Auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL: A First-Hand Account

Ever wonder what it’s REALLY like to audition for AMERICAN IDOL? FOX NEWS has a fantastic first hand account from the August cattle call… sorry, audition process. In a nutshell, you wait twenty hours with 10,000 fellow delusional contestants only to sing for roughly 15 seconds and have your dreams promptly crushed.

Row by row, we lined up to audition in front of one of those 12 booths, four participants to a booth. Sure enough — no Simon, no Randy, no Paula.

By the time I got to that line, I was jittery yet pumped, repeating the feisty intro to “Rock Steady”: “Rock steady baby! That’s what I feel now. Let’s call this song exactly what it is.”

An “Idol” staffer ushered me over to a booth along with three others in line. I had noticed earlier that a woman dressed as a homecoming queen (a nod to the chorus of “Daydream Believer”) got the coveted golden ticket allowing her to move to the next round. Could she sing? Who knows. Few others followed in her footsteps.

At the judging table in front of us sat two 20-something producers. One was a young woman with sunglasses so large, she could have been napping behind them. The other was a young man with his head propped up in his hands. He said nothing and looked bored. Suddenly Simon seemed not so rude after all.

Each of us would be given roughly 15 seconds of our chosen song to perform. No questions, no names. Two of the singers next to me were great, even passionate. Another one, not so much.

Then I stepped forward and sang, belting out the tune with all I had. It’s Aretha, after all. I was louder than the rest, working my vibrato, stretching my arms out. The bored guy perked up a little, but still said nothing. This was the moment I had waited six hours for. After less than 20 seconds, it was over.

Afterward, the young woman with the sunglasses turned to all of us, thanked us for auditioning, and said we would not be needed for the show. There was no banter between judges. No comments to us about our performances — snarky or otherwise. Not even a little canned applause.

To read the story in its entirety, click here.

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