CHICAGO (WLS) -- If you've ever thought you could be the next American Idol, this is the time to find out. Chicago auditions get underway Wednesday - and now, tryouts are easier than ever before.
Last season, Crystal Lake's Grace Kinstler made it all the way to the finals on "American Idol." Now, the search is on for the next great singing star. "Idol" producers say that could be you, because of virtual auditions.
"It really couldn't be easier. If you've got an internet connection, you can try out for the show," said Patrick Lynn, a supervising producer at "American Idol." "All you've got to do is go to American Idol.com/auditions, type in your name, fill out a little profile, pick a state where you want to virtually audition in and we'll send you a link to the Zoom room and you just click on and join us."
That means no driving, no parking, no standing in long lines in the hot sun.
"There's something to be said for being able to audition in your own home," Lynn added. "There's a certain comfort level there that lends itself to making it much more enjoyable."
Grace Kinstler went through two rounds of virtual auditions.
"It was actually more calming because I was in my den in the comfort of my own home," Kinstler explained. "It was a little more chill because I was at home. But I also had to remember to keep my energy up, since they are virtual. They don't get as much energy. It's hard to translate that. I didn't think I'd get nearly as far as I did, but this is what happens. This is why you should go out and audition."
Chicago-area singers have done quite well on "Idol." Mount Prospect's Lee DeWyze won it all back in Season 9.