He was unfailingly polite to the judges, expressing thanks even for the rare criticism.
There were backstage shots of him calling his mom to tell her he had survived another round.
He talked of his children and how he would build a better house for them if he won the big prize. He tearfully mentioned a time when he was homeless.
And despite what had to be enormous pressure in a Hollywood setting, he continued to sing like a dream.
After that first performance, he dressed in well-tailored tuxedos. The dreadlocks were pulled back.
He still didn't look like Frank Sinatra.
But he was slim, sophisticated and the very picture of what's considered cool and handsome in today's world, just as Frank was in his day.
As Landau smoothly performed classic after classic, he may have done as much for a beloved old style of music as he did for West Virginia.
Those who know him in Logan - co-workers, family members and friends - say his repertoire is much broader than "America's Got Talent" revealed.
Here's hoping his time in the national spotlight has just begun.
It would be great if he built that house for his kids right here in West Virginia, but we'll understand if his fortunes take him elsewhere.
However, I think I can speak for many of the folks back home in making a request.
How about a Clay Center performance?
Friend is editor and publisher of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-5124 or nan...@dailymail.com.