Sunday, June 17, 2012

If you experience extra traffic or difficulty finding parking in Uptown Charlotte over the next couple of days, it's for one reason: American Idol. Charlotte is the third of seven cities to host auditions for American Idol Season 12; the others being Los Angeles, San Antonio, Newark, Chicago, New Orleans, and Oklahoma City. So with Charlotte being the only Southeastern city, you can expect singers to travel from several surrounding states. I'm predicting here and now that the next American Idol winner will come from these Charlotte auditions, even though we'll have to wait until January before the season begins airing. Registration for Season 12 auditions, which is required to participate, is taking place today and tomorrow (Sunday, June 17 and Monday, June 18) at Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St., and the auditions are being held Tuesday.

An Idol hopeful displays his badge of honor after traveling to Charlotte to audition. 

Local news outlets are reporting that lines began forming outside the arena at four o'clock this morning (The Charlotte Observer, WBTV, WCNC, News14). Even though there are more than a dozen talent and singing shows on major television networks, Idol continues to attract some of the largest crowds for their auditions. American Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery will join Ryan Seacrest in greeting this year's hopefuls on Tuesday. McCreery is a native of Garner, North Carolina near Raleigh.

North Carolina and Charlotte have several ties to Idol over the years. Raleigh native Clay Aiken was a student at UNC Charlotte when he auditioned for Season 2, eventually finishing second and becoming one of the most commercially successful Idol contestants. Fantasia Barrino was an unknown 20-year-old from High Point when she went on to win Season 3 of Idol in 2004. Soon after she moved to Charlotte, where she continues to reside. There have been several other North Carolinians who have become Idol finalists, like Chris Daughtry. And more recently there was Brittany Kerr, the Charlotte Bobcats dancer (Lady Cats), who made it to the Hollywood rounds of Idol last season. She auditioned in Savannah last year, which aired this past January, and now auditions are taking place on her home court. Though it appears that based on her recent Twitter posts that she's not trying out for the Lady Cats this year (auditions were held yesterday)--perhaps she's moving on to pursue her signing aspirations.

Back in 2008, I lobbied for American Idol to hold auditions in Charlotte--and by that I mean I wrote a blog post. It's nice to see they finally listened, and this week the Queen City is holding auditions for the first time ever.


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