Watch out America, Lance Nickester's got talent.
After submitting an audition clip to America's Got Talent more than a year ago, the Nickester family forgot about the show until they received an e-mail informing them their son, Lance, was one of200 applicants chosen to audition in Chicago in March.
America's Got Talent, in its third season, airs on NBC and offers the home viewer a colorful array of hopeful singers, dancers, comedic and other performers of all ages who strut their stuff to winAmerica's vote.
Nationally known because of co-producer and American Idol judge Simon Cowell, the show is hosted by Jerry Springer and talent is judged by actor/singer DavidHasselhoff, British television personality Piers Morgan and rocker Ozzy Osbourne's wife, Sharon.
"We thought about putting him on Idol, but I really didn't want him to do Idol," Nickester's father, Bob, said. "I didn't want to wait in line with all those people where anyone can audition. With America's Got Talent, we sent in an audition CD and they personally picked Lance to audition."
The first four shows of the season will be of the auditions held in Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta. The judges will narrow down the contestants and some will move on to Las Vegas where judging will be placed in viewers' hands. The winner will bring home $1 million.
Tall at 16 with a signature cowboy hat, the Perkins High sophomore has traveled as far as Kentucky to share his vocals with talent shows, gospel festivals, fairs, churches and was broadcast live on WGGN, a Christian television station.
"I try to practice everyday, but if not, at least every other day," he said. "I usually practice in (my) bedroom or in the car."
Developing his skill without the help of a vocal coach, Nickester was groomed by his parents, including his mother, Tammy, who was part of a gospel group, Whispering Joy. The two have performed several duets together.
"He'd be in the playpen and I'd catch him humming along to whatever I had on," she said.
Nickester said he's not the least bit nervous about the audition or his ability to perform.
"I've been performing since I was four," he said. "I have the support of my friends and family and am confident with my ability to sing."
Nickester said if he doesn't get a break into the music industry by age 22 or 23, he plans to enlist in the Marine Corps.
"Whatever happens, happens," his father said. "If he makes it, great. No matter what we're going to be proud of him because he has so many talents."