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“I'd been fighting myself, leading up to the audition day,” singer Blaise Miranda-Mercedes said of the recent "American Idol" auditions at Canalside. “Trying to decide what would be the best song to sing, or whether I should even audition at all. For years, I had very harsh opinions regarding singing competitions and reality TV shows. At some point, they all felt like o…

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Remember John Stevens, the Amherst native who made it deep into “American Idol” when the show was a megahit on Fox? Stevens, who lives in Boston, finished sixth in the third season of the reality series. He will perform Frank Sinatra songs live at the Mercy Flight Beacon of Hope Gala on Sept. 29. The special theme of the night is “Celebrating Flight.” The keynote spe…

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Patrick Lynn has been a producer with "American Idol" for the entire 16-year run of the groundbreaking television show. This year, he successfully lobbied to have the singing competition show hold auditions in Buffalo for the first time. Western New York definitely impressed the judges. "We had a monster turnout today," Lynn said Sunday. "We couldn't be happier." …

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1) Niagara County Peach Festival, 5 to 10 p.m. Sept. 6, 5 to 11 p.m. Sept. 7, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 8 and 9 in Academy Park in Lewiston. Free to attend. Commentary: With apologies to pineapples, bananas, currants and figs - four fruits slighted in their quests for a Buffalo-area festival - peaches take center stage for four days in Lewiston. From a performance by …

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It took multiple tryouts over several years in singing competition shows, but local "American Idol" contestant Erika Hill is "going to Hollywood." Hill, a dental assistant who used to teach voice lessons, was able to make that announcement after the end of the final "Idol" audition episode finished Sunday night without her appearing. In a brief telephone interview, H…

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Is America tired of the saga of the disgraced former American football idol, O.J. Simpson? Does America really care that the singing competition series "American Idol" is coming back? Those two questions can be answered by Nielsen after "American Idol" and a controversial 12-year-old Simpson special that never aired collide a week from Sunday. ABC announced severa…