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'American Idol' comes to Asheville Sunday: Here's what you need to know

The 'American Idol' tour bus will come to Asheville on Sunday, August 27 to hold auditions (Photo credit: WLOS)

Thousands of hopefuls will line up in downtown Asheville on Sunday, hoping to become the next American Idol.

The show is getting a second life on ABC, the network affiliated with WLOS. ABC picked up the show last year shortly after it was canceled, ending a 15-year run on Fox.

Auditions start at 9 a.m. Sunday morning at 68 Haywood Street, the lot across from the U.S. Cellular Center. Formerly known among locals as the 'Pit of Despair,' it has a new logo and a new name--city officials are now lightheartedly calling it the 'Well of Opportunity.'

Asheville's own American Idol will be at the auditions on Sunday. Caleb Johnson won the 13th season of Idol in 2014.

"The day of the auditions is 'hurry up and wait,'" said Johnson in an interview with News 13 on Friday. ""You have to be able to conserve energy and relax. Use your time wisely until you have to warm up, because you're gonna be there all day."

Anne Coombs is the director of the Rock Academy in West Asheville, which held a workshop last weekend for Idol hopefuls.

"Be very prepared," Coombs said. "Have a song, in fact have 2 songs that are different. And you need to have confidence, poise, relaxation. Be yourself, tell your story, and practice, practice, practice."

Johnson said that practice is key. He tried out twice before taking a year off, finally appeasing his parents that he'd try out one last time--and he ended up winning.

"The first two times I wasn't comfortable, I wasn't prepared enough," Johnson said. "I hadn't paid my dues, where you're rehearsing a lot, going out in public, playing with bands, playing to five people, and nobody."

The physical and mental preparation is key to being successful at such a stressful audition, he said, where you're competing against thousands of people.




"Get lots of rest, drink lots of water, stay away from sugary drinks like Cokes or lemon, it dries out the vocal chords," said Johnson. "Learn as many songs as you can. If you're gonna sing an original song, then have a cover song in your back pocket. Biggest thing is rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and practice, practice, practice. Try to sing in front of as many people as possible."

Here's what you need to know if you plan to audition:
-Register beforehand online or at the venue on Sunday, but you're not guaranteed a chance to audition if there are too many people in line.
-Bring a photo of yourself AND a form of photo identification.
-You must be 15-28 years of age (born on or between June 12, 1988 and June 11, 2002). Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
-You must be a legal U.S. resident with the unrestricted right to work.
-You cannot be a candidate for public office OR currently under a management contract.
-Neither you nor any of your immediate family members or members of your household (whether related or not), may be an employee, officer or director of any 'program entities' related to American Idol.
-People who are auditioning cannot camp out overnight, but should get to the venue early.
-Due to space limitations, ONLY ONE FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER in addition to the person being auditioned will be admitted. If you are under 18, this must be a parent/legal guardian. No children under 5 will be allowed at audition venues
*CLICK HERE for more detail on the requirements

What should I wear to the auditions?
Please do not wear any clothing or bring any items that have designer names, corporate or sports team names or logos, copyrighted images, celebrity names or images (living or dead), cartoon character images or inappropriate messages or words (for example, profanity). If you do wear such clothing, you may be required to remove it, turn it inside out or put on additional clothing to cover it.

If you have any tattoos that contain any corporate or sports names or logos, copyrighted images, celebrity names or images (living or dead), cartoon character images or inappropriate message or words (for example, profanity), please cover the tattoo for your audition.

What should I sing at the auditions?
Be prepared to sing a song of your choice either a cappella (without music) or with your own instrumental accompaniment, e.g., a guitar. You should be prepared to sing at least two or possibly three songs.

If you are called back to audition further, you may be asked again to sing two songs a cappella, one of which may or may not be from a list that will be provided to you by the producer at that time. The other song, if requested by producer, may be a song of your choice.

All rules and procedures are subject to change at the producer's sole and absolute discretion.


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