From the staff of the Lexington Herald-LeaderKentucky.comSubscribe to Heraldleaderphoto.comNews FeedSubscribe to Heraldleaderphoto.comComments

American Idol, Kentucky style

Click here to purchase a photo

More than 10,000 American Idol hopefuls flocked to Louisville for preliminary auditions for the show’s eighth season on July 21, 2008. As they waited to enter Freedom Hall for auditions, we quizzed contestants about Kentucky’s state song, while also witnessing the controlled chaos that is “the Idol Line.” Video by Emily Spence | Staff

In their hearts, they know they’re Idols — By Jenna Youngs | Staff

LOUISVILLE — It was about 6:30 a.m. and the Monday morning sun was just starting to rise over the horizon…

American Idol hopeful Craig Allen Carter, 28, had been in line for hours, but he showed no sign of exhaustion. Dressed in a neon orange shirt, he waved a lime green sign over a barricade for cameras to see as they passed by.

”Be Smarter. Pick Carter.“

This is the last year Carter can audition for the Fox talent show because the competition’s age cutoff is 28. So for this man from Possum Trot, a small Western Kentucky town — with less than 100 people and only one traffic light, Carter says — auditions in Louisville are a lucky break in his search for fame.

”I’m from a small town, but have big dreams,“ he said.

American Idol producers were in Louisville from Saturday to Monday auditioning singers for the eighth season of the long-running most popular television show in America.

Producer Patrick Lynn said Louisville, one of eight cities where the show is having auditions, was selected because it was a place Idol had never visited and the potential for a wide variety of musical talent, including country and rock artists, seemed obvious.

”It’s a straight shot from Nashville and Atlanta,“ he said. ”The turnout is beyond our expectations.“

One production assistant estimated about 10,000 people showed up and described the sea of screaming people as controlled chaos.

Monday’s tryouts, in which singers sang in front of Idol’s producers, was the first step in the show’s audition process. If they did well, auditioners were asked to return for an invitation-only audition in front of the show’s judges — Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson — in September at Churchill Downs.

Early risers

At 5 a.m. Monday, three hours before auditions were to begin, the line of people — 20 wide and thousands deep — wrapped around the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center and only continued to grow.

About 3,000 people back from the front of the line, Carter cheered for cameras and sang a number of songs when prompted, including My Old Kentucky Home, which he says he sang in choir growing up. He said he enjoys mainly singing Buddy Holly tunes, but planned to wow the judges with Last Kiss, a 1960s song made popular again by Pearl Jam in the late 1990s.

Carter said he hopes Idol’s appearance in Louisville will prove to the nation that Kentuckians aren’t ”hicks.“ ”As far as I know my parents aren’t related,“ he said. ”I have all my teeth and they’re real. I’m real excited to show America what Kentucky is about.“

Farther back, Mike Ross, 23, stood with his acoustic guitar. Ross, from Eaton, Ohio, spent Sunday night in the parking lot outside Freedom Hall awaiting his chance for an audition. He said late Sunday night that the audition is an opportunity for real feedback about his talent. ”I’d rather hear “No’ than nothing at all,“ he said. ”I never thought I was good enough, but I’ve been playing for a few years. I gotta take a risk.“

At 7:20 a.m. Monday, the first group of hopefuls was allowed to enter Freedom Hall, after Lynn, the Idol producer, led them in cheers for a promotional video. By 8:30, all potential future American Idols were inside the arena.

But after hours and hours of waiting, it took just less than two hours for the first of them to exit Freedom Hall with news they’d been rejected.

Tears of rejection

Throughout the remainder of the afternoon, crowds of people awaiting their audition slot and those who had not been picked mingled outside and talked about how tough the producers seem to be this year. At 12:30, a young woman in purple shorts and gold shoes sobbed into the arms of a few companions who tried to console her.

Among those rejected by producers was Amanda Geisel, 18, who sang Good Enough by the band Evanescence. She said she watched most of those who auditioned before her and was surprised by how few were selected to move into a ”winner’s room“ within the hall. ”I heard a lot of talented people sing, but not very many at all got selected,“ she said.

Idol producers said auditions would be fierce this year but wouldn’t say how many people were invited to the second round. Geisel estimated that 40 to 50 had been chosen out of a couple thousand as of 1 p.m.

Those who did get the coveted invitation to return in September were nowhere to be seen. They were sequestered inside, auditioners said.

“American Stupid Idol’?

Although he still had a few hours until he faced producers who would decide his American Idol fate, first-time auditioner Kimarland Finnell, 22, of Cincinnati expressed frustration with the selection process. He said he had heard people he thought were talented and who he thought should have been passed through to the second round be rejected in lieu of people who he thought were only there for ”attention.“

”It’s unbelievable how much talent they’re letting go,“ he said. ”It’s like, “How good do you have to be to be the American Idol?’ They picked this guy in a turtle suit with white hair over people with real talent. This isn’t America’s Stupid Idol.

