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Whitestone songstresses land radio, TV appearances

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Melissa Goscinski and Tristen Buettel may not be household names just yet, but if they have anything to say about it, that will change very soon.

The pair of young songstresses have been putting their native Whitestone on the map recently, with 19−year−old Goscinski landing a gig on national television alongside an Ocsar−winner and Buettel flying up the ranks in a radio competition at just 13.

Last month, Goscinski was hand−picked by “American Idol” star and Oscar−winning actress Jennifer Hudson to appear alongside her on NBC’s “Today Show” May 15 as part of a competition put on by the program.

A freshman at the Manhattan School of Music, she said when she and her mother heard about the competition, they quickly drew up a submission, which included a tape of Goscinski performing Hudson’s rendition of “And I’m Telling You” and a short essay.

“It was all put together the last minute,” Goscinski said. “I really didn’t expect to win. We submitted the video just before the Monday deadline and were contacted two days later by NBC.”

Before Goscinski knew it, Hudson had chosen her from the group and was in a limousine en route to the “Today Show” studio in Manhattan.

“A lot can happen in one week,” Goscinski said. “My mom said I would make it one day, but she didn’t know it would start on national TV.”

Goscinski said she has now set her sights on applying for “American Idol,” the popular television show that launched Hudson’s career in 2004.

Meanwhile, Buettel is no slouch at just 13. Last week, the eighth−grade student at JHS 194 in Whitestone was selected as one of six finalists from more than 1,000 contestants in city radio station WOR 710’s annual Shining Star Talent Search.

Buettel’s rendition of The Pretender’s hit “I’ll Stand By You” landed her in the top six for the second straight year and if she wins the competition, she will be the youngest contestant to do so.

“I think she would make Chrissie Hynde proud,” said her mother, Maria, referring to The Pretenders’ lead singer. “She dedicated the song to me. I had breast cancer three years ago, so she said she’ll always stand by me.”

If she wins, Buettel would receive $1,500 for herself and take home $7,500 for JHS 194. The winners of the competition, judged by the station’s listeners, will be announced June 11. Buettel’s entry can be heard at worshiningstar.com, where anyone can vote for his or her favorite contestant.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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