Drake Milligan is bringing his A-game to the America’s Got Talent Season 17 performance finale, happening on Tuesday night (Sept. 13).

After making through the audition and semi-finals with roaring, high-energy performances, the singer — who AGT judge Howie Mandell dubs as "the next Elvis of Country" — has been practicing hard to give it his all in this final round.

“It’s going to be a really good performance and I’m so excited. We’re definitely going to take this thing to the next level," Milligan tells Taste of Country via Zoom interview from Hollywood. "I feel like we did that from the audition to the live around. This is the finale, so we’re going all out."

While Milligan is no stranger to the world of television, having starred as Elvis Presley on CMT’s 2017 series Sun Records, he says being on a talent competition show is drastically different.

"The last time we did a live show, you prepare all week for it, just like what we’re doing now. You prepare for that one take. When you’re acting, you have however many takes you need to get it right. This time, you have one take. You better show up and know your stuff," says the 23-year-old rising star, who also credits his band for keeping him composed at times.

"But it’s fun! When you do go up there and play for a live audience and the millions of people watching at home, you come off from a stage like that and you go, ‘Wow!’ It’s really coming off a high and addictive to be on that stage."

Milligan skyrocketed into national spotlight in June 2022 when his pre-tapped AGT audition aired. There, the former Elvis tribute artist and his band performed "Sounds Like Something I’d Do," an original song from his 2021 self-titled EP.

The show-stopping delivery was enthusiastically received with a standing ovation from all four judges and audience members.

Simon Cowell called the performance "really, really good" and "authentic," adding that Milligan was "very likable." Fellow judge Heidi Klum even remarked, "I bet they’re going to the finale" — a prediction that came true.

In August, the Mansfield, Texas, native returned for the live semi-finals, where he performed "Kiss Goodbye All Night," another euphoric track from his EP. Cowell lauded it as “the best performance of the night,” and viewers across America agreed by advancing him to the finals.

With his eye set on the winner crown, Milligan says fans can expect another electrifying performance from him and his band for the final round. While he’s tight-lipped about the song he’s going to wow viewers with, he does offer a little hint at the tempo and energy level:

“This is definitely going to be a next-level performance. We’ve got to rock out, right?” Milligan teases with a grin and laugh.

The AGT finale will broadcast live on NBC on Tuesday (Sept. 13), with the results announced on Wednesday (Sept. 14). Milligan’s long-awaited 14-track debut album, Dallas/Fort Worth, drops on Thursday (Sept, 15) at midnight.

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