mixed with different movements and choreography," she says.