Iowans with dreams of becoming the next Kelly Clarkson or Kris Allen waited in a long line Tuesday on the University of Iowa campus. American Idol producers stopped in Iowa City as part of their “small town bus tour.” Ruth LaPointe of Mason City was among the people auditioning with hopes of landing a spot on the Fox TV show.

“People keep asking me to audition for American Idol, but I’ve never had a chance close enough to me. I hopped in the car and drove three hours from Mason City and I’m here now,” LaPointe said in an interview with UI Marketing staff. Other UI students, like senior David Laing and freshman Rachel Stewart, said they realize it’s a long shot to make the final cut, but it’s worth the effort.

“I’ve always liked to sing. I feel like I’m not that bad at it, so I thought I’d come give it a try,” Laing said. Stewart echoed those comments, “I’ve always been into choir, always been a theater geek. I figured, (American Idol) is in town, I might as well give it a shot.”

Contestants were asked to have two to three songs ready to perform a cappella. Just over 100 people auditioned in Iowa City and 11 of the singers were chosen to move on to a second round of auditions. The 12th season of American Idol kicks off in January. The show’s “small town bus tour” also made a stop in the northwest Iowa town of Rock Rapids last Saturday.