American Idol 15 auditions began for the last time, as the American Idol Bus tour landed in Providence, Rhode Island and Seattle Washington.
Providence station, WPRI was on hand to cover the auditions. When the bus rolled up to the Alex and Ani Center, “hundreds” of people were waiting to sing for a shot at stardom:
One woman told Eyewitness News she arrived at 2 a.m. to make sure she was the first person in line. Auditions kicked off at 9 a.m.
Contestants had to sing for two of the show’s producers — and some chose to sing with guitars. According to organizers, producers might ask hopefuls to sing as long as five minutes or as short as 30 seconds.
There is no quota on how many people to choose for the next round, organizers say it just depends on who’s good.
The Rhodes Show interviewed reigning champ, Nick Fradiani, and season 5 runner-up, Katharine McPhee. Reporters also interviewed singers waiting online.
In Seattle, the scene was much the same, according to the Seattle Times, which estimated the crowd at nearly 1000. Two Idol producers were on hand to find the next singing star. Supervising producer, Brian Robinson, who has seen many auditions, remarked on the number of returnees. Coming back is encouraged, he said.
Brian Robinson, a supervising producer who has been with “American Idol” for 12 years, has seen more auditions than he can remember. He said it’s not uncommon for people to try several times, and it’s encouraged.
He watched Caleb Johnson, who had auditioned several times before being chosen, finally make it through to the big stage on Season 13, eventually winning the whole thing.
“We definitely had people who’ve given us a shot many years in a row, and we always say, ‘Feel free to come back, but we ask you when you come back to show us how much you’ve grown in a year’s time.’ And those are the ones who end up being a success,” he said.
Of course, if a hopeful doesn’t make the cut this year, there is no soft landing. With Idol heading into its final season, these auditions are a “last chance” for everybody, regardless of age.
As far as what the producers are looking for, Robinson says a certain star quality, like season 4 winner, Carrie Underwood. “I just never forget that girl-next-door, down-to-earth person walking in that room, captivating the judges. We hope to have some people come out and captivate us in some way.”
The American Idol bus tour heads next to Baltimore, Maryland on June 20 and San Diego, California on June 22. City cattle calls begin on July 10 at Denver CO. Click for the full schedule.