Local musician competes for a spot on reality TV

HARLINGEN — Armed with only his six-string guitar and a couple bucks in his pocket, Keith Gutierrez hopped on a bus headed out of town to chase his dream.

“I had to go; I had to go,” Keith said. “I really don’t know if I’m going to make it on TV, but the experience was very cool.”

As far back as the 24-year-old can remember, it has always been his dream to compete in a national televised talent show.

A year ago he missed his opportunity. This time around he was taking no chances.

He was going to audition to be a contestant on America’s Got Talent.

America’s Got Talent is an American reality television series. It is a talent show that features singers, dancers, magicians, comedians and other performers of all ages competing for the advertised top prize of $1 million.

Keith said when he arrived in the big city he walked past the professional basketball arena on his way to the audition.

“I saw all the concerts coming to the arena,” Keith said. “That inspired me because I was like all these singers are coming to the arena, I’m going to America’s Got Talent and it motivated me.”

And then it was his turn.

He put his rock star frame in front of the show’s producers and began to serenade them as he finger-picked his guitar to a Bruno Mars tune called, “Count on Me.”

Keith competed against the Texas pool of America’s Got Talent contestants that ranged from singing youngsters and comedy acts to music ensembles.

“I got there early and waited about one hour for my audition,” Keith said.

He says he will have to wait until February or March to find out if he made it to the next round of competition — a spot on the show in Las Angeles in front of the judges of America’s Got Talent.

Even though Keith admitted he competed against some of the best talent Texas has to offer, he said he was excited to have had the opportunity to represent the Valley.

Some of his favorite artists he mentioned are Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Ed Sheerran.

He said he took their inspiration and put himself on center stage in front of the America’s Got Talent producers.

“I thought it was a good day.” Keith said. “At the end of the day I want to write songs that people will listen to.”