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1. What is the pre-audition like? What must contestants do to be seen by the judges?
It’s a multi-stage process. It starts with those mass auditions where thousands of American Idol wannabes wait in line for hours, gathered usually in a large arena, and sing a brief song for a panel of Idol producers. Those who move on then sing for the show’s exec producers, and only if they make it through that stage do they sing for Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler. These steps can and often do take place weeks, even months apart from the initial audition to the final audition before the judges.
Image Credit: Michael Becker/Fox
February 2 2011 — 12:00 AM EST