American Idol hopefuls gather in Atlanta

American Idol hopefuls gather in Atlanta
Thousands lined Piedmont Park for auditions. (Source: WALB)
Thousands lined Piedmont Park for auditions. (Source: WALB)
Alexis Johnson said she's going to keep singing and following her dream. (Source: WALB)
Alexis Johnson said she's going to keep singing and following her dream. (Source: WALB)

ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - Thousands of people are lined up in Piedmont Park in Atlanta for American Idol auditions, on Tuesday.

We caught up with several folks from South Georgia, and there's a lot of talent there.

The action started early Tuesday morning.

Folks living near Piedmont Park likely woke up to the sounds of music.

"It's awesome. It feels like a dream right now, it doesn't feel real," said Abbey Anglin, 22.

Anglin is from Pelham. She traveled with her mom and sister to the auditions.

She was one of the several people auditioning from South Georgia.

Mark Barner, 28, and his fan club from Americus made the trip too.

"I'm just here to have a good time and do the best I can," said Barner.

Other singers went all the way from Dawson, Valdosta and even Douglas, bringing both family and friends.

"This is actually one of my biggest dreams," said Stephen Eady just minutes before performing. "I really want to make the best of it."

After winning a WALB contest, eight got to jump to the front of the line, where they sang in front of producers.

"It's really awesome to see the talent that is here," said 26-year-old Whitney Spurlock from Dawson. She said the experience itself was one she will remember.

Unfortunately, none of WALB's contest winners made the cut.

"Unfortunately, I didn't get through because they weren't looking for powerful voices they told me," explained Alexis Johnson, 19, just minutes after singing.

Justice Childs tried her talents too in front of the judges, however, the judges did not squeeze her through to the next round.

Still, singers remained optimistic, including a 16-year-old from Valdosta.

"They told me I have a beautiful voice and a long road ahead of me and they are looking forward to me coming back," said Michael Gordon.

Gordon and his parents didn't learn he won the WALB contest until late Monday night.

Still, they made their way to Atlanta for the once in a lifetime opportunity.

While the auditions were a first for many, it was not the first walk in the park Joshua Crouch had done.

Crouch, of Leesburg, said he auditioned two times before. Both times he said he made it through a few rounds.

On Tuesday, he was unsuccessful.

Although South Georgia voices won't be heard this year by the judges, many singers said this isn't the last we've seen of them.

"I will be practicing and I will be back," said Anglin.

Johnson even sang a few notes through the emotions of not moving on.

"I can't stop here," said Johnson after the audition. "It's one of my passions to sing, so I can't let this stop me."

It wasn't the outcome we hoped for, but maybe South Georgia will have some better luck next time American Idol comes to town.

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