A Pigeon Forge entertainer returns to "America's Got Talent" Tuesday as the wild-card rounds begin.
He was previously on the show with the all-male clogging group called All That. Now, Drake Elkin, who appears in the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge, is asking for community votes to keep him and All That in the running.
Previously this season the mind reader Eric Dittleman beat the group in the quarter-finals. However, judge Sharon Osbourne played her wild card to keep them in the competition.
"It was an intense and brutal competition," Elkin said. "It was a very tough week because there were so many great acts."
Judge Howard Stern said, "I love your act. I can't believe how entertained I am by this. You certainly have talent and you are really fascinating to watch. I love you, but this is going to be tough. People don't realize the pressure of a live show. You make it or break it."
Logistics have been difficult for Elkin since the rest of his dance team live out of state.
"The hardest part of the 'America's Got Talent' show for me is that the rest of the group is together practicing in Myrtle Beach and I am here by myself practicing in Pigeon Forge," Elkin said.
When Elkin began clogging at the age of 10, he really wasn't planning on a career as a clogger. "My older brother started clogging a year before I did and at the time I wasn't interested in clogging," Elkin said. "My mom asked me if I would be interested in clogging and I kept telling her, 'no.'
"She took me to a class with other kids my age, and I saw all the girls, and I said I would give it a shot.
"After two years I was able to travel and perform at festivals and that is when I noticed an older competition team who got to go on a two week trip to Europe and I thought to myself, 'I'm going to give it my all so I can get to do that!'"
Elkin made the competition team and traveled for five years to performances all over the country and even got to perform on the stage of the Grand Ol Opry.
He was asked to join All That in 2005 when he performed with them at the Carolina Opry Show in Myrtle Beach.
Years later Elkin auditioned for the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show and moved to Pigeon Forge. "I get to dance for a living and this job is a dream come true," Elkin said.
"I love the crowd. I love the fast pace and the high energy of the Hatfield and McCoy Show.
Elkin and his wife, Nikkole live in Sevierville. His wife works for Camberra in Oak Ridge.
The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show is open year round with dinner shows at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday show times vary.
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or email@example.com.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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