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Orlando’s Carly Jo Jackson’s audition for ‘America’s Got Talent’

Carly Jo Jackson appearing at the 2014 Grammy Showcase event with Reggie Williams
Carly Jo Jackson appearing at the 2014 Grammy Showcase event with Reggie Williams
Kat Coffin

Last week, Orlando music fans had the thrill of watching Carly Jo Jackson on “America’s Got Talent” (AGT). Even better than getting a chance to see the Orlando singer/songwriter perform on national television, was the news that she had made it to the next round.

Carly Jo Jackson on "America's Got Talent"
courtesy of NBC

Jackson’s promotion to the next round wasn’t too surprising considering that during her performance the judges, Heidi Klum, Howard Stern, Howie Mandel and Mel B, were all smiles. When she introduced herself Stern said “That sounds like the name of a star” and called her charismatic. After her performance, host Nick Cannon said “She’s got a great voice.”

Even for a seasoned performer like Jackson, walking out onto that stage in front of such a large audience and celebrity judges was a different experience for her. “The judges made me feel nervous enough, and then knowing that there was such a big crowd out there made it crazier,” said Jackson. “It was one of the largest audiences I have every performed in front of, but I knew I had to do my best for it to go well so I just turned my nerves into adrenaline and excitement and tried to keep a smile on to beat the nerves.”

For her audition the Orlando singer/songwriter chose to cover Emeli Sandé’s “Next To Me.” “There wasn’t much agonizing,” said Jackson of her song selection. “The song just kind of ended up coming to me on its own. I loved that song already, it is one I perform regularly, and I really felt tied to it emotionally so I thought what a better place to let others feel it with me than on this AGT stage.”

After the show aired, Jackson’s Twitter feed and Facebook page filled up with positive messages from new fans from across the country. “I never expected so much support for what I do after that performance,” said Jackson. “I’ve spent a lot of my time on this music journey playing around my city with only family support, so to see the supporting ‘family’ growing bigger really pulls my heart strings.”

The next step for Jackson on “America’s Got Talent” is judgment week, scheduled to air mid-July. “It is the final step before moving on to the live shows where the TV audience gets to vote,” she said. “I’m going to do my best for my fans, family, friends and of course my beautiful city and state.”

Hopefully Jackson can make a deep run on the show. Just getting as far as she already has is a huge accomplishment. Many talented performers audition for the shows, with very few even making it to the televised rounds, let alone the next phase of competition.

Music fans can follow Jackson and hear her music on her official site, Facebook, You Tube and Twitter and make sure to tune in to NBC for “America’s Got Talent” to check out her competition and cheer her onward.