Clayre Ames of Orange auditions for America’s Got Talent

  • Submitted photo Orange resident Clayre Ames, 14, is scheduled to audition for "America's Got Talent" in New York City on Sunday.

  • Submitted photo Orange resident Clayre Ames, 14, is scheduled to audition for "America's Got Talent" in New York City on Sunday.

Recorder Staff
Monday, December 18, 2017

ORANGE — Clayre Ames just spent two days in New York City. But it was one 45-second span she hopes will change her life.

The 14-year-old singer from Orange traveled with her parents to New York so she could audition for “America’s Got Talent,” a reality competition show that serves as a nationwide talent show on NBC. The Ames family drove to the Big Apple on Saturday morning for Clayre’s audition at 11 a.m. the following day and returned home on Monday.

“I think it went pretty well,” she said Monday. She was placed in a group of about eight hopefuls who were each allotted 45 seconds to wow a single judge. Clayre said the auditions at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan were originally slated to last 90 seconds, but that time got slashed. She said she sang “I Will Always Love You.” She previously said she most enjoys singing “older pop” songs, like the works of Whitney Houston and Céline Dion.

She said she will hear back in February or March if the network is interested. The rounds of auditions the audience sees will be filmed in front of celebrity judges Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell. Clayre’s Sunday audition was in front of a non-celebrity.

Clayre’s father, David, said now the waiting game begins.

“Unfortunately, that’s what it comes down to — we have to wait and see. The way I look at it, she’s already won. Just to get the chance to go there and compete is great. It’s exciting for her,” he said. “Clayre did well. She sung her heart out. I thought she did really well.”

David Ames said 3,000 applicants auditioned over the weekend.

Clayre, a ninth-grader at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton, and her father said they are both still processing the culture shock of going from the North Quabbin region to the Big Apple.

“It was really, really busy — a lot of traffic, but the buildings and everything were beautiful, especially at night with all the (holiday) lights,” Clayre said.

She said she also visited Times Square and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 258. On Twitter: @DomenicPoli