MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A 16-year-old boy with Down syndrome had his dream come true Wednesday night when he got to share the stage at a Wando High School talent show with a very special guest.
Frankie Antonelli hit the stage last night to perform Darius Rucker's "While I Still Got the Time" to booming applause from the crowd. A YouTube video posted by Frankie's mom Debbie shows Frankie belting out the country tune while dancing and high-fiving people in the crowd.
Everything seemed normal enough.
Then, just as the song moves into the bridge, Darius Rucker enters stage left to sing alongside Frankie.
The video shows the Hootie and the Blowfish frontman wrapping his arm around Freddie as the two sing the final chorus while the crowd screams and cheers them along. After the song is over, the two walk off the stage like old buddies.
Debbie talked about the incredible moment on her Twitter account, @debbieantonelli, tweeting, "Frankie and Darius Rucker on stage. Amazing moment for my guy!! Thank you for making his dream come true!"
She also posted photos of her son with the country superstar.
Brooke Mosteller, the reigning Miss South Carolina and a judge during the talent show says there were rumors of a possible appearance, but no one knew for sure.
"Everyone in the audience was going crazy and then had tears in their eyes as the song was going on and it was really just a night of perspective," said Mosteller.
The two sang a song about appreciating life and living it to the fullest.
The lyrics seem to play out Frankie's life. He has Down syndrome, but his mother Debbie says it doesn't define who he is.
Frankie has gone around the country spreading the message of anti-bullying. Last year he spoke to 700 middle schoolers about respect.
The teen is active in sports, but Debbie says her son loves to perform. She says Rucker met Frankie through community events and promised that someday they would sing together.
A duet with Frankie and Brooke Mosteller could soon be in the works. Miss South Carolina says the teenager's hard work of spreading awareness is a goal she also shares.