America's Got Talent Wiki

Eli Mattson was a singer and pianist act from Season 3 of America's Got Talent. He finished the competition in 2nd place.


Eli Mattson is one of the busiest singer/songwriter/pianists on the Chicago music scene, where he plays to capacity crowds weekly at Davenport’s and The Gentry. His EP “All I’ll Be” showcases Eli’s unique and exciting musical abilities. His blend of personal songwriting, power-pop piano playing and his rich, soulful baritone voice makes for an emotional and inspiring listening experience.

Eli grew up in the tiny rural community of Cotton, Minnesota (pop. 25) and playing the piano was simply in his blood, as he inherited a battered upright grand from his great, grandfather when he was 5 years old. With some guidance from his mother, he essentially taught himself to play by creating his own music since music instruction books weren't readily available in Cotton. When Eli's family moved to Green Bay 3 years later, Eli received his first formal piano training, and while he impressed his teachers with his abundant natural talent, he wasn't too impressed with what they were offering him.

Thankfully, Eli’s mother knew that formal training would serve her son well and convinced him to practice every day and pay attention in his lessons. At age 4, Eli visited his aunt in Chicago who took him to see a blues act at Rosa’s Lounge. He was startled when the lead singer approached him and said, “I hear you are a piano player”. Eli took the opportunity to play the blues with the band through the night. From this first onstage experience as a young teenager, he knew for certain performing music would always be the main focus of his life. When Eli was 19, he was awarded a prestigious grant of $30,000 from the Peninsula Arts Association in Wisconsin to help further his music career. 1


Eli Mattson's audition in Episode 302 consisted of singing "Walking in Memphis" while playing the piano. Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff all voted "Yes," sending Eli to the Vegas Round.

Vegas Round

Eli Mattson was one of the Music Acts in the Vegas Round. He was sorted into the "Male Singers" category. His performance in Episode 308 was not fully televised, but it consisted of singing Elton John's "Your Song" while playing the piano. Eli's audition was strong enough for the judges to include him in the Top 60 shortlist and to later send him to the Top 40 Quarterfinals in Episode 309.


Eli Mattson's Part 4 Quarterfinals performance in Episode 313 consisted of singing Tony Rich's "Nobody Knows" while playing the piano. Eli received enough votes to be sent to the Semifinals in Episode 314 instead of Dorae Saunders.


Eli Mattson's Part 2 Semifinals performance in Episode 315 consisted of singing Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" while playing the piano. Eli received enough votes to be sent to the Top 10 in Episode 316 instead of Sarah Lenore.

Top 10

Eli Mattson's Top 10 performance in Episode 317 consisted of singing Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" while playing the piano. Eli received enough votes to be sent to the Final 5 in Episode 318 instead of Jessica Price.

Final 5

Eli Mattson's Final 5 performance in Episode 319 consisted of singing Phil Collins' "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" while playing the piano.


During the finale in Episode 320, Eli Mattson was revealed to have finished in second place in the competition, in front of Queen Emily, Donald Braswell and Nuttin' But Stringz, but behind Neal E. Boyd.

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