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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Q5: Where Idols are born

  • American Idol, the wildly popular televised singing competition, doesn't merely discover new pop stars — it creates them.
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  • American Idol, the wildly popular televised singing competition, doesn't merely discover new pop stars — it creates them.
    That's according to Charles Boyd, a co-executive producer of the Fox show that's been on the air for 14 years.
    Today, the show is slated to host auditions at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo.
    Judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., and Keith Urban will be there, as will show host Ryan Seacrest.
    Boyd discusses the audition process for hopefuls and the show's continued popularity in this Q5.
    1.Why did you choose Kansas City for the upcoming filming of American Idol XIV?
    "We have found good talent in Kansas in past seasons and it's a great place in the center of America to bring together all the people we found from the 20 Town Idol bus stops to sing for the judges."
    2. For local residents who may want to audition at some point for a future show, can you offer some advice? Is it a good idea for those who plan to audition to ask their "honest" friends and family what they think about their chances of making it to American Idol?
    "You should absolutely audition in front of your friends and family. They want you to do well and they’ll point out things you may not notice when you sing for yourself. If you want to take this seriously, you should be able to absorb constructive criticism as part of the job. I’m sure they’ll go easy on you."
    3. What are the most important things a person who is planning to audition needs to keep in mind when choosing an audition song that will sell? Do you recommend visits to karaoke events as a good way to gauge audience and future Idol judges' reactions?
    "Remember that you are not just singing a song; you are telling a story. Whoever is listening needs to believe you, so pick a song that you can identify with and really get in to. Also, try and keep away from the obvious if you want to stand out.
    "In a karaoke bar, pretty much everybody is on your side. It’s a wonderful group experience: they applaud for you because in five minutes time you’ll be applauding for them. Auditioning for a television show in the cold light of day is a very different discipline.
    “No one’s had anything to drink; you may be singing without any accompaniment and the judges are watching your every move.
    “On the other hand, the practice is always useful, just don’t get used to such a receptive audience."
    Page 2 of 2 - 4. How long should a performer plan for his or her audition to run and how would you advise auditioners to dress?
    "Be prepared to sing more than just your favorite party piece. Always have the slide up your sleeve.
    “If you come in with a Motown Classic, make sure you have something contemporary. Dress to impress.
    “Choose clothes that speak to who you are as an individual and an artist."
    5. What would you advise people who plan to audition on making the best impression, what's your best advice on handling potential rejection? And lastly, why does American Idol continue to resonate with audiences after 14 years?
    "Connect with the people you are singing to. Stand out from the crowd. Have fun.
    "If you want this, you can take it. Use the advice you’re given from the judges and come back stronger next time. And, make sure you come back.
    “A true Idol never gives up.
    "It’s the American Dream and the Cinderella story rolled into one and Idol is there for every step of the process. It’s always been the goal of the show to bring families together — whether it’s arguing about your favorites or just enjoying the performances.
    “Also, in what has developed into a very crowded market place, American Idol is the show that creates stars. And you know who chooses them? You."

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