Meet our Top Talent LIVE 2024 Celebrity Judges!


Here's a few helpful tips from your judges:

  • Personality - Let it shine.
  • Relax - We're on your side.
  • Smile - If you're re having a good time then we will too.
  • Eye-contact - Look at the judges and audience and draw them into your performance
  • Pacing - Singers perform your song and don't pace.
  • Age-appropriate - Choose age-appropriate material and attire.
  • Connected - Stay emotionally connected to your routine.
  • Lyrics - Do you understand your lyrics/meaning of song or music? Show us.
  • Attire - Your appearance is very important.  Dress appropriately for your performance. Costumes add to your act!
  • Stage Use - make good use of the stage.  Solo acts should stay upstage so the judges and audience have a great view of your performance.
  • Audio Tracks - Audio tracks ripped at the highest quality improves your performance.  Audio tracks are to be edited to a maximum  of 3 and half minutes max. 
And most of all ... we wish YOU all the BEST!

Meet The Judges!

E.J. Cardona


E.J. Cardona is an experienced session singer whose voice can be heard on many different recordings and stages, performing for audiences all over the world. Since graduating from University High School, E.J. has provided backing vocals for artists such as SuperFruit, Jordan Fisher, Shoshana Bean, Ace Young, Kirstie Maldonado, Jackie Evancho, Sandi Patti and more!  E.J. has also performed on regional stages in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (The Voice of Quasimodo), In The Heights (Piraguero), Finding Nemo: The Musical (Crush), Porgy and Bess, and West Side Story, as well as on the popular TV show The X Factor.  Currently, E.J. can be seen performing at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, or out on tour with one of the country’s premier a capella groups, VOCTAVE.  E.J. believes these young people [our performers] are truly the TOP TALENT! 
IG: @ejcardonamusic

Karen Rugerio


After 34 years of teaching in Orange County Public Schools, Karen J. Rugerio retired to dedicate herself to her private acting studio. Initially teaching at Jones High School, Karen helped create the Visual and Performing Arts Magnet (VPA) at Dr. Phillips High School in 1995. As Director of the Magnet, she continued to serve as Theatre Director until her retirement in 2014.  In that time she directed over 120 shows, winning national and international recognition for DPHS with amazing alumni including Wayne Brady, presently on Broadway as the Wizard in THE WIZ; Wesley Taylor in Only Murders in the Building/Season 3;  Michael James Scott, starring as Genie in Aladdin on Broadway; Matt Lauria, CSI: Vegas; Joey Fatone of ‘NSync and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (1,2, and 3), and many more, earning her the moniker “Director to the Stars”.

            Karen recently became artistic director and cofounder of The Bridge Theatre Company which will debut its first production, The Diary of Anne Frank, to an audience of 2000 OCPS students in November, 2024.  The Bridge Theatre Company is dedicated to producing theatre that combats racism, bigotry, bullying and anti-Semitism.  She continues to develop her private acting studio, Act III Acting Studio, which is dedicated to bringing theatre into the lives of special needs students. 


Lindsay Hose


Lindsay’s 18-year career runs the gamut from Broadway to regional theater to theme parks to company work. She was in the Broadway and National Touring companies of Wicked as a Dance Captain and Swing. While in NYC, she was a member of a contemporary dance company called, under the artistic direction of Taye Diggs and Andrew Palermo, and performed in Manhattan at the Joyce SoHo and Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Currently, Lindsay is continuing her life as a Dance Captain for the opening team of Finding Nemo: the Big Blue… and Beyond! at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Recently, she has been stepping behind the creative side of the table as well, co-conceptualizing and choreographing Finding Nemo Jr. for Orlando Family Stage and co-producing and choreographing Whiskeyland, a new musical by Broadway’s Nik Walker, for its stage debut at Orlando Fringe. Lindsay also loves working with students from across the country through Disney’s Imagination Campus as a Teaching Artist for the Broadway Magic workshop series; there she emphasizes how theater gives students the chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes, challenges them to push themselves out of their comfort zones, empowering their growth as performers and as individuals.



Omar Jose Cardona


Omar Jose Cardona is a singer/songwriter from Orlando, Florida.  Omar started his 16-year career as a session singer after graduating from University High School, and has become one of the most sought-after live and session vocalists in the US. Omar recently competed as a finalist on Season 22 of NBC’s The Voice, and his dynamic performances have been shared across the globe. Omar has his sights set on Broadway and is very excited to join the cast of From Here for his off-broadway debut this summer.  Omar is grateful for the opportunities to do what he loves and share his passion for music as a part of Top Talent LIVE 2024!                 “I’m a dreamer; I build worlds.” - James Halliday


Wesley Taylor

Wesley Taylor made his Broadway debut in the original cast of Rock of Ages, before starring opposite Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in the original cast of Broadway's The Addams Family. Taylor then originated the role of Sheldon J. Plankton in Broadway's Spongebob Squarepants, before it was filmed for Nickelodeon as "The Spongebob Musical, Live on Stage!" Taylor is a Theatre World Award Winner, Chita Rivera Award Winner, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominee.

 Select Off-Broadway/Regional: The 12, Assassins, The Who’s Tommy, An Act of God, Cabaret, Tales of the City, Alice By Heart. TV: Cliff Demeo on “Only Murders in the Building” (IndieWire’s top TV performances of 2023, SAG Award Nomination-Best Ensemble in a Comedy), Bobby on “Smash" (26 episodes), "The Good Wife," "The Tomorrow People," "One Life to Live," "Looking," "I'm Dying up Here," "Difficult People.” Film: The Surrogate; Lucky Stiff; The Spongebob Musical, Live on Stage! As a creator: the Emmy-nominated “Indoor Boys” (HereTV), “It Could Be Worse” (Hulu), and the Glaad-nominated feature film “Summoning Sylvia,” (Starz), which remains 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and raised in Orlando, Florida, Taylor graduated from the Visual Performing Arts Magnet at Dr. Phillips High School. He then received a BFA in Drama from the University at North Carolina School of the Arts. (IMDB) @sirwestaytay