Coast Locals Try Out for American Idol in New Orleans

Reported by: Toni Miles
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Updated: 6/25 7:37 pm
They say if you lose your dreams, you die. Well, there was plenty of life in the Big Easy Wednesday as more than 1,000 people tried out to be the next American Idol. A sea of faces shined with hope and excitement, all caught on camera by local news outlets and American Idol crew members as filming and auditions got underway in New Orleans.

Joe Garrett made the drive from Pass Christian with his biggest fan, his mother. Garrett wasn't looking for unconditional love from the judges, however. The Pass Christian college student was just hoping to strike a chord that would help him make the cut and get closer to his big time dream. Garrett also says, "I wanna’ be on a big stage, making a living for myself and touring the country and stuff. I think that’d be fun."

Another mother stands by on the front lines as her son warms up. His song is heartfelt, but more of a soothing melody that comforts her as she silently mourns the loss of one son while supporting the dreams of another. Darren Keith, a contestant from Texas, says, "My senior year, my brother got shot and killed and he was supposed to start our senior year together and we were supposed to graduate. That could have been me." While the road to fame was cut short for many of the contestants that came out, they tell us the music plays on and their dreams are still alive. Keith also says, "I'm still following it. I'm not even necessarily gonna’ say I’m chasing it. I'm going to catch it."

Keith’s mother says, "Today, Darren got a ‘no’ for American Idol, but I'm so proud of him. He's going to take that ‘no’ and move forward.” Garrett however made the cut and is heading into the next round armed with new songs and a lot of faith.

Joe Garrett will sing again in New Orleans on Thursday in round two. If he makes the cut, he will go on to the judge's round in the Big Easy. That date has yet to be announced.


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