I don't usually watch America's Got Talent. Tonight it was the default channel, left over from the evening news, as I hustled to get my house cleaned up, my suitcase packed, etc., in preparation for an up-coming trip.
So, it was simply serendipitous that I was in the same room as the TV when a peculiar young man walked on stage for what he said was his first performance in front of anyone.
Dressed in black, weird contact lenses, makeup a la Marilyn Manson, and a definitely nervous demeanor, I didn't know what to expect from him. Something hard rock or worse. I think the judges were skeptical, too. They are used to dime-a-dozen singers and no-talent wannabes. I started to leave the room, but something about the man's peculiar looks trapped me like watching a train wreck.
The music began. The judges looked at each other. My eyebrows went up. Andrew De Leon opened his mouth and out came an exquisite falsetto voice singing opera!
I watched open-mouthed, tears running down my face. The audience was stunned into silence. The judges gave him two standing ovations.
What did his parents think of his singing? "They've never heard me sing," answered Andrew. Self-taught, to boot. Hiding in his room, taking refuge from a world he felt rejected him, a young man who said he wasn't good at anything took the stage and proved he was really wasn't good.
He was great.
Andrew will join the likes of Susan Boyle and Paul Potts.
As Howard Stern said, (Andrew) "blew the roof off the place."
Grab your Kleenex and Google Andrew De Leon. Or, http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20601545,00.html