While watching the American Idol auditions many people find themselves wondering why the judges chose one person over another. That is the age old question but it comes down to just a few things. The biggest thing is that special something that is often referred to as “it”. Here are some tips on how to develop “it”
Make sure you are more than the average singer. It doesn’t matter how much “it” you have if you really can’t sing. Record your voice and listen to it objectively. Go to a karaoke bar and watch the reaction you receive. There are thousands of singers in America who could sing a solo in the school program that are not good enough for American Idol. Make sure you are not one of those.
Wear something that fits your personality but isn’t too wacky. Judges (both low level and the big guns) are looking for someone whose voice makes the statement, not their clothes. If you are a crazy dresser, find some relatively calm clothes for the first audition. If you get through there you may show your personality but nothing too weird. The judges are looking for someone to speak to a certain demographic. Dress current and even a little edgy and you may get the wink.
Pick a song that works for you. Just because you like a song doesn’t mean it fits your voice or your personality and just because you wrote a song doesn’t mean it will make the judges take notice. Make sure the song fits your range and shows off what you can do. Also, sing the portion of the song that presents your voice in the best light. You only get 15 to 30 seconds, make them count.
Remember this is a singing competition. Don’t dance, do acrobatics or bring props. The judges are not looking for the best back handspring. Most often contestants who dance end up on television, but not on the show.
Show your personality. Although this is a singing competition it is also a television show. In order to get people to watch, they need contestants America wants to watch. If you are as exciting as a rock but you have a great voice you may make it on the show but who will vote for you? Find what is great about your personality and use that.
Be prepared to share your story. What brought you there? What is unique about your life? If you have had a particularly difficult year be prepared to share your difficulties. Consider this season’s Danny Gokey. Although he has an amazing voice the story of the loss of his wife helped America fall in love.
Be respectful to the judges at all levels. Before you see the final judges you will go through many steps. Make sure you show respect to everyone along the way. If you get eliminated remember it is not the end of the world. After all, Idol isn’t going anywhere.
Be gracious. Decide before you go how you will react if you are not chosen. Don’t scream, curse, sob or beg. Once the judges say no thank them for their time and leave. One year while in Salt Lake City, Utah Simon commented on the graciousness and attitude of the people there. In the montage they showed numerous people all thanking the judges, even when they were told no. They notice.
The best thing you can do to get noticed is be yourself and sing your heart out. Feel what you are singing and convey that through your performance. Auditioning can be an amazing experience, if the judges notice you make sure it is for your voice and you will go far.