By: Jacob Elyachar
Opera singer Andrew De Leon had one of the most memorable auditions in America’s Got Talent history.
But things fell apart for him after the stress that the show’s Vegas Week brought to the contestants.
However, his journey on AGT was not over yet!
Jacob Elyachar: What was your reaction when you received a phone call from the show’s producers that said that Howie Mandel selected you as one of his Wild Card contestants?
Andrew De Leon: At that point to be completely honest, I kind of knew that I would be asked back because of the extreme positive reaction of my audition and the reaction towards my elimination. Fans were signing petitions and there was a huge uproar about it and a feeling that something like that could not be ignored. So when they told me, it was more of a sigh of relief. I do not think I jumped up and down or anything, but it was a sigh of relief that I was going to be given another chance. I was not discouraged anymore and I felt good.
JE: I want to talk about your redemption song: “Regresa A Mi.” It was one of my 20 best performances of 2012. Why did you decide to pick that song?
ADL: There were definitely different options of what I could sing. That song was in there as a possibility. I had a different song in mind but when I saw that one, I thought that it was interesting and I wanted to see what I could do with that. Plus, the lyrics and meaning behind the song really somewhat fit into the situation. I was trying to regain the positivity that I had gotten the first time with my audition. We translated the song and I sang it with my operatic vocals and it exceeded all of my expectations of what I thought what was going to happen.
JE: You received excellent critiques from both the house and the judges. In addition, host Nick Cannon read your name during the Results Show. How was it getting all of that positive feedback?
ADL: I was glad that I did not blow it again. I was glad that I was given the chance to really put forth the effort so when the reaction happened, it was more of a feeling of: “Yes! I got them back!” and the judges no longer hated me. It was a good feeling to have that again.
JE: Let’s talk about the Semi-Finals. You performed “Ave Maria,” a song that has been covered multiple times on AGT. Were you worried that your version was not going to stand out?
ADL: No. It was something that I sung before and I think that I had the advantage that I am not a female soprano. I am a male singer and a countertenor. That worked for me as well, you cannot expect me to be like the sopranos that have performed this song because I am not a soprano, but I was very confident with the selection and I think it showed that I did not even break a sweat and I was very calm.
JE: Unfortunately, the judges gave you mixed comments from that performance. Did you feel like you were going to be in trouble that next night?
ADL: I had expected it because, from the very beginning, they had been throwing out constantly they did not want a singer to win. So at that point, as sad as it is, I kind of expected not to win or either get that far in the competition. To even make it to the semi-finals was good enough for me. But I really, really wished that I had gotten some feedback on that performance because clearly the judges did not give me anything on that performance because they talked about the last performance and took back their complements. So I think both the judges and I knew that I was not going any further in the competition.
JE: How has the show opened doors for you?
ADL: I have gotten to travel all in one year to five different places to do performances. It was pretty cool because I never left Texas and the first time I ever left was when I went to Vegas. I got to meet different people and I have friends that are in the business that I can talk to and I can count on their support. I also have fans that want me to sing and that has given me the chance to work on an album.
JE: How far along are you with the recording process of your debut album?
ADL: The album was in the planning stages since October. At that time, I was not sure if I was ready to do one and I was throwing out ideas. I really started to write songs in November. We are barely at the beginning stages of it.
JE: Have you thought about the direction you want to go with it?
ADL: Because I am influenced by so many different genres of music, it is still going to be operatic and classical based, but there will be other styles of music in it that I enjoy. I notice that people go on those shows immediately get an album out and people enjoy it but by next year, they have a new star and they will totally forget about that last person. I really wanted to take the time and make something different.
JE: Do you have any advice for people who want to audition for “America’s Got Talent?”
ADL: I think if you truly believe that you have the talent, then, that is the only opinion you need. To ask around and ask people: “Should I?” or “Shouldn’t I?” is unnecessary. You never know what it is going to happen. I thought I was going to fail but I went for it anyway to make a statement and look what happened: thousands of people follow me and want to hear me sing again and just like that, my name is out there.
To connect with Andrew on Twitter, visit his Twitter page: https://twitter.com/AndrewLeoDeLeon
You can also catch Andrew on YouTube. Click here to go visit his YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/MrPrinceOfFreaks