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Burbank teen gets real

Laura Sturza

With a home recording studio, a dad who used to write songs for

Warner Bros. and Billy Joel as a role model, Matthew Jordan’s network

debut on MTV’s new reality show “Duets” is part of a plan to pursue a


music career he laid out as a youngster.

“Virtually any minute I’m not in school, I’m in here recording and

writing,” said the University of Southern California freshman,

referring to his studio.


Jordan, a 19-year-old Burbank resident who is studying music at

USC, made the final cut to appear on Wednesday’s show by performing

Grammy- nominated star Vanessa Carlton’s song “Pretty Baby.”

In true reality-programming fashion, an MTV rep came to Jordan’s

home to let him know he was one of four finalists selected from a

nationwide search of about 500. The winner, who cannot be revealed in

advance, sings with Carlton on the program.

“I was on the floor begging Vanessa to pick me,” Jordan said of


the segment the network shot as part of his audition.

Singing with the John Burroughs High School Choir under the

direction of Mary Rago helped give Jordan experience as well as

confidence performing in front of crowds.

“He was an excellent student and a great singer, and even at that

time, he was writing his own music,” Rago said of the 2002 graduate.

“He helped us win a lot of different awards that year.”

Terence Michaels, “Duets” supervising producer, agreed with Rago.


“He’s very talented ... he’s young and he has an MTV look,”

Michaels said.

Since the singer, songwriter and pianist watches reality shows and

knows many people do not achieve stardom by participating in them,

Jordan is keeping the modest expectation of drawing added interest to

his work with his MTV appearance.

Jordan will be on “Duets” at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Wednesday on MTV,

Charter Cable 77. He will perform at 8 p.m. the first three

Tuesdays in June at the Hot Wired Cafe, 11651 Riverside Drive, North

Hollywood. The cafe’s number is 753-9929.