On Wednesday, October 31st, the place known for booing will celebrate the spookiest night of the year with the final showdown of the 2012 Amateur Night season – Super Top Dog. Hundreds of up-and-coming musicians, dancers, comedians and other entertainers have vied all season for the opportunity to compete on the legendary Apollo stage, home to musical icons such as Michael Jackson, James Brown and Lauryn Hill. The contestants competing in this Super Top Dog finale have won over the notoriously tough Apollo audience in three rounds of competitions to advance to this point. The winner will receive the title of Super Top Dog and a grand prize of $10,000. A prize will also be awarded to a patron with the best Halloween costume.
The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night is recognized as one of the most influential and celebrated platforms for emerging talent to showcase their skills. It is also known as one of the only venues in the country where a live audience response can make or break a career. Sponsored by Coca-Cola, Super Top Dog finale will be hosted by comedian Capone and begins with a pre-show dance party spun by DJ Jess. As a special Halloween treat, the audience member with the best costume will receive a prize.
Please see below for a partial description of the 2012 Super Top Dog finalists.
Battlefest Nation – Dance Group
Battlefest Nation is made up of Bronx natives, Tahrod “Rudeboy” Smith and Jonathan “Showoff” Cespedes. They are dance illusionists who have performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and America’s Got Talent.
D City – Dance Group
D City (Divercity) is a group of dancers based out of the Madison Square Boys & Girls club and was formed 12 years ago by Elizabeth “Showbiz” Ortiz. Raised in the Bronx this crew has overcome many hardships from homelessness, to living in shelters, family drug abuse and lack of support. D City has performed at Madison Square Garden for Knicks and Liberty games and at the Hammerstein Ballroom. D city with their raw style of hip hop fused with other styles of dance, plan to show the world that you don’t have to be the best or most perfect dancer, but that with hard work and determination all things are possible.
D-Sharp – Beat Boxer
Derryck Gleaton, better known as D Sharp, began playing viola and violin at the age of 11. D Sharp counts Will.I. Am, Calvin Harris, Regina Carter, Bond, Stuff Smith, Timbaland and Jimi Hendrix as his musical inspiration. For his performance D Sharp likes to blend Dance, House, Electronica, Soul, Hip Hop and Classical music.
Daichi – Vocalist
Daichi, a 21-year-old Japanese human beat boxer, can make more than 50 different kinds of sounds using his vocals, and moreover, can play rhythm and sing melody at the same time. At the age of 18, he posted a video of his beatbox performance on YouTube, and it has been played more than 17 million times by now. Daichi recently opened up for Boyz II Men’s tour in Tokyo.
Hannah Richardson – Child Broadway Performer
Hannah Richardson is a 9 year old singer and songwriter from Pennsylvania who enjoys singing all kinds of music, especially Broadway and Country. She has performed in over 200 live shows including dinner theaters, festivals, charitable events, competitions and fundraisers. Hannah is very excited and honored to perform at the Apollo.
Jaylene Clark – Spoken Word Artist
Jaylene Clark is an actress and spoken word poet from Harlem. Clark received her BFA in Acting from Ithaca College in 2010. Clark has won numerous spoken word competitions including the 2005 Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam (Urban Word) and 2006 NY Knicks Slam. She is a proud member of the Harlem Arts Alliance and is thankful or this amazing opportunity.
Kai Rivera – Child Dancer
Kai Rivera is an “academically gifted” 8 year old second grader from Teaneck, NJ. When he’s not dancing Kai enjoys playing Rock music on his guitar, drawing and creating origami crafts. Kai aspires to be a Scientist/Inventor and to study Robotic Engineering at MIT
Marisela- Vocalist & Musician Duo
Marisela is a singer and songwriter who was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Throughout the years, she has performed in New York City venues such as the Cutting Room and the Bitter End. Marisela has also worked with some of today’s finest musicians and is very excited about performing at the world famous Apollo Theater.
Matthew Hashimoto – Vocalist
Matthew Hashimoto is a periodontist by day and singer by night. This Honolulu native has made appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show and American Idol Season 10. Currently he is the lead singer for The Shades, a Stevie Wonder cover band, and The Kind, a pop rock band in NYC. Matthew is extremely humbled to be performing at the Apollo Theater and thanks his family and friends for their undying love and support.
Moses Harper- Dance Impersonator
This Harlem native is known internationally for her Michael Jackson impersonation and has performed on BET’s 106 & Park, at Madison Square Garden and The Apollo Theater. As far back as “Moses” can remember, she has always had a great passion for music and dance. It is without a doubt that Michael Jackson is her greatest inspiration. Moses has a BA in music. She also sings, writes and produces her own material. This Amateur Night season, Moses plans to dance all the way into first place!
Michael Karas – Juggler
Michael Karas promises to wow the Amateur Night audience by adding hip hop style to the art of juggling. This Brooklyn native began juggling at the age of 16; juggling balls, rings, clubs, knives…even flaming torches. Michael hopes the audience will enjoy his amazing combination of hand-eye coordination and showmanship.
Nicole Vanessa Ortiz – Vocalist
New Jersey native Nicole Vanessa Ortiz is extremely passionate about music. She is a four-time champion of the NJN Hispanic Youth Showcase competition in New Jersey. Nicole also made it to the top 30 finals of American Idol season 5. She is currently working on a career as a recording artist.
Victoria Dennis – Child Vocalist
At the tender age 4 Victoria began her career in print ads, TV & film. Inspired by Christina Aguilera, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Mariah Carey she began her music career at the age of 7. Performing and appearing on stages throughout the NY area, has led her to perform at the Apollo Theater. This aspiring talented young lady is determined to carve out a space for herself along side of some of the biggest stars.
Tickets are $20, $30, and $40 for purchase at the Apollo Theater Box Office – 253 West
125th Street, call (212) 531-5305 or via Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 www.ticketmaster.com.
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