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Next stop, Hollywood: American Idol hosts exclusive Belmont audition day

Belmont students are no strangers to the Idol stage.

Season after season, students step into the bright lights of reality TV and stand before celebrity judges and take a leap of faith in launching their singing careers.

And American Idol is giving Belmont students and alumni an opportunity to make their mark in the music industry by holding an exclusive virtual audition on Sept.15.

“That’s why we come to Belmont, for the opportunities,” said freshman classical voice major Avery Calvert.

Students met Idol casting producer Peter Cohen and got to hear all about what their experience will be like, from the moment they jump on the Zoom call all the way to the live shows in Hollywood.

“We make it pretty painless and fun and from the comfort of your own... wherever you are,” said Cohen on the Zoom.

Over 50 students joined the Zoom call with Cohen, asking questions regarding the Hollywood experience and performing for the panel of celebrity judges: Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

Junior songwriting major Hanna Johnson felt a lot more confident in her decision to audition after hearing from Cohen.

“I was originally going to go into it just kind of spontaneously and whatever happens was going to happen,” she said. “But after the Zoom, I definitely felt a lot more at peace with it with more direction more information under my belt.”

From the comfort of their dorms, their car, the birdcage or anywhere backdrop they choose, students will stand before casting producers and show them what they can bring to the Idol stage.

“I mean, this is a really big deal,” said Calvert. “I’m very excited to be able to take part in this. I'm definitely really scared as well. But I think overall, I'm trying to focus on the fact that it's a great opportunity and even if it doesn't lead anywhere, it's going to be great experience.”

Calvert hopes that it will bring him the confidence and drive to put themselves out there more.

“It's almost a thing where like, the odds are so low that it's the worst thing you can do is not try,” said Calvert.

Johnson hopes that this will be a good chance to network and get to know people within the industry.

“I hope to be able to dialogue with more industry professionals that are really immersed in the music industry and be able to make some more connections and just be able to talk to them; pick their brains a little bit,” she said.

As students gear up to enter the audition room, they will be representing not only themselves but Belmont.

“It's not the end all be all, but it's just a really great stepping stone to hopefully what's next,” said Calvert.

PHOTO: Courtesy of The Curb College of Entertainment

This article was written by Lilly Owens

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