As 'Idol Across America' comes to Illinois, Leah Marlene shares tips to help you stand out

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
'Idol Across America' brings virtual auditions to Illinois
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"Idol Across America" is bringing virtual auditions to Illinois. American Idol's Leah Marlene, from Normal, Ill., shares tips to help you stand out.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's "Illinois Day" for "Idol Across America" on Wednesday, with the virtual audition search focused right here.

If you want to take the first stop to possibly becoming the next "American Idol," we've got advice from last season finalist Leah Marlene and a current producer!

Nancy Yearing is a veteran senior casting producer for the show. Her family is from the northern suburbs, so she's pulling for our local talent!

"We have a fantastic history with Illinois in Grace Kinstler and Jason Warrior," Yearing said. "A lot of love for Illinois out there, and we just wanna keep meeting as many of you as possible."

Yearing shared how easy it is to sign up for a virtual audition.

"Just log on to and sign up, pick your date for when you come on and sing for us, and it's as easy as the click of a button," Yearing said. "It's the Zoom we've been using the past couple of years. You can play an instrument yourself, you can sing a capella, just be ready to show us what you've got. And you can do it from anywhere."

Leah Marlene made the top three last season, and it all started when she auditioned on a whim.

"Just come full force, exactly as you are, pick songs that feel like you, show off your personality," Leah said. "I got very lucky to go as far as I did. It might change your life."

She added, "I learned I'm capable of so much more than I ever thought I was at all. I can literally take on the world after this experience. There's just so much that's propelling me forward and putting a burning fire in me to keep going and make this dream a reality."

And by the way, Leah Marlene has a huge hometown concert in Normal coming up this Saturday, August 27.

For more information and to sign up for an audition with "Idol Across America," visit