With voices raised high, thousands lined up outside and around FedExForum Friday morning to register for American Idol auditions. Many had been in line since Thursday afternoon, like Tania Velazquez, who was at the front of the line.
Many were Mid-Southerners, while others flew in from around the country.
Tiffany Wright drove from North Carolina through Tropical Storm Ernesto to teach her daughter a life lesson. "You only have one chance to live," she said. "You should do whatever you can and not have any regrets at all."
American Idol was supposed to recruit in Memphis last year but auditions were canceled in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Idolizers had a run in with fame when Memphian, and last season Idol finalist Gideon McKinney, appeared for the line. "That's the encouraging words I give everyone out here," he said. "Go in with your head held high and you'll make it to Hollywood."
Velazquez was ready to see the