News Column

Goth Contestant Surprises 'Talent' Judges by Singing Opera

June 6, 2012

Rita Sherrow

The judges of "America's Got Talent" got an eye-opener Tuesday.

Like those others who judged Scots singer Susan Boyle before she had a chance to sing "I Dreamed a Dream" on "Britain's Got Talent" and caused a worldwide media frenzy.

This time, it was judges Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel looked skeptical when a goth-looking Andrew De Leon, wearing heavy makeup and scary contact lenses, stepped on stage during the second round of auditions in, Austin Texas.

The 19-year-old makeup artist, who said he had never performed in front of anyone, including his parents, blew the audience and judges away by singing opera and singing it well.

A fan of Marilyn Manson and other rock stars, De Leon said he always felt like an outsider and singing was always his escape.

When the audience and judges panel took to their feet, the self-taught singer seemed obviously surprised.

"I'm just so used to being rejected and I'm not really good at anything so this is amazing," said the singer, when asked by Stern how he was feeling.

"And please don't say that you are not good at anything. You've got an amazing voice and you are an individual," said Osbourne, who joined Mandel and Stern in voting to move De Leon on to the next round of NBC's reality show competition in Las Vegas.

"It's not that you are good at anything," said Mandel. "It"s that you are great."

The series airs at 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesday on NBC, channel 2, cable 9.

Source: (c) 2012 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.)

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