RYE BROOK, NY — A bit of Hollywood glamour came to the Hudson Valley on Monday, complete with swag baskets and a special spring fashion fitting, but lucky for us, things on the right coast are just a bit more approachable than in La-La-Land — and there was cake!
“Hollywood Week” started Sunday night on “American Idol” on ABC, but you didn’t see the Hudson Valley’s own Kaylin Hedges on the show. The “Platinum Ticket” that she earned during auditions allowed her to skip the first pre-recorded round of the competition.
Tonight, Monday, April 3, the competitors will sing duets and Hedges is back with a partner for the first time.
“Contestants form dynamic duos and hit the Hollywood stage for the Duets Challenge,” producers said. “Platinum Ticket winners handpick their duet partners and rejoin the competition in hopes of making it through to the next round.”
SEE ALSO: The Story Behind A Westchester Teen’s Tender American Idol Moment
Hedges captured the hearts of the country in February with an emotional performance dedicated to her father, who remains deployed in the military far from home.
Though she admits country music isn’t her forte, the young singer-songwriter told Patch that the song she chose for her audition, “I’m Already There,” by Lonestar spoke to her in a deeply personal way.
“I was driving in the car with my mom — well, she was driving because I’m not old enough to drive — and this song comes on,” Hedges explained. “And I think, this is the song for my audition. It was almost like it was about my life. I didn’t pick it because I thought it would be the best way to showcase my singing, but because of the emotional connection.”
The decision paid off and Hedges earned her audition city’s sole Platinum ticket to Hollywood. She was also surprised during the audition with an onstage visit from her dad.
As the anticipation grows for her next performance in the competition, Hedges took a few lighthearted moments to enjoy a celebration and fashion fitting at Madison’s Niche in Rye Brook. While the store is normally a bit quieter on a Monday afternoon, the boutique home goods store rolled out the red carpet today for the teen starlet.
Owner Karen McAvoy said she had an ulterior motive for inviting the singer/songwriter to be pampered ahead of the airing of tonight’s critical episode.
“We have a huge following on Long Island, but this is our first store in Westchester and we want to get the word out,” McAvoy explained. “But, I think a lot of people know that I’m a really big American Idol fan, and maybe that’s what’s really going on.”
Madison’s Niche and McAvoy certainly pulled out all the stops for a celebrity visit: gift baskets that would be impressive if they were in the green room at the Oscars, a cake made just for the occasion and a personal fashion consultant helping to choose the perfect stage-worthy outfit.
SEE ALSO: Madison’s Niche To Open This Fall At Rye Ridge Shopping Center
Those of us who don’t have a rising star can still expect the VIP treatment at the Rye Brook shop that opened in October (though perhaps without the cake and balloons). Madison’s Niche describes itself as a unique lifestyle store with an exclusive selection of unique finds, including home decor, accessories, fashions, gifts and baby items. It was created by a mother/daughter entrepreneurial team committed to the concept of “small business.” The Westchester shop promises a unique experience that offers something for every shopper and at an array of different price points.
McAvoy started Madison’s Niche in Huntington, NY in 2012 and named it after her daughter Madison. The Huntington location just celebrated its 10-year anniversary on June 17. In addition to the Huntington boutique, Madison’s Niche currently also operates stores in Garden City, Sayville, Stony Brook and Plainview. The Rye Ridge boutique was their sixth location and they have since opened a seventh store on Long Island.
So, does Hedges have big plans for a viewing party to watch the duets episode? Unfortunately, duty calls and leaving the house at 4 a.m. to catch a flight to Nashville to perform at a singer/ songwriter festival will mean a small gathering and an early bedtime.
But, that’s okay because Hedges already knows all the spoilers.
Madison’s Niche is located at The Rye Ridge Shopping Center at Ridge and Bowman Avenues in Rye Brook.
American Idol airs at 8 p.m. Monday, April 3 . Previously aired episodes can be watched on Hulu or FuboTV.
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