Top 10 Tips for Auditioning On American Idol

If the early round episodes have taught us anything, it's what not to do if you want to move on to Hollywood. Here is a collection of the best tips for nailing an American Idol audition.
The Top Ten
1 Pick a Song You Can Sing

It seems to go without saying, but so many people mess this up and ultimately destroy their chances.

Not everybody can sing every song. Know your limitations and pick a song that best exemplifies your strengths without highlighting any weaknesses. You have complete control over your selection, so if you can't find a song you can sing perfectly, then you probably aren't a good candidate for the show.

If you can't hit all the notes in a song, don't try to and don't change the song. Just pick a different one. This is especially true when selecting a well-known song. If you start singing A-ha's Take On Me, everyone in the room is going to be waiting in anticipation to see if you can hit that high note. If you aren't able to or change the note to something you can sing, that's going to be the biggest thing everyone takes from the audition.

2 Avoid Songs with Iconic Performances

There are some songs out there that should essentially be retired from being covered. Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You comes to mind. These are well-known songs where one performer has owned the song so thoroughly that no matter who sings it, they will always be compared to the original, and they will always fall short.

Other songs in this category include Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers (even the great Bono couldn't come close to matching it), U2's With or Without You, and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

3 Don't Forget the Lyrics

It goes without saying. Whether you didn't rehearse well enough or got stage fright is irrelevant. Forgetting the words is a surefire way to get shown the door.

Forgetting the lyrics is unprofessional.

4 Don't Pick the Flavor of the Month for Your Song

You're not going to stand out if you pick the same current top 40 song that everybody else is singing too. After 100 renditions of Miley Cyrus's Party In the U.S.A., the judges are going to be sick of it. Plus, it makes it look like you have no knowledge of music history, which certainly won't help your chances.

5 Respect the Judges

Whether or not you agree with the judges doesn't matter. It's their show, and you have no say in the matter. Think of your audition as the ultimate job interview and treat the judges accordingly.

6 Have a Backup Song

If you're on the bubble and the judges want a little more to base their decision on, they may ask you to sing another song. Make sure you have one and make sure you can nail it. You are so close, so don't screw it up.

Also, don't pick one that sounds the same as the one you just sang. Pick one that also shows off what you like and what you can do with your voice. It'll show range and versatility.

7 Prove You Can Hold a Note

Vocal runs have their place, but they can also be used to mask the fact that a singer can't hold a note. Make sure you prove the opposite at least somewhere in your performance.

You don't need to hit super high notes. If you can hit the notes well, then the judges will appreciate your talent. Not all of us are gospel singers.

8 Don't Sing an Original

This is not the time to show off your songwriting skills. It is a virtual certainty that there are thousands of better songs out there than the one you have written. Don't sacrifice your chances of moving on because you are too arrogant to see that.

9 Don't Lash Out If You Get Rejected

First off, you'll look like an idiot for arguing with judges who have spent more years in the music industry than you have been alive. Secondly, if you truly are Idol material, there is always next year, unless of course you make a memorable scene. Do you really think the judges will give you a fair chance at your next audition if you leave a bad taste this year?

10 Believe in Yourself

It is funny how mind is over matter. So, always believe in yourself. Never for a moment think that you can't do it!

The Contenders
11 Dress Classily Yet Comfortably

Even though it is a singing competition, your appearance matters. Also, take into account that you may be waiting all day for your chance. Wear something you can tolerate being in for hours on end.

12 Don't Be Afraid
13 Remember It’s a Reality TV Show
BAdd New Item