July 20, 2008 07:59 PM by Paulene Hinds
High School Musical: Get In The Pictureis about to add a new member to their team and tonight ABC began the nation wide search for a performer with just the right combination of personality, team spirit and talent.
The six faculty members covered over 16,000 miles conducting on the spot auditions and massive open casting calls. The final twelve from around the nation will travel to a special High School Musical campus to test their talent, commitment, determination and strength of character.
Only one will win the lead in a music video to be seen by millions around the world and have their life changed forever.
The only question is,Who will get in the picture?
Nick Lachey hosted the Eastern open call in Orlando Florida where thousand of young singers and dancers woke up at the crack of dawn to see if they had what it takes to be in High School Musical Get in the Picture. Many of them travelled from all over the United States for this chance.
The six faculty membersare Rob Adler, Tiana Brown, Montre Burton, Jennifer Melenke, Chris Prinzo and Regina Williams. Tonight Rob, Tiana and Montre search in Orlanda Florida and the surrrounding area forthe handful that will make the cut.
The lines for the open call were long and excitement soon turned to nervousness as the performers waited to be called in.
Amy Hooker was the first to audition and although she had pleasant manners, her nerves got the bestof her and she was not put through. Tiana Brown thought that she could use more training.
Matthew Scott was up next. He thanked his Aunt for pushing himto do the audition. He sang “Proud Mary” and also was not put through due to his lack of experience and vocal control.
The first through was Jordan Kauffman. He sang for Rob Adler, who thought that he had a little rock and roll in him and liked his style.
Because not all aspiring performers could make it to the open calls, the faculty members were sent across the country to surprise dozens of kids with on the spot auditions, inviting the favorites directly to the semi-final rounds.
The kids knew that a television crew was there to shoot their performance, but they had no idea that they had already been nominated. If the faculty felt the performance had something special, they would surprise them and tell them that they were going to the next round right on the spot.
The kids were really surprised because they were advancing in a competition that they didn’t even know that they had entered.
Montre Burton went to a high school in Madison Wisconsin to see Domingo Meneses and see if he could sing as well as he did on his audition tape. He introduced himself after Domingo sang on stage and he was really impressed, inviting him to the semi-finals in Walt Disney World. He also invited a young lady named Tierney Chamberlain to join him.She wasn’t even under consideration until he hears her sing and decides she’s a keeper! He though she had the look, passion and the fire.
Rob Adler travelled to Brunswick Maine, but the young lady he went to see needed to learn to use her body more andwas passed.
Tiana Brown went to see Lauren Gigliati. She thought that she might be too shy to pull off the performance, but after seeing her on stage she decided that she was exactly what they were looking for.
Back at the open call,Cosmo Clemens was able to entertain everyone in the holding room, but he didn’t entertain Tiana Brown with his version of a “Whole New World” and was not moved to the next round.
Joel Vazquez forgot the words to the song he was singing and his audition didn’t go as he hoped.
John Honaker’s goofy personality covered up his nerves and he made it through. Rob Adler told him that his voice could use some work,andwas curious how his voice would change as he moved on in the competition.
The High School Musical spirit kept everyone going as they were on the road. The next stop was Stratford Pennsylvania to see the front man of a new band.Tiana lovedJames Wolpertand sent him through to the semi-finals
Rob Adler travelled to Boston to see Anthony Acitoas he led a pep rally at his school. He had endured a lot of financial hardships in his life. When he was given the great news that he was sent through, he ran around the school gymnasium and then even rolled on the floor.
Caesar Dilarosa sang at the open call and he was sent home and told to channel his nervousness into adrenaline for the next time.
Ali Foster was in a Hip Hop Company and was able to bring it on the dance floor, but her voice didn’t match her charisma. She had chosen the wrong song for the audition and was sent away.
Brooke Aqirre moved up to grab her piece of the pie as she sang, “Moving On Up.” Rob Adler thought that she had a special spark. She gave everyone else advice to just be themselves.
On the road In Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Isaiah Smith, the ladies man, was shocked when Tiana Brown knocked on his dressing room and told him he was going through.
Montre Burton travelled to Douglasville Georgia to seehonour student Cody to see if his brain power would translate into stage power or would he be lost in the translation. His performance didn’t have stamina and wasn’t consistent.
Back at the open call, the lines kept moving as everyone waited their turn to go in front of the faculty. Nervousness was a common feeling among the performers and Alyssa Duke was one of them. She had the part of Gabriella in a play version of the hit show in her home town. She was not chosen to go through to the next round though and told to channel the nerves.
Briana Vega was new to auditions and she was home schooled so the whole idea ofboth was new to her. She had a beautiful voice and was moved to the next round.
Estefania Alegria spoke and sang in three languages and her rendition of “La Bamba” (sounded hideous to me, but what do I know) got her through. Her screams were heard throughout the area and Nick Lachey was attacked when he came to see what was going on. I guess it was her positivepersonality that got her through.
In Louisiana Bailey Purvis admitted that she was Shapay all the way and made it into the semi finals with her determination. She said there is no stopping her when she gets to Walt Disney World!
In Pennsylvania, Jeana Zettler sang,” Over the Rainbow” and wowed the crowed including Tiana Brown.
At the open call, Stephen Russell drove a long way from Mississippi to go to the audition. His mellow tones spun him right through into the semi-finals. His mother said she couldn’t have picked a better kid if she would have ordered him.
Nick Lachey then was asked to sing Happy Birthday to Jessayln Bertone and her birthday wishes came true when she auditioned.
After the open calls there were many happy and sad tears as the doors closed on the Eastern Semi-finalists.
Tomorrow on High School Musical, Montre, Rob and Tiana test the moves of the Eastern Semi-finalists. The competition heats up. Who will flame out and who will get in the picture?
Photo credit: ABC