The winding corridors of the City Auditorium were filled with a chorus of voices from dozens of hopefuls who auditioned for “American Idol” on Sunday.

One of the show’s buses rolled into downtown Colorado Springs and brought with it a small army of producers and casting directors. Sunday’s event, which didn’t have any camera crews present, was an initial screening for later stages of the show and officials picked out those that would go on to the next round.

Tacita Vance was one of those lucky enough to win the approval of series producers.

“My hands were shaking the entire time,” Vance said.

She sang “God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts and the judges told her they wanted to hear more.

“They said they wanted more power so I brought out my Alicia Keys side, because I am a chameleon,” she said while sporting a leopard-print shirt.

Vance first auditioned for “American Idol” when she was 16, driving from Tennessee to Utah to do so. She was rejected that time, but now at 27, she was cleared to the next round.

Ruth Lapointe, 28, from Iowa waits for a ride after auditioning for American Idol at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium in Colorado Springs on Sunday, September 1, 2019. Lapointe did not make it past the preliminary rounds but will continue her musical career. Photo Credit: Terry Terrones.

Courtney Hummel, a spokeswoman for the show, said there’s a host of things that “American Idol” officials consider when evaluating contestants.

“‘American Idol’ really focuses on the backstory of contestants as well,” Hummel said. “At this stage, they really try to get to know the contestants.”

Everyone who auditions has to fill out a form that asks for basic background information and asks questions like, “What obstacles have you overcome in life?” and “Are you closely related or a good friend to someone who is famous?”

Jamien Walker, 19, drove down from Fort Collins to audition this morning. Walker, too, had previously auditioned for the show. And just like Vance, he was turned down. This time, however, he experienced a different outcome.

Last year, the “American Idol” officials liked his voice but told him to work on other parts of his performance. As Walker knows, show officials are looking for more than just vocal talent.

Walker comes from a musical family. He said his grandfather played saxophone for Earth Wind and Fire and his aunt reminded him of Whitney Houston.

He hopes to make a career out of performing, so his rejection by the show last year hit particularly hard.

“I didn’t think I was going to be a performer,” he said. “I didn’t think I was going to be an entertainer.”

Sunday’s news changed that, at least for a moment, as Walker strutted around with a grin on his face, knowing that he had made it to the next round.

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