"American Idol" might not have announced the [article id="1644920"]final judges' panel[/article] for the upcoming 10th season, but that hasn't kept the show from kicking off the search for new singers.
On Tuesday, MTV News caught up with a few "Idol" wannabes at the East Rutherford, New Jersey, auditions to get an idea of who we'll be rooting for next season.
"I did make it to the next round," Stewart Taylor told MTV News. "I'm very, very, very excited, and I'm not stopping here, baby. I'm going all the way to Hollywood this time, because I did this last year and almost made it. You're in it to win it."
Gregory Higbee explained the preliminary audition round, which isn't quite the wacky tryouts you see at the start of the season. "You stand up there, one at a time, in front of the judges and sing your song. It's usually 20 or 30 seconds long, so after everyone sings, they'll call you all towards the desk, and they'll tell you whether you've made it or not," Higbee explained. "There's no feedback. There's no 'You should work on this.' It's just 'I'm sorry, you didn't make it.' "
While some contestants, like Heather Snare, were confident they'd make it through, others were surprised when they heard the judges give them the boot. Erik Mason waited about an hour to see the judges but was not picked for the next round. "I was a Disney Dream Ticket holder, and I thought I was good enough, but I guess I'm not what they're looking for," he said.
Another contestant, Gabrielle Gorman, told MTV News: "I thought it went well, but obviously it wasn't good enough for this season." But Gorman kept her head high as she revealed she'll "have to come again next year and try again."
Marvin Black had already envisioned what it would be like to receive his "golden ticket," but reality set in when he didn't make it. "I thought I was going to make my way through, going to sing, get the golden ticket, run with the golden ticket to the backstage," Black said. "But about after 30 to 45 seconds of singing, they cut my wristband and told me to get out."
Brianna Sent, who dressed up as a life-size banana, believed that if "American Idol" really wanted viewership, they would have let her though, noting, "Everyone was digging it, and it was happening."
How do you think this season of "American Idol" will fare compared to previous ones? Tell us what you think in the comments!
Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' [article id="1486475"]"American Idol" page[/article], where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.