Editor's note: As "American Idol" auditions get under way in Salt Lake City, the Deseret News is following two hopefuls through the process. Loren Allred and Jeanette Greenlee are among the thousands who will be at the EnergySolutions Arena today.
In 2006, Jeanette Greenlee and a friend drove to Denver to audition for "American Idol."
"We did it for fun," the 20-year-old Sandy resident said. "We drove 12 hours to get there and waited 12 hours for our audition and then drove back. We were tired and hot, but it was a lot of fun. And I wasn't taking it too seriously because I was only a senior in high school."
Greenlee didn't make the cut. But the experience gave her a glimpse of what to expect when she attends the "American Idol" open-
call auditions at the EnergySolutions Arena today.
Greenlee said she'll always remember her Denver audition.
"I sang in front of associate producers," Greenlee said. "The ones who got to sing in front of the three TV judges (Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul) had gone through about a week's worth of auditions. So I never sang in front of them or even saw them. The producers told me that my style wasn't the type of style they were looking for at that time.
"But what was even more interesting was the fact that we'd all get in little circles and try to size up our competition. We'd ask questions about what the others were going to sing and how they were going to sing it. And we looked at what they were wearing and things like that."
Greenlee was surprised at some of the people who made it past the first call.
"There was a one guy before me who really didn't sing," she said. "He shouted the words and was in the group that moved on to the next stage. I was in the group that didn't, and I'm sure we had better voices and much better training than what he had."
Greenlee has always loved music. She took piano lessons from age 11 through high school.
"I still continue with those," she said, "but I went to Snow College and majored in vocal performance. I'm more of a classical singer. But regardless of the style, I just love to sing."
She currently isn't taking voice lessons because she can't afford them, but she plans to attend Salt Lake Community College this fall.
"I want to become a wedding planner, and my minor will be in music," she said.
Greenlee is taking a break from school and is working as an events coordinator and scheduler at This Is the Place Heritage Park. Interestingly enough, Greenlee met some of the "American Idol" camera crews Monday.
"They were up at the park filming segments," said Greenlee. "And I showed them around."
Because she took today off for the auditions, she couldn't get down to register until Monday afternoon, she said. But it wasn't as crazy as she thought.
"There was only one other person in line besides me," she said. "And it took less than five minutes. They put a wristband on me and gave me a ticket and some papers."
Greenlee said she watched the last three episodes of the first season of "American Idol" and was hooked but not addicted.
"I watched the next season, but did cool down a bit on it because the people I wanted to win were dropped," she said. "And I've watched all the other seasons. This last one was amazing, because of the David Archuleta thing."
When Greenlee auditions for "American Idol" today, it will not only be for fun, but also to see how far she can go.
"I would love to be included in the top 32," she said. "I want to see if my voice can get me at least that far. It would be nice to make it further because I love to sing."
As of Monday, Greenlee hadn't decided her audition song.
E-mail: [email protected]