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Howard Stern gets emotional over Newtown tribute on 'America's Got Talent'

Aug. 21, 2013 at 11:53 AM ET

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Episode 818 -- Pictured: Catapult Entertainment -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
Virginia Sherwood / NBC
Catapult Entertainment delivered a show-stopping tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting on "America's Got Talent."

He may be the tell-it-like-it-is toughie on the "America's Got Talent" panel, but even Howard Stern has a soft spot for a truly sentimental performance — which he revealed during Tuesday night's show.

It happened when dance company Catapult Entertainment delivered another amazing shadow routine, but this time, their moves served as a tribute to victims of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn.

"It was a huge blow to a lot of us living in Connecticut," Catapult director Adam Battelstein said of the tragedy that ended in the deaths of 20 students and six staff members at the elementary school in December 2012. "I wanted to do something that honored their loss. So tonight, our performance is a celebration of life and all of those little moments that we sometimes take for granted. "

And so it was. Set to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," to dancers portrayed reasons to celebrate the circle of life.

"It's very hard to get me emotional," Stern said after the number. "You did. Your story came through crisp and clear. … You are just phenomenal talents. You stole the show tonight. And you're definitely going through. I know America's going to vote for you."

As the last act of the night, Catapult was destined to be a literal show-stopper, but according to judge Howie Mandel, they would have been at any point in the night.

"I promise you there isn't anybody who's been on this stage that could follow you," he assured them.

Those sentiments were echoed by Heidi Klum and Mel B, who both found the performance "beautiful."

See if Catapult makes it into the semifinals when the results are revealed Wednesday at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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