Auditions for Season 11 of the TV sensation American Idol arrived last Saturday at the Rose Garden Arena. Students from Portland State joined the masses waiting in line before daylight that morning.
Auditions for Season 11 of the TV sensation American Idol arrived last Saturday at the Rose Garden Arena. Students from Portland State joined the masses waiting in line before daylight that morning. The seats inside the arena were packed with Idolhopefuls and their friends and family members.
Kaitlyn McAllister, who graduated in June from Henley High School in Klamath Falls and plans to attend PSU in September, traveled to Portland with her mother.
Despite her memories of previous years’ rejections by the judges in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, she felt relaxed.
“I was a little disappointed when they passed me up again,” McAllister said. She plans to continue trying out. “My mother is really supportive. She’d travel the world for me.”
Sena Garbon, a Theatre Arts major at PSU who begins classes this fall, auditioned in front of two show producers.
“It was fun to see how it all worked,” she said. “I’m not devastated, but if I’d gotten through I would have looked forward to the judges’ feedback.”
A 2011 graduate of the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, Garbon claimed that the auditions were more chaotic and disorganized than other tryouts she’s attended. She plans on performing in PSU musical theatre productions.
Current PSU students also showed up for the auditions. Among them was Alan Smith, a graduate student earning a master’s in music performance.
Smith most recently played the lead role in the Opera Department’s production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, but he opted to sing a Beatles’ song for his audition.
“People always ask me why I haven’t tried out for American Idol, and I say that I would if auditions came closer,” he said. “This is as close as it gets.”
Though he wasn’t asked to stay for callbacks, Smith said it was fun to do once, adding, “It was a long wait for not much.”
Smith and others spoke of the day’s behind-the-scenes happenings.
“All the producers gathered for a meeting about halfway through the auditions,” Smith said. “But we had no idea what for.”
McAllister described the morning events. After the contestants— who’d been asked to show up at 5 a.m. that morning—filed into the arena, everyone joined in a group song before Ryan Seacrest came out.
Smith said Seacrest “pepped everyone up” and was shaking hands and posing for photos. Smith also said that the crew claimed it had no quota to fill.
Lisa Huggler graduated from PSU with a degree in Arts and Letters in 2009 and auditioned before a panel of two producers.
“I figured, it was here, so why not try it?” she said.
She explained the audition procedure: contestants, grouped in fours, were asked to step forward one by one and sing a short snippet of a song.
Huggler was surprised at the lack of outlandish Portlanders “keeping it weird” at the auditions.
“There weren’t many costumed people in there,” Huggler said.
McAllister, Garbon, Smith and Huggler reported seeing a lot of good singers being passed up and attributed many rejections to the producers’ claims that they were looking for something different this season. ?