Jul 26, 2010 2:05 PM by Letitia Walker
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Ashley Taylor knows the drill. In her third
shot at TV stardom, the 27-year-old LaRose, La., resident stood
serenely amid the nervous twitter of thousands of American Idol
hopefuls lined up for auditions Monday.
"I'm not nervous at all this time," the petit blond said. "I
am just concentrated on what I have to do to stand out. I know the
Taylor made it to the fourth round in her last audition.
Taylor's husband, Joshua, a commercial fisherman who has been
out of work because of the BP oil spill, stood beside her holding a
sign saying the oil spill had killed their way of life, "please
don't kill Ashley's dream."
For many of the thousands lined up around the Superdome, their
only touch of fame came early as television crews and American Idol
cameras worked the crowd.
Courtney Jovan, 22, who had been standing where the line formed
since midnight, traveled from Ft. Walton, Fla., to audition. Before
she got inside a television crew had her belt out several verses of
Chrisette Michele's "Blame it on Me" for their morning show.
"I have been singing all my life," Jovan said. "It's just in
Mardi Gras masks were popular with the would-be stars.
Autumn Jones, 18, who drove 10 hours from Boiling Springs, S.C.
for the auditions, wore purple and silver mask and beads.
"Purple is my favorite color," said Jones, who planned to sing
More than 6,000 people had registered to audition by 6 a.m.,
said supervising producer Patrick Lynn.
"We don't have a quota," Lynn said. "But probably about 100
people will move on from here."
The last time American Idol held auditions in New Orleans was
just before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, Lynn said.
All contestants would get a chance to audition, Lynn said.
Producers would decide who returned for a second round of auditions
later, which is judged by executive producers.
The show's main judges - including Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi
and Ellen DeGeneres - visit during a third round, which is expected
in late August or September.
Talent was everywhere, Cody Joe Tillman, of Dallas said.
Tillman, who made it to the third round of "America's Got
Talent," said the song is not as important as people think.
"The main thing you need to know is how to play the game,"
Tillman said. "You gotta given them all the stuff they want
besides the song."