'American Idol' hopefuls line up for auditions
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY - Josh Woods didn’t sleep Tuesday night.
It wasn’t so much that his bed would’ve been asphalt, and he would’ve been surrounded by dozens of people. He was just too keyed up about Wednesday morning.
“I’m excited more than anything. This is what I want to do the rest of my life,” said Woods, a 23-year-old Sapulpa father of two. He spent the night - and stood out from and above the growing crowd around him - in a cream-colored cowboy hat, jeans and plaid, short-sleeved western shirt.
He was among the very first in line for Wednesday’s registration for “American Idol” auditions. Registration will continue Thursday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena before Friday’s auditions.
This is the first year the popular Fox network reality-singing competition show has held auditions in Oklahoma City. It is not, however, the first time Woods has auditioned - the first was a few years ago in Austin.
But it’s the first time for his sister, 15-year-old Sapulpa High School student Haley Woods, who sang a sample of Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl” for us later that morning. Her big brother will belt Brooks & Dunn’s “Believe.”
When they arrived Tuesday night, with “just the clothes on our back, pillow and a chair,” Josh said, the Woods siblings snagged a spot next to the first “Idol” hopeful on the scene, 15-year-old Shantel Sailes of Oklahoma City. On Friday, she’ll sing “4 Page Letter” by late R&B siren Aaliyah.
She and her mother, Carrie Bradley, brought lawn chairs and sat facing the front of the barricade, which started on the cordoned-off street between the arena and Cox Convention Center.
They were among about 2,000 in line by 6:30 a.m., when we spoke to “Idol” producer Patrick Lynn.
“We’ve been trying to come here for years,” said Lynn, who mentioned Oklahoma native and “Idol” winner Carrie Underwood as somewhat of a reason. He expected between 5,000 and 10,000 people to audition.
People like 17-year-old Jenks High School junior Grant Wiscaver, who will stand in line Thursday to register.
“I have faith,” Wiscaver, 17, told us by phone while on a family trip to New York. “I just believed something told me to go check out ‘American Idol.’?”
The night before, he had sung and played guitar at Sidewalk Cafe in the East Village - a cover of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”
“My hope is that they’ll see me with my guitar and ask me to play and sing; however, that’s not guaranteed,” he said.
He won’t be alone, judging by a few of the guitars we spied before dawn Wednesday. One guy led a group a few hundred folks back from the Woods singing Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.”
Every other minute, it seemed, someone broke out in song - two cousins singing a gospel duet, a tall blonde doing opera, several singing country. As the sun rose, a group of 15 or so sang “Sweet Home Oklahoma.”
Read more of this story in Thursday's Tulsa World or go online to tulsaworld.com/scene.