Thousands brave rain to become next ‘American Idol’

American Idol Auditions Albuquerque
Thousands met up with the American Idol bus in Albuquerque for their chance to audition for the show.

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The next “American Idol” could be right here in New Mexico. The reality show stopped in Albuquerque Tuesday for the first time ever.

Thousands of people showed up with dreams of glitz and glamour and even the grey skies and rain couldn’t dampen their spirits.

It was a positively New Mexico welcome for Hollywood and American Idol, their bus rolling into Albuquerque Tuesday to hear the voices from the Land of Enchantment and surrounding areas.

“Right now, I’m really nervous,” Rocquel Barr of Albuquerque said.

“Everybody is just in it to win it,” Kyle Tischler, who made the drive from Durango, Colorado said.

Old Town Plaza was lined with people cheering, screaming and warming up their pipes, many ready to show the world what they’ve got.

Some even showed up before the sun did.

Maxine Montana was the first person in line. She arrived at 4:00 a.m.

“I was like, I got to be the first one there!” she said.

Montana, who lives in Albuquerque, sang Alicia Keys “If I Ain’t Got You.”

No big name judges like Jennifer Lopez or Keith Urban were in town. Rather, singers performed in front of producers.

News 13 got a preview of some of the talent, as actual auditions couldn’t be filmed.

However, we met all kinds of people in line, like Demitria Gina VonAmelunxen from Santa Fe.

“Mostly, I’m here because of my dad,” VonAmelunxen said. “He died when I was a little girl.”

She dedicated Anna Kendrick’s “When I’m Gone” to her father.

With a crowd of thousands, unfortunately not everybody made the cut, but plenty of New Mexicans are one step closer to Hollywood.

“I’ve always wanted to audition ever since I first saw it on TV,” Jacob Sanchez said.

The 17-year-old Sanchez made the drive from Raton.

Like many others, Tuesday just wasn’t his day.

“It wasn’t meant to be this time but it’s OK.”

“I’ll just keep practicing and go to another one,” Montana said.

They’ll fine tune their craft and try again because New Mexico is home to plenty of Hollywood royalty.

A little more than 2,000 people auditioned, 2,040 to be exact. American Idol couldn’t tell News 13 how many people made it to the next round although they did say “a good amount.”

The American Idol bus heads to Amarillo for its next stop.

Auditions will be held there on Thursday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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