In the Stairwell, the Air Force Academy’s all-male a capella singing group, saw its run on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” end Wednesday night, becoming the next-to-last elimination in the show’s semifinal round.

The night before, the group of academy students and graduates earned an ovation for its performance of the Ed Sheeran hit “Castle on the Hill.” It was the second live, national-TV outing for the troupe, which reached the semifinals on the strength of a rendition of “Some Nights” by Fun.

“Thanks for the journey @agt,” the group wrote in a post-show Facebook post. “It was unreal.”

A viewer vote held after Tuesday’s performances determined the five advancing acts out of a group of 11 semifinalists. Results were revealed throughout Wednesday’s broadcast, with the In the Stairwell singers finding out near the show’s conclusion that they would not move forward. Five other acts reached the finals in a similar fashion the previous week.

Eleven of the 16 singers will return to their Air Force Academy classes, while four of the five graduates are in pilot training, per an Air Force release on the performances. A fifth graduate is heading to Europe for graduate work as part of a Fullbright Academic Scholarship.

Had the group won the contest, the $1 million prize that comes with it would’ve gone to fund future In the Stairwell performances, the Air Force said, not to the individual singers. 

The group was formed in 2004 and was named for the dorm location where the original singers gathered. A YouTube video of the group caught the eye of the show’s producers, who invited the officers and officers-to-be to audition.

The show, in its 12th season, airs twice next week: A final night of performances on Tuesday, followed by the last results show on Wednesday. Six singing acts reached the final, including one 12-year-old ventriloquist. Dancers, a comedian and a dog act round out the group of 10 finalists.

Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.

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