Almost, not quite: 17-year-old Patchogue-Medford High senior Christian Guardino — who wowed judges but not quite enough viewers — will not make the finals of “America’s Got Talent” after all.
A surprise (yup) and disappointment too, particularly after the rapturous judge appraisal on Tuesday, when they stood, cheered, and pronounced (per Howie Mandel) that “you are beautiful inside and out . . . You are a great symbol of what we need to hear and what we need to watch.”
What gives? (What gave?) Who knows. But quite clearly a major oversight. (Newsday’s Glenn Gamboa wrote that his Tuesday performance of “What’s Going On” was “powerful.”) Had he advanced, Guardino would have become the second Long Islander in as many years to reach the “AGT” finals: Sal Valentinetti — the “Voice” of Bethpage — fell just short in his quest to win last year. (Once again, the “AGT” viewing nation’s mistake, not his.)
After birth, Guardino was diagnosed with a retinal disease called Leber congenital amaurosis, which made him blind. It was later successfully treated at the University of Pennsylvania’s Scheie Eye Institute. At the outset of his run on “AGT” in June, he told “Entertainment Weekly,” “my hearing was strengthened because of my eyesight. I hear music in a strong way. It’s always been there for me.”
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