Remember Sal Valentinetti from American Idol season 14? The 19 year old Frank Sinatra-style crooner auditioned in New York City and was quite the character once he hit Hollywood. But he wouldn’t last long. The Italian American singer left the competition after the group round.
The good news for rejected singing show auditioners: If one show says no, keep trying, because another may eventually say yes! Sal showed up on America’s Got Talent last night and advanced to the next round. Even better, judge Heidi Klum hit her “Golden Buzzer” for Sal. That means the singer will skip the AGT middle rounds entirely.
Unlike the Long Island singer’s American Idol “Fly Me To The Moon” audition, the America’s Got Talent judges embraced the singer’s performance of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” unanimously. Besides Heidi bestowing her Golden Buzzer, Simon Cowell called Sal an “Old Soul,” Mel B. described the performance as “Flawless.” Howie Mandel said Sal was a “Good hearted lovable guy who has a real talent.”
Sal laid the Italian shtick on pretty thick, but the judges and audience ate it right up.
On American Idol, judge Harry Connick Jr. didn’t buy Sal’s shtick, believing the singer had limited appeal. Or maybe he was super-critical because they were both crooners! Adam Lambert, sitting in for an absent Keith Urban, said yes. “The audience will love him,” Adam explained. A thoroughly charmed Jennifer Lopez said yes. Because Sal played a smaller room, the act seemed a little more low key. I think the setting provided a much better showcase for his vocal abilities.
Idol eliminated Sal after his group performance in Hollywood. The group Sal’s Gals included eventual runner-up and BFF Jax and a singer named Alexa, who caused lots of drama llama after a fainting spell. Sadly for Sal’s fans, Alexa and Jax advanced, while he left the competition.
The winner of Sal’s Idol season, Nick Fradiani, congratulated him on twitter last night. Consider the weird symmetry if Sal were to eventually win America’s Got Talent. Nick auditioned for American Idol after being eliminated from AGT the year before.
My boy Sal straight up killed his audition. Good stuff bud! https://t.co/3iFaZLY6m7
— Nick Fradiani (@nickfradiani) June 15, 2016