'American Idol' to audition 100,000

July 12, 2006 at 12:07 AM

LOS ANGELES, July 11 (UPI) -- "American Idol" will visit seven cities, including San Antonio, Birmingham, Ala., Memphis and Minneapolis to seek out fresh talent for its sixth season.

The "Idol" audition tour begins Aug. 8 in Los Angeles and finishes in Seattle on Sept. 19, USA Today reported.

Three of the cities are on the list for the first time -- Memphis, Minneapolis and Birmingham. Memphis was dropped in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina. Birmingham had three previous "Idol" winners, Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks and runner-up Bo Bice.

"Because that's where so many of our Idols have come from, that's a must," Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe said about Birmingham.

Lythegoe expects 12 producers to meet about 100,000 candidates. About 1,000 will advance to a second round. Lythgoe and Executive Producer Ken Warwick will then cull the list to 250 for judging by Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.

Auditions are open to anyone age 16 to 28 as of Aug. 6 who's eligible to work in the United States.

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