Last year’s Gulf Coast Idol winner remembers experience

Updated: Oct. 5, 2018 at 1:49 PM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Your chance at auditioning for American Idol and winning $2,500 cash is still up for grabs. The next night of auditions for Gulf Coast Idol is Tuesday at the IP Resort.

As you may know, this is WLOX’s second year to host Gulf Coast Idol. We caught up with one of last year’s winners to discuss her experience after she took home the title.

Hadley Hill spent much of her childhood watching her grandfather play music and knew that’s what she wanted to do. “I grew up and I wanted to be a part of the band. I started learning guitar when I was 10," she said.

Then, she decided to take her talents to the stage. Last year, she auditioned for the first Gulf Coast Idol not knowing what was in store for her. She ended up being selected as a top 10 finalist and remembers playing in front of a packed house for the finale at the IP Resort.

“The energy was amazing and you could feed off the audience and they fed off of you. I enjoyed it. It was fantastic,” said Hill.

Then the moment came when she and Elija Carter were announced as the winners of the competition, receiving a cash prize and a trip each to an American Idol audition city. “I wasn't sure I heard it right. I guess I'm not used to winning so it was really a nice change to put myself out there and get something back for it. I was really in shock,” said Hill.

Hadley was sent to New Orleans to audition in front of producers of the popular singing competition show. Although she didn’t make it any further, it’s still an experience she’ll never forget. “What I found really interesting was that a lot of people who were at that audition with me made it onto the show,” she said.

The whole ride is something that Hadley hopes other singers on the Coast will take advantage of. “I would say, take the chance and register and audition. I didn’t think I would make it nearly as far as I did and it blew my mind to not only make it to the top 10 but to win."

There’s still a chance to sign up for the next round of Gulf Coast Idol auditions on Oct. 9th. The grand prize winner will receive $2,500, a silver ticket, and a trip for two to an American Idol audition city to sing in front of producers. This year, there will also be a fan-favorite voted on in an online poll after the finalists are announced. The fan-favorite winner will also receive $2,500. You must register to audition. You can do that by clicking HERE.

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