Put down your beer and pick up a mic, Milwaukee: American Idol auditions are coming to town!
Thousands will flock to the Bradley Center tomorrow to vie for their golden ticket to Hollywood. Milwaukee is one of Idol’s six audition stops for what will be its tenth season.
Milwaukee received a lot of attention in 2008 when local Danny Gokey made it to the final three. Not only was Gokey the first person from Milwaukee to make it to the finals since the show’s inception in 2002, he was the first third place finisher to record with label 19 Recordings, and also the first male Idol to be signed to a major Country label.
The attention garnered from Gokey’s success was a large factor in the show’s producers picking Milwaukee as an audition city.
“It’s kind of a big deal for the city,” said Elliot Quast, a UW-Milwaukee senior auditioning tomorrow, “it will produce revenue for the city and provide Milwaukee with a lot of national TV coverage”.
When asked if he was going to be the next American Idol, Quast said, “Maybe. All I can do is go in there and do my best. I have nothing to lose. It all comes down to what they’re looking for. We’ll see what happens.”
It will be interesting to see if Idol can keep up its lead in the ratings race this season, now that lead judge Simon Cowell has left the panel. Although the show has seen a decline in ratings since its sixth season, it still managed to finish as the most-watched series for the sixth year in a row.
Simon’s replacement has yet to be announced, but rumors say that former Poison lead singer Bret Michaels is a front-runner. My personal pick would be Harry Connick Jr., who was featured as a mentor last season, and offered honest, constructive criticism to the contestants. Or maybe Ben Folds, who was a judge on last summer’s a capella reality show, The Sing Off. Both have years of experience in the music industry, and know what it takes to make it in the business.
Hopefully the talented singers of Milwaukee will step up to the plate tomorrow and show the country (or at least Idol viewers) that Wisconsinites have talents other than beer-drinking and cheese-making.
Break a leg, Milwaukee. Make us proud.
TCD’s multimedia team will be making the rounds at the Bradley Center tomorrow, capturing all of the Idol frenzy. Stay tuned for photos and video from Milwaukee’s Hollywood hopefuls!