Kieran Rhodes advances on ‘America’s Got Talent’ with original composition

After giving an emotional performance of a self-penned song on the piano, Burnt Hills native Kieran Rhodes avoided elimination and advanced on “America’s Got Talent.” 

Rhodes appeared midway through the two-hour NBC broadcast Tuesday night, where he introduced himself by speaking of being self-taught on the piano and also being a student at Berklee College of Music. He wore a gray T-shirt, black jeans and white sneakers. 

Host Simon Cowell asked if it was difficult getting into the prestigious Boston school without being a trained musician. Rhodes responded that it had been intimidating to study among people who had a life of training.

Rhodes then sat at the piano and began singing Billy Joel’s “She’s Got A Way About Her.” Cowell stopped him mid-song and asked if he wrote his own compositions. Rhodes then preceded to sing an original song called “Disengage” that he said he wrote while fighting depression. 


Each of the four judges — Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Cowell — gave him a “yes.” Cowell, in fact, gave a short speech about his own tough time starting out in music.

Backstage, Rhodes said: “I cannot even describe what I’m feeling right now,” followed by a film clip of an emotional embrace with his mother, Mia Scirocco.

Rhodes has joined a long line of Capital Region artists to see if they have what it takes to win the hearts of the nation.

“America’s Got Talent,” which in the final rounds asks its television audience to pick its $1 million winner who will go on to headline in Las Vegas, has attracted Capital Region performers in the past. Rubik-Cube magician Steven Brundage of Saratoga Springs appeared on the show in 2016 but was voted off in the semifinals. Schenectady dancer Ezra Masse-Mahar performed on the show the following year with the ensemble Diavolo. That group made it to the finals.

Other locals who received national recognition through television competitions include singers Sawyer Fredericks, Moriah Formica and Delaney Silvernell, all appeared on “The Voice.” Colonie singer Madison VanDenburg also earned acclaim for her 2019 appearance on “American Idol.”

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