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High School Musical: Making Dreams Come
Episode 1 by Jenny Lane
July 24, 2008
ABC and Disney have teamed up to bring us a new reality show called “High School Musical: Get in the Picture.” In case your head has been in the sand for the last few years, the original “High School Musical” debuted on the Disney channel in January of 2006, and became an instant sensation. Two years later, it’s a billion dollar worldwide franchise that has been seen by over four hundred million people.

Now, the High School Musical family is looking for a new member to star in the third installment of the musical. The six talent scouts will cover the country to conduct on the spot auditions based on thousands of video submissions. In addition, there will be open call auditions.

The final twelve will attend a “High School Musical campus” for the final rounds of auditions. The winner will star in the next “High School Musical,” and all twelve will become part of the “High School Musical” family.

Nick Lachey (formerly boy band member/reality show personality/Mr. Jessica Simpson) is our host, proving that his career truly is over. He is at Disneyworld and welcomes us to the Eastern open call auditions, where thousands of teens are waiting for their chance to be the next big star.

Before we get to the auditions, let’s meet the six talent scouts, which they are calling ‘faculty’:
  • Chris Prinzo – dance and vocal coach
  • Regina Williams – dance instructor
  • Jen Malenke – vocal coach
  • Rob Adler – acting coach
  • Montre Burton – performing arts instructor
  • Tiana Brown – dance instructor
Our first hopeful is tragically named Amy Hooker. She’s 20, blond and cute, and is a former “Miss Palm Beach County. She’s auditioning for Tiana, who thinks it’s adorable that she keeps getting called ‘ma’am.’ Amy is the first of many to sing “A Whole New World,” but her version is as tragic as her name, maybe even more so. Tiana smiles and says “I think your nerves got the best of you, let the singing come organically, believe the words, and then it will come out of your mouth and be presented really well.” Needless to say, Amy does not advance to the next round.

Matthew Scott, age 21, auditions for Montre. He tells Montre that his aunt pushed him to come to the audition. He sings “Proud Mary” and is more feminine than Tina Turner. Montre tells him that he has a “very sweet voice and a lot of potential.” It’s a no for Matthew.

Next up is Jordan Kauffman, age 19. He was a football in high school, and today he’s worried that the flu is going to hold him back in his audition. He sings “I’ll Be” for Rob. Jordan is very cute, has longish brown hair, and has an ‘up and coming rock star’ look to him. He’s the first so far to make it to the semifinal round.

In addition to the open call auditions, the faculty are driving around the countryside, hunting down the best of the video submissions. First up is Montre, heading to Madison West High School in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s auditioning Domingo Meneses, whose drama teacher submitted his audition video.

Domingo is 19 and is original from Chile. He’s tall, thin and has dark hair. Today, he’s on stage singing “Go the Distance” with another student. There’s something kind of nasally about his voice that I don’t love, but Montre likes him. Montre jumps on stage and announces to the choir that Domingo’s teacher submitted his video (I wonder how the other kids feel about that!). He tells Domingo that he has made it to the semifinal round in Orlando.

Montre asks Domingo’s costar to sing her song. He’s named Tierney Chamberlain. She launches into “Reflections” and is much more impressive than Domingo was. Montre tells her that she has made it to the semifinals as well.

Rob is in Maine to audition a girl named Kristin, whose vocal coach submitted her video. He sneaks into a large classroom or a small auditorium, I’m not sure which. Actually, it’s not very sneaky, because he plops himself right in the front row. Then it occurs to me that none of this is really sneaky, because the camera crew must have already come in to set up.

Kristin is the front of the room singing “Breaking Free” with a boy. It’s not horrendous, but it is pretty awful. Rob walks out and tells us that Kristin “needs to learn to use her body, when she connects more, she’ll be on the right road.” So much for Kristin.

Tiana is in Pennsylvania to audition Lauren Gigliotti, whose drama teacher submitted her video. Lauren is on stage with a little band singing “Leave the Pieces” in front of a handful of onlookers. She’s 17, and is a cute but kind of mousy looking girl, with long brown hair and less than fantastic clothes. She actually looks very much like the ‘before’ version of a makeover. Tiana introduces herself to Lauren and her family, and tells them that she has made it to the semifinals.

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Jenny lives in the Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter and five furry kids. In addition to all things reality tv, she loves Nip/Tuck, Big Love and the Food Network. She’s addicted to her laptop, so if you’d like to feed her addiction, you can e-mail her at
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