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Meet the kids auditioning for America’s Got Talent (slide show)

We talked to the future stars from near and far who lined up for last weekend’s America’s Got Talent auditions and the chance to win one million dollars.

Before live performances in front of millions of people on nationally broadcast television, there’s paperwork, long lines, hours of waiting and, of course, the audition jitters. We headed to the open call for the ninth season of America’s Got Talent on Sunday, November 17 at the former Mercedes-Benz dealership on Eleventh Ave and 41st St, where hundreds of hopefuls lined up for a chance at stardom‚ among them a dubstep dancer, a high school marching band an even a ten-year-old contortionist. Here’s everything they had to say about what they’d do with the million dollars and overcoming obstacles. (You may want to remember these faces—we have a feeling you could be seeing a whole lot of them in the near future.)


RECOMMENDED: Download our November calendar


  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Shalonda, 18, LaSarah, 15, Lyniyah, 13, Malisa, 17, Jocelyn, Camden, New Jersey
    Talent: Camden High School Marching Band
    On how they met: “We grew up together and we auditioned for the same dance team, but we go to different high schools.”
    On how their lives would change if they won AGT: “Our lives would change drastically, just because our city is known for bad things, like our crime rate is very high. It’d be a good thing, because we’d be coming out of Camden and doing something that the world doesn’t think that we’re capable of.”
    On what they'd do with the million dollars: “We would find a way to give back to the city because they helped us get here. We would have no choice but to give back.” 

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Ally, 7, Brianna, 12, Halle, 9, and Emily, 10
    Talent: Cheerleading
    Halle, on her most memorable performance: “When I did my back handspring last year!”
    Emily, on how life would be different if they won AGT: “It would be a lot different because we don’t have a million dollars!”
    Halle: “I would give some to my family and then buy some new toys, like a trampoline.”
    Brianna: I would give some money to my family and then save it for when I get older.
    Ally: “I would buy my dog a friend!” 

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Julia, 11, Garden City, New York
    Talent: Singing
    On her talent: “I sing any kind of music. Today I’m singing ‘I Won’t Give Up’ by Jason Mraz. I've been singing since I was three. My favorite singer is Taylor Swift.”
    On what she'd do if she won AGT: I would donate the million dollars to certain charities and do fun stuff with the rest of it.”
    On her most memorable performance: “I played Annie with Herricks Community Players and it was really, really fun.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Kylie, 13, Shannon, 13, Caitlyn, 11, Lexi, 13, and Kiera, 13, Robbinsville, New Jersey
    Talent: Jazz dance
    On their talent: “We're called the Fierce Five. We’ve all been dancing for ten or eleven years."
    On their most memorable performance: “When we won the Excalibur award. It’s the highest score in the whole competition!”
    On what it'd be like if they won AGT: “We’d be able to go to more competitions and conventions to get more experience and inspire others.”

     

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Brothers Casseus, 10 and Savion, 13, Long Island, New York
    Talent: Singing
    Savion, on their talent: "We sing R&B, and today we’re singing ‘Candy Rain’ by Soul For Real. I take on the back up and I harmonize with him. I want to be an actor and a singer. So far I’ve done three plays for my school."
    Casseus, on performing: "I would like to be the range of Mariah Carey. I go to the city sometimes and perform, like on the sidewalk. I only went two times to Times Square. I sang five songs, like 'Just the Way You Are,' 'True Colors' and 'Stay'. It was good.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Zoe, 15, McKinley, 18, Ashima, 13, Kate, 12, and Sam, 20, Waterbury, Vermont
    Talent: Hip-hop dance
    Zoe, on their costumes: “They’re from Vermont, so we tried to bring a little bit of home into it. I think it suits us well. It’s a little bit of surprise. You’ll find out.”
    Sam, on being from Vermont: “We’ve gone through a lot of things and this is an experience that’s not something we’d be able to do often, especially coming from Vermont. A lot of people like to doubt Vermont because there’s nothing out there and nothing happens."
    Sam, on their history as a team: "We do a lot of school shows and competitions, really any big events in Vermont. We also won Vermont Has Talent last year. It was a lot smaller version of this. But we had a flood in Waterbury in the beginning of September and that’s when everything kind of went downhill. We lost our studio, and a lot of us stopped dancing. And all of a sudden, we threw one last performance and someone brought up Enoch, who is a dancer from Status Quo on America’s Best Dance Crew. He started training us and brought back the passion that we had for dance. He’s done a lot for us.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Tate, Harrison, Gianna and Brianna, Greater Philadelphia
    Talent: Up Front, rock band
    Tate, on their band: "I play guitar and he plays bass. We just had a show on October 19 at Rocktoberfest in Philadelphia. And we’re performing at the World Café in Philly on December 8. We do a lot of rock, like Green Day. We’re gonna start writing music. And the girls, Brianna sings and Gianna plays drums. Today we’re performing 'Heartbreaker' by Pat Benatar and 'Born to Be Wild.'
    Harrison, on what life would be like if they won AGT: "Better?"
    Tate: "I’d buy a new guitar."
    Harrison: "And I’d buy Police Station 4. That's a video game. Or a McLaren. It’s a car, but it’s two million dollars."

