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'X Factor' finds lots of Long Island talent in auditions
Long Island looked pretty good on “The X Factor” tonight.
Not only did the show announce that the crowds auditioning at the Nassau Coliseum were the biggest in series history, but Simon Cowell and the rest of the judges uncovered some serious Strong Island talent.
Al Calderon, a 19-year-old restaurant host and “designated ‘Happy Birthday’ singer” made a huge impression on the panel with his version of Hall and Oates’ “Sara Smile.”
Judge Kelly Rowland said that if she was 18 again, she’d go on a date with him, while Cowell offered an even bigger compliment. “The potential of your voice, coupled with the way that you look, your charisma – I believe the music business is waiting for someone like you right now,” he told Calderon.
Judge Demi Lovato told him, “I have a feeling you’re not going to be working at that restaurant any more.”
Calderon looked stunned by the compliments, saying, “I don’t even have any words right now,” before leaping into the arms of his father, Alberto, a Glen Cove sanitation worker.
The audition of Simone Torres, a 19-year-old student from Port Jefferson Station, went just as well, with Cowell calling her version of “Mustang Sally” the show’s best audition. Her deep voice and impressive breath control drew a “Wow!” from Cowell. The huge ovation from the Nassau Coliseum crowd brought Torres to tears, prompting Lovato to tell her, “We all just want to hug you.”
Torres said, “This is the best moment of my life.”
Cowell told his fellow judges as Torres left the stage, “I love her. That’s a one-in-a-million.”
Ice cream truck driver Jorge Pena, 22, also advanced, even though his attitude rubbed the female judges the wrong way, especially after he called Lovato “woman” and then winked at her.
“You know what’s sexy?” she asked the Colombian native who now lives on Long Island. “Humility.”
The two-hour episode was split between coverage of auditions on Long Island and in Denver. Though the show doesn’t reveal its plans for its episodes, it appeared to cover only the first day of its two-day stay in Uniondale.