2017 MHS Darling Kenzie Ellington gave the national singing show “American Idol” her best shot.

While she didn’t get a ticket to go to the next level, she said the experience was well worth the hours of wait.

“It was really cool getting to meet people from around Louisiana, even meeting some from out of state who sing like I do,” she said.

“It was a really cool experience, and I will try my best to get on the show next year to represent Minden and represent Louisiana.”
Her day began at 3 a.m., Sunday, when she got ready, ate breakfast and was in Shreveport by 5 a.m. to wait with thousands of other hopefuls to begin auditions at 9.

“They make it seem like it’s one day, but it’s a whole process,” she said. “We didn’t get the celebrity judges; they were professional, musically trained people who work for American Idol. We went in groups and were assigned a judge.”

She went with a group of about four other American Idol hopefuls and each got to sing for about 30 seconds before they were told “yea” or “nay.”

“If you were given a ticket, you were given another date to try out in front of the celebrity judges,” she said. “It was a really fast process. None of the four in my group were given a ticket. The judge just said ‘Thank you, please come back, we just don’t think you’re ready for the show this year.’”

Ellington said she was done by 10:30 a.m.

While standing in line, she talked with several people, even reconnecting with a Haughton friend she met in the pageant circuit.
“It was cool getting back in touch with her,” she said. “There were a bunch from Texas, and they were going to an audition in Texas, but they ended up coming to the Shreveport audition because of the hurricane.”

Out of the entire Shreveport audition, only three people were given tickets to go to the next round, she said.

“The three they picked were gospel and soul singers,” she said.

Leaving the audition, she was disappointed she wasn’t chosen, but she is confident in her talent, saying she isn’t giving up.

Ellington said she came home, took a nap, and her friends took her out that night to celebrate her audition for American Idol.

“I was proud of myself, because I never thought I would get the opportunity to say I tried out for American Idol,” she said. “Just being able to say that speaks for itself. I had fun, I gave it my all, and God just didn’t have that for me this year.”