Little Clouds

american idol story
December 10, 2009, 2:20 pm
Filed under: article

Marissa Malouff for the Daily Camera
American Idol Auditions

Locals looking to become the next Carrie Underwood, may have their chance. American Idol is bringing auditions for the show to our backyard, at Invesco Field in Denver on Tuesday, July 14.
The auditions are known to bring thousands of people from all over the region and at least four singers from the Boulder area are participating. A good performance could land them a spot on Season 9 of American Idol.
They’ve also held auditions for next season in Dallas, Los Angeles and Boston. After Denver they’re headed to Chicago, Orlando and Atlanta. The auditions came to Denver once before, in 2005. Ace Young was one of many at the Denver auditions in 2005. Young, a Boulder native, made it to seventh place in the fifth season of American Idol in 2006.
Many, however, do not meet the same fate as Young, as there are two grueling rounds before you get a glimpse of the television judges. First, there is registration. Waiting in line for registration can take all day. Registration for the Denver audition begins on Saturday, July 12.
On the day of the audition, contestants wait in line again to sing in front of producers with two other contestants. Each sing a 15 second piece with no accompaniment. A majority of contestants eliminated in this round. This may seem chaotic, but according to 2005 Denver audition attendee Nicole Walker, it’s not.
Walker said, “It was a little overwhelming, but I was really surprised it was really well organized.”
Producers will also do the second round of judging, however, the setting is more intimate and with a lot less people. Typically, it is a few days after the first audition.
The third round of judging is in front of the four famous judges, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi. Typically, this round only has about 100 to 200 hopefuls per audition city.
The last round, before making it big time on the popular show, is the Hollywood round. All of the contestants from across the country rehearse and compete for a week in Hollywood, CA. After this round, those deemed able to become the next Idol, make it to the show.
While odds aren’t necessarily in their favor, Boulder hopefuls have been working hard to try and make it all the way, practicing, taking vocal lessons, and singing in front of everyone they know. So Simon Cowell be prepared, Boulder is heading your way.

A little bit about some Boulder American Idol hopefuls

Kari Han
Han is a 27-year-old, stay at home mother of two. This is her first time auditioning, and because American Idol only allows people between ages 16-28 to try out, it’s her last chance.

When did she start singing- According to Han, she’s has been singing since she could talk.
Musical Background- Han can read music and can play the piano. She has always loved to sing and performed in musical theater while growing up. She also has a background as a dancer. Her parents were very supportive of her artistic side and put her in theater and dance lessons. Han hopes to be the same way with her kids, and says that she already sees musical potential in her one-year-old daughter. “I swear she keeps a rhythm,” Han said.
How long has she watched American Idol- She has watched the last six seasons.
Favorite Idol Contestant- Allison Ihareta, Ace Young because he was from Boulder and Blake Lewis
Songs She will be performing- “At Last” made famous Etta James and “He’s a Tramp” from Lady and the Tramp.
Musical Inspiration- She loves Britney Spears, despite thinking that she doesn’t have a great voice. Han said, “She embraces that she’s a pop star and a pop tart, I think that’s pretty cool.”
If she won American Idol- She’d want to travel as much as she could, as long as she could bring her kids with her. According to Han, being away from her kids for too long would be a deal breaker.

Nicole Walker
Nicole Walker is a 23-year-old vocal instructor and session vocalist. Walker auditioned for American Idol in 2005.

When did she start singing- She’s sung since she was able to talk. She said, “You can ask my parents, I was always running around the house singing and they’d want me to shut up and I wouldn’t”.
Musical Background- Walker is vocal instructor and a session vocalist. She graduated with a degree in music theory and harmony from the Berkeley School of Music. In high school, Walker was in musicals and in choir all four years. She lettered in Choir.
How long she has watched Idol- She has been a fan of the TV show since its debut.
Favorite Idol Contestant- Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.
Songs she will be performing- “I Told You So” by Carrie Underwood and she is considering singing a song by The Wreckers. She is primarily a country singer . She wanted to choose a song that best showcases her vocal ability.
Musical Inspiration- Walker loves Carrie Underwood.
What she would do if she won American Idol- She just wants a successful music career, being able to sing and make a living doing so. If she doesn’t make it she will keep pursuing her dreams of a musical career.

Courtney Brown
Courtney Brown is a 16-year-old student at Frederick’s High School. She has never tried out for American Idol before.
has been her passion since she was a little girl.
Musical Background- Brown is in choir and drum line at her high school. She knows how to play the snare drum. She’s been in choirs since she was a child. She traveled with the Longmont Children’s Choral to New York City and performed at Carnegie Hall. Her high school choir performed at the Colorado Springs Cavalcade. For two years she was in Frederick Idol, her high school’s version of American Idol, and placed second both years.
How long has she watched Idol- The past two seasons.
Her Favorite Contestant- Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.
Songs she will be performing- “At Last” made famous by Etta James, “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse and “Respect” by Aretha Franklin
Musical Inspiration- Beyonce Knowles, Christina Aguilera and the music of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
If she won American Idol- Brown would be a soul singer if she won Idol. She said, “I want to make people happy with my voice”.

Philip Rubinstein
Philip Rubinstein is a 21-year-old going into his fourth year at CU. He has a double major in philosophy and vocal music. He is in the a capella group Mile 21. He has never auditioned for American Idol.

When did he start singing- In fourth grade he was in his first choir.
Musical Background- Since elementary school, Rubinstein has always been in choirs. In high school he started his own barbershop quartet, and he joined Mile 21 his freshmen year at CU. He also knows the piano and the trumpet, and is learning how to play the harmonica. He composes his own music as well.
How long has he watched Idol- He’s watched every season, but primarily waits to watch until it gets down to the top ten.
His favorite contestant- Carrie Underwood
Songs he’ll be performing- “The Remedy” by Jason Mraz and “Second Chance” by Shine Down.
Musical Inspiration- Rubinstein’s musical inspiration is his late grandfather and one of his musical directors.
His grandfather worked as a musician, teaching and performing shows, to support his family. He played 9 different instruments. Rubinstein said, “My earliest memories are of him and me sitting at the piano.”
Jeff Hulf, one of his musical directors, said to Rubinstein something that has stayed with him since. According to Rubinstein, his director said, “Sometimes there are things in life that words cannot describe, and that’s where music comes in.”
If he won American Idol- Rubinstein is not basing his life on winning American Idol, but if he did win, he would make a few records and enjoy the moment. He said, “I’m doing this for the experience more than for the glory.”


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