Thursday night, October 11, I got the privilege to be the celebrity judge for UT Tyler's Patriots Got Talent. This was one of many student events the school put on to celebrate homecoming week.

I've got to tell you, the talent is legit at UT Tyler.

Seven contestants made it to the final round Thursday night. With the exception of one, all the talent sang for us. But each singer brought something different to the stage.

The most interesting take on a song was from Schi-Lee A. Smith. She sang The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army" in a lounge music style. I love that song and I loved the arrangement.

Tanner Birmingham came on later with his guitar and sang John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads". He did great. Even for a song that is older than he is.

My favorite of the night, though, was Alexis Leyva. She filled the auditorium with some great opera singing. Being a huge of America's Got Talent each summer, I am fascinated by the opera singers. She was great and my favorite performance of the night.

Great job to the other contestants Jacquelyn Petocz, Jessica Valencia and "Fan Favorite" winner Rachel Fisher.

Tanner Birmingham took home third place, Alexis Leyva came in second and John Masters took home the win with a spoken word performance that was fantastic. I asked him if he was in theater. Nope. He is a chemistry major. He would easily fit in with a production of "Hamilton".

I had a blast and so did the great crowd of family and friends cheering on their favorite. I hope I can come back next year.

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