Filipino Peter Rosalita makes it through to ‘America’s Got Talent’ quarter finals

The singer aged 10 will perform in the first of the live shows on Tuesday evening

Abu Dhabi-born Peter Rosalita, 10, on the 16th season of 'America's Got Talent'. Instagram / peter.rosalita

After stunning judges with his rendition of Celine Dion's All By Myself in the auditions for America's Got Talent, Abu Dhabi youngster Peter Rosalita has made it through to the quarter-finals of the televised talent show.

The singer, aged 10, joins 35 other acts chosen by the judges to progress to the next round and the first live performances of season 16 of the hit TV competition.

Peter is already in the United States with his aunt, Mary Jane Villegas, preparing for his performance. His parents are in Abu Dhabi and are getting ready to watch their son take to the Dolby Theatre stage on Tuesday.

"My husband and I are nervous but at the same time extremely excited for Peter. He has brought so much pride and joy to our hearts and to everyone who supports him around the world," Peter's mother Vilma Villegas tells The National.

The Grade 5 student at Richmindale school in Abu Dhabi has been following an exercise regime to ensure he's in good shape for the contest.

"It consists mostly of daily cardio exercises like jogging and running to help him with his breath control," Villegas says. "We also make sure that he eats a healthy diet and gets enough sleep."

The quarter-final acts have been divided into three groups of 12, with each group taking to the stage on Tuesday nights for the coming three weeks. Peter is in the first group to perform live and will no doubt have plenty of people tuning in to see his performance.

His audition video has been viewed over seven million times since it was uploaded online on June 2.

"The support has been overwhelming since his audition. It truly warms our hearts to know that he has such a large following around the world," his mother says.

Also performing in the same group are magician Dustin Tavella, comedian Gina Brillon and Matt Johnson, an escape artist.

America's Got Talent was taken off air for a two-week hiatus so that NBC could screen the Tokyo Olympics, but the show returns with judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum ready to give their verdict on each of the live performances.

And Peter's parents are sure their son will give it his all.

"Peter has had various experiences in competitions which we believe has instilled in him the sense of valuing hard work and realising that it may or may not always end up with a win. He knows that what matters most is giving his best each and every time he performs," says Villegas.

Peter Rosalita-AD  Peter Rosalita, 10, with his parents Ruel Rosalita, Vilma Villegas, and aunt Mary Jane Villegas in Abu Dhabi on June 7, 2021.
Reporter: David Tusing Features

Twelve acts will perform live at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre on Tuesday, with the first live results show broadcast the following day on Wednesday.

Despite his young age, Peter isn't the most junior performer to make the cut. That honour goes to Victory Brinker, 9, a singer from the US.

And at the other end of the age spectrum, Michael Winslow, 62, known for his ability to make realistic sounds using only his voice, has also progressed to the next round of the talent show.

One final act has still to be added to the quarter-finals list. A one-hour special show, AGT: America's Wildcard will have five acts competing for the last spot. In the running are singers Dylan Zangwill, Matt Mauser and Storm Large, comedian Mike Goodwin and magician Patrick Kun.

Updated: August 8th 2021, 6:45 AM
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