Ryan and his mom, Jackie Alkire, joined the throng of 10,000 hoping for a chance to stand before the famous Idol judges. Good timing and a little luck helped him avoid lines others stood in for hours for a chance at fame.
Audition day began at 6am for registered singers who filled out forms about their personal life and got a number. Once the gates opened, Ryan waited for over an hour to film the crowd scenes for the show. By 9am contestants were split into large sections, and then sent in groups of four to one of ten tables where producers made cuts.
Ryan had only 30 seconds to belt out his song – “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 - just as executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, stopped to listen. Although he didn’t make it past the first round of producers, Ryan did meet Bo Bice, runner-up in Idol’s fourth season, and glimpsed host Ryan Seacrest.
“I was proud I did it. I was nervous, but by the time my audition came around eight hours later, I felt confident. I know I did a good job. I didn’t leave thinking I could have done better and gotten through.”
Ryan said he knew it was luck of the draw, since only about 200 people make it through to judging. It’s designed for TV, and isn’t always about talent. “I did it for fun,” he said.
Ryan spotted a few sure to pass the first round – a woman painted silver from head to toe, a man in a monkey suit, and an alien Transformer with moving parts.
The producers were surprisingly nice, said Ryan, who took the rejection gracefully and plans on auditioning again next year.
“I heard so many amazing voices, and they didn’t make it either,” he said. “I have just as good a chance as anyone else, so I might as well go out there and do it.”
Ryan has been acting and singing since age eight in local productions with Stage Troupe and Stars 2000, and performs in DVC’s annual Star Quest talent show. He hopes to attend UCLA after graduating next year.