Idol Fancy

Friday, August 17, 2012 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Bowling Green, KY 

Last night we were chatting with cousin Alison, who lives in Tennessee.  Having no idea where we were, she mentioned that her son Kyle would be auditioning for American Idol in Bowling Green today.  "Guess where we are!"  I exclaimed.
So today, after our appointment to deliver some letterboxes to the delightful Katie at the National Corvette Museum, we headed to downtown's Fountain Square Park.  Bowling Green is the sixth of ten cities on the new "American Idol Small Town Audition Bus Tour," designed to give hopefuls who can't make it to one of the large audition cities a chance to try out.  The celebrity judges aren't participating, but producers weed through the talent and identify a select few to move on to the next next round of the audition process.  Hopefuls line up in front of the judges and each sings in turn (pictured above, cousin Kyle on the right).
As we drove up to the square, trying to assess the situation and figure out how we might find Kyle among the throngs collected there, we were about to make a wrong-way turn onto a one-way street when an affable gentleman walked up to our car with a smile and asked if he could help us find something.  Who would know better where to turn?  Our helpful traffic guide turned out to be none other than Bowling Green mayor, Bruce Wilkerson.
American Idol hopefuls
After Mayor Wilkerson helped us avoid trouble, we found a place to park and returned to the square, walking along the line of hopefuls snaking up the street and around the square in serpentine fashion, doubting if we'd ever find Kyle.  Just as we were about to give up, Ken spotted him across the park.  By that point Kyle had been in line for five hours and was already inside the restricted area for candidates who had submitted the proper paperwork to be allowed to belt out a song. 

Definitely surprised by our appearance
We wound our way around to a spot within 25 feet of where Kyle was standing and called his name.  His reaction cleared up any doubt we had regarding whether his mother had mentioned to him that we might be there.  Having auditioned before, he hadn't really planned to do so again until a friend who wanted to try out called and asked if he'd like to join her.  Always up for an adventure, he agreed, and they arrived in Bowling Green around 6 a.m.

A chance at a golden ticket
Two tables were set up with two producers at each.  Potential idols were admitted to the audition area and lined up four at a time in front of the producers.  Each contestant was given the chance to sing a cappella a song of his or her choice.  If the producers liked the way a candidate sang, they might ask the person to sing an additional song.  Then all four in the group were asked to come closer to the table for the judging pronouncement.

More than 2,500 young singers auditioned in Bowling Green.  The few contestants that producers liked received a "golden ticket" which will allow them to move on to the next phase at an unannounced date and location, where they will be judged by executive producers of the show.  The lucky handful who make it past that round will go on to see the celebrity judges.

Sadly, Kyle was not among the fortunate ones, nor did he expect to be.  He said that he really just came to support his friend.  Someone in his group of four did receive an invitation to continue to the next round, but the process is so secretive we're not allowed to say which contestant was the golden ticket holder.  Just remember the faces in the photo above.  You may see one of them on your television screen in the near future.

Ken chats with Mayor Wilkerson ("Call me Bruce.")
Ironic sign at one of the businesses around the square