July 24

Arena hosts 'American Idol' auditions on Friday


By: Meghan Kotowski

Published: July 24, 2013

DULUTH —Finish up your vocal lessons and find your favorite tune because you have the chance to audition for “American Idol” on Friday morning at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Organizers expect between 3,000 to 4,000 people to audition.

“We haven’t been to Atlanta in a while, but the South has a good turnout,” Producer Patrick Lynn said. “Gwinnett is a place where we’ve done the ‘American Idol’ LIVE! tour before. I knew this place. It’s got a fresh look, so I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

All contestants needed to register by Thursday to audition. Participants should come to the venue and register during designated times on the one registration day prior to the audition day. It may also be possible to register early on Friday. However, if you wait until the audition day to register, you will be one of the last people to register and there may not be any room.

Once registered, the competitors are given a wristband and seating ticket, then asked to return the next day — and no one can camp overnight at the venue. Contestants and their guests will sit inside the Arena during the auditions. Registration does not guarantee an opportunity to audition, but Lynn is confident that the staff will be able to go through everyone.

“If you’re first in line, a few hours — last in line, all day,” he said, “We really try to get through it fast. Maybe they’ll watch enough to learn something. You’re close enough that you’ll hear the others.”

On Friday, there won’t be any celebrity judges at the Arena — just senior producers who have worked on the show for several years. With so much experience in one place, the group can whittle the competition down for round two.

“We want good talent,” Lynn said. “The fun talent is a by-product of the whole thing. We want good singers with good personalities and stories.

“The biggest mistake is being nervous. Don’t audition with your hands in your pockets. If you’re nervous in front of strangers at a card table, you won’t make it.”

There will be one celebrity on site: Ryan Seacrest. He’ll be hanging out with the crowd, keeping the competitors pumped.

“I’m usually out there doing the cheer stuff,” Lynn said. “When Ryan comes out, they go bonkers for him. Even in Detroit — cameras came flying out. Everyone wants to be with Ryan.”

Gwinnett is one of six locations hosting auditions for Season 13 of popular reality-singing television competition on Fox.

Registration and audition rules can be found at gwinnettcenter.com or americanidol.com. There will be no taping of the auditions on Friday, but the crowd’s reaction to Seacrest may be recorded for future use.

Last season, Suwanee resident and North Gwinnett High student Alexa Gilomen advanced to Hollywood on the show, while Collins Hill High graduate Matheus Fernandes was also a featured participant.