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The Next: Week Seven Semi Finals - Round One

THE SIX LOCAL WINNERS AND ONE FAN FAVORITE BATTLED IT OUT LIVE IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE SEMI-FINALS — In the first of three live episodes, the six local winners from Orlando, Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles converged on Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre to represent their city and to compete for a chance to win a recording contract with Atlantic Records. In addition, viewers across America had the chance to vote for the return of a fan favorite who didn’t win in their local city. Music icons Joe Jonas, Gloria Estefan, John Rich and Nelly will continued to provide guidance to the seven contestants as they battled it out on stage in their quest to becoming “The Next."


To get the latest news and updates for The Next and Cricket, as well as musical updates from Gloria Estefan, Joe Jonas, John Rich and Nelly, follow Cricket on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to check back here every week for episode highlights and videos of each week’s performances, as your favorite contestants work towards earning a spot in the live finale of The Next!

The Contestants

Michael Ray

Age: 24 Hometown: Eustis, FL

In Week 1 of the Next, John Rich got comfortable in Michael Ray’s personal space, all while giving him the tools he needed for an unforgettable performance of “Springsteen” made famous by Eric Church.  This led to Michael being crowned the winner of Week 1, and earning him a spot in the Semi-Finals.


Jordan Baird

Age: 21 Hometown: Gainesville, VA

In Week 2, Joe Jonas eased Jordan’s nerves with a game of basketball, prepping him for his star-studded performance of Gavin DeGraw’s “Not Over You”, taking Jordan to the first round of the Semi-Finals.


Ali Brustofski

Age: 18 Hometown: Oakland, NJ

In Week 3, Ali scored whole-hearted coaching from the one and only Gloria Estefan who surprised Ali at a nail salon. She gave a crowd-pleasing show with her rendition of Miley Cryus’ song “When I Look At You”. This pushed Ali into the ranks to join the other winning contestants in the Semi-Finals.



Age: 23 Hometown: Glenview, IL

In Week 4, the Next scored big with Iliana’s performance of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” at Chicago’s Vic Theatre. That, coupled with her duet with coach Gloria Estefan at the Chicago Cubs game, carried Iliana to round one of the Semi-Finals in Los Angeles.


Ashley Kimbrae

Age: 26 Hometown: Dallas, TX

In Week 5, Nelly made a motivational tape for Ashley, helping her reach her fullest potential by singing Jessie J’s song “Price Tag” at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas. Ashley’s execution of the song impressed the judges and the audience, leading her to the Semi-Finals with the other winning contestants.


Krystle Cruz

Age:24 Hometown: San Diego, CA

In Week 6, Nelly made Krystal change her song to better showcase her vocal ability, leading her to sing the winning performance of Jessie J’s hit “Mamma Knows Best”.  Krystle rounded out the group of Semi-Finalists, who will be performing this week in Los Angeles.


Cori Yarckin

Age: 29 Hometown: Orlando, FL

Cori has been featured as one of Rolling Stones ‘Top 5 Up and coming Female Artists”  With over 7 million song plays, 4 million profile views and over 200,000 friends on her MySpace music page, Cori’s profile grew virally. She has performed live on MTV’s “TRL”.  She has also released records and performed in Japan where she has a huge following.  Cori has opened for the Jonas Brothers, Soul Asylum and 30 Seconds to Mars to name just a few.


Congratulations to Cori, the fan favorite from the online vote!