Arts & Entertainment

Queens College is center of America’s Got Talent auditions

Jugglers, singers, musicians and break dancers were some of the 1,600 applicants at the Q Cafe and Rathaus Hall on Nov. 14.

They all were applying for America’s Got Talent, the popular reality show on NBC that first began in 2006.

Contestants registered online and received an ID number before coming to Queens College. After waiting three to four hours, those officially registered needed to sign a waiver.

Judges call 100 people at a time and each person shows their talent.

Michael Philidor, a rapper from New Jersey known as “Mikenificent,” applied twice before for the competition and went for a third audition.

“This is what I live for and this is the air I breathe. What keeps me coming back is the million dollar prize plus the fame. It’s so exciting, this is second nature for me,” Philidor said.

Terrel Chapman, 22, and Joseph Chapman, 20, from Baldwin, N.Y., were first time applicants for America’s Got Talent.  While Terrel Chapman played the piano, Joseph Chapman used a steel pan.

“We are playing ‘Man in the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson. We’ve been playing together for 15 years and we want to show our talent to the world. We play every type of music. It’s diverse,” Terrel Chapman said.

Because of attacks in Paris, judges Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Howie Mendel and Mel B did not appear.

Melissa Rodriguez, a 30-year-old from South Richmond Hill, Queens, said the audition was important to her fiancee, Steven Vilsant, whom performed a dance to the judges.

“He started dancing [since he was] 11 years old. He combines dances such as ballet and Hip-Hop. What drew him more toward dancing was when a hurricane hit Haiti and killed his parents. So right now all he has is dancing. One of the things that he promised his mother before she died was that he would apply to America’s Got Talent,” Rodriguez said.

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