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Fla. tenor wows on 'America's Got Talent'

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BELLEVIEW, FL (WFLA) -

A Florida native is still in the running to win the ultimate prize on America's Got Talent.

Fernando Varela, one of the tenors in the group "Forte," is the song director at a small Polish National Catholic church about an hour north of Tampa.

"When he is here and we do advertise that he's here people are sitting outside in the parking lot and all the way to the street," said Father Mark Niznik, of the St. Paul Polish National Catholic Church. "We sit 150 people comfortably here and this Sunday when he was here, we had over 300 show up for church."

Varela has been leading the music ministry here at the church for the last four years. He's a father of two boys and husband to a wife named Susan who is a singer herself.

"Susan was the principle singer at Disney World for many years," Niznik said. "She had the part of Cinderella and Belle and so whenever Fernando's here with Susan we always say - you were so incredible - and so were you, Fernando."

It's not the first time Fernando has been in the spotlight.

Five years ago, he recorded his first CD, Dare to Live, and sang for about 50,000 guests of Spiritual Master Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj in Haridwar, India.

He's also performed with Florida's Orlando Philharmonic, The Sarasota Orchestra, and more recently, as David Foster's guest with The National Symphony at The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

"[When] a lot of stars are born - they think its overnight - but Fernando's been working a long time for this moment," Niznik said. "We knew that was coming. We just could tell that was coming because as the years progressed and as he got better and better you could just feel it that something big was in store for this wonderful human being."

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