Tifton’s very own La’Chelsea King will be heading to Atlanta, along with Tifton Idol winner Marcus Holloway of Moultrie, to audition for Season 13 of the popular television show American Idol.
Local auditions were held Saturday at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center by FOX 31 WFXL TV. More than 300 hopefuls came out for a chance to win the grand prize — a guaranteed audition and travel accommodations to Atlanta for auditions that will be held there July 26. After a sing-off between the top four contestants, Holloway was named the Tifton Idol winner. King came in second.
FOX 31 President Brenda Holloway announced to The Gazette Tuesday morning that King would also be joining Holloway in Atlanta. Both contestants will go directly to the producers; they will not have to wait in line like other contestants.
After getting in contact with FOX and seeing if they could send one more person to Atlanta to audition for American Idol, Brenda said she received a “yes.”
King said Brenda contacted her Monday afternoon with the good news. She thought Brenda was confirming her interview at the FOX 31 station for the Good Day morning show, which airs at 7 a.m. today. She said she was prepared for that information but was not prepared for what came next.
Brenda asked her what she was doing. King said everything went blank and she got scared. She thought they didn’t want to do the interview after all. She said her heart started to drop. Then Brenda revealed the good news that she would also be traveling to Atlanta for an audition. King said she started to cry.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said. “People just dream of this opportunity. This is a phone call you don’t think you’ll get. If she called me, there’s endless possibilities. It always start with that initial phone call that everyone dreams of getting. I’m just grateful that people support me enough and want me to do more.”
King said she was OK with being runner-up at Saturday’s audition.
“I was just seeing what I could do with the audition,” she said. Her first moment of excitement came from the preliminary rounds when she sang in front of the judges. She said they asked her to sing again after they had already said she was going through to the next round.
The news of her going to Atlanta finally became real to her when Brenda called her back to confirm her hotel reservation.
Since she was age four, King says she has been singing.
“They’re looking for anointed talent and to just hear them tell me ‘you have a God given talent and it’s going to take you somewhere...’ I was in prayer and meditation all Saturday,” she said.
King said Michael Johnson, who made it to the top 10, is a good friend who she calls her big little brother. She said he was very supportive and told her one of them needed to make it.
“He was a great inspiration. He’s a phenomenal singer,” she said.
She said her family and the Tifton community have been very supportive. She said her coworkers at Belk are also excited for her. While shopping at Publix, a cashier even asked her to sing.
King says she’s looking forward to the Atlanta audition. She chuckled and said she’s scared to eat or drink because she doesn’t want to mess up her vocal cords.
King said she counts this opportunity as a blessing and a dream.
The Atlanta auditions will be held at the Gwinnett Center, one of seven stops that the major auditions will take place, including Boston, Austin, Texas, San Francisco, Detroit, Salt Lake City and Omaha, Neb. The show will debut Season 13 Jan. 15, 2014.
To contact reporter Latasha Everson, call 382-4321.