Has America’s Got Talent found its new champ in 19-year-old opera singer Andrew De Leon?
Performing for the first time ever in front of an audience, the makeup artist blew judges Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel away during Tuesday’s audition round in Austin, Tex., with his unexpected opera routine.
“Growing up, I was alienated because I was never interested in athletics or what everybody else in my family was interested in,” the self-described goth reasoned before hitting the stage. “Singing was always a comfort zone. Being on America’s Got Talent is a huge step for me. I think my days of being an outcast are at their end and I’m eager to show what I can do.”
Though he appeared apprehensive when stepping to the mic, De Leon — who donned spooky contacts, heavy black eye makeup and a leather jacket to sing Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” — found that his mood lifted thanks to a post-performance standing ovation.
“That dude’s got talent!” AGT host Nick Cannon enthused after the emotional routine, which left the singer and audience members teary-eyed.
“I’m just so used to being rejected and I’m not really good and anything, so this is amazing,” De Leon admitted.
Mandel’s response to the Las Vegas-bound contestant: “It’s not that you’re good at anything — you are great.”
Watch De Leon’s full America’s Got Talent performance in the clip above now!
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