Back in February, Levittowner Donnie Klang, 22, also known as Donnie J, was chosen among 10,000 male singers and dancers from around the county to compete on MTV's Making the Band 4.
Klang then earned a spot in the top 20 and moved into a New York City apartment while competing for one of the coveted spots in hip hop mogul P. Diddy's band. All the while having his every move taped for the hit reality show.
"It's definitely an incredible feeling to know that this is finally taking off," he said.
Singing since as long as he can remember, Klang said he got serious about it during his freshman year at Island Trees High School.
"I sang in a pop/R&B group called INT for about seven years, but couldn't quite make it to the next level," he recalled. "I started off in band and jazz band from middle school all the way through eleventh grade. In eleventh grade, I got involved in chorus."
Klang said he began studying at Hofstra University majoring in business and minoring in music after he had been "let down by music" time and again.
When he was chosen to the top 20, Klang said he wasn't able to withdraw from classes right away and now owes the full semester's tuition.
"Hopefully this pays off in the end," he quipped.
Klang said he has received a lot of support from family, friends and fans throughout his career.
"Without my family, friends, and loyal fans that have stuck by my side, none of this would have been possible," he added. "Everyone has been so supportive. My mom gets so emotional every episode. We were walking in the city the other day and I was approached for an autograph. My mom started breaking down and crying. I actually have some more family in Levittown who have also been behind me since day one. My Uncle Ron and Aunt Phyllis have always been there for me no matter what. My cousins Nicole, Sam and Ronnie are all very talented as well. I guess it runs in the family. My father lives in Suffolk County and makes sure everyone out there knows who I am. My sisters and cousins out there have always supported my music even when it looked like I wasn't going to make it. Finally all my friends in L-town have helped me out so much. They showed up to a concert we had in the city during an episode of Making the Band and they all showed Diddy that I have a lot of support in New York."
While he was born in Brooklyn, Klang currently lives with his mother, Michelle, in Levittown. His father, Donald and step-mother Patty live in Suffolk County with his sisters, Jen, Nicole and Danielle.
If Klang is chosen, he will sign a record deal with Bad Boy Records and begin working on the band's first album. They will then go out on tour.
"In the past seasons of Making the Band, they continue the show to see the band's progress as they hit the music industry," he explained.
Making the Band is the brainchild of Sean Combs, a.k.a. P. Diddy. This year P. Diddy is looking to put together an all-guy R&B group. After auditioning thousands of potential superstars across the country, the field is narrowed down to 20 hopefuls. They must be able to sing and dance. The finalists live together in a posh pad in New York City and agree to have their lives filmed for the reality show. Each week contestants compete and some are eliminated if their talent is not up to par. For more information on the show or for tickets to the live finale, log onto www.mtv.com. Making the Band airs on MTV on Mondays at 10 p.m. For more information about Klang and his music, visit www.myspace.com/donniejmusic.