After leaving Freedom Hall, Josh Wheeker, 19, of Dayton, Ohio, said the producers ”said they were tight on slips this year.“ He sang You’ll Never Walk Alone, but was not picked to continue.

Unwanted, undeterred

By a fountain outside Freedom Hall, Mike Ross wandered around with his guitar and tried to stay positive.

”I’m pretty pumped,“ he said. ”I didn’t get any sleep, but the atmosphere is second to none. It’s like Woodstock without the drugs. If you sing with your heart and soul, you should be fine. I’ll be singing like it’s my last time ever.“

At 4 p.m. Idol publicity assistant Alex Gillespie said auditions were running smoothly and should wrap by early evening.

Just before 8 p.m., Ross sang for the judges sans guitar, and like so many others before him was cut loose.

”It’s not a big deal,“ he said. ”You can’t have one person tell you whether you’re good or not and just quit. I’m not too worried about it. Most big-time artists wouldn’t pass those auditions because they’re not pure singers. That’s just the facts of life.“

Carter got the same news. Undeterred, he said he plans to audition in Kansas City, Mo., on Aug. 8. He said he had a great experience, but it just wasn’t his day.

”It is not just about how good you sing, but having the right producer to hear you,“ he said. ”Basically being in the right place at the right time.“

Share:
  • email
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Fark
  • NewsVine
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Print
5,121 views
  • Heraldleaderphoto.com

Comments

20 Responses to “American Idol, Kentucky style”
  1. Tim Mc. says:

    fun stuff miss spence…

  2. Kelly mack..... says:

    funny. good idea having them sing old ky home

  3. Destinie says:

    Hey me again this is still awesome

  4. john says:

    I can’t believe that the Craig Allen Carter guy didn’t get picked! He was awesome and full of personality and obviously had a great singing voice!

  5. Summer says:

    I missed all of the excitement this year in the ville cause i had surgery but mayby ill get to audition one of these days

  6. Vernon says:

    i made it to the 3rd round i’m the 1 beat boxing in the video don’t believe me myspace.com/king_joffy_jafar

  7. cwxwwwxdfvwwxwx says:

    well, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch ;)

  8. Wink says:

    Tonight at 8:00 on Fox, Louisville makes it’s debut performance on American Idol. In celebration of this momentous occasion I present to you some of the most hilarious and flat-out terrible auditions in American Idol history.

    Will the Derby City have anyone the caliber of hilariousness as Red (3rd video), who busts out his own rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody? Will Edgar Sosa audition and refuse to give up the mic and then drop it off his foot? Come back tomorrow morning to find out, as the Pinkie pulls a Simon Cowell and breaks down the Ville’s new-found celebrities who squaded up and hit the big time.

    http://www.straitpinkie.com/hilariousness/the-derby-citys-american-idol-auditions-air-tonight-at-800-on-fox/

  9. William says:

    Don’t y’all know that in the south people say “be careful” like some people say “be good” or “see you later”. It’s not a threat you dingbats!

  10. Dianne says:

    Here, Here, William! I found myself talking out loud to the judges! My good bye is almost always, “Luv you and be careful”. Just shows that the folks here in the south care about each other. I’m from far west KY and “be careful” is part of most everybody’s parting words! I was just flabbergasted that anyone would consider it a threat. Yanks!

  11. Hi there, constantly i used to check website
    posts here early in the dawn, since i enjoy to learn more and more.

  12. grzqnakmf says:

