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First round of 'Idol' auditions gets under way

First round of 'Idol' auditions gets under way



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It's happening right now. The cameras are rolling, and the singers are out in force at the EnergySolutions Arena for the first part of the audition process for "American Idol." So, how is Salt Lake City going to sound when the show airs?

Even before the auditions, the singers were auditioning for the news crews.

Some of them seemed ready to go, like Sarah Beth Tidwell and her friends from Salem, Utah. She plans to wow the producers with her version of "Fever" from Peggy Lee.

Others, well, they tried to hit the right notes.

One reason for some of the bad notes: nerves. One woman stated simply, "I'm nervous as hell." Another told me, "I'd better go home and sing in front of my family and friends to get over it."

For as nervous as some of these Idol hopefuls are, some of them don't seem very prepared. People who registered early in the process seemed to have their plans together, but many people who registered late said they hadn't decided what they were going to sing.

One singer said, "I'm still kind of deciding on that." Another said, "I've got a few ideas." Yet another said, "I have not even decided what I'm singing. I have no idea."

One man told me he was feeling sick, so he'd have to hear how his voice sounded before he decided what to audition with. He's not sure if he's "going to keep it deep and raspy and sexy, or if I'm going to go a little nutty with it." So, he should rehearse songs from either Barry White or the Bee Gees.

Some people might not know what they'll perform in their one-on-one audition, but there's one song a lot of people know they'll sing, and that's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Some singers tell me that's the song they were told to learn for group scenes, although Idol officials say there may be more than just that one.

Some people might not be thinking of this as a singing competition. I asked one young man if he was a singer, and he said no. "I'm actually a lyricist, but I do analytical rhymes and poetry." He said he could sing if he had the right people guiding him, but I've never seen the judges go for something like that before.

There were a few people that were turned away at the registration desk. A man named Dan didn't know 28 is the age limit. He's 45.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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Paul Nelson

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