Condell Park student's journey to the White House

He is best-known for his football skills, but it was the voice of Condell Park High alumnus Jordan Mailata that scored him time with the US President.

A group of people standing around President Joe Biden and Jill Biden A group of people standing around President Joe Biden and Jill Biden
Image: Opening doors: Former Condell Park High School student Jordan Mailata, centre back, between President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden. Photo: CBS News

To say 2023 was a big year for Bankstown’s Jordan Mailata is an understatement.

To the delight of Condell Park High School, their famous alumnus earlier this year became just the third Australian to play in the United States’ National Football League’s Super Bowl.

Now to top that off the 25-year-old Samoan Australian has been the guest of US President Joe Biden.

Ahead of Christmas, the Philadelphia Eagles Offensive tackle was invited to the White House to sing as a surprise for the President’s wife Jill Biden, an avid Eagles fan.

President Biden asked the 25-year-old Australian to sing “This Christmas” from the team’s recently released album, “A Philly Special Christmas”.

In another memorable moment for 2023, Mailata recorded the song with legendary soul singer Patti LaBelle, admitting he was initially unable to sing from nerves when they began the duet.

Mailata told US media his visit to the White House was a “surreal moment”.

“It was awesome,” he said. “It was a fun time and a hell of an opportunity to sing in the White House.

“To be able to spend time with the President and First Lady was awesome as well and definitely a surreal moment and one I will remember forever.”

Mailata’s singing prowess has been on display for the Eagles for the past two years after the team released a charity Christmas album in 2022, that went to number 1 on the US Billboard.

However, his musical talent is no surprise to former teachers who always thought it, rather than his athletic skills, would bring him fame and fortune.

Ahead of his appearance in the 2023 Super Bowl, Condell Park High music teacher Sandra Kessegian said Mailata was a gifted musician who loved the limelight.

“At school, he had lovely tenor vocals and a good falsetto range,” she said.

“He’d often perform with his brothers. They had that natural harmonisation.”

That falsetto can be heard in action on the Christmas album.

Mailata was joined on the Washington visit by fellow offensive tackle Lane Johnson and former Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin, who is the team’s director of player development.

As part of his 45 minutes with the First Lady and President Biden, Mailata was given a tour of the Oval Office.

He told US media that Dr Biden was more knowledgeable about football than the President.

The former rugby league player said he remained amazed at how far he had come in the just six years since he left Australia to take his chance in the US football code.

“If you told me a couple of years ago that I’d even be a starter in the NFL, I’d probably have laughed in your face,” he told US media.

“But if you told me that I was going to be singing in the White House and then having the opportunity to spend time with the president of the United States and the First Lady, I’d probably have walked away from you. So, yeah, what a surreal opportunity.”

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