Johnson City

America's Got Talent finalist has local ties

Joe Castillo's family lives in Johnson City

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - A finalist on one of summer's hottest shows has strong ties to the Tri-Cities. Sand artist Joe Castillo is one of the last six contestants on America's Got Talent.

You might say Joe Castillo is taking America by a sand storm. The sand artist is one of the six finalists on this season's America's Got Talent and lived in Johnson City until a few years ago. "This is home for us," says his son Jose Castillo "Johnson City is home."

Joe Castillo's son and daughter-in-law live in Johnson City.

Jose Castillo says his dad became interested in his now-famous art after he sent him an email. "He took that and ran with it," says Jose, "he went to a home improvement store and bought a lamp and bag of sand."

Joe Castillo's been touring professionally for 6 years and even tried out America's Got Talent in the past, but didn't make the cut.

This year he's developed a major following. "Social media has been almost impossible to keep up with," described daughter-in-law Shannon Castillo.

His family won't know the outcome of the contest until America does.

No matter what happens Wednesday, Jose says he's proud of what his dad has accomplished. "I want my dad to do the best he can and tell the stories in his heart," said Castillo.

But he still admits next week could be the performance of a lifetime. "If you want Joe to move on, vote vote vote," said Jose Castillo.

Joe Castillo will perform next Wednesday night in the last live show. The season winner will be announced next Thursday.

Several places are planning viewing parties in Johnson City to hopefully see him win his own show in Las Vegas and a million dollars.

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