‘Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent’ comes to S.A.

Es­ti­mated 2,000 acts try to win ticket to L.A. for pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion show’s 14th sea­son

San Antonio Express-News - - METRO - By Richard A. Marini STAFF WRITER

Most of the would-be stars wait­ing to au­di­tion for “Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent” on Fri­day at the Con­ven­tion Cen­ter down­town would leave dis­ap­pointed. Their tal­ents — singing, danc­ing, standup com­edy and other skills un­de­fin­able — would fail to catch the at­ten­tion of the show’s pro­duc­ers and they’d go home with­out a cov­eted golden ticket to Los An­ge­les and an ap­pear­ance on the show.

But the long odds didn’t seem to dampen the spirit of those who showed up to au­di­tion as early as 7 in the morn­ing.

Adam Sal­gado, who was prac­tic­ing his jazz dance rou­tine in the ball­room hold­ing area, said he in­tends to “stay pos­i­tive and keep a good at­ti­tude” when he’s called into the au­di­tion room. The Lee High School grad has been danc­ing for nine years, and this isn’t his first TV re­al­ity show rodeo.

“I went to Dal­las to au­di­tion a while ago, and I was re­ally ner­vous,” said the 21-year-old af­ter warm­ing up and stretch­ing. “Now I know what to ex­pect, so I’m very calm.”

Meghan Colomb trav­eled to San An­to­nio the night be­fore with her par­ents from their home in Lafayette, La. She sings and plays the ukulele, and she’s plenty pos­i­tive, too.

“My mom’s here to have fun, but I’d like to do this for the rest of my life,” she said.

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of Grace Van­derWaal, the ukelele-play­ing pre­teen win­ner of sea­son 11 of “AGT,” as the show is also known, there were plenty of those to be seen dur­ing the au­di­tions.

Even those not cho­sen could at least, for one not-so-brief and shin­ing mo­ment, be so­cial me­dia stars. That’s be­cause the ball­room hold­ing area was as In­sta­gram­ready as any so­cial me­dia in­flu­encer could de­sire. There were three large “Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent” ban­ners, light­bulb-bor­dered makeup mir­rors, and a 10-foot-tall “AGT” in lights. And the whole area was bathed in bright stu­dio lights to make any cell­phone photo pop.

Ni­cholas Young from Schertz had a per­sonal rea­son for au­di­tion­ing. In re­cent years, he lost his grand­fa­thers, both of whom were big sup­port­ers of his gui­tar-play­ing and singing.

“I’ve been play­ing for 14 years and singing for eight,” said the 19year-old. “And when­ever we went to visit, they told my par­ents to make sure I’d bring my gui­tar. Now I’ve promised them both that I’d do more with my mu­sic, and try­ing out for this show is part of that prom­ise.”

AGT al­ways comes to Texas dur­ing its au­di­tion process be­cause “the cal­iber of tal­ent here is amazing,” said pro­ducer Adam Davis. And San An­to­nio is a fa­vorite, he added, be­cause the city “pro­vides per­son­al­ity” to the show.

“The vibe here is al­ways cool,” said Davis, who es­ti­mated that 2,000 acts — from sin­gle per­form­ers to large dance groups — will per­form dur­ing the au­di­tion. “We al­ways have a good time when we’re here.”

Those lucky few in­vited to ad­vance to the West Coast will ap­pear on the 14th sea­son of the tal­ent show com­pe­ti­tion and com­pete for a grand prize of $1 mil­lion (be­fore taxes). They’re also promised “a head­line show in Las Ve­gas,” which, ac­cord­ing to re­ports, means they’ll per­form as the fi­nal act in a va­ri­ety show at Planet Hol­ly­wood Re­sort & Casino.

Pho­tos by Bob Owen / Staff pho­tog­ra­pher

Paris Sky­lar, 14, from New Mex­ico, quietly re­hearses her au­di­tion song for “Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent,” which came to San An­to­nio to find con­tes­tants for its 14th sea­son. A show pro­ducer es­ti­mated 2,000 acts au­di­tioned at the Con­ven­tion Cen­ter on Fri­day.

Ori­ana En­car­na­cion helps dancer Javier Gil, from Hous­ton, fin­ish his makeup be­fore his au­di­tion on Fri­day.

Bob Owen / Staff pho­tog­ra­pher

Nico Colucci, 14, trav­eled all the way from Colorado Springs, Colo., to au­di­tion for “Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent.” Al­most 200 coun­tries around the world have their own ver­sion of the TV tal­ent show.

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