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‘America’s Got Talent’ comes to NYC in search of its next big star

This may just be their big break.

Hundreds of skilled New Yorkers began lining up outside of Queens College on Friday as early as 6 a.m. to audition for the 12th season of “America’s Got Talent.” From singing and dancing to juggling, they all claimed to be masters of their craft.

New York City was the seventh stop on a 10-city nationwide search for the show’s new contestants.

Below, some of the many who waited hours to try out in front of judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell and Mel B. You just might catch them on TV when the show returns this summer.

Ruthie Joy Schwartz, 73, of Manhattan, showed off
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

Ruthie Joy Schwartz, 73, of Manhattan, showed off her comedy skills at the "America's Got Talent" auditions. "What do I have to lose at my age?" she said.

Winning, or even just being on
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

Winning, or even just being on "America's Got Talent," would be a "huge, amazing success. It would be a great opportunity," said Nikki Zarka, 35, of the pop group Secret Girls. "I think everybody wants to win here and I've been working really hard with the girls. Hopefully we can make it work."

Mike Gomez, 65, a Bronx native, runs a
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

Mike Gomez, 65, a Bronx native, runs a NYC-based magic company, Micky Magic. Getting onto the show would be "an absolute game changer" for his business, he said.

Katrina Bernhardt, 21, a dancer with the New
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

Katrina Bernhardt, 21, a dancer with the New York Chinese Cultural Center, said she auditioned to help "share [her] culture with those beyond the tri-state area."

Gilbert Toglia, 38, of Queens, wasn't just auditioning
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

Gilbert Toglia, 38, of Queens, wasn't just auditioning for laughs. The clown, who goes by his stage name, Frostbyte, said he hopes to help raise money for childhood cancer research.

Gilbert Toglia, 38, auditioned with his twin, Louis
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

Gilbert Toglia, 38, auditioned with his twin, Louis Toglia, whose stage name is Pyro. Like his brother, Toglia also hopes to continue to help raise money for childhood cancer research.

Hailey Porterfield, 18, a singer and guitar player
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

Hailey Porterfield, 18, a singer and guitar player from upstate New York, hoped to surprise her mother by making it onto "America's Got Talent." "She doesn't know I'm here, so it's going to be a surprise," she said.

Sage Logan, a Bronx native who goes by
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

Sage Logan, a Bronx native who goes by Looney Tooney the Clown while performing, said he hopes to end up with $1 million after his potential run on "America's Got Talent."

Nalimda Peiris, 30, of Staten Island, is a
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

Nalimda Peiris, 30, of Staten Island, is a member of a Sri Lankan percussion dance group called Behri. He said he hopes to share his culture with the world by making it onto "America's Got Talent."

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