Keith Johnson, Deseret News
Loren Allred is one of thousands who will audition for "American Idol" today at EnergySolutions Arena.

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.

Listen to sample of

Loren Allred's recording
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Loren Allred has loved "American Idol" since it premiered back in 2002. And since then, she's wanted to audition for the show.

Now her dream is coming true. She will be one of the thousands who will audition for "American Idol" at the EnergySolutions Arena today.

"I've been wanting to audition since I was 14," said Allred, now 18. "But my parents couldn't accompany me to the auditions, which were out of state. And it was a requirement for a parent or guardian to accompany a minor.

"But this year, it's here and I'll be 19 in September," the Murray resident said. "So the age thing isn't an issue."

In fact, Allred is so serious about auditioning that she spent Saturday night in her van in a parking lot near the EnergySolutions Arena just so she could be there bright and early to register Sunday morning.

"I got in line about 4 a.m.," Allred said. "There were already 300 people in line. The registration wasn't suppose to begin until 8 a.m., but they opened up at 7 a.m. and I was done by 7:30 a.m."

Allred, who works as an assistant at Nexant, an energy-consultant firm, grew up in a musical family. Her parents, Carol Ann and Brady Allred, are voice teachers at the University of Utah. And her three younger sisters sing, too.

"My parents and I have different music styles," Allred said with a laugh. "But they have helped me a lot. My mom has helped me with my warm-ups and my dad has helped me develop my voice. And both know the music business and know the good and bad of the industry."

Last spring, Allred, who will attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston later this year, was crowned "Murray Idol" in the city's vocal contest.

That's right, Allred is from Murray and attended Murray High School — just like last season's "American Idol" runner-up, David Archuleta.

Allred said that connection makes her a tad nervous.

"I've noticed a pattern in the winners of 'American Idol,'" she said. "It seems since the first season, the winners have alternated girl, boy, girl, boy."

(With the exception that Fantasia Barrino won in Season 3 and Carrie Underwood followed in Season 4.)

"That was another reason I didn't want to audition last year, because I had a feeling it was going to be a boy that won. And David Cook won," Allred said. "So, this year, if the pattern holds, it will be a girl who wins. But I don't know if the producers want someone from the same place that David Archuleta came from. And David is Murray's sweetheart.

"So, there is some added pressure that makes me nervous."

Still, that pressure didn't stop Allred from attending the preregistrations early Sunday.

"I want to take things as they come," she said. "I don't want to get my expectations up too high, because I don't want to get disappointed. But I do know it would be great if I make it to the Hollywood call."

Allred believes this is a chance of a lifetime.

"Before 'American Idol,' there weren't a lot of opportunities for singers to make it in the business," she said. "You went to New York City or Los Angeles and tried to get a recording contract. But it was hard. I know it's competitive this way, but it seems there is more of a chance."

Allred said she already has her audition song selected: "Listen" from the "Dreamgirls" Broadway musical.

"The judges at 'Murray Idol' really liked it," said Allred, who cited Mariah Carey, Dinah Washington, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin as her influences. "It's a great song."

So, what if Allred moves on to the Hollywood call?

"I think it would be so cool," she said. "I'm a competitive person and the closer I get to something I want, it only makes me want to try harder."


E-mail: scott@desnews.com