    7 of 10 moncler outlet Singer to guest on Empire q Cheap NBA Jerseys
    鈥淢y cousin was cut into two pieces by a tank fighting for freedom for Kurdistan and that had a very huge impact on me, I have very bad memories about it. Ugg Outlet The USOC has until Sept. 15 to submit its proposed host city to the International Olympic Committee, which makes the ultimate decision on where the 2024 Olympics will be held.
    “The City Council vote for annexation is a vote for increased services in all parts of the city; including more police officers and fire protection,聽 more street repair and maintenance and more park improvements. Annexation benefits the entire city and positions Omaha for a strong future.聽 Thank you to the Omaha City Council members who voted to support our plan, and the additional services we can now provide to all citizens.” 聽 canada goose jacket The fifth-year senior will primarily compete with Tretter, a fourth-round pick from 2013. Tretter did not play a single snap because of an injured ankle and will have to prove he can handle the responsibility of playing in front of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. e Uggs For Women
    “MY first game back after being out for so long with injury was Oldham away in 1993. That was like my second debut. Aye, it wasn鈥檛 a bad game to come back for. I didn鈥檛 plan it like that! Uggs Outlet He is a different type of leader, Schwarz said. He calls it as it is. And he’ll tell you when you mess up sometimes including me.
    j A simple Google search for “Drew Tuazama” will bring up numerous articles about his backboard-breaking dunk, and he says the attention has poured in on social media. FLASHBACK nike air jordans He said: 鈥淚 played the Royal Hall in 1970 when I was 19 in a Beethoven bicentenary concert with John Lill. Harrogate has great venues and a great musical tradition. You know you’re going to get a good audience of people who follow classical music and are very warm and appreciative.鈥?moncler online outlet
    While England didn鈥檛 get the result they wanted, Sunday鈥檚 game will hopefully increase interest in the women鈥檚 game. Coach purses The Peppercorn class A1 Tornado was named at York Station by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on February 19 鈥?days before the engine made its first journey from York to Edinburgh, http://www.cheapchinajerseysnfl.us.org
    By MIKE STOBBE | AP Medical Writer http://www.AtlantaFalconsJersey.us.com ANOTHER day, another announcement of a new hotel. But does Adelaide have too many? Can the city sustain it? v Michael Kors
    鈥淥ther than the Ofsted successes, I would say the Hitachi agreement is probably my biggest achievement since being here, and it鈥檚 going really well. michael kors bags Imagine, then, how it looks when you open your browser onthe first day ofthe Winter Olympics andyou see hundreds upon hundreds ofarticles byinternational journalists reporting on: themass execution ofstray dogs inSochi; thetoilets that don’t work; thewater that is brackish; theparks that have been destroyed; thehomes andlives disrupted; thenearby towns destroyed; thebusinesses andland stolen fromlocal entrepreneurs andresidents; thepresence ofAmerican warships inthe Black Sea toevacuate Americans inthe event ofa terrorist act; thedemonstrable dangers ofcyber attacks andidentity theft ofanyone daring touse aphone or computer; thelack ofworking doorknobs andlightbulbs inhotels; theone anda half meter (five-foot) beds intended forathletes standing two meters (six feet, four inches) tall; manhole covers missing over sewage systems beneath hastily-built sidewalks; theunconscionably outrageous cost ofthe Olympic games (approximately $51 billion). Most ofthese genuine horrors are covered insome detail ina byABC News, a onNBC News, andan inthe New York Daily News.
    Obama said in a speech to the American University in Washington last week, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support. http://www.AtlantaFalconsJersey.us.com Kids with cancer get futuristic fertility chance; experimental tissue-freezing even for babiesKids with cancer get futuristic fertility chance; experimental tissue-freezing even for babiesPolice make more than a dozen arrests during Ferguson protest after crowd blocks trafficPolice make more than a dozen arrests during Ferguson protest after crowd blocks trafficThe Latest on Ferguson: Arrests made after protesters block traffic on West Florissant AvenueThe Latest on Ferguson: Arrests made after protesters block traffic on West Florissant AvenueShots fired at protest to mark 1-year anniversary of Michael Brown s death in FergusonShots fired at protest to mark 1-year anniversary of Michael Brown s death in FergusonKentucky school district says school officer who handcuffed 8-year-old heeded restraint policyKentucky school district says school officer who handcuffed 8-year-old heeded restraint policySurprise ending at end of Colorado theater shooting trial: James Holmes gets lifeSurprise ending at end of Colorado theater shooting trial: James Holmes gets lifeSurprise ending at end of Colorado theater shooting trial: James Holmes gets lifeSurprise ending at end of Colorado theater shooting trial: James Holmes gets lifeColorado theater shooter to spend life behind bars after jury fails to agree on death penaltyColorado theater shooter to spend life behind bars after jury fails to agree on death penaltyGame on! After raucous debate, GOP s rowdy field of White House candidates heads back to workGame on! After raucous debate, GOP s rowdy field of White House candidates heads back to workGame on! After raucous debate, GOP s rowdy field of White House candidates heads back to workGame on! After raucous debate, GOP s rowdy field of White House candidates heads back to work
