June 15, 2009 11:25 AM by Britteny Elrick
Ever wonder what it takes to make it through to Hollywood week on American Idol? Well, just ask Nick Pedro.Nick wasa season 6 American Idolfinalist, who hasauditioned twice and made it through to Hollywood both times. Now that auditions are infull swing, Nick is offering 10 tips for anyone who might be considering throwing themselves at the judges’ mercy…
1. Pick the “right” song.
The downfall of all too many would-be Idols. What makes a song the correct choice? Something that fits your voice and that you’re comfortable singing. Choose a song that you’re familiar with and that properly showcases your vocal ability and style. For example, if you’re a bass baritone country singer, perhaps Mariah Carey’s latest isn’t for you. Also, the National Anthem makes for a fantastic anthem, but as an audition song, not so much.
2. Have a backup song ready.
The judges sometimes ask to hear another song before making a decision. Sometimes they just want to see how you handle the pressure, or maybe they want to hear a different vibe from you. Head producer Ken Warwick put me through the ringer with five impromptu songs during the second round of Season 5. A good second song choice should contrast a bit from the first song in tempo and feel.
3. Don’t over-sing during your audition.
A fatal first-round mistake. Don’t riff needlessly. Don’t overpower your notes. The judges won’t take you seriously.
4. Practice, practice, practice.
If you’re anything like me, you will get nervous ad judgment nears. Knowing you’ve properly prepared will comfort you in the belly of the beast.
5. Don’t wear out your voice.
You’ll hear voices echoing throughout the stadium, whether it be clusters of folks grouped together taking turns or the loner in the stairway belting out a tune with one earphone in. It’s great to test your notes before singing ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â¬” just don’t strain your voice.
6. Be yourself.
I know this is a huge clichÃƒ, but it’s very important. The judges can spot so much as a fake smile from a mile away.
7. Don’t wear a costume.
This may seem like an obvious one, but we’ve all seen the show. Some folks just want to get on TV, I guess. This one guy at my audition in New York actually had a fantastic voice. He also was singing Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” like I was. When he got rejected he seemed really bummed. I guess he should have thought about that before choosing to wear an astronaut suit.
8. Take it all in.
Be sure to take a moment, look around and soak it all in. Appreciate the fact that you’re at a taping of the most popular show in the history of television.
9. Be graceful in defeat.
Even if you don’t make the cut, remember to stay classy. We’ve all seen the contestants that put down the show after not getting a thumbs up. It just makes them look silly talking trash after they’ve spent the whole day waiting in a line just for a chance to be on.
10. Don’t give up.
I have a friend who auditioned in LA the same year that I was a finalist. She was turned down in the very first round. Determined, she then flew to the Seattle auditions and tried again. You may have heard of her: Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks.
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photo credit: fox.com