More than 11 million TV viewers saw openly gay Houston singer Christina Wells get a standing ovation and a thumbs-up from all four celebrity judges on the June 5 episode of NBC’s America’s Got Talent.
“Now that girl can sing,” said head judge Simon Cowell.
“We felt your soul,” judge Howie Mandel told Wells.
So when will Wells’ next round of competition be televised? It’s a heavily guarded secret that even local fans of Houston’s 2016 Pride SuperStar winner can’t uncover.
“We don’t have the schedule yet for when the next rounds will air,” an NBC publicist teased OutSmart. “What you can do is tell your readers to continue to tune in every Tuesday at 7 on NBC!”
While loose lips won’t sink the ship coming in for Wells, last year’s season 13 of AGT took about four months of audition rounds, quarterfinals and semifinals to air before concluding with viewers voting to award $1 million and a Las Vegas performing contract to pre-teen ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer of Oklahoma City. The season 13 finale is scheduled for sometime in September.
When OutSmart interviewed Wells last month by phone (with an NBC publicist listening in), she was sitting on cloud nine following the June 5 AGT viewing party at Spanky’s Pizza in her hometown of Pasadena.
Her friends and family watched on big TV screens as Wells opened up to viewers about how, as a teenager auditioning for a show at AstroWorld, she was rejected for being overweight.
The truth hurt, she said. “I wish they would have said I couldn’t sing. Right? Like, ‘You can’t sing.’ Then at least I could have been like, ‘Okay, that’s your opinion.’ But I am fat. Like, I am. It’s not an opinion. It confirmed my greatest insecurities. ‘You’re fat. It’s not going to happen. It’s time to go get a real job.’ So I stopped singing.”
On AGT, Wells belted out “I Know Where I’ve Been,” a song the biracial singer had performed as Motormouth Maybelle in a 2015 production of Hairspray at Art Park Players in Deer Park.
That show was the catalyst for Wells entering the multi-week 2016 Pride SuperStar competition in Montrose.
The Pride Month competition “changed my life,” Wells says. “It ignited in me a creative desire to perform and make videos and become an actual artist who people want to go see.”
Wells capped off the Pride SuperStar competition by singing “I Am Changing” from the Broadway musical Dreamgirls.
In November and December of 2016, Wells portrayed Charilee Chess, “a gospel-singing, psychic manicurist” in The Honky Tonk Angels Holiday Spectacular at Stages Repertory Theatre.
More recently, she has launched a solo career on social media, sang live at Hamburger Mary’s, and formed her own group, the Christina Wells Band.
Offstage, Wells is a single mother of two teenage sons, and she works as a registered nurse.
In an advance press clip from AGT, Cowell asked Wells, “What is the ultimate dream?”
“For me to show my boys that nothing should prevent you from making your dreams come true,” she responded.
This article appears in the July 2018 edition of OutSmart magazine.