“American Idol” auditions are coming back to Miami as the rebooted singing competition brings its camera crews to town later this month.
Miami has had its flirtation with “American Idol” before.
Remember Nadia Turner?
“In a world of hamburgers,” former “Idol” judge Simon Cowell opined, the soulful Miami contestant was “a steak.”
She was. But viewers wanted Big Mac.
This was a long time ago: Season 4 of the original Fox television sensation, in March 2005. Turner’s run prompted this former pop music critic to create a weekly “Idol Watch” column for the Miami Herald and it ran (too long, like “Idol” itself) for years. We were so hopeful that the then 28-year-old singer would emerge as the first Miami “American Idol” the original column’s title was “Nadia Watch.”
That changed a few week’s later when an obscure song choice — Crystal Gayle’s “When I Dream” — fell flat with audiences and paved the way for, shudder, Oklahoma’s Carrie Underwood to win that season. Underwood became, arguably, the most commercially successful “American Idol” not named Kelly Clarkson.
The auditions have returned to Miami, perhaps most notably in 2007, when thousands of hopefuls who truly felt they had exceptional musical talent clamored outside downtown Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena for a chance to win a wristband that might get them to another round of auditions that might take them to yet another round of auditions before the show’s main judges who were then Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.
Even with all of that, Miami still didn’t deliver an “Idol.”
But that’s not likely going to stop another batch of kids from showing up at the James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., in downtown Miami at dawn on Aug. 22 to get their hopes up as auditions come back to the Magic City. (Or Aug. 25 in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.)
As in the original Fox “Idol,” contestants have to be between the ages of 15 and 28 and could not have advanced into the Top 10 on a previous season — in this case, last year’s first season reboot on ABC.
Warble “Unchained Melody” or some other oldie well enough and you just might get your shot at singing to the current judges, Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry.