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Drew Stevyns talks about last night's 'America's Got Talent'

I just got off the phone with Drew Stevyns, the Sykesville resident who is in the Top 20 on America's Got Talent and finds out tonight whether he is making the Top 10. He was waiting backstage for the live results show to get under way.

On last night's show, he performed a rocking rendition of "Careless Whisper," originally by Wham and currently on the radio as a cover by Seether.

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You find out whether you made the finals on tonight's show. How are you feeling?

I'm backstage waiting right now. I'm very nervous, but at the same time I think I put on a great performance. ... I think tonight is even worse than last night because at least last night I had some control over what was going on -- I could just go out and give my best. Tonight I just have to wait.

[Stevyns lived in Sykesville his whole life except for between the ages of 9 and 13, when he lived in England.] What was it like being in the Church of England Choir?

It was a very long time ago, but I think the main thing I got out of it was vocal discipline, working with other musicians.

How did you get started on your current musical career path?

I started writing songs in high school, when I was about 15 years old, played in multiple bands until I was about 25 years old, so then I went solo. Things started taking off, and I realized I could pay the bills playing music, which was a good thing.

Have you tried out for any other performance-based reality shows?

I tried out for American Idol, but I didn't make it, and I'm too old now, so I decided go for this.

How has the experience been?

It's been so amazing. I was't expecting any of this. I can't say enough good things about the experience so far, and my fellow competitors and I have gotten so close.

David Cook and Chris Daughtry got some blowback from viewers when they did harder rock covers of traditional pop songs and didn't get to acknowledge the arrangement's source. Were you worried the same might happen to you last night when the judges credited you with making "Careless Whisper" your own?

They were mistaken; it's actually the Seether arrangement. It's my favorite song on the radio, and I knew I had to do it. I realized as soon as I got off the stage [that I hadn't gotten to acknowledge Seether], and I really wish I had gotten a chance to say that.

You didn't get much airtime at the beginning of the season. Do you feel like that's put you at a disadvantage with viewers compared with some of the other acts?

I think to be honest, it's kind of exciting to come out of nowhere and not have people see you coming.

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If you win, what plans do you have for your act?

If I win ... [he laughs]. I don't think I would change anything. I am used to playing four hours a night in bars and restaurants, so I think I would just keep doing what I'm doing, but on a larger scale, I suppose.

Do you have anything to say to your fans back in Maryland?

Basically, thank you for everybody's support. It means so much.

When you do get to come home, what are you most looking forward to in Maryland?

I can't wait to get home and get a real meal and see my friends and family. We've been living off sandwiches here!

(Photo courtesy of NBC)

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