Reality singing competitions are not going away. The X Factor and The Voice are going strong, American Idol (with new judges) follows close behind in the winter, and America’s Got Talent takes over in summer.
With the proliferation of reality singing competitions, it makes sense that we’d see more local faces in the audition rooms. This season, just two of them made it past the scowling faces of the judges and onto the competition rounds.
Let’s start with Carly Rose Sonenclar. We know of the 13-year-old Mamaroneck resident from her Broadway career. (My colleague Laurie Yarnell interviewed her when she was in Wonderland; she also performed in Les Misérables.) So we weren’t surprised when she confidently belted out Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” on The X Factor. Here’s her clip, complete with intro. They omitted any mention of her Broadway career, I guess to maintain the suspense — but if you’re just looking for the song, start at 1:33.
The reaction from noted crank Simon Cowell? “A star has just walked out on that stage.” Good job, Carly!
Next we have Collin McLoughlin, a Bedford native currently on break from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Music Management. Instead of a Broadway career, he’s making his own inroads into the music business. His YouTube channel — where he covers songs like David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” — is pretty popular; his version of Swedish House Mafia’s “Save the World Tonight” has more than a million views. When he auditioned on The Voice, though, he chose a more well-known song to cover: Cat Stevens’s “Wild World.”
Three of the four judges hit the button that theatrically sent him on to the next round. (What’s up, Christina? Even Blake Shelton told him, “I’d be really pissed at Christina right now if I were you.”) Tonight, after working with mentor Mary J. Blige — a Yonkers girl — he goes head-to-head with contestant Bryan Keith in the ominously named “Battle Round.” Good luck, Collin! Your hometown is rooting for you.