Cass Middle sixth-grader advances to second round of 'America's Got Talent'
by Marie Nesmith
Feb 09, 2011 | 5943 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cass Middle School student Andrew Sanford, 13, has advanced to the next round of “America’s Got Talent.”
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Cass Middle School student Andrew Sanford, 13, has advanced to the next round of “America’s Got Talent.” SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Currently a featured karaoke singer at Tarascos Mexican Restaurant in Cartersville, Andrew Sanford is setting his sights on Hollywood. To broaden his vocal opportunities, Sanford -- a sixth-grader at Cass Middle School -- auditioned for "America's Got Talent" Jan. 30, successfully advancing to the television show's second round.

"It's really exciting because there was a lot of people that were in Atlanta trying out, too," said Andrew's mother, Sheila Sanford of Cartersville. "I knew he could sing very well and I knew he was capable of doing it ... He's been singing for about six years. [He] and his daddy have been going around to different churches and singing ... Then, besides going around to different churches [with] his daddy, he [sings at] Tarascos. Jorge is the manager over there. Mike is his music producer, and Tina is his manager. They're the ones that got him started and made a CD of his recording."

Returning this summer, NBC's "America's Got Talent" -- featuring a celebrity judges panel of Howie Mandel, Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne -- is in its sixth season. The show introduces television viewers to performers of all ages with talents, ranging from dancing and stand-up comedy to magic and juggling, all of whom are vying for the public's votes and a $1 million prize.

"They called me back the same day that I auditioned, when I got back home," said Sanford, adding he sang Rascal Flatts' "Bless the Broken Road" at his audition. "I answered the call, and I said, 'Hello' and then they said, 'Yes, this is the people from the 'America's Got Talent' group.' And they were telling me that they accepted me, so I got to move on to the second round.

"I was surprised that out of 6,000 people that went, that I was one of the 100 people that get to go to the next round. They had two days [of auditions in Atlanta] -- Jan. 29 and 30. I went for the second day because I thought it may be less [crowded], but [it] was just in that day that 6,000 people auditioned. [So I was] very excited and surprised at the same time [to be selected]. I first started watching ['America's Got Talent'] probably a year ago and I [got interested] in music six years ago. So I started out singing and working with my vocals ... and then I said, 'I think it's finally time for me to go and try something bigger than singing at karaoke every Friday and Saturday.' So I went and auditioned."

Auditions for this season's "America's Got Talent" still are under way, with the final two stops in Houston, Texas, Feb. 12 and 13 and Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 19 and 20. Sanford's next step will be traveling to Los Angeles in late March or early April for a taped show, in which he will audition for the celebrity judges in front of a live audience.

For more information about "America's Got Talent," visit www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent/. While they await to learn his outcome on the television show, area residents can watch Sanford perform at Tarascos, 1325 Cassville Road, on Friday and Saturday evenings and the "Every Child is a Star" talent show March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Woodland High School Performing Arts Center, 800 Old Alabama Road S.E. in Cartersville.