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Perfect Score On 'Star Search'

The Early Show: Spencer Day and Loni Love
CBS/The Early Show
It came down to the American audience vote. Judges favored Liz Byler's rendition of "Where Does My Heart Beat Now?" but the home voters made all the difference to break the 29-point tie and give Spencer Day the chance to return to "Star Search" Thursday night.

But the one who had the judges in the palm of her hand was Loni Love. She is the first comedian contestant to receive a perfect score and wonderful comments from the judges.

"It was great," She said Friday on The Early Show. "I was not expecting it, especially from Naomi Judd. I was not expecting a 5, and that's really when I got really emotional. They've been judging the comedians pretty harsh, and just to get that perfect score was really good," Love said.

Meanwhile, Day told Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm that he was ready to congratulate his opponent and walk offstage.

"I was just ready to walk offstage and hand it all over, and then it was really, really, really surprised to find out that had happened. I think everyone was," Day said.

Apparently, Arsenio Hall was in such shock over the tie that he did not read the final results (Day winning) written on the teleprompter until several seconds after he announced that there was a tie.

The difficulty of singing Nora Jones' "Turn Me On" while accompanying himself on the piano might have helped him, said the 24-year-old.
"It was like kind of patting your head and rubbing your stomach, an awful lot to think about. But I think it might have helped me. It was good to show that I could do a couple of things," Day said.

Growing up, Day said, his mother wanted to get him involved in singing, but he was not interested. Four years ago, his roommate heard him singing in the shower and suggested he take lessons. Day took the advice and the rest is history. Two years ago, he began studying piano seriously.

On Wednesday night, Lance Bass from 'NSYNC gave him four stars saying, "Range is incredible. You connected with the audience. Great performance. Not bad for a "self-taught musician" as Day refers to himself.

Love's standup routine included jokes on toipics such as Osama bin Laden and terrorism.

She says she was apprehensive at first. "But then I said, 'You know what? If I'm going to go and do it, I better do it all the way.' So I said OK, 'I'm going to just say it.' And luckily I was able to appease the censors at CBS, and I did," she said.

The 35-year-old grew up in Detroit and now lives in Los Angeles. Growing up in the projects, she said, she had to make many sacrifices in her life to make things better for herself.

"Humor was the way that I was able to keep the realism into my life and realize that I could make it out of that situation," she says. "So, I think that that's the reason why I'm able to talk about real subjects. Even though they're very tragic, or they're serious, I'm able to laugh at them, too, and see a lighter side, and it lets me know that I get through life," she said.

In the semifinals, Day will compete against Ugochi Nwaogwugwu and Nikki Kimbrough, and Love will compete against Tyrone Barnett and Jeff Garcia.

The final winner of the adult singing competition wins $100,000 and a record contract with Sony Records. The winner in the comedian competition receives $100,000 and gets a development deal with CBS.

You can catch the first "Star Search" semifinal Thursday at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. Central.