Utah teens hope to get on 'America's Got Talent'

Utah teens hope to get on 'America's Got Talent'

(Family photo via Idaho State Journal)

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POCATELLO, Idaho — Two former Pocatello girls have auditioned to appear on the “America’s Got Talent” reality TV show and are hopeful about their chances to appear on the 13th season of the NBC show.

The Idaho State Journal reports teen sisters Cheyenne and Caysi Keller, who recently moved with their family to South Jordan, Utah, after spending all their lives in Pocatello, say they’re excited about the possibility after auditioning with about 2,000 other hopefuls on Dec. 9.

“It was so much fun,” said Cheyenne, 15. “I didn’t know what to expect.”

It was interesting, she said. And the process was quicker than she expected, taking only two to three hours at the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

“I thought we made a pretty good impression,” Cheyenne said.

She and Caysi have been musically inclined nearly all of their lives. Caysi, who’s 13, is a natural singer and plays guitar, piano and ukulele. Cheyenne plays guitar, piano, ukulele and drums and has recently started singing more.

“I was really against it for the longest time,” Cheyenne said. “I could never sing as well as Caysi.”

That’s where the family’s recent move to Utah came in. They wanted the girls to have a chance to learn from Salt Lake area voice coach Dean Kaelin, who’s worked with singers David Archuleta and Julianne Hough, among others. And Cheyenne says Kaelin’s made a big difference for her in the past year.

“I went to Dean and he told me what I was doing wrong,” she said. “And ever since I’ve just been working at it and working at it and getting better every day.”

Their mother, Cindy, said they’ve both developed a lot since they started working with Kaelin. And it showed.

Out of people at the audition, the sisters, who used to have the band Falling Up in Pocatello, were approached by a producer looking for a sister act, Cindy said.

So they were chosen for 30 to 45 minutes of filming. Cindy said it was an interesting experience to see her girls picked for interviews by a producer.

“It was like, ‘Wow, there go my babies,’” she said.


She’s hopeful they’ll make the final cut.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Cindy said. “It’s looking good.”

They might hear one way or another in late February. But if the girls make it on the show, they can’t say anything about it until the first episode airs, she said.

But Cindy said the sisters, who practice one to two hours a day, plan to continue their voice training and preparations as though they are going to be on the show.

It’s fun to hear them perform, particularly because Cindy doesn’t know where their girls got their singing abilities. Neither she nor her husband, Charlie, can sing.

Cheyenne said she’s excited about the whole process and the potential to be on the program.

“Our talents can grow so much even from just a couple of rounds on the show,” she said.


One thing they plan to work on is stage presence. That could play a big role in their chances.

“You can’t be a performer without stage presence at all,” Cheyenne said. “I feel like we’ll learn a lot about that from the producers.”

Caysi said the environment was comfortable for her, even though she can have anxiety in some social situations.

“So I was actually able to talk to the producers like I talk to my family,” Caysi said. “So I feel like I did the best I could have.”

Another factor for them to consider is that “America’s Got Talent” isn’t just a singing contest. It includes other kinds of acts.

“It’s all about who America picks because it’s not really comparing two things that are the same,” Caysi said.

But she feels they put their best foot forward.

“We had the outfits and personality that could get us noticed,” Caysi said. “But you never know what they’re looking for.”


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Scott Kraus


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