A group of 22 talented young performers gathered July 8 at the Hudgens Center to vie for the title of "American Dream Idol." This event was a talent search where each contestant performed one song for a panel of three judges. One grand prize winner and a people's choice winner were announced.
JEM Entertainment Inc. produced the event, which was hosted by young local star-in-the-making Nick Pallas. The 22 participants included vocalists, dancers and even a drummer. The judges were entertainment attorney Elizabeth Marlowe, artist/songwriter/producer Brad Cox and Hope Sonam of the Atlanta Recording Academy.
The grand prize winner was 15-year-old Collins Hill High School student Cristina Peralta. Cristina has been singing and acting since she was 4 years old and recently enjoyed performing the role of Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz." She won a prize package consisting of studio time (worth $500) courtesy of Groove Tune Studio in Alpharetta, owned and operated by Eric Tunison. She also had the opportunity to sing for a group of more than 500 people at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center on July 13.
The People's Choice Award went to Jordan Humphrey, one of the most requested young performers in Atlanta. Only 14, he has already been chosen to perform with such celebrities as Kenny Rogers, where Jordan was the male youth performer at Rogers' Christmas Special in 2005 at the Gwinnett Arena. Recently, Jordan was one of five winners in his age group of the CMA Nashville Rising Star competition.
All this is just a prelude to the upcoming "America's Most Talented" competition. Held in four cities (Atlanta, New York City, Nashville and Los Angeles) this competition will kick off with "Georgia's Most Talented," which will have preliminaries in Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb, Walton and Fayette counties.
For detailed information about "America's Most Talented," visit www.jem-entertainment.com. Prize packages for this event include a complete image analysis and makeover by stylists, headshots by professional photographers and a demo CD produced in a state-of-the-art studio.
The most important thing according to JEM Entertainment head Jayne Madigan is the idea that "You don't have to win to be discovered."
Part of the proceeds of this contest will go to "Artists Against Hunger and Poverty."
Another exciting event produced by JEM Entertainment is the Sept. 27 workshop to launch the "Southeastern Music Association," which will connect music professionals in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South and North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. The workshop, titled "Guerilla Music Marketing 101," will be held at The Homewood Suites in Lawrenceville from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information about this meeting visit www.southeasternmusicassociation.com.