America’s Got Talent: Sal Valentinetti Pays Tribute To Grandmother, Wants To Open L.A. Pizzeria

"This is such a special day for me with her. It really does mean the world to me being here.”

Sal Valentinetti on 'America's Got Talent'
Sal Valentinetti
has his very own guardian angel.

The 20 year-old college student and pizza delivery boy from Bethpage, New York gave the performance of his life — one that propelled him into the finale of AMERICA’S GOT TALENT — on the tenth anniversary of his beloved grandmother’s death.

“It was just a really extra special feeling being up there on the stage,” he said, moments after delivering a rousing cover of the Frank Sinatra classic, “That’s Life.”

“Ever time I sing, I just hope… We used to dance together,” he tells

“She would put on 1100 AM The Classics and we would dance in the kitchen until my mother or father came to pick me up.  I just hope that when I sing, she dances.  This is such a special day for me with her.  It really does mean the world to me being here.”

Sal, who dropped 50 pounds since his audition was taped last spring, is one of five acts to advance through to the season 12 finale on September 13.

He is joined by performance artist Tape Face, opera singer Laura Bretan, magician John Dorenbos and ukulele sensation Grace VanderWaal.

Sal delivered pizza at Cassariano’s Italian Eatery in Mineola, New York before trying out for the show.

(He previously appeared on season 14 of AMERICAN IDOL.)

“I went from singing in the shower to singing in the semi-finals of AMERICA’S GOT TALENT in less than a year,” he says.

“That is the American dream.  That is makin’ it.  I am from New York.  If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.  I walk around.  I am getting recognized.  It is a fabulous feeling.”

Should he take home the $1 million grand prize, Sal says he would like to buy his mother a new house.

“Maybe even open a pizza joint out here (in Los Angeles),” he adds.

“We can ship the water in from New York.  That’s what makes it.  I can open it up in the same strip mall as Larry King’s bagel shop, so it is just like home!”

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays on NBC.  

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly