Tanguay’s audition was featured during the second episode of the American Idol season. He was one of many contestants who auditioned in Washington, D.C. The 21-year-old contestant has lived in Philadelphia since the summer of 2017.
Though he is a dancer and performer, Tanguay only started singing seriously in 2019. His performance in front of the American Idol judges was his first solo in front of anyone other than his roommates.
Here’s what you need to know about Tanguay:
1. He is the First Male Cheerleader for the Eagles in More Than Three Decades
While he is the first male cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles in more than three decades, he is also only the fourth modern male cheerleader in the NFL. During the 2018 NFL season, Quinton Peron and Napolean Jinnies both made history by joining the regular Los Angeles Rams squad. The same year, Jesse Hernandez was hired by the New Orleans Saints shortly after.
Tanguay became a member of the Eagles Cheerleaders in 2019. He said he has become used to the dynamic of being around mostly women due to being in many dance productions that featured predominately women over the years.
There were only nine new cheerleaders accepted onto the squad from hundreds of people who auditioned.
“When I was announced as a member of the squad on stage, I was so excited that I ran out and took a huge bow,” he said. “I was filled with pride. Being a part of this organization is something I have dreamed about since I moved to Philadelphia.”
2. He Wowed the Idol Judges With His Rendition of “Mercy” by Shawn Mendes
Though Tanguay has no professional singing training, he was able to wow the judges by the looks of the part of his audition that has already been released. Though the ending of the audition is not shown, it looks like the judges were enjoying what they saw.
Tanguay said he learned to sing by watching videos on YouTube. The lack of experience made him nervous to audition for American Idol, but his teammates being there for him helped him out.
“I was so scared auditioning in DC,” he told Action News. “I had no singing experience and to be singing pop music solo in front of Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie – I was so out of my comfort zone. It was my first solo ever,” he said.
The team will be watching the episode together.
3. Tanguay Has Been Performing Since He was Ten Years Old
Kyle Tanguay grew up in Rochester, New Hampshire and started his dance training at an early age. He first trained at Fusion Dance Academy in Dover, New Hampshire under the direction of Jaime Gagner.
He started taking dance lessons after telling his mom he wanted to be famous and change the world, so it was time to start taking some lessons.
“In musical theater, they say you have to learn how to sing, dance and act,” he said. “It’s about being the triple threat, so I had to learn how to dance.”
After high school, Tanguay joined the faculty of Dancers Inc, which is a nationally touring dance competition and convention. Tanguay is currently pursuing a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
4. His Grandmother Was Also a Cheerleading Pioneer
Though Tanguay didn’t know it when he first tried out for the cheerleading squad, his great-grandmother, Shirley Hodgdon, made a cheerleading history in 1937. She was the first-ever female cheerleader at Portsmouth High School in New Hampshire.
“We have both broken barriers by just following our passion,” Tanguay said. “She turned 98 this year and she still has such a fiery spirit. I’ve been inspired by that and by many other of her compliments.”
Hodgdon was one of the first women to ever work in the government as well. Tanguay said his great-grandmother is in history books and even later owned her own business. When he was growing up, he and Hodgdon would do dance routines together.
5. He Was the Featured Solo Dancer in a Recent Music Video
Tanguay was previously the featured dancer, actor and choreographer in Luca Fogale’s music video for “Half Saved.” The video shows Tanguay dancing to the music all over the city.
He is also a member of Bravo Dance Center.