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UB's Gary Vider earns spot in finals of "America's Got Talent"

Gary Vider, the stand-up comic who graduated from the University at Buffalo, made it to next Tuesday’s finals of the popular reality show “America’s Got Talent” in a dramatic way on Wednesday’s results show.

He didn’t earn the 10th and final spot until the last second of Wednesday’s results show.

And he has fellow comedians Howie Mandel and Howard Stern to thank.

Near the end of the NBC program, Vider and a dance team called Freelusion needed a judge’s vote to save one of them from elimination.

To no one’s surprise, Heidi Klum – a vocal critic of Vider -- voted for Freelusion. She was joined by Mel B, who said it was a close call.

Mandel apparently felt it was his duty to support a fellow comic and voted for Vider. He added the Long Island native was consistently funny.

Stern, who was Vider’s biggest supporter Wednesday, voted for the comedian on the basis of his having a better night than Freelusion in the semifinal performance round Tuesday.

With the judges’ vote 2-2, the tiebreaker was the vote of fans and it went to Vider.

It means the 2006 UB graduate, who majored in English and spent his senior year doing an independent study course on comedy under Professor Andrew Stott, will be competing next Tuesday for a $1 million prize and to headline a show in Las Vegas.

Vider will have to make "AGT" history. A comedian has never won the competition.

apergament@buffnews.com

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