Saturday, March 3, 2012

Amateur Night at the Apollo Goes Digital

Amateur Night at the Apollo Goes Digital

Finalist Darryl Jordan, a Harlem local who sung a ballad about how "This time we'll take it slow" as part of his performance. (DNAinfo/Wim Weymans)

HARLEM — Contestants at the Apollo Theater's Amateur Night competition no longer have to worry about being booed by just the legendarily tough audience.

Now, Amateur Night aficionados around the world can express themselves through their phones with the launch of Amateur Night Digital. The new iPhone and Android application allows fans around the world to vote for— or against— and track their favorite performers.

"They can make their cheers and boos heard around the world and they can provide their expert commentary," said Dexter Upshaw, digital media manager for the Apollo Theater.

The 78-year-old talent competition has helped to launch the careers of performers ranging from Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder to Lauryn Hill. Contestants perform in front of the Apollo's 125th Street audience at their own risk.

The audience at the Apollo sung "Love Train" to kick off the show. (DNAinfo/Wim Weymans)

If they're good, they are rewarded with cheers. But if the audience is not happy, performers face not only a chorus of boos but a visit from the "Executioner," C.P. Lacey.

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