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Utahns gain national attention on reality TV

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Two groups from Utah are travelling to Radio City Music Hall in New York for the start of NBC's "America’s Got Talent" live shows.

The musical groups Tummy Time and American Hitman, both from Salt Lake City, made it through the show's Las Vegas round and are now contestants on the show's eighth season.

Tummy Time is a variety musical group of "body drummers." When the group premiered its act at the Los Angeles auditions earlier this month, the audience cheered as three men in suits created a unique drum act by slapping their large fourth member. While receiving one no vote from judge Howard Stern in Los Angeles, the group was one of 30 groups voted through to New York without performing a second audition in Las Vegas.

American Hitmen is a rock bank made up of three former U.S. Marines who began playing together in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. Brothers Dan and Tim Cord joined the Marines in 2003. During Operation Phantom Fury, the brothers joined with fellow Marine Dan Jarmon to form the American Hitmen. After finishing their service in 2007, the Hitmen returned Salt Lake City where they added drummer Phil Snyder.

The Hitmen will be among the first of the 60 contestants to perform in New York when they take the stage in this week's episode, airing Tuesday at 8 p.m. MDT on NBC.

Tummy Time and the American Hitmen are just the latest Utahns to take the stage on reality television this season.

Jenna Johnson, from Provo, is one of 16 contestants still competing on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance." Johnson has studied dance — focusing on ballroom and Latin — since she was 3 years old. In a bio for the show, the 18-year-old Johnson said she was inspired to audition after watching her sisters auction for earlier seasons.

Johnson is joined on the show by another Utahn, Malece Miller from Layton. Miller, who specializes in contemporary dance, has been dancing since the age of 5. Miller barely made it to the top 20 after an injury during the show's Las Vegas week caused her performance to decline. However, the judges said they wanted to see Miller fight to win.

Johnson and Miller will perform again Tuesday, July 23, at 7 p.m. MDT on Fox.

Brooks Forester, from Salt Lake City, is one of three contestants left on this season of ABC's "The Bachelorette." In the season's latest episode, which aired Monday night, viewers watched as Brooks brought this season's bachelorette Desiree Hartsock to Salt Lake City to meet his family. The couple had a picnic and went canoeing at Liberty Park before visiting with Brooks' family. The show airs Mondays on ABC at 7 p.m. MDT.

Katie Harmer is a journalism graduate of Brigham Young University and writes for Mormon Times. Email: kharmer@deseretnews.com Twitter: harmerk