The Shmooze

Meet Josh Bernstein, the Next Teen Pop Idol

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Josh Bernstein has got an amazing set of pipes, and he is using them to his advantage in the Kidz Star USA Talent Search, under way right now. The 14-year-old student at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Md., is one of four finalists in the competition sponsored by KidzBop.com.

This morning, Bernstein appeared along with the other three finalists on the “Today Show” together with Kris Allen, a mentor and judge for the contest. Allen found fame as the 2009 winner of “American Idol.”

Bernstein shows real poise and stage presence in his “Getting To Know Josh” video on his page on the Kidz Star website. The way he tells it, he was “discovered” by his dad at age 11, when he was singing along to “American Idol” performances on TV. It looks like things took off quickly for him, as he is shown in the video singing on stage at karaoke bars and Battle of the Bands competitions.

This day school student with a soulful voice is clearly musically talented and well informed: He easily rattled off the names of many singers and musicians who he says have influenced his style. At the same time, Bernstein is quick to point out that he is just like other guys his age. He likes to shoot hoops with his buddies, and he recently lost his iPod.

Bernstein’s fans can check out his original entry video (in which he sings “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green) and his semifinal effort (an interpretive cover of “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train) before September 21, when final online viewer voting will begin.


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