Merritt youth sings way onto Canada's Got Talent

Jason Hewlett / Kamloops Daily News
March 22, 2012 01:00 AM

Cameron Snee

Ever since his mom put him in singing lessons when he was five, Cameron Snee has wanted to be a professional crooner.

Now the Merritt teen has a shot at the big time since he made his way onto CityTV's Canada's Got Talent.

Cameron, 13, performed Frederic Weatherly's Irish ballad Danny Boy in Vancouver in November, but the segment didn't air until recently.

And although months have passed since, Cameron is still startled by the size of the audience and the presence of the three judges, who included comedian Martin Short.

"There must have been like 8,000 people," Cameron said during a recent phone interview. "It was very frightening. I've never sang for a group that big."

A YouTube video of Cameron's performance has earned more than 29,000 views since it arrived online last week.

Canada's Got Talent reveals the competition's semi-finalists on its March 26 episode. Cameron, who left for holidays in Scotland with his parents and three siblings, has no idea if he will advance to the next round.

He said producers have promised to contact the family if he makes it.

"My family is pretty excited."

But Cameron believes he's got a pretty good chance at the grand prize of $100,000 in cash and a performance at a yet-to-be-confirmed Las Vegas venue.

"I think I've got a pretty good chance. Everyone has a chance. It all depends on how big it is," he said.

Cameron isn't a fan of rock and roll, saying he prefers to sing classic songs, his favourite being Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On.

The Coquihalla Middle School student's talent has put him in the spotlight before. He sang the national anthem when the Olympic Torch was carried through Merritt en route to Vancouver and, more recently, he performed at a local hockey game.

His voice and newfound fame have also earned him the support of the community, said mom Carrie-Lynn Snee. Her son has struggled with bullying, but the situation at school is improving.

"He's definitely getting a lot of support. The kids at school have been kind," she said.

And the experience is teaching Cameron to believe in himself and not worry too much about what others think of him, said Snee.

"He's learning to depend on his own opinions of himself," she said.

The Snees are a musical family, she said. Cameron's brother and two sisters sing and play instruments.

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