'Idol' Hopefuls Spend Weekend in St. Louis

St. Louis (AP) -- Tents and long lines marked the landscape outside the Edward Jones Dome as some 10,000 "American Idol" hopefuls showed up to audition for the Fox television show.

Contestants began lining up Friday, though producers had told singers not to arrive until 6 a.m. Saturday.

St. Louis police Sgt. Ronald Klier said the crowd was orderly -- and talented.

"A lot of them brought their guitars. Some of them sang. I'd say they are pretty good," Klier said. "It takes a lot of guts to get in front of people and sing. I admire that."

On Sunday, contestants processed Saturday were to perform for about 30 seconds. From that pool, about 360 singers were expected to go before executive producers Monday. From there, the field will be cut to about 120.

Celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson will pick about 30 singers Wednesday to compete against other finalists in California.

The fourth season of "American Idol" will debut in January.

Auditions will be held in the coming months in Washington; Orlando, Fla.; New Orleans; Las Vegas; Anchorage, Alaska; and San Francisco.

On the Net: www.idolonfox.com

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