WASHINGTON (JTA) – Edon Pinchot, a kipah-wearing Jewish day school student, won cheers from the live audience and the judges in the semifinals of "America’s Got Talent."
Pinchot, 14, of Skokie, Ill., performed One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” on the popular NBC reality show and received a standing ovation from the live audience. Judge Howie Mandel told Pinchot that he is "the best singer of the competition.”
The teen was among 12 acts performing live Tuesday night. Other semifinalists joining Pinchot, a singer and pianist, included singers, a dancer, a dog ventriloquist, an acrobat, a mind reader and a comedian.
The second set of 12 semifinalists will perform Sept. 4.
Should enough TV viewers cast their votes for Pinchot, he will advance to the finals and a chance to take home the $1 million prize. He has performed an audition, in the Vegas round and in the quarterfinals to reach the semis. His kipah has made him a focal point for viewers.
Pinchot, who is Sabbath observant and keeps kosher, is the fourth of five children and has been playing piano since he was 9. His grandmother, Ginger Pinchot of Silver Spring, Md., says Edon is “very athletic. He’s one of the stars of his soccer team, and he’s also a straight A student. He’s just kind of an all-around guy.”
The show’s three judges — Mandel, Sharon Osbourne and Howard Stern — are Jewish.
Pinchot will be starting high school soon at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago.