It's a chance at stardom.
They came prepared to impress the judges.
"You want good singers that have good personalities that can perform," senior producer Patrick Lynn said. "Finding that is like a needle in a haystack. It's not just about singing on this show! It's about your personality."
That was on display everywhere Sunday as the hopefuls sized up their competition and prepared their pitches.
"I love country, I love pop, I love rap," Mount Olive singer Makenzie Schaffer. "Really, I love all kinds of music!"
We'll see who makes the cut this round.
Watch American Idol when it returns this Fall on ABC11.