By Preston Gossett | Arts & Life Editor
American Idol is coming to Waco’s Convention Center on Tuesday in search of America’s Next Superstar.
Having set the bar for all other music competition series, American Idol is returning for its third season on ABC with judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan as they set out on a journey across the country to find inspiring new talent. The Lariat got the chance to ask the Senior Supervising Producer, Katie Fennelly, questions in an email Q&A.
Q: Is coming to Waco new? Has American Idol ever been before?
A: American Idol is no stranger to the state of Texas and we are so excited for our very first stop in Waco!
Q: Why is Waco special? What made ABC and American Idol choose it?
A: Waco is a thriving city and as you know home to Baylor University and their renowned theatre and music programs. We’re hoping some of Baylor’s most talented will come our way on audition day. Texas itself is home to our very first American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, and we’re hoping Waco and Texas can deliver once again.
Q: Is there anything new or exciting for American Idol?
A: This season on Idol you can expect the same incredible raw talent, heartfelt emotional stories of real people with a dream, and the journey we go on with them as they chase those dreams. The past two seasons the Disney/ABC footprint has brought some new and fun elements to the show and we’re looking forward to seeing what magic is in store for this season.
Q: What is your advice to hopefuls and contestants auditioning?
A: Number one – be yourself. We want to see everyone’s true artistry shine through and the only way that will happen is if you stay true to who you are as an artist. Also, for this initial audition it’s best to prepare songs that are dynamic and that showcase your voice the best. Lastly – have fun!
Q: What are you looking forward to? Has anything shocked you yet?
A: The auditions are just underway, so I’m sure we’re in for a few surprises. Given the various ways to audition via the bus tour, open calls, online and on social media with #TheNextIdol, I’ve been really impressed at the talent and dedication we’ve seen so far. This part of the season is always great because this is the first time we get to meet the hopefuls and hear not only their voices, but their amazing personal stories that they graciously let us tell as the season unfolds. It’s really something special.
Q: How big of a turnout are you expecting?
A: Waco is our only stop in Texas this year, so we’re hoping the old adage, “everything’s bigger in Texas,” rings true!