American Idol Auditions Started

| September 13, 2015

Keith IdolThe final season of American Idol may not begin until January, but auditions have already begun around the country.  Idol judge and this week’s co-host Keith Urban told Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton that he enjoys the audition process:

“The audition cities I love.  We’re not restricted to time. We can just chat and ham it up, and the stuff Harry (Connick Jr.) comes up with is insane.  They edit half of it out.  I wish people could see more of that.  It makes those days really fun.  We usually spend two days in the audition cities, and we see about 70 people over two days.  Hollywood week is the most grueling part, because it’s five days doing huge amounts of people coming in and you have to make drastic cuts.  ”

How much time does each contestant get? “It varies, because we might ask them to sing another song.  They may only do a minute of a song.  I find that the ones who sing country in particular sound so derivative of a country singer.  It’s almost a stereotypical country accent when they sing, it’s so thick, it’s hard to hear their voice.  So I ask them to sing another song, or even Happy Birthday, so they can’t copy anybody and I can hear their voice.”

This is your third season as a judge, so what have you learned after seeing all these contestants? “Standing out is such a rare thing, and it’s not just about having a great voice.  The ones I find the hardest are the ones who sing lovely, they’re photogenic, their pitch is great, and there’s nothing memorable about them. So I don’t know how to help them.  I can’t say ‘You’re not memorable,’ because how can you work on that? They just don’t have anything special.  That’s the hardest person to critique I find.”

The 15th and final season of American Idol will begin airing in January on Fox TV.


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