Season after season, I watch American Idol and ask the same question: Who really listens to those 10,000 folks packed into stadiums hoping to become the next big thing?
Here’s a great piece at the Daily Beast that explains the myths and realities of auditioning for American Idol.
Turns out those auditions happen over months, with the stadium-filled cattle calls being whittled down through several auditions before producers and other judges before contestants are selected to audition before Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, and Kara DioGuardi (and guest judge du jour).
And those bad singers who make it through? They’re selected for entertainment value, apparently.
The Daily Beast writer Richard Rushfield explains:

“Having gone through the scouts and the producers, and traveled three times to do so, when the contestants ultimately are to appear before the judges on camera, a producer announces to the assembled: ‘Some of you are here because you are really good. Some of you are here because you are really bad.’ (Whether anyone who is terrible realizes that the disclaimer applies to him or her is another question.)”

So are the contestants who leave in tears and cursing getting the boot in early rounds? Or after they suffer the wrath of Simon after realizing that yes, they were the ones the really bad ones producer was talking about?
You can read more about Season 9 auditions in these Gospel Soundcheck blog posts:
American Idol contestant Justin Williams was also a Season 8 contestant
Boston Auditions – blogging live play-by-play
Boston Auditions – recap
Atlanta audtions – Blogging live play-by-play
Auditions Recap – Vanessa Wolf, Jermaine Sellers, Holly Harden, Miriam Lemnouni, Noel Reese, and Pants on the Ground

Chicago auditions – Blogging live
American Idol Season 9 Chicago auditions recap – Angela Martin, Charity Vance, Katelyn Epperly, John Park and boob boxing
American Idol Season 9 Los Angeles auditions – Blogging live!
American Idol Season 9 Dallas auditions – Blogging live!
American Idol Season 9 Spoiler Alert: Is this the Top 24?
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