Rejected candidates remained upbeat, certain that their talent would not go unnoticed despite not being the right fit for the show's 10th season. Instead, they took comfort in what they said were eliminations based purely on image and style.
"Only if you were a big weirdo - a spectacle for the show - or really young did you have a shot," said Frank Seijas, 25, of Whittier, who sang "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke.
Candidates funneled into the audition area in groups of four to be critiqued by one or two judges at one of 10 tables.
Those who made the cut were given a golden ticket to advance to the next round. Three rounds of auditions are happening today.
Some said the experience only strengthened their determination to make it big as a chanteuse or crooner.
"You go in there and be yourself," said 17-year-old Jessica Bryant, of Diamond Bar, Calif. "Even though I wasn't good enough for American Idol, I know I'm good enough for someone."