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Orlando teen competes on American Idol tonight

January 23, 2014

Need an excuse to tune into American Idol tonight? Tell the Judge-y McJudgersons that you’re only watching to see a local girl succeed. Last October, Emily Piriz auditioned in Atlanta and will be featured on tonight’s episode of AI.


We wish Emily luck, but if spoilers are to be believed, she won’t need it, because she’s already made it into the top 31.

Emily’s not the only Orlando resident competing on a reality show in 2014. Keep your eyes peeled for Robert Bennett, a sculptor for Walt Disney Imagineering, to appear on Syfy’s new show Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge, premiering March 25. In this brand-new show, contestants create puppets and mechanical creatures in order to win a contract job in Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Oh, and $100,000, too, but for these passionate creature-creators, the job is probably worth more than the money.

Orlando residents have been trying to become reality-show-famous for years. Sadly, they have not had great success with actually winning the big prizes. Last year, Sebastian Serra from the Orlando Ballet gave So You Think You Can Dance a shot. He made it through to the Vegas rounds, but didn’t make it to the top 20. Hopefully, he’ll give it another shot this year, because the judges seemed to love him.

Sometimes, our Orlando contestants don’t even make it past the first episode. In 2006, Vipul and Arti Patel of Windemere became the first Indian-American couple to compete on the Amazing Race. They didn’t get to do much racing, though – they were eliminated in the first episode.

On season 7 of Project Runway, Orlando resident Jesse LeNoir had a bit more luck, hanging in all the way to episode 7 before being declared “Out!” by Heidi Klum. The challenge that did him in? Making an innovative look using materials found in a hardware store. 

Even though it’s not a reality competition show, it’s notable to mention Soup to Nutz Diner in Tavares, which was featured on an episode of Restaurant Impossible. When Robert Irvine arrived at the diner, he was appalled at the cleanliness, or lack thereof. In fact, he refused to let anyone eat food coming out of the kitchen. Despite an initial bump in business following the episode, Soup to Nutz closed its doors in May of last year.

If you want to cheer on your hometown girl, Emily Piriz, on American Idol, tune in at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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  • Anon

    This article originally started about one girl and turned into the complete opposite. Writer tried to tie it altogether at the end with one more sentence about the girl, but you headline and article have practically nothing to do with each other. Anyways, good luck to Emily, even if she made the top 30, let’s hope she makes it to the end.

  • OnceBitten

    You forgot to mention Laura Tyler from Orlando who won last season’s FaceOff! ;)