It was like a high school reunion when Chris Sligh and Mandisa recently participated in what is being called the largest gathering of past “American Idol” winners and finalists to date. They joined together to celebrate the opening of Walt Disney World’s newest attraction, The American Idol Experience.
Among those in attendance with Mandisa and Sligh were “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, Carrie Underwood, David Cook, Justin Guarini, David Archuleta, Brooke White, Melinda Doolittle, Ace Young, Bucky Covington, Josh Gracin, Diana DeGarmo and many more. The evening culminated with a concert featuring Carrie and David singing together.
The audition experience condenses the process of trying out for the TV show, taking would-be Idols from 30-second a cappella performances in front of “talent scouts” through various stages of preparation to a performance on a near-perfect replica of the Idol set. Contestants get instruction from vocal coaches and hair and makeup artists, as well as time in a Coca-Cola red lounge with iPods and headphones, so they can learn shortened arrangements of one of 113 popular songs to perform.
Every week our staff writer Lara is breaking down Season 8 of American Idol.