50 cities will host pre-auditions for American Idol 6

Embarrassing yourself as part of American Idol‘s audition episodes will soon be a lot easier. For next year’s edition of the show (not this year’s fifth season), the show is adding 50 cities — yes, 50 — as part of “The Idol Auditions Tour.”

They won’t be true auditions in front of Simon, Randy, and Paula, but a sort of screening process in malls, organized by Glowcast Ventures. Those who make it through in those cities will still have to travel to one of the major cities to continue the American Idol 6 audition process. As Brandweek explains,

The first 500 people to arrive at each audition site who meet Idol’s contestant requirements can perform in front of an audience to vie for the chance to gain access to one of the show’s primary audition sites. Winners from each of the 50 audition sites will then be fast-tracked through the stadium audition process in their region, having pre-cleared this preliminary round.

The tour kicks off in August of 2006, and “will allow an estimated additional 20,000 people to try out,” according to a press release.

Fremantle Says, “Hello Cleveland! Scranton! Schenectady!…” [Brandweek]
American Idol Auditions Coming to a Town Near You with the Idol Auditions Tour [Business Wire]