As Andrew De Leon walked onto the America's Got Talent stage in his Goth getup and sporting zombie-eyed contact lenses, my first thought was, "Yikes! What in the world is this guy gonna do?"
But if there ever was a book that shouldn't be judged by its cover -- this is it. The sneers and jeers from the audience came to an abrupt halt as soon as he started to sing.
He may look like Marilyn Manson but he is far from a goth rocker. Andrew is an opera singer ... and Andrew sounds like an angel. He is the Susan Boyle of the season. You remember the adorably dowdy, Scottish woman who wowed the world on the British version of the show a few years back.
And under all of Andrew's black eye-liner and long dark hair hides a heartbreaking back story. He told host Nick Cannon:
Growing up, I was alienated because I was never interested in athletics or what everybody else in my family was interested in. Singing was always an escape. It was always a comfort zone.
After his pitch-perfect performance, he revealed to judges it was the very first time he had ever sang in front of anyone. His family had never even heard him before. "I'm just so used to being rejected, and I'm not really good at anything, so this is amazing," he said of seeing people in the audience moved to tears by his voice.
This may be the best contestant yet! Needless to say, he was moved on to the next round in Las Vegas.
Watch Andrew's awesome performance here:
What do you think of Andrew's audition?
Image via NBC