Memphis Auditions

Memphis Auditions

Third round auditions (that would be in front of Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell) took place in Memphis, TN yesterday.  And as usual, there was very little to report.  The midday press conference contained the usual non-answers and canned banter between the judges.  Blah, blah blah.  Here’s an excerpt:

More than 8, 000 singers auditioned for “Idol” producers at FedExForum Sept. 4 and 5, and fewer than 100 of those survived the cut for auditions Thursday and today at Memphis Cook Convention Center.

The auditions before the actual judges produced a few winners Thursday who exited a second-floor ballroom with a yellow sheet of paper signifying they will advance to Hollywood as finalists. Each contender is sworn to secrecy with nondisclosure agreements signed with “American Idol.” The secrecy preserves an element of surprise for the show’s premiere when finalists will be revealed from seven cities where auditions were held this year.

Cowell, the judge with a reputation as the blunt, sometimes venomous critic, took a break from his evil TV persona Thursday to compliment one contender as the judges took a midday break. Fox TV wouldn’t identify the woman except as a Tennessee woman who is a backup and sessions singer. “There was one very good girl today, ” Cowell said of her.

Abdul said the woman “was fantastic, ” reminding her of the reaction when judges first heard 2004 “Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino, the contestant who since has earned four Grammy nominations.

Memphis is the last of seven audition cities to hold 3rd round auditions.  Those contestants who have passed this last round are now preparing themselves for the next phase–auditioning for the judges and executive producers in the so-called Hollywood round.  In a few months,  approximately 200 hopeful auditioners will vie for a spot in the Top 44.  The Top 44 will be whittled down to 24.  Afterward, those lucky contestants will get to compete in the semi-finals for a spot in the Top 12.

My plea: Anybody out there have an audition story to tell?  Or some real information about this dog and pony show not found in the press accounts?  Please email your scoop to me at All sources are kept confidential, if necessary–of course. Thanks.

thanks purplesmile