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Lauren, 10, Granby, Connecticut
    Talent: Contortion
    On how long she's been a contortionist: “Like, five years. I started as a dancer and then one of the older girls in my dance inspired me to start doing contortion. I worked on it a lot at home. My favorite move is a two-and-a-leg stretch. I perform like, five times a year.”
    On what she'd do with the million dollars: “I’d probably buy my mom stuff and get a horse because I really want one.”
    On her inspiration: “I really like Jade Cloud. She’s a really good contortionist.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Libby, 12, Darian, Connecticut
    Talent: Singing/songwriting
    On her performance: “I do country-pop. Today I’m singing a song that I wrote called ‘Deeper.’ It’s about making it big and achieving what you’re trying to get to.”
    On what life would be like if she won AGT: “I just want to share my music with other people. With the million dollars, I’d have to give some of it to charity. I’m kind of obsessed with doing bake sales and stuff like that. And probably buy my parents a house somewhere nice, like California.”
    On her favorite singer: “Probably Taylor Swift. I like her old stuff.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Isabelle, 11, Long Island, New York
    Talent: Singing
    On her talent: “Today I’m singing 'Because of You' by Kelly Clarkson. I don’t really perform but I did a thing called Music Idol at school. It was really fun to get on stage and sing."
    On her favorite musicians: "I like Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato.”
    On what she'd do with the million dollars: “I don’t know what I would do with the money! I’d be up top and it’d be awesome.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Anaïs, 9, Bethesda, Maryland
    Talent: Singing
    On what she's singing: “I do pop music. Today I’m singing a song from My Fair Lady."
    On her favorite musicians: "It’s a hard decision because I have so many, but I like Kelly Clarkson. She’s great. Taylor Swift I really used to like but now, she’s just okay. And I like Britney Spears and Katy Perry."
    On her performance history: "I used to be in a choir and usually when friends come over, my dad introduces me and I sing for them, so I sing a lot for everyone.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Amiyah, 9, Atlantic City, New Jersey
    Talent: Singing
    On her talent: “Today I’m singing 'Girl on Fire' by Alicia Keys. I’ve been singing at talent shows and I’ve been singing at parties. I like Whitney Houston, too."
    On performing at home: "My sister says, 'Stop singing!'"
    On what she'd do with the million dollars: "I would help the people that are homeless and I’d buy my parents a house and I’d get a dog. I like Chihuahuas and little puppies.”

     

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Julia, 11, Long Island, New York
    Talent: Singing
    On her talent: “I can sing different varieties and different types of songs. Today I’m singing 'People Like Us' by Kelly Clarkson. But I also love Paramore.”
    On her performance history: “At school I perform for my classes, and I was the lead in The Jungle Book where I played Mowgli!”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Freddie, 17, Hudson, New Hampshire
    Talent: Dance
    On his talent: “I do something called Animation. It’s a type of hip-hop and dubstep. Basically, they call it Animation because the style of popping and locking that you do kind of imitates movies with slow motion on certain beats. It’s all about hitting the beats. It’s been growing for a while; since Nonstop put up his video on Pumped Up Kicks it’s been big. That’s actually the video I saw that inspired me to learn it."
    On his most memorable performance: “On Friday at our school pep rally, they were announcing that I was going on America’s Got Talent, so I was psyched when they said that. And then they had me dance and everyone was cheering. For someone who’s been picked on for years, it was big when everyone was crowding around, picking me up on their shoulders and chanting my name, so it was pretty cool.”
    On what he'd do with the million dollars: “I’d save a lot of the money and probably invest it. I’d spend it the right way so I could have a reasonable income. But I’m not doing it for the money, I want to do it so that I can hopefully get my dancing taken off and get signed by a talent agency.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Catherine, 14, Allison, 13, Ashley, 9 and Taryn, 12, Hebron, Connecticut
    Talent: Gymnastics
    On their talent: “We do flips, dance, tumbling and lifting. We lift Ashley because she’s the little one.”
    On their best move: “Basically everything. There’s the partner cartwheels, the lift, the roundoff back handspring full and then we catch Ashley.”
    On what they'd do with the million dollars: “We would donate the money to our gym because it’s really small. There’s stuff everywhere. And give some to our coach Stacey because she helped us so much.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Greg, 16, Long Island, New York
    Talent: Rapping
    On today's performance: “The song I wrote for today is called 'Amsterdam.' It’s basically about a little bit of my life and stuff I go through. I’m actually not nervous at all; I’m very confident."
    On his most memorable performance: “I’m trying to start to perform more, but I’ve done it a couple times. I performed at this guy’s birthday party. It was probably like two or three hundred people there and everyone was going crazy.”
    On his favorite rappers: “My favorite rapper, I gotta say Common and a guy named Big K.R.I.T., and Curren$y and I like Drake and J. Cole.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Jacqueline, 9, Old Tappan, New Jersey
    Talent: Singing
    On what she's singing: “I’m singing 'Tip Toes' by Jayme Dee.”
    On what she'd do with the million dollars: “I’d probably give some to the poor and use the rest for shopping.”
    On her favorite performance: “I did a Christmas show with my cousins. It was like, Santa was coming and then we got to catch him.”

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17

Photograph: Luciana Golcman

America's Got Talent open casting call on Sunday, November 17


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