This week brought news of a very special event, The American Idol Small Town Audition Bus Tour. Bowling Green is one of ten small towns chosen by Idol. The event took place Friday in Fountain Square Park, which is the center of our downtown area and only half a block from our office.
The Convention and Visitor's Bureau along with downtown business owners have know about the event for a few weeks and have been preparing, sprucing things up and decorating the store fronts.
Fountain Square Park was closed off to through traffic and barriers were put up.
The registration table was set up on one side of the park. Once registered, a few auditioners at a time were allowed through the barriers to the second line that lead to the judges.
The line of auditioners began at the registration table,
and went down Park Row...
to State Street...
proceeded along State Street...
up the other side of Fountain Square...
(a few rain drops do not deter these auditioners)
Around the divided lanes on Main...
to the corner of Main and State Street...
and down State to nearly Eighth Street.
As the crowd of onlookers began to grow, more barricades were put up. Bowling Green's Finest were on hand to keep things under control and orderly.
The bus was parked in the middle of Main Street and had a canopy set up on both sides.
This is where the judges were. They were not the stars that you see on TV, but were Idol Producers, one at each table.
Four people at a time were brought from the line inside the barricade to the judges table. Auditioners did not know which judge they were to perform in front of.
Two of my daughter's friends in the audition line.
(Unfortunately no Gold Ticket)
These are random groups of four auditioners as they stand before the judges.
It had to be hard performing and then standing there while the other three perform before you hear what the judge has to say.
Some were entertaining but comical.
While others were pretty good.
A few knew it was going to be a long wait and brought along their chairs.
Though I have not heard anyone say how many made it on to the next round, I got to see a few get "The Gold Ticket",
be photographed and videoed singing beside the bus...
then move on to the producers table for further instructions.
Several thousand people turned out for this event,as well as TV crews from other areas.
Idol producers said, in an interview after the event, that Bowling Green has had the largest turnout by far.
One of the local officers I talked to said that he had spoken with people at the auditions from Ontario, Canada as well as people from Florida and New York.
It was a fun event and I was glad that I was able to be downtown and see it firsthand.
After seeing the audition process here in my hometown and seeing the American Idol Experience Show at Disney World, where one contestant from the winners there advances on to another round, I will definitely have to watch this season!!
I am looking forward to Season 12...