It was a bold move when 21-year old Enkh Erdene chose an American country song to sing to The World’s Best judges. Standing on the stage for his first audition on the show’s pilot episode, the young Mongolian singer must have been petrified: he doesn’t speak a word of English. The judges sat patiently, with mixed expectations for Erdene’s performance.
“Is this your first time in the United States?” asked excitable host James Cordon. Via the help of a translator, Erdene confirmed it was his very first time. The lights dropped, and the backing music began.
Nobody could have predicted that the judges would practically be thrown out of their chairs in surprise.
Erdene chose the 1983 George Strait hit “Amarillo By Morning,” a song voted by Western Writers of America as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. Songwriter Terry Stafford allegedly conceived of the song after playing at a rodeo in San Antonio, Texas, and then taking a road trip back to his home in Amarillo.
Erdene may not be able to understand the language, but the music spoke for itself. The young singer’s performance on The World’s Best stage would have made true Texas cowboys proud. His smooth, country lilt and velvety tone brought the song to life, and the show’s judges, Drew Barrymore, Faith Hill, and RuPaul, looked on in shock and awe.
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The young Mongolian boy’s voice was country magic incarnate. He shook the “Wall of the World” (the insiders’ name for the judges’ panel on the show) to its very foundation.
Judges Drew Barrymore and Faith Hill were particularly affected by Erdene’s performance. Barrymore, in fact, was entirely unable to retrieve her jaw from the floor: the beautiful actress and talent judge could not believe her ears, and while the audience around her swapped excited exclamations of approval, Barrymore sat in astonished, open-mouthed silence.
— The World’s Best (@WorldsBestCBS) February 21, 2019
It’s probably safe to say that Erdene will get her vote.
Erdene’s breathtaking rendition of the country classic was flawless. The performance predictably ended with a standing ovation from both the judges and an excited jury. The entire room showed their love for the Mongolian singer’s dedication to a truly American musical style, and communicated their astonishment and gratitude for the young singer’s conscientious country stylings through the sheer volume of their applause.
Erdene’s ability to move forward in the competition is, at this stage, irrefutable. He earned himself a high score, enabling him to move on to the next stage and no doubt delight the crowds with more of his incomparable talent.
If you haven’t yet enjoyed Enkh Erdene’s extraordinary rendition of “Amarillo By Morning,” what are you waiting for? You won’t be disappointed!
Are you as gobsmacked as the unsuspecting judges were? Be sure to share this article, and delight in the video with music-loving friends and family!