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I never and I mean never thought I could go through with an audition for “American Idol,”

Keely Ames

I never — and I mean never — thought I could go through with an audition for “American Idol,” a groundbreaking show that at its peak reached 30 million viewers.

But when I found out that “Idol” auditions were taking place just 2 miles from the Deseret News offices, and realized that at 28, my age of eligibility was quickly expiring, I thought, “This is my moment.” My moment to prove I had overcome an insecurity. My chance at stardom.

I quickly learned I wasn’t alone in my thinking. “American Idol,” a show that has been around for 17 years and has been championed by millions of loyal, dedicated fans, continues to draw “thousands” of hopeful contestants to its open-call auditions in cities across the U.S., according to “Idol” representative Lauren Kenyon. People throughout the country are itching for a shot at fame and fortune — a chance at the American dream.

Salt Lake City was no exception. At 6:45 a.m. Thursday, with my hot pink guitar case in hand, I joined the large mass of aspiring pop stars. I thought 6:45 was early, but 26-year-old Keely Ames from Taylorsville showed up at 3:30.

Ames was the first person in line, and for being sleep deprived, she was incredibly chipper. She was planning on singing Etta James’ rendition of “At Last.”

“If you have a dream, go for it,” she told me. “You never know what’s going to happen. And if I don’t make it through, at least I still make some good friends doing it.”

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