Thousands Line Up for 'Idol' Auditions
By ALLISON HOFFMAN Associated Press Writer
SAN DIEGO Jul 30, 2007 (AP)
Thousands of people hoping to be the next Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson or even Sanjaya lined up outside Qualcomm Stadium on Monday as auditions for the seventh season of "American Idol" began.
Some brought makeup kits, Starbucks cups filled with throat-clearing salt water and even karaoke machines. Others came before dawn, armed with sleeping bags and pillows.
"Why wouldn't I get here early? My No. 1 goal is to be on the program," said Lonnie Beatty, 20, who spent the night on a trolley platform just outside the stadium grounds in order to be one of the first in line.
A publicist for the show said 12,000 people showed up for their chance at stardom.
John Edward Carey, 27, was one of the lucky few rewarded with a ticket to the second round of tryouts.
The custom guitar builder and post-punk rocker from Van Nuys, near Los Angeles, made it to the final 25 last year on his first outing and said he decided to give it another shot after dropping 35 pounds and getting an encouraging e-mail from a producer.
"Last year I thought, 'I want to make it to the top 50,' and I did," Carey said after his tryout. "This year I want to make it to the top 10. This year I want to win it!"
His wife, Annie, said she pushed her husband to audition after listening to him criticize contestants on the show.
"He kept saying, 'I can sing better than that,'" she said. "So finally I just said, 'Fine, you go audition and stop interrupting my show!'"