'American Idol' Kicks Off Auditions For Season Nine In Boston

On Sunday, 7,000 'Idol' hopefuls braved the pouring rain and cold wind.

Though the eighth season just wrapped up and season nine won't hit airwaves until next January, "American Idol" never rests. Auditions for the singing competition — a source of both vindication and humiliation for contestants every year — got under way on Sunday outside of Boston.

The suffering started even before participants got a chance to flex their vocal chords, as they were greeted by rain showers and unusually cold winds at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, home to the New England Patriots.

"If you're auditioning, you want pouring rain, you want freezing weather," host Ryan Seacrest said during a brief press conference, according to The Associated Press. "It makes the weak stay home."

(For an inside view of the grueling process, look back at Jim Cantiello's audition for "American Idol" last year.)

Singers started gathering as early as 3 a.m., and the line eventually stretched the length of the stadium and through the parking lot. After more than a four-hour wait, singers were ushered inside, where 14 tents were set up as judges waited to appraise the talent.

"Idol" rules stipulate that contestants must be between the ages of 16 and 28 and be eligible to work in the United States. In total, about 7,000 people were said to have tried out.

While Fox will not release the names of contestants who met with judges' approval and obtained a coveted golden ticket to Hollywood, The Boston Globe spoke with two singers who said they'll be moving on to the next round: Christy Castillo, 21, revealed that she performed Keyshia Cole's "I Remember," and Katie Ryan, 16, said that she covered Aerosmith's "Dream On."

After Foxborough, the auditions shift to Atlanta on Thursday and then to Chicago next week. Other auditions will be held in Dallas, Los Angeles, Orlando and Denver.

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