WATCH: Galloway teen’s American Idol audition

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Mara Justine called all her friends and family into the living room of her township home Monday night to pray before “American Idol” was set to start.“Thank you for this gift, and I hope I can keep using it to connect with people and inspire people,” Justine said, holding hands with her friends and family.She thanked God for everyone in the room, who have been supporting her along the way.Justine, a 16-year-old Absegami High School sophomore, was handed the golden ticket by “Idol” judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, who gave her a standing ovation after her audition. In the coming weeks, she will go on to compete against other singers in Hollywood. Close 1 of 16 Buy Now Mara Justine, 16, of Galloway, tearfully reacts to her audition for American Idol and the reaction from the star-studded guests as she's sent to Hollywood. Monday, March 12 ERIN GRUGAN / Staff Photographer Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Buy Now Mara Justine, 16, of Galloway, tearfully celebrates with her family and friends from Absegami High School as the star-studded American Idol guests send her to Hollywood. Monday, March 12 ERIN GRUGAN / Staff Photographer Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Buy Now Sixteen-year-old Mara Justine celebrates with friends and family at her Galloway home after the broadcast Monday night of her ‘American Idol’ audition in which she qualified to go on to Hollywood for the next round of competition. See the story and more photos at ERIN GRUGAN / Staff Photographer Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Buy Now Sixteen-year-old Mara Justine shares a tearful hug with fellow Absegami student and friend Makael Rogers, 16. Monday, March 12 ERIN GRUGAN / Staff Photographer Facebook Twitter Email Continue Reading

Katy Perry falls flat on her backside and accidentally FLASHES Lionel Richie at American Idol auditions

KATY Perry fell flat on the floor and accidentally flashed Lionel Richie at the American Idol auditions. The pop star tumbled over while she was dancing with a contestant on stage and was left struggling to preserve her modesty. Katy, 33, who is a judge on the US TV talent show, got up on stage to dance with contestant Michelle Sussett during her try-out. The aspiring singer was belting out a version of Selena’s Techno Cumbia when Katy and fellow judges Lionel and Luke Bryan decided to help her out. The pair both started dancing with her, but Katy stole the show when she took a tumble. She appeared to flash her underwear during the embarrassing moment, but TV bosses kept her covered up with a strategically placed American Idol logo. Both Lionel and Luke rushed to Katy's aid as she struggled to get up off the floor. She eventually managed to get to her feet and pull her dress down. The singer laughed it off and Lionel joked: "There are some things you have to do for the business!" Luke added: "There are some things a man can’t unsee!" It came after she gave a 19-year-old contestant his first ever kiss on the show after he told he he's never had a girlfriend. Katy has been hitting the headlines this week as she flaunted her newly-revived romance with Orlando Bloom. The singer dated the actor almost tow years ago before splitting in March 2017. However, they are now back together and she declared her love by wearing a hoodie emblazoned with a picture of his face. Katy Perry makes American Idol teen's dreams come true, with his first kiss Most Read In TV & ShowbizSCRUBBED DOWN Courtney Stodden shares x-rated shower video after filing for divorce ONE'S DIRECTION Harry leaves Meghan in stitches with raised eyebrow after Liam Payne song SNOW WAY! Lisa Snowdon performs a topless jig in just her knickers during a spray tan ON THE RUN Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace sobs as she flees her home after gun robbery ordeal PLATT'S COSY Corrie's Tina O'Brien Continue Reading

Do you have what it takes to be the next ‘Hanover Idol’? Auditions set for next week

