Amer­i­can Idol hope­fuls queue up in An­napo­lis

Record Observer - - Arts & Entertainment - By HANNAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­

AN­NAPO­LIS — Hope­ful and ner­vous were two words those au­di­tion­ing for Amer­i­can Idol in An­napo­lis on Tues­day, Sept. 5, used to de­scribe them­selves while stand­ing in line pre­par­ing to face the first round of judges in the pop­u­lar show.

As tem­per­a­tures crept back up to the up­per 80s Amer­i­can Idol hope­fuls lined up in the park­ing lot of the West­field Mall in An­napo­lis. The ear­li­est con­tes­tant ar­rived close to 4 a.m. to get her au­di­tion in be­fore school — Sept. 5 was also the first day back to school for many Mary­land stu­dents. The Amer­i­can Idol pro­duc­tion crew be­gan tak­ing reg­is­tra­tion at 6 a.m., but the line moved quickly all day, said con­tes­tants.

By 1 p.m. al­most all who had ar­rived had com­pleted their au­di­tions. Pro­ducer Melissa El­far said they were pleased with the num­ber of try outs, as this was their next to last stop for the East Coast au­di­tions. The ninth and fi­nal stop for the East Coast is Bos­ton, and the West Coast au­di­tions, hap­pen­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously, are also wrap­ping up, she said.

Of those who au­di­tioned in An­napo­lis, there is good tal­ent here, said El­far. Amer­i­can Idol had pre­vi­ously held au­di­tions in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., but this was their first time stop­ping in An­napo­lis. Many of the con­tes­tants were from the greater D.C. and Philadel­phia area, along with a few from Vir­ginia and Prince Ge­orges and Bal­ti­more coun­ties in Mary­land.

Of those re­ceiv­ing that cov­eted golden ticket — a pass through to the next au­di­tion rounds — was Michael Hunt­ley from Fred­er­icks­burg, Va.

Hunt­ley has tried out for the show three other times, and is a nat­u­ral per­former both on and off cam­era. Hunt­ley, who brought and played his gui­tar, orig­i­nally in­tended to play and sing a coun­try song, but while stand­ing in line was con­vinced by his fel­low con­tes­tants to per­form an orig­i­nal.

The gam­ble paid off and Hunt­ley walked away with his golden ticket. Hunt­ley was ac­com­pa­nied by his close friend, who vol­un­teered to drive him since Hunt­ley had been in an auto ac­ci­dent a few months pre­vi­ously. Hunt­ley said the rea­son he keeps try­ing at Amer­i­can Idol is to make a bet­ter life for him­self and his daugh­ter. View­ers won’t want to miss the chance to look for the charm­ing and tal­ented Hunt­ley when the show airs.

Lo­cal res­i­dent, Sky­lar Po­draza from Queen Anne’s County, also made her way to the au­di­tions late Tues­day af­ter­noon.

Sky­lar is 15 years old and a sopho­more at Kent Is­land High School. She said she had al­ways wanted to be able to au­di­tion for Amer­i­can Idol, but the min­i­mum age is 15, and the show had ended be­fore she was old enough to tr y out. When Sky­lar heard the show was com­ing back, she was ec­static to find out au­di­tions were be­ing held in An­napo­lis.

She sang Leonard Co­hen’s “Hal­lelu­jah,” a song she had sung in a pre­vi­ous voice recital. The judges asked Sky­lar if she was a “mu­si­cal theater kid.” The judges said they rec­og­nized her train­ing, and though it wasn’t what they were look­ing for this sea­son, they said she has a great voice and she should def­i­nitely come out to au­di­tion again in the fu­ture.

Sky­lar said she wasn’t ner­vous at all, she loved singing for the judges, and is def­i­nitely ex­cited to do a sim­i­lar au­di­tion again.

Sky­lar has taken voice in­struc­tion from the time she was 7 years old and cur­rently sings with Amy Mor­gan in Eas­ton. She has per­formed at the Queen Anne’s County Fair Tal­ent Show three times, in­clud­ing this past Au­gust where she won the 13-17 age di­vi­sion singing “De­fy­ing Grav­ity” from “Wicked.” Sky­lar’s list of cred­its in­clude singing with the Wye Youth Cho­rale at the State House in An­napo­lis dur­ing Christ­mas, as well as at the Fes­ti­val of Trees the last two years, per­form­ing with the Triple Threat The­atre Stu­dio, in the Tal­ent Ma­chine Co. pro­duc­tion of “Sweet Char­ity,” KIHS pro­duc­tion of “Cin­derella,” in PL Pro­duc­tions “Sleigh Ride Around the World.”

She plans to con­tinue to pur­sue per­for­mance arts in col­lege, in ad­di­tion to study­ing busi­ness.

The show will air on ABC some­time in 2018, said El­far. ABC re­ports Ryan Seacrest is ex­pected to re­turn to host the show when it airs.

Kent Is­land High School stu­dent Sky­lar Po­draza au­di­tions for Amer­i­can Idol in An­napo­lis on Sept. 5.

Much dif­fer­ent from what is aired dur­ing the fi­nal shows, con­tes­tants stand in line out­doors to per­form for one of sev­eral judges, in the hopes of mak­ing it through the pre­lim­i­nary round.

Pop­u­lar sto­ry­teller Tim Lowry re­turns to Wye Mills with his eclec­tic blend of South­ern hu­mor and wis­dom as one of the fea­tured per­form­ers at the Ch­e­sa­peake Sto­ry­telling Fes­ti­val on Sept. 16 .

Will Brorsen, left, and maybe the next Amer­i­can Idol, Michael Hunt­ley of Fred­er­icks­burg, VA. Brorsen ac­com­pa­nied Hunt­ley to the au­di­tions in An­napo­lis on Sept. 5.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.