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THE NEXT BIG STAR: Hundreds visit Springfield for American Idol auditions

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Many people were in line before the sun was up when American Idol producers came to Springfield in September.

"I got here about 5 so woke up at 4. Got about 3 hours of sleep, so I'm kind of sleep deprived, but I'm excited," said David Daniels, who auditioned for American Idol.

"Yeah, just came here at like 6 something," said Olivia Ofuasia, who auditioned for American Idol.

The doors to the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield, Illinois didn't open until 9 a.m. that day.

Daniels added, "I was suppose to audition down in Baton Rouge cause it's closer to home, but I had a show come up, couldn't be there. This is the only weekend I had available so I drove 10 and a half hours last night after work."

Many people auditioned for the first time, but Jessica Cook ran into a senior at Bradley University who knew a thing or two about these auditions.

"So first time I made it past all of the stages. I received a golden ticket, but then you wait for a call back. I never got that call back so I'm here hopefully to make it past all 3 of the states again, but hopefully get a call back to go to L.A....I feel just as prepared, I feel in a better mental space, I'm mentally ready and vocally I'm ready as well," said Pierre Paul, Senior at Bradley University.

Many people sang in choir, musicals, or enjoyed belting it out in the shower or car.

No matter how they got their start, they all have at least one thing in common.

"I'm a songwriter first and then a singer, so I write every day. It's how I live, how I breathe. Some people need to go on a run, but I need to write a song and sing," said Derek Anderson.

Danielle Kirby said, "I had a bad experience in 8th grade and I stopped singing, but my friends and family encouraged me to come here. I just want to relate to those who are also scared of getting in front of people. I want to show people that you have the courage to do it and good things will happen."

Keep watching American Idol on Heart of Illinois ABC to see if anyone from our area made it out west.

Jessica Cook

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