|Age (at audition)||54|
In 2003, Pete Peterkin introduced his one-man show to corporate America. 5 standing ovations later, he was being called “The World’s Most Versatile Entertainer.” Pete is a singer, actor, dancer, comic, impressionist and multi-instrumentalist as well as a writer of literature and song.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Pete lost both parents at a young age. The loss made it consistently difficult for him to cope with the many life challenges that lay ahead. At birth he had acquired a disease called “congenital talipes” or “clubfoot” (with an enlarged ankle) leaving his left leg several inches shorter than his right and completely paralyzed below the knee to this day. The many side effects he endured due to this condition caused him to spend most of his childhood in leg braces and living in and out of hospitals. Throughout this period he also had to contend with a severe stuttering problem.
As a young teenager his physical limitations made it a never-ending struggle to fit in and he turned to music as a source of inspiration and comfort. Originally starting out as songwriter and a self-taught R&B/jazz guitarist (among several other instruments) Pete was content for many years to help other performers maintain their musical reputations. He wrote songs, did background vocals and played guitar for the likes of Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, The Temptations and The Four Tops just to name a few.
In the late 80’s as he grew physically stronger he began extensively experimenting with dance as well as his singing voice, hoping to one day emerge from the shadows of being a supporting player. The singing experiments led him into impressions (over 200) as well as acting which helped him overcome his stuttering.
His growing interest in theater was rewarded when he performed in and wrote the music and lyrics to a musical called “Claim It” which had a successful run in L.A. By the early 90’s his own voice as well as his quirky sense of humor took center stage. In addition to performing as a respected gospel and blues singer he wrote and performed musical comedy for L.A.’s number one radio station 92FM The Beat.
A chance viewing of a video by the late great Vegas impressionist Danny Gans convinced Pete to put all of his skills into one show. A few years down the road he found himself performing in Vegas receiving a standing ovation from Danny Gans himself. 1
Pete Peterkin - The Rock & Roll President's audition in Episode 401 consisted of impersonating Barack Obama's appearance and mannerisms, saying he would get funky despite people thinking he was stiff, donning a wig, and singing James Brown's "Pap's Got a Brand New Bag" in James' voice and dancing heavily. Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff all voted "Yes", sending Pete to the Vegas Round.
Pete Peterkin's Quarterfinals performance in Episode 415 consisted of impersonating Obama conversing with Snoop Dogg and impersonating Obama impersonating Jamie Foxx impersonating Ray; to emulate Ray, he sang "Georgia on My Mind" while playing the piano. Pete did not receive enough votes to be sent to the Semifinals, eliminating him from the competition in Episode 416 instead of The Texas Tenors.
After the Show
After the AGT show, Pete Peterkin toured worldwide headlining for Holland-America and for several theaters nation-wide including the world famous Andy Williams Moon River Theater where he co-headlined with several of American Idol's Top 10 finalists and winners. 2