"Getting noticed" is by no means the same thing as moving onto the next round. However, when it comes to auditioning for American Idol, standing out counts for a lot. If someone just wants to get on TV and doesn't have any hopes of making it into the final--well, anything--there are some standard tricks and approaches that the producers deem worthy of 15 minutes of fame. Ready to get started?
#1. Being Really, Really Bad isn't Enough
There is no shortage of really bad singers auditioning, and that alone probably won't make someone stand out. A hopeful has to have more to offer than just a terrible singing voice. The accoutrements can be anything from having a personality dripping in charisma, being really hot to boot or even dressing up in a star costume. This is a no-holds barred audition, so people get bonus points for creativity.
#2. Being Really, Really Good isn't Enough
American Idol has a knack for attracting throngs of people who seem to be competing for the Most Delusional title. However, on the off-chance that a hopeful really is fantastic, that guarantees nothing. It turns out there are a lot of fabulous singers who are much more deserving of having a contract than Lil Wayne, P!nk or even Adele (really). If someone falls into this category, the best way to get noticed is to have the whole package--a personality that appeals to everyone, a smoking hot face and body and the sheer luck of being what the producers are already planning to shoot to stardom that season (luck plays a huge part).
#3. Be the Opposite of the Last Winner (and Preferably, be a Man)
Hmm, Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard (anyone remember him?), Fantasia Barrino (anyone remember her?), Carrie Underwood, Taylor hicks...there seems to be a pattern emerging. There's a very small chance that two seasons in a row will choose the same style of singer. There have also been four female winners compared to seven men. Check out the last season, guesstimate what the producers want, and--if at all possible--try to audition as a man since that seems to be a clear preference.
#4. Have a Sob Story Like No Other
This show is stuffed full of sob stories, which means to stand out a story has to be really, truly unbelievable. However, don't go as far as Matthew Farmer and completely make up a backstory that's easy to fact check. After blatantly lying about having a brain injury after an IED explosion in Iraq, the truth quickly unraveled. Matt who?
#5. Have a Whole Lot of Luck
Just like famed chanteuses, rock gods and country twangers who made it the old fashioned way, there's nothing "fair" about American Idol. The best singer likely won't win, and probably didn't even make it past the first round or two. Luck has everything to do with it, and nothing can replace being in the right place at the right time. To really get noticed, a hopeful has to have oodles of luck seeping out of their pores and that's something that no one can pick up at the mall.
However, keeping in mind that American Idol is just one path to stardom is a good fact to keep tucked away. If someone is truly talented, there are avenues to exposure and even, maybe, a little success. If someone simply wants to get on TV, there are plenty of ways to do that, too. Reality castings are vast, and it's especially easy for those who live in LA. Look around, get out there and maybe--just maybe--those 15 minutes of fame will pop up.