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American Idol Invades Gillette Stadium

The chances may have been one in a million but those waiting in the pouring rain for a 30 second audition didn’t seem to care.

Friday morning, American Idol held auditions for their 13th season to air next year. With singers coming from places as close as Canton and as far as Georgia for a shot at fame, nothing was certain for the 4,100 people auditioning on the Gillette Stadium field.

For those expecting to see the judges, there are still a few rounds to go and a few judges to select. So far, only Keith Urban as signed on to be a judge for the upcoming season.

Registration was held the day before the auditions though the morning of the next day. With the stadium gates not opening until 8 a.m., some hopeful singers were outside waiting to get into the stadium as early as 4 a.m.

Before the contestants were let into the building, about an hour of promo shots were done for commercials and extra footage to be used for the Boston episode of the show. Taking place on the steps near the entrance of the stadium, producers found every way to get the crowd to cheer, scream, and even take part in a sing-a-long of Jackie Wilson’s (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.

After the gates opened, the hopeful idols waited in the stands until they were given their chance to go on the field and have a brief audition for the show's producers. While some were given the piece of paper resembling a golden ticket that sent performers to the next round, others were shown a quick exit.

“You got to step up in there and go right into your song, a song that can connect,” longtime American Idol host Ryan Seacrest told reporters during the auditions.

While many that did not make it showed anger and emotion towards the cameras asking about the auditions right outside the stadium, most were happy just to have the chance test their musical skills for the show.

“It’s been amazing. Even if I didn’t make it, the experience was still amazing and I met so many great people,” Matthew Thomas of Punxsutawney, PA said.

Those who made it past the audition round however, were mostly quiet about their achievement. Most of the singers that moved on to the next round preferred to remain anonymous, only discussing how great the experience was.

For many, it wasn’t necessarily about getting to that next round but rather about having the experience for the sake of having the experience. 

“It’s what they call the Idol Experience. People want to come out here to be part of their favorite show,” senior supervising producer Patrick Lynn said.

One person from Canton said she already attended the Pittsburgh audition and wanted to try again closer to home, participating just for the experience and that small chance at glory.

A contestant from Blackwood, NJ named T.J. Young agreed with that sentiment while waiting to get into the stadium. 

“It’s a great experience even if I don’t make it, I’ll have fun,” Young said.

The lucky few that moved on to the next round will return to the area on a later date.

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