    Schwarz, who pitched at La Crosse, knows a thing or two about the relationship between pitcher and catcher. In 2002 he pitched in a school-record 19 games and finished 2-1 with seven saves. Michael Kors Outlet Former governor Tommy G. Thompson said Monday that he would not second-guess Gov. Scott Walker for taking steps to greatly limit collective bargaining for most public employees.
    The next wholesale seasonal menu changeover is due at the end of March, with other seasonal plates offered as specials on Saturdays. This young restaurant has plans to grow, with thoughts of expanding hours and the patio for summer and perhaps adding an outdoor bar, with occasional live music and regular Door County-style fish boils. air jordan shoes Investigators were sifting through evidence, including 18 or 19 videos seized so far, said Kasur district regional police chief Shahzad Sultan.
    f 鈥淚 know how to play with pressure,鈥?he said. 鈥淎nderlecht and Partizan are the biggest clubs in Belgium and Serbia and I know I鈥檓 going to have pressure for sure here. But I like to play with pressure, that鈥檚 what I can say.鈥?canada goose sale Wellington was an ultra-Tory. He knew that Goderich鈥檚 government wouldn鈥檛 last long. He knew that if he could win enough votes, he could become Prime Minister. So he began touring the country, ostensibly meeting the people who wanted to thank him for his heroic military career, but also collecting votes for his prime ministerial push.
    Klisch said the ginger addition was a response to the growth in ciders. Coach Factory Outlet The current Gay celebration is an attack on western values. There is the inevitable attack on the traditional family which is without question the foundation of the Gay agenda. It goes on every day, every hour in America. j Michael Kors Outlet
    Martin Harper, director of conservation at the RSPB, said: 鈥淥ur uplands are amongst our most precious habitats in Britain and home to important wildlife. However, many of our uplands are in poor condition, due to intensive land management practices. Cheap Uggs Mequon – By her ever-increasing standards, Saturday was an average day for Milwaukee King’s Sydnee Matthew.
    m Darrell Monroe, sr., Caruthersville http://www.coachoutletstoreonline.me Mr Abrahams added that the recovered drugs would carry an estimated potential value in street sales of between 拢1,860 and 拢2,280. x
    Strange that no one has yet mentioned the new admin and maintenance facility to be built by E.ON for the Rampion wind farm … as I understand it E.ON are preparing to renovate / rebuild substantial tracts of the port area and bring a number of new direct and indirect jobs to the area. Also, everyone keeps mentioning waste transfer sites… has this been confirmed or has the waste plan simply identified an area (amongst others in East Sussex) for potential waste use but with no specific activity determined as yet? discount oakley sunglasses To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 175C/Gas 4, and line a 12-hole deep muffin tin with paper muffin cases. oakley sunglasses
    NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) – Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Among the falling non-tech stocks, Fubon Financial Holding Co. (瀵岄偊閲? dropped 2.41 percent to close at NT$56.80, food maker Uni-President Enterprises Corp. (绲变竴) shed 2.70 percent to end at NT$54.00, and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. (鍗椾簽濉? lost 3.44 percent to finish at NT$61.80. o michael kors outlet online
    “It hasn’t really sunk in, to be honest. Everyone is very upset. It’s happened and we’ve all got to get on. http://www.coachoutletstoreonline.me Perhaps some of these items, such as the raise for the PSC chairwoman, are warranted. But they don’t belong in the budget.
    Two witnesses told Fox 5 they saw a man rescue a girl stuck on a fire escape. http://www.cheapnfljerseys.site There’s still much to do in Sierra Leone, I don’t want to sound complacent for one moment, but if things continue to go well we hope that in the autumn we might be able to have a joint homecoming parade the military, DFID and the NGOs all marching collectively into parliament to be thanked, and I think that would set a wonderful example. It’s safe to say that MSF is not likely to be joining that parade. b canada goose jackets outlet
    Injustice. air jordan shoes Micro credit fuels dreams in rural China 14:39 May 03

  13. LoreGCueto says:

    Hi! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone
    3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading through your
    blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

    Have a look at my weblog; LoreGCueto

  14. wow ! i have seen your wonderful article . this is a very interested and useful article. I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging .

Trackbacks

Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. [...] Idol contestant Phil Stacey is blogging exclusively for LexGo.com. Also, take a look back at our video and story from the Louisville auditions, and watch Sunday for our Idol preview in the Herald-Leader and at [...]

  2. [...] while you’re at it, check out our video from the Louisville auditions. This entry was written by scottshive, posted on January 15, 2009 at 2:52 pm, filed under [...]

  3. [...] Alexis Grace of Memphis, who was featured in our Idol video in July, got her ticket with a belty, soulful rendition of Aretha Franklin’s Dr. Feelgood. And [...]

  4. [...] a voice, which Alexis surely has. (We humbly remind you your first chance to see Alexis was in our Louisville audition video.) Now I’m off to my guitar, because that Memphis singer made me want to play some [...]

  5. [...] Week in Pictures features a rapping minister, American Idol auditions in Louisville, middle-schoolers on a downtown challenge, more of Main Street falling to the wrecker’s ball, a [...]

  6. [...] take another look at our Louisville video, featuring Alexis [...]



Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!