ASHLAND -- Do you have what it takes to be the next Hanover Idol? Auditions are going to be held on Jan. 20. Sponsored by the Hanover Arts and Activities Center, the competition takes place every even year. Contestants need to sign up online at Sign-up forms also are available at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center and the Ashland Library. For more information, call 804-798-2728. The Hanover Idols competition is on March 4. Auditions are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 20, in the afternoon. Application forms are due Monday, Jan. 15, at HAAC at 500 S. Center St. in Ashland. Contestants must live in Hanover County. They will be assigned an audition time. Directors Sue Watson and Lorie Foley joined in saying, “Come participate in this singing competition and enjoy sharing your talent with other singers and an enthusiastic, friendly audience and judges.” Watson and Foley also said that previous Hanover Idols runners-up and participants may audition for future Hanover Idols Competitions. Past Hanover Idols winners are not eligible to audition for their winning category (i.e., Hanover Idol winners may not audition again, however, a Junior Hanover Idol winner may audition for the Hanover Idols once he/she reaches the age requirement). To audition for Junior Hanover Idols, applicants must be 10 t0 15 years of age (as of Jan. 1). To audition for Hanover Idols, applicants must by 16 years of age or older (as of Jan. 1). Auditions are limited to two minutes. The organizers will contact participants regarding their audition time slot. Participants must bring musical accompaniment or a karaoke CD to the auditions. A cappella singing is acceptable for the auditions. A pianist will not be provided for the auditions, but participants may bring an accompanist or accompany themselves on a musical instrument. The competition will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 4, for Hanover Junior Idol Finalists and at 7 p.m. for Continue Reading

Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s fight during ‘American Idol’ auditions got ‘intense,’ says host Ryan Seacrest

It’s all good — for the ratings! Tuesday night's shrieking smackdown between “American Idol” judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey will be great for the aging show, says host Ryan Seacrest. RELATED: MINAJ LAUNCHES INTO TIRADE AT CAREY DURING 'IDOL' TAPING "We want that! We want them to be on this panel together," Seacrest said on his radio show Wednesday. "This is a good team, a great team, to go out and look for the next American Idol . . . the feedback that they give is very good." PHOTOS: WORST CELEBRITY FEUDS Minaj, a wig-wearing wacko rap superstar and Carey, a notoriously difficult diva, blew their stacks at each other when they disagreed about a contestant during “Idol” audtions in Charlotte, N.C. Carey called Minaj a “b***h,” and the “Your Love” singer threatened, “I’m gonna knock you out!”   Host Ryan Seacrest is spinning Tuesday night's heated confrontation as a good thing for the show. "It got heated between Nicki and Mariah," admitted Seacrest, who was outside the auditorium during the dust-up. "It was intense! I'll be honest with you . .. It went far last night. It did get intense."  "These are all very different individuals with different perspectives and different opinions that provide for interesting conversation and dialogue and feedback for the contestants," he added of Minaj, Carey, fellow newbie Keith Urban and longtime judge, Randy Jackson. Michael Becker/AP  American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, center, poses with judges, from left, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson during a more peaceful time. “There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing . . . That's gonna happen, and it's okay," In a video of the incident, taken moments after the spat began, Minaj could clearly be heard ranting: "I told them I'm not f**kin' putting up with her f**king highness over there. Figure it the f**k out. Figure it Continue Reading

‘American Idol’ auditions in Pittsburgh reveal one heck of a belter: Erika Van Pelt

"Pelt can belt,"declared judge Steven Tyler on "American Idol" Thursday, a phrase likely to resonate quite a ways down the "Idol" line. Erika Van Pelt — the belter in question — didn't display the most stunning voice ever to come from an Idol comer. But the 26-year-old wedding singer and DJ, did convey the confidence and poise of someone who's clearly been at this game a lot longer than many an "A.I." wanna-be. Her take on "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," revealed a deep and husky tone that conveyed vulnerability, despite the womanly assurance of her bearing. While Pelt did a few-too-many turns and runs for those with taste, luckily for her, Idol doesn't have much of it. In fact, the show encourages just her kind of excess. Pelt wasn't the only contestant in this, the series' first-ever audition from Pittsburgh to have the scent of a ringer. The theatrically named Reid Grimm has also spent more time on stage than in any other pursuit. He's been singing with his parents since age 2. Think: "Toddlers and Tiaras" — only sung. The very upbeat Grimm recalled Casey Abrams from last year, sharing his love of jazzy scat. His bopping runs, while showy and smug, certainly had confidence and skill on their side. "Idol" needed the encouraging news of such singers. News came Thursday morning that the season opener from Wednesday suffered a slump of 5 million viewers from last year's debut. Then again, 2012 offers no automatic news value, having brought back both newbies from last time (Tyler and J Lo.). Regardless, the show still handily won the night in ratings. Those looking for something new won't be pleased by the show's continued faith in its most well-worn routines. True to formula, several singers came armed with elaborate sob stories. Travis Delgado, 17, who'd tried out last year to no avail, reported that in the year since, his mom has ditched the family, his dad went on dialysis, he dropped out of high Continue Reading

