By Madeline Wells
On Sept. 1, hundreds of hopeful Tulsans lined up at the Guthrie Green for their chance to audition for “American Idol.” Songs by The Beatles, John Mayer, “Phantom of the Opera,” Whitney Houston and Beyonce were just a few of the many different styles that were represented by Tulsa singers.
American Idol is currently auditioning contestants for its 16th season. The popular singing competition first premiered in America in 2002 and quickly became the most watched show on U.S. television.
The TV show encouraged viewers to vote for their favorite contestants, creating a unique show with a large following.
The 15th season of American Idol was supposed to be the finale, however ABC announced that the program would return for another season in 2017-2018.
The auditions that took place in Tulsa were the first of three rounds of cuts. The initial auditions took place at the Guthrie Green from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tents set up by American Idol hosted judges as contestants approached in groups to sing. Each singer had roughly 15-30 seconds to impress the judges.
From there, the contestants either received a golden ticket and moved on, or were rejected. The winners of golden tickets went to a secluded area for interviews with the producers of the shows.
Each contestant filmed a short video that would be sent off to producers in Hollywood. Now the winners will wait to hear if they make it to the next round of auditions.
“I was disappointed in how my voice sounded,” said Ausha Edwards, 21. “I was nervous. But my best friend Kara got picked.”
Ben Glaze from Enid, received a golden ticket after performing an original song on his guitar.
“I sound like a mixture of Ed Sheeran and One Direction,” said Glaze. “I definitely have my own sound.”
Glaze has been singing since he was two years old thanks to the encouragement from his mother.
“She says she’s my manager,” laughed Glaze.
Glaze is not sure if he will win the whole competition, but hopes to get far enough for some exposure.
“I’d like to be able to financially support my family with my talent.”
While American Idol was unable to comment, it was rumored that the judges would select 80 people from the Tulsa area for the first round of auditions.
The new age restrictions tapered off some talented singers while also giving younger performers a chance to audition.
A very talented singer and musician, Ali Conde, 15, was disappointed she did not qualify.
“It was a good experience,” said Conde.
The audition gave Conde a glimpse of her competition and inspired her to continue to follow her dreams.
Tulsa and the surrounding areas were well represented at the “American Idol” auditions.
There is a good chance the winner will be from Oklahoma in the upcoming season of “American Idol.“