To get a little assistance in selecting the 2009 Flight Crew, the Jets will have a number of celebrity judges on hand at the final round Saturday at Pacha NYC. Both Lilian Garcia, a singer and WWE diva/ring announcer, and Donnie Klang, an enertainer who gained notoriety on MTV's "Making the Band," are looking forward to helping Crew director Denise Garvey pick this year's squad.
"I also was a cheerleader in school growing up in South Carolina, so I have some personal identification to it," Garcia told newyorkjets.com this week. "It's going to be very exciting to see these girls and I know how I felt when I was trying out and wanted to be a part of a cheerleading squad so bad, so I know how these girls feel and it's just going to be very exciting to see what they bring to the table."
The lovely Garcia, who has sung the National Anthem at a number of Jets games and has become a good friend of the organization, watched the Crew's initial takeoff the past two years.
"They are the one thing that always attracts my attention. I love to watch them because it has a personal connection with me," she said. "I just think it is great what they do, their routines, and I see they're having so much fun. Again, that's what really attracts a person watching, when you see that there is so much enjoyment."
As the longest running diva in the WWE, Garcia will celebrate her 10th year with the famous wrestling company on Aug. 23 (a working date as Summer Slam will be held at Staples Center in Los Angeles). Having made thousands of appearances on the big stage, Garcia has sound advice for the 51 Crew finalists.
"Now dancing is so incorporated into cheerleading, but it's important to have more than a certain look —I think its confidence," she said. "Somebody can be absolutely beautiful, but if they don't have any confidence, then they're not going to shine. And yet you may have somebody else who is cute but she has a lot of confidence, then she is just going to shine through big-time. To me confidence is the most important thing."
The 24-year-old Klang, whose first album, "Just Like a Rolling Stone," is still being sold at music stores, learned under the tutelage of entertainment mogul Sean Combs (a.k.a. P. Diddy).
"For me, being on 'Making the Band,' we had to go trough the whole audition process and I saw a lot of people get nervous. They didn't show their true skills and for that they got cut," Klang says. "Put everything you have out on the line and don't go home feeling like you left anything behind that day or you didn't show the true you."
Klang, who also sang the National Anthem at a Jets game last season, attended Hofstra and has been a Green & White follower for a long time.
"I grew up in Brooklyn, moved out to Long Island, and having the Jets training camp right there on the Hofrstra campus was awesome," he said.
While both Klang and Garcia will help the Flight Crew out Saturday, they are also excited about the Jets and their recent addition of quarterback Mark Sanchez.
"That's incredible," Klang said. "I was busy the day of the draft, but when I found out about it, I really think this season is going to look good."
"It's really great, it's very exciting. We'll see what he can do," said Garcia, who spent a portion of her childhood in Spain and whose first singing album was titled "Quiero Vivir (I Wanna Live)." "Of course there is a personal touch because he is Latino and I'm from Spain. I'm very proud to have him on the team and we'll see what happens. I'm excited."