‘American Idol’ auditions in Louisville: Here’s what you need to know

Start polishing up that rendition of "I Don't Want to Miss A Thing" that just slays at Tuesday night karaoke because the "American Idol" auditions in Louisville are right around the corner.Open auditions for the show that will not die will be held Aug. 30 in Waterfront Park.It's also the show that can't seem to get its act together as TMZ is reporting that producers can't find any judges to join Katy Perry as "Idol" relocates to ABC for its 16th season.While specific details about the Louisville auditions have not been posted, registration in other cities has begun at 9 a.m. Arriving by 7 a.m. is strongly encouraged, as is pre-registration, which you can do online at can also submit a video audition at the same site or via social media, which could save you a long day in the sun; sunscreen and hydration aren't optional if you plan on nailing "I Will Always Love You" after six hours standing in line with Jason from New Washington who's totally going to sing "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy."There is an age restriction. You must be between 15-28 and anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. You must also be a legal United States citizen. Go to for more about audition information and answers to FAQs. If, after all of that, you're still determined to be on the show that gave us Bo Bice, more power to you. You may like  Tom Cruise's new movie is filled with ties to Louisville, the town he loves to ignore 'Lord honey, I am just being myself.' Kentucky native a finalist on 'Food Network Star' Without this Louisville DJ, we wouldn't have Billy Ray or Miley Cyrus Reporter Jeffrey Lee Puckett can be reached at 502-582-4160 or [email protected] Continue Reading

Her ‘American Idol’ audition has a n-ice ending

Thousands of “American Idol” hopefuls lined up around the Prudential Center in Newark on Saturday for a shot at stardom. Taylor Daneyko, 17, from Mendham, N.J., sang “Don’t Know Why” by Brooklynite Norah Jones for the hit show’s producers — and made it to the next round of auditions. “I was more excited than nervous,” said the daughter of former N.J. Devils player and sports announcer Ken Daneyko. “One-in-a-million chances run in the family.” But her proud pop said he was “more nervous than in a Stanley Cup final.” He won three of them. Those who made it to the next round will perform in front of the show’s executive producers, and round three will be in front of Randy Jackson, J.Lo and Steven Tyler. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

New Yorkers cross the country for ‘American Idol’ auditions, hoping to sing for Ryan Seacrest & co.

"American Idol" hopefuls normally endure long lines and sleepless nights, but locals trying out for the upcoming Season Nine faced even bigger obstacles. Since there are no New York or New Jersey auditions this summer, they've been forced to travel cross-country for a shot at their dream. Registration begins today for tryouts in Denver, the last of seven cities hosting them. And while locals singing there Tuesday spent hours in the car or a fortune on plane tickets, those who traveled to other states already say that just adds to the fun. Determined to audition for the Fox show since season one, Michelle Herman of Long Island finally met the minimum age requirement this year. She persuaded her mom, Deborah, to take her to the Boston area tryouts in June. "I have been under strict promise since 'American Idol' came on the air that the day she turned 16, if the auditions were within driving distance, I would take her," Deborah said. "And she actually turned 16 on May 27, so it was just a couple of weeks under the wire that she made it." Herman has been singing since she was a little girl. "When I moved to Commack in first grade, my neighbor across the street told me about a theater company and I'm like, 'Hey mom, why don't you let me do that?' And that's where I found my passion for it." She's been performing at school and in local theater groups ever since. Herman was the first on line on both registration day and for the audition, arriving at midnight and sleeping out in the pouring rain until it was time to be seen. "I sang for like 30 seconds, and that was it," she shares. "I sang 'Chain of Fools' by Aretha Franklin because I sound good with it. I have a belting big voice and I like it." While she didn't make it to the next round, she got to meet "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest. Brittany Dobbs, a 23-year-old Manhattanite, has wanted to audition for the singing contest for years, and fate finally drove her to go for it. "I was going to Chicago Continue Reading

