The "Idol" hopefuls lined up before dawn for a chance to sing for up to a minute in front of a producer, who would decide their fate.
Inside McCormick Place, seven tables are set up with a producer at each. Singers stand in front of a table and perform at the same time as all the others.
"You've got people singing next to you, behind you around you it's going to be loud, unnerving but that's what it is, it's like being on stage as it were," said Patrick Lynn, senior supervising producer for "American Idol."
Some contenders brought family and friends for support who camped outside and waited to hear of their loved ones came through.
"I've been passionate about this since I was little. My parents said I could sing way before I could talk," said Morgan Watt from Naperville.
Marquise Humphrey, from Florida, was among the aspiring singers.
"It's called Vero Beach, Florida. It's about an hour from Miami. We are getting hit hard," he said.
Humphrey said he was feeling emotional in the wake of Hurricane Irma and planned to channel that sadness, and hope, into his audition. After his audition, Humphrey found out that he made it to the next round.
Singers will perform for 30 seconds to a minute song in front of producers. They can bring instruments, like Kirk.
Kirk was second in line and traveled from Oregon to audition and plans to sing "Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde" by Travis Tritt.
Kirk said he came out to Chicago to audition because, "I messed up on my second song in Portland and I felt like I kind of left something on the table so I was like I got to try this again so my buddy and I raised $500 to get me out to here to get my second audition and we're gonna give it one more shot."
Brad Yeoman from Lombard quit his job and is performing an original song he wrote called "Everything.
Breah Bedford, a 17-year-old high school senior from Chicago is singing "Where You At" by fellow Chicagoan and American Idol winner Jennifer Hudson.
"People can sing whatever they want, it's what's going to show your voice off more, what's going to make you a good performer," said American Idol Supervising Producer Patrick Lynn.
It's very possible the next American idol could be kicking off their career right here in Chicago.
Registration is open until 5 p.m. Auditions are open to U.S. residents between 15 and 28 years old. An ID is required and all singers under 18 need a parent or legal guardian.
For more information, visit abc.go.com/shows/american-idol.