American Idol Holds Auditions in New Orleans

Some superstars are in the Big Easy this week, but they’re not the ones in the spotlight. Wednesday marked day two of the final judge’s round in New Orleans as nearly 100 area residents took to the stage and sang their hearts out in hopes of making the final cut and heading to Hollywood.

It wasn’t the Saints who came marching in, but New Orleans native, Harry Connick Jr. The American Idol judge arrived on a Mardi Gras float in true Big Easy style and was greeted by contestants and fellow judges, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. Connick says, "Judging from the look in their eyes, they were thinking this is a big entrance. This is how we do it here."

Connick played host and tour guide. Area residents got an unexpected treat Tuesday night when Urban took center stage at the House of Blues and belted out a few songs. Urban says, "It was crazy, rowdy, really, really great."

Host, Ryan Seacrest, and the judges enjoyed the Big Easy, but it was all business at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center as judges narrowed down the last batch of contestants, who will ultimately head to Hollywood. Seacrest says, "I think coming here to New Orleans and this region specifically, because of the great musical roots, there is a very high expectation to find soul and style that represents that. And yesterday we looked. We found some good people, but I don’t think we found the superstar yet from here. Today, we hope to find that person."

Lopez also says, "They’ve been good. We just did one day yesterday, so we’re about to do the second day today, so I’m looking forward to an even better day."

Adam Lasher, a contestant, took a few licks before his audition. Lasher says, "I’d say I have had some overall luck, good and bad, but still on the positive side for right now. I’ve got a busted hand and that was four days ago. I dropped the guitar on my way over here."

Despite his troubles, Lasher isn’t singing the blues because he’s an American Idol hopeful. The contestants who made the cut on Wednesday will fly to Los Angeles to compete.

Some of Wednesday’s footage and filming scheduled for the Los Angeles auditions will air on FOX in January of next year. News 25’s Toni Miles will have a special report and behind-the-scenes look at the Idol competition, however, she will not be singing.

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