Mongolia’s Got Talent Winner Enkh-Erdene Does Not Speak English, But Sings American Country Songs Flawlessly
Enkh-Erdene won Mongolia’s Got Talent in 2016. He got the chance to showcase his talent once again on the new America’s Got Talent spin-off, Fantasy League. Judge Heidi Klum picked Enkh-Erdene for her team.
Known as “The Mongolian Cowboy,” Enkh-Erdene does not speak or understand English. But he sings American country songs flawlessly. He demonstrated this while performing Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” on Fantasy League.
Enkh-Erdene advanced to the Fantasy League semi-finals after that performance. For his second appearance on the show, he opted to sing a more subdued country classic with an extensive history behind it.
The Story Behind “Always On My Mind”
Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher, and Mark James wrote “Always on My Mind.” Brenda Lee recorded it first, but Gwen McCrae released her recording three months before Lee’s.
Then, Elvis Presley recorded the song in March 1972, just a few weeks after separating from his wife, Priscilla. He released his recording in October of that year.
Elvis’ version reached the 16th spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Willie Nelson recorded and released his version of “Always on My Mind” ten years later, in 1982. His rendition reached the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart. It also crossed over to claim the fifth spot on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100.
Nelson won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male for his performance.
AGT Judges Have Mixed Response To Mongolia’s Got Talent Winner Enkh-Erdene’s Performance
Enkh-Erdene emulated Nelson’s more subdued way of singing “Always on My Mind” when he performed on Fantasy League. The audience was captivated by his stunning performance, and so was judge Heidi Klum. She gave him a standing ovation.
After Enkh-Erdene finished singing, Klum said:
“You are a class act. Your voice is just so beautiful, so soothing.”
She piled on more compliments, saying she could listen to him “24/7.” She also compared him to Michael Bublé, who covered “Always on My Mind” before as well.
Klum’s comparison was right on the money, since Enkh-Erdene previously earned praise for singing Bublé’s “Feeling Good” on Mongolia’s Got Talent.
However, the other judges had different opinions about Enkh-Erdene’s performance.
Simon Cowell said he wished the performance “had been more exciting.”
Howie Mandel commented something similar. He said, “this sounded like I was on a cruise, to be honest with you.”
Mel B said she liked the more “obvious country” sound from his previous performance.
In the end, only one contestant could advance to the next stage of the competition via audience vote. Sadly, Enkh-Erdene did not secure that coveted spot.
But he can feel proud knowing he delivered a beautiful performance before he left. Watch him sing “Always on My Mind” in the video below.