By RODNEY HO/ firstname.lastname@example.org, originally filed Thursday, October 29, 2015
Sweet-sounding Emily West brought emotion, vocal prowess, physical beauty and a sweet humbleness on the stages of "America's Got Talent" last year, coming in second.
You'll be able to hear her live, singing some of her favorite covers, on "America's Got Talent Live: The All- Star Tour" November 7 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
West will be joined by season 8 stand-up comic Taylor Williamson, balancing duo the KriStef Brothers from that same season, season 4's "junk performers" Recycled Percussion, season 9's shadow dance duo Blue Journey and magician Smoothini from her season. She will sing four songs and the magician and dancers will get involved.
"I'm still going strong," said West in a recent interview. "This is just the AGT family experience. I'm excited to work with everyone. We're having a great time. It's like a high school reunion!"
The tour itself "is totally produced in a circus way. It's awesome."
When touring on her own, 34-year-old West has been doing a one-woman show, a mix of autobiography and personal songs. And West has also opened for Jay Leno. "I'm grateful and honored," she said. (Her uncle used to date Leno's assistant and that's how she got connected.)
Seeing her name under his on a marquee "is surreal," she said. "He gave me his cel phone number. He let me fly on his personal jet! He's the coolest guy!"
Credit: Rodney Ho
Credit: Rodney Ho
The Iowa native broke into music as a country singer several years back, securing a record deal in 2007 and even generated a couple of minor hits. But she didn't become a big success and was dropped soon after.
Last year, she chose to try her comeback via "America's Got Talent," gaining raves from the judges for her covers of Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" and Sia's "Chandelier." She also decided not to sing country.
Here's her beautiful take on Roberta Flack's "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" that nearly won her $1 million.
Despite coming in second, she was able to take advantage of the exposure on summer's biggest show. "The did a great job sharing my story in such a beautiful way. I'm so thankful for that."
It also jumpstarted her recording career. She plans to record a second album after the tour is over.
"This opened a whole new can of worms," West said. "This enabled me to go with a different sound."
Her problem, in a sense, is that she can sing so many different genres of music that she has a hard time picking one. "I just love great beautiful songs," she said.
Rodney Ho writes about entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution including TV, radio, film, comedy and all things in between. A native New Yorker, he has covered education at The Virginian-Pilot, small business for The Wall Street Journal and a host of beats at the AJC over 20-plus years. He loves tennis, pop culture & seeing live events.