More than 2,500 people auditioned in Little Rock on Saturday at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library with hopes of becoming the next American Idol, a spokesman for the show said.
Little Rock was the first stop of American Idol's five-city bus tour, according to the show's website. Individuals between the ages of 15 to 28 were allowed to audition for the show's producers Brian Robinson and Hope Wilson.
The first person in line was Little Rock resident David Tyler Bakke, 22, who said he arrived at 4:30 a.m. for the auditions. He said he had prepared four songs to sing for the show's producers, but chose Secondhand Serenade's 2008 hit "Fall For You."
Individuals were divided into pairs to approach Robinson and Wilson underneath a tent. A small crowd developed about 100 feet from the tent to watch as each person sang for 30 to 45 seconds.
The producers would evaluate each singer's performance from behind a fan to decide if they should advance to the next round of auditions, which are in front of American Idol's executive producers and judging panel. If chosen, the singer would receive a golden piece of paper, which would earn them cheers from the crowd.
Robinson said they do not seek to meet a quota of potential contestants at each city they stop at. He said the producers chose Little Rock as their first audition site, because they "always had wanted to come to Arkansas" and said they have had "great successes from the South."
Arkansas resident Kris Allen won the singing competition in season 8.
The next city on American Idol's bus tour is Oxford, Miss.