I probably could have found a way to sneak inside but having seen it before, I figured it wasn’t much different this time around.
According to folks who did try out, they set up 14 tables along the football field from endzone to endzone. They brought people up to each table in groups of four. The winners exited one side, everybody else the other. The folks who didn’t make it had their pink wristbands ceremoniously snipped before leaving via the “stairs of shame” outside Gate E of the Dome. Many of the rejected trudged up the stairs like they had just been through a world war.
Carl Lubbe, 28, a Roswell singer with the band Taveren, didn’t get past round one after coming by for “kicks and giggles.” He estimated how many people funneled people through the first hour based on the pacing and the number of tables. He calculated “Idol” first-round judges heard at least 800 people and passed through maybe 10. The Dome audience would cheer everytime someone got the ticket to move on.
I watched traffic up the winner’s stairs off Gate E this morning and maybe 15 to 20 people were getting by per hour. Given the number of people wanting to try out, they will likely be going into the evening.
Joe Arnotti a preppy-looking dude from Marietta who sang for us earlier that morning (see video below), failed to make the cut after trying “My Girl.” “I didn’t make it, but whatever,” he said, with a shrug.
But Holly Hardin of Rockmart made it past the first round. She will come back tomorrow and go through two or three more rounds before she has a shot to sing before Simon, Randy, Kara and Paula at some later date. Here’s the video of her singing for us today:
She told media facetiously that she figured 49% of the reason why she made it past the first round was her guitar costume, which she wore on Halloween and purchased for $50. (Interestingly, not that many people were wearing outrageous costumes today.)
Here’s Holly when she performed last year on “America’s Got Talent.”:
Krissa Quill, a 29-year-old Atlanta bartender at Halo and Dantana’s who won a contest through Q100, also made it through the first round. “I think Q100 helped me,” she said. She said this was her third (and presumably last, given her age) time she was giving “Idol” a shot.
Erica Cowans of Tucker, 26, also made that early cut. She said she tried “Summertime” (the song Fantasia made famous), then was asked to do something else. To show her versatility, she did Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved.” That worked. This was her second time to try out but she felt she was too timid the last time. “This time, I really wanted it,” she said.
My guess is 150 to 200 people will make it out of the 10,000 or so this first day. From there, the producers will pare that down to 50 to 100 people for the TV judges to check out.