4. The Executioner, and Those That Made it Anyway

As any entertainer will tell you, playing to a tough crowd ain’t easy. And the Apollo Theater is historically known for letting you know what they think. When the audience starts to boo, “The Executioner” will give ’em the boot. But some entertainers who got the boot made it anyway. Luther Vandross first appeared at Amateur Night when he was 18. He was booted off the stage all five times that he was in the competition. Dave Chappelle, the comedian, took the stage when he was just 16. He got the boot by the famous Apollo Executioner, the Sandman; and the surprise of all, Lauryn Hill took the stage at the young age of 13, with her rendition of Smokey Robinson’s “Who’s Lovin’ You.” She was booted, without knowing she would someday return to that great stage as a special guest with the Fugees years later. Last week, the finals for the 2015 “Amateur Night” were held, and the winner of the “Child Star of Tomorrow” was a ten year old dancer by the name of Haruto Maeda, who won $2,000. The first place in the adult competition, the singer Burgundy Williams, knocked ’em dead, and took home $10,000.