Mark your calendars, Philly — and start massaging those vocal cords — because the American Idol Bus is coming to our city on Sept. 6.
Philly is one of 20 stops the bus will be making this summer as judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan begin their annual search for potential superstars. The judges are returning for a second season of the show, that ABC rebooted last fall after a two-year hiatus. The show previously aired on Fox for 15 seasons, ending 2016.
Hopeful singers can expect a full day of long lines, loud music, and lots of repetitions of the well-known battle cry: “I AM the next American Idol.”
How to sign up?
Auditionees are encouraged to complete an online registration form, made available approximately one week before the audition day. Upon registration, singers will receive a wristband and seat ticket which they will pick up in the Check In/Registration line on the sixth.
Same-day/in-person registration is another option. If this is your method of choice, you will want to arrive as early as possible. Past auditionees and Idol fans know that the auditions are jam-packed. A late arrival could risk losing your audition due to lack of space or time.
Prefer not to audition in person? Or don’t have the time? Online auditions are open now. Additionally, Idol is offering social media auditions where singers can upload a video their preferred platform, including Instagram, Facebook, Musical.ly, and Twitter.
Who can audition?
Being a Philadelphia or Pennsylvania resident is not a requirement to audition in the city. In fact, singers can audition in multiple cities throughout the summer — as long as they register separately in each.
It is required that singers are at least 15 years of age, are legal U.S, residents, and are neither a candidate for nor currently holding public office. So, unfortunately, we are not going to find out if Mayor Kenney can hold a tune this September.
What to bring?
Auditionees are required to bring a photo of themselves as well as a photo ID — that includes a drivers license, state, or school ID for minors. Wrist bands and tickets are also mandatory.
Additionally, singers under the age of 18 must bring a parent or legal guardian. Other contestants are permitted a maximum of one friend or relative to attend the auditions with them — but this is not a requirement.
In terms of food — American Idol’s website tells that food and drink will hopefully be available for purchase at the audition facilities. As that’s not exactly a guarantee, it’s in your best interest to pack water and snacks. You don’t want the judges mistaking a stomach grumble for an off-tune low note.
What not to bring?
No dogs, no booze, and no children under five, unfortunately.
These are just some of a long list of restricted items that can be viewed on American Idol‘s webpage. Others include harmful items such as drugs and weapons, along with sleepwear such as air mattresses and luggage, as singers are prohibited from camping at the audition site overnight.
What to wear?
No designer names, corporation names, celebrity images, or profane-language-Ts, for starters. That is, unless you don’t mind turning your clothing inside out before your performance.
Other that, fashion choices are up to you. You may want to add personality to your wardrobe to help yourself stand out in the vibrant crowd.
Are you the next American Idol?
The City of Philadelphia has yet to claim an Idol winner of its own, but if our incredible football season serves as any indication, 2018 could be our year in more ways than one. Last season’s American Idol carried four Philly-area contestants to the top 14 of the competition. Catie Turner, a resident of Langhorne, Pa., placed seventh in the overall competition, while Philly’s Michael Woodard made it to the top five.
Auditions are still three months away. If this seems like an eternity, you can fan-girl over last season’s superstars — and past winner Kris Allen — at the American Idol Live! 2018 tour, which will be coming to the Philadelphia area this August and September. General admission tickets start at $35.