Frankie Grande, Mallory Hagan, and Antoine L. Smith Set to Judge Rising Star Competition on 5/8

Frankie Grande, Mallory Hagan, and Antoine L. Smith Set to Judge Rising Star Competition on 5/8RISE BAR is seeking its next RISING STAR! Hosted by Broadway's Marty Thomas (Xanadu, The Secret Garden, Wicked), the RISING STAR competition begins Sunday March 6! The contestants will be competing in a 10 week elimination style contest for a $1000 cash prize and paid bookings at RISE Bar with their respective solo show. In addition to its cash and prize package, RISING STAR is offering networking opportunities with guest celebrity judges, fantastic exposure and valuable live stage experience. The winner will receive a headshot package by Claire Buffie photography. They will also receive a demo package provided by Yasuhiko Fukuoka. Competition judges Courtney Reed and Jelani Remy also donated generous prize packages from THE LION KING And ALADDIN on Broadway.

Tonight the top 3 compete in three themed categories. They will each perform a song chosen for them by the judges and club owners. They will also be ask to perform at 11:00 number - a song they feel defines them as an artist and will brand what kind of show they will perform should they be chosen to win. Lastly, they are all being challenged creatively to cover the same song chosen by the club owners. Each contestant will perform "The Winner Takes It All" by ABBA! . Tonights judges Broadway star and TV Hostess Frankie James Grande, THE COLOR PURPLE on Broadway star Antoine L. Smith and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan!

ANTOINE L. SMITH can currently be seeing on Broadway in the Tony Nominated Revival of "The Color Purple". Other credits include; "Memphis" on Broadway; The First Broadway National Tour of "Cinderella"; And the National Tour of CATS to name a few.

FRANKIE GRANDE is a television star, theatre actor, producer, and social media influencer. His vivacious personality, creativity and passion for performance has garnered him much praise and media attention throughout his career.

After graduating from Muhlenberg College a triple major (Biology/Theatre/Dance) he was cast as Boots the Monkey in a national tour of Dora the Explorer Live! Immediately following that tour, he was cast in Mamma Mia on Broadway where he performed for three years. Through his work on Broadway, Grande gained a love for producing theater. In 2009 he produced Hamlet on Broadway, which starred Jude Law and generated many positive reviews. He went on to produce La Bête (2010-11) starring David Hyde Pierce, and Born Yesterday (2011) starring Jim Belushi. He also produced Brooke Shields' one-woman cabaret show in 2011. It was during this time that Frankie began his one YouTube channel, frankiejgrande, which has since garnered over 18 million views and eventually led to him creating "Livin' La Vida Grande," a one-man cabaret show where he performed his favorite songs, impersonations and skits inspired by his wildly successful YouTube channel and love for theatre and is now a national tour.

Grande again took the national spotlight when he was cast in CBS' "Big Brother 16" where he became one the most talked about guests in the show's history. The season was one of the most successful to-date for the network, garnering more than 6 million viewers per episode, in part due to Frankie's larger than life personality. Grande also won over fans when he announced that all of his earnings from the show would be donated to BuildOn, an organization close to his heart that constructs new schools in some of the economically poorest countries around the world.

Coming out of the "Big Brother" house Grande fulfilled a life-long dream when he accepted a role in "Rock of Ages" on Broadway playing Franz, the son of a German real-estate developer who threatens to tear down the Sunset Strip. Grande's portrayal of Franz impressed the media, winning him applause from outlets including the New York Times, People Magazine,, The Advocate and many more. Frankie was so well-liked by the producers that they asked him to stay on through production's closing in January 2015.

In April 2015 MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew All Stars: Road to the VMAs," announced Grande as a new judge on the network's dance competition show. The show will begin taping in the summer of 2015. And in May, the Oxygen nwtwork announced his own TV special entitled WORST.POST.EVER., a comedy variety type show exploring the most outrageous posts on social media that will air on August 18th.

When Grande is not performing on Broadway or starring on television he can be spotted on the red carpet at major network awards shows such as American Music Awards and Kid's Choice Awards where he acts as a red carpet coverage host for outlets including "Entertainment Tonight."

As a social media powerhouse with a combined reach of 2.6 million, Grande likes to interact with his fans and amplify messages of social good and happiness through his channels. In March 2015, he partnered with the Truth Campaign to produce "Left Swipe Dat," a video aimed at swaying teens from smoking and the use of other tobacco products.

As a volunteer and advocate for buildOn, Frankie traveled to Malawi in January 2015 to break ground on the Frank Grande School, a project partially made possible with his donated earnings from "Big Brother" and named in memory of his grandfather who passed away during the filming of the show. The organization honored him with its Global Impact Award in 2014 for his work.

MALLORY HAGAN was named Miss New York 2012 and Miss America 2013. As Miss America, she traveled over 20,000 miles a month as the National Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and an advocate for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention receiving numerous awards, including recognition at the 2013 Forbes Women of the Year Summit.

Mallory is currently using her Miss America scholarship dollars to continue her undergraduate studies in Advertising, Marketing and Communications at Fashion Institute of Technology and she is also consulting for DEFINE, LLC., a personal branding business she began with her business partner and friend, Claire Buffie. In addition, she has started the adventure of producing her own YouTube content and pursuing work in television hosting.

The top 12 finalists were chosen from over 50 applicants, by a panel of industry judges, during a live audition. Our top 12 finalists included, Katia Malarsky, Dominic Crossey, Michael Muenchow, Sharisse Fransisco, Desiree Rodriguez, Gabriel Violett, Carla Bordonara, Eric Jetner, Amanda Enriquez, Terrance Johnson, Diana Huey and James Avance.

Our top 3 competing this week include Katia Malarsky, Carla Bordonada, and Amanda Enriquez.

Judges from the first four weeks of competition included Alysha Umphress (ON THE TOWN), Claire Buffie (Photographer/Branding Coach/Miss New York 2010, Jenna Leigh Green (SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, WICKED, BARE, THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES), Jelani Remy (THE LION KING), Courtney Reed (MAMMA MIA, IN THE HEIGHTS, ALADDIN), Emily McNamara (AWESOME 80s PROM), Composer Jeff Thomson (TRAILS THE MUSICAL), Composer Jonathan Reid Gealt (FORWARD), Michelle Dowdy (HAIRSPRAY) and Singer/Arranger/Vocal Coach Chris Dilley (POWER BREATHING FOR SINGERS, BIV), Michael Longoria (JERSEY BOYS, HAIRSPRAY, THE MIDTOWN MEN), Natalie Weiss (EVERYDAY RAPTURE, WICKED, BREAKING DOWN THE RIFFS), Nick Adams (PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, GUYS AND DOLLS, CHICAGO) Paul Caanan (KINKY BOOTS, LEGALLY BLONDE, LA CAGE AUX FAUX), Ryann Redmond (IF/THEN, BRING IT ON), Kate Rockwell (BRING IT ON, ROCK OF AGES, LEGALLY BLONDE, HAIR) Jacob Yandura (THE LAST QUEEN OF CANAAN, WRINGER), Douglas Lyons (BEAUTIFUL, THE BOOK OF MORMON), Ari Gold (pop star/songwriter) Laura Berquist (ALLEGIANCE), Marissa Rosen (PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT), Ben Cameron (BROADWAY SESSIONS, WICKED, FOOTLOOSE, AIDA), Christine Dwyer (RENT, WICKED), Matt Deangelis (ONCE, AMERICAN IDIOT, HAIR), Kate Lumpkin (FOX EAST COAST CASTING) and BLEEP Magazine creator and editor Ryan Brinson.


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