BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of hopefuls crowded the IP Resort and Spa on the first night of Gulf Coast Idol as they awaited their turn to take the stage and share their musical talents.
Kia Brown, of Moss Point, was ready to belt out the tunes just before her audition.
"I always wanted to audition, but they're always in Florida or Atlanta. Sometimes they're in New Orleans. But at the last minute, I heard about Gulf Coast Idol, and thought no time like the present," said Brown.
Brown said she's been singing since she was three, currently sings in church, and is bolstered by the support of family and friends who tell her this is what she should do with her life.
"I wish everybody good luck, to do their best, sing their hearts out, and go for broke."
Gulf Coast Idol promoter David Krenning said the response of applicants has been overwhelming.
"It came about when "American Idol" said it was coming back to ABC. So, we looked at it as a way for WLOX to be involved with it back on our network, with our community. Four hundred people preregistered for the event. We only had one and a half weeks to promote it. Who knows, the next American Idol could be from Biloxi," said Krenning.
Petal resident Dixie Darlene said she's back for another audition after a disappointing first try.
"I auditioned in 2011, and Skylar Lane beat me," said Darlene.
Judges will score each performer Wednesday night and again on Wednesday, Aug. 30. Both are open auditions and open to the public free of charge.
From there, the top 10 scorers from both of the first nights combined will be invited to the final round of Gulf Coast Idol, held on Sept. 6.
The top two from those 10 will get silver passes to skip the big lines at the New Orleans auditions on Sept. 14.
They'll also win iPad minis, $2,500, limo rides, and the round trip paid for to New Orleans.