SAN JOSE, Calif.,—Auditions for American Idol opened last Friday at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. This is the producer round.
Participants must be 15-28 years old and a legal U.S. citizen to qualify (PDF). Those who pass will receive a yellow paper, representing the golden ticket, and proceed to the next round.
For some, it is their first time participating.
“I was very hesitant at first, but then my mom, she actually convinced me to like come, step out of my box and try,” said Aaliyah Lopez, 16, from San Jose.
“I’m not used to singing in front of people, so it’s like, this is sort of new to me,” said Mariah Cativo, 21, from San Francisco. “If I don’t make it, it’s ok. I’m here for the experience.”
They came from near and far. And their reasons for singing come from the heart.
“I’ve been watching American Idol since I was seven,” said Jessica Almedia, 24, from Pleasanton.
“[At] six years old I was singing in my room, and in the shower and stuff,” said Kevin Mosca, 19, from Gilroy. “My grandmother was super into old Frank Sinatra music and from my Italian background. It started with those old-school songs then kind of move more towards my songwriting, and stuff like that.
“I’ve just sung in choirs and wherever I can, and so that’s kind of blossomed into what it is now. And I’d like to continue,” said Eliza Davidson, 25, from Morgan Hill.
“I just have a deep love for music, I always have. And actually, my cousin told me that I should audition. He kind of motivated me, so it’s kind of like a push to be here as well,” said Julian Torres, 21, from San Jose.
Each took their own unique approach.
“I’ll be doing some singing, rapping, mixing a little bit of Korean,” said Digital Dav, 24, from Los Angeles. “I want to try it out, because it will be a great opportunity for me.”
“It was really fun. I got to go up, I sang a little bit. He had me sing a second song. It was really chill, he was super nice,” said Casey Bagdan, 16, from Cupertino. “One of them I sang, was a song that I wrote for my friend when she moved.”
Winners will not be announced yet, and the auditions will make its way around the country throughout the month.