20 tips to ace the ‘American Idol’ audition

Calling all future pop stars: Judges from "American Idol" will be in New Jersey on Tuesday looking for the nation's next singing sensation. More than 15,000 hopefuls are expected to turn up at the Izod Center in East Rutherford (registration begins there Sunday at 8 a.m.) to show just how awesome they are. And they'll have exactly 15 seconds to do it.But impressing the panel and making it to the first official round - and then on to the finals in Hollywood - takes a lot more than just belting out a cheesy Whitney Houston song. Here are 20 proven tips - including some from "Idol" veterans - on how you can beat the odds: 1. Get some Z's - at least eight hours of sleep. Don't be a party animal the night before. Alcohol and excessive smoking will damage your voice. 2. Auditions will last all day, so bring a book, magazine or a friend to help you pass the down time. 3. It's August, and you will be sweating while you wait. Make sure to bring plenty of makeup for quick touchups or risk looking like Tammy Faye Baker in a sauna. 4. Have your songs loaded on your iPod ahead of time to listen to while you wait. 5. Wear comfortable clothes that make you feel like a million bucks. But you will be moving around a lot, so make sure your shoes and outfit are wearable for up to 12 hours. 6. Bring cash. You're going to spend a lot of time in the Izod Center parking lot, and by 3 p.m. that hot dog vendor is going to know your name. 7. Don't expect to be hobnobbing with Randy, Paula and Simon. Low-level producers whittle the first round down, and the big guns don't show up until round two. 8. Think about your voice. Don't waste time talking to other contestants. Talking will kill your voice before you get your chance to sing. 9. Have at least six songs in your arsenal. "Don't start at the beginning of the song," says celebrity vocal coach David Coury, who trains pop star Leona Lewis. "Start where the song gets good. You only have 15 seconds." 10. Stay away from songs that were popular Continue Reading

‘American Idol’ auditions jump shark

Last week's "American Idol" premiere had 4 million fewer viewers than last year's, the lowest premiere numbers the show has pulled in four seasons. You could blame TiVo. Or even Sanjaya. But we blame the lame auditions that "Idol" producers have come to love. Take, for instance, 39-year-old Milo Turk, who sang his original song "No Sex Allowed." Not only is Turk officially too old to compete on "Idol" (the age limit is 28), but he clearly had no intention of impressing the judges with his vocal range, whether he had one or not. Or how about Benjamin Haar? The 27-year-old showed up in a gladiator/Barbara Eden "I Dream of Jeannie" getup that showcased his excessive body hair. When Paula Abdul said it was distracting, he agreed to wax it on-air. "All because that fat lump wants to be on TV," Simon Cowell noted as a rejected Haar, who only got to bleat out two notes of the Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha," left the room. But that seems to be the order of this year's "Idol" auditions: Freaks who want face time. "What's happened is the producers have leaned toward showcasing the outrageous," says Katz Media television group's vice president of programming Bill Carroll. "When the show first started, they focused on people who honestly believed they could sing. Now you just have folks who, even if they are delusional, still could never believe they can sing. They're just hoping for their moment on TV. It's the quirkiest people who will be argumentative or dress strangely or even stalk Paula." Which is exactly what Paul Marturano, 32, did. His audition consisted of creepily staring at Abdul as he sang her "a love song" with lyrics like "I'm not much of a talker, so I guess I'll just stalk her" and "If I were Columbo, I'd Peter Falk her." "Producers must have believed that [showcasing people who don't even bother to sing] had an entertainment value, but I think the audience will let them know that they may have lost their way," says Carroll. Continue Reading