“American Idol” hasn’t had much to cheer about the past year. Lackluster contestants and declining ratings don’t make great press releases.
But the show released one yesterday touting the 26,000 people who showed up for auditions in Nashville (16,000, see photo to the right) and Milwaukee (10,000). Last year, a bit more than 9,000 showed up to Atlanta.
“The numbers of people turning up to the American Idol auditions in Nashville and Milwaukee have been incredible,” said show creator Simon Fuller, in a release. “These attendance figures are significantly up on the last few years, and there is clearly renewed excitement and interest in the show, which is great to see.”
Perhaps the change in age requirement to 15 from 16 drew more people. (The upper end remains 28.) The show producers are now readying New Orleans as the next audition site for season ten.
The judges – Randy Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi and a person to be named later – are expected to show up at the respective cities in September once these thousands of contestants are pared to a few hundred.
As I’ve noted earlier, I’m not sure if these are actually numbers of people who try out or were the number of people who showed up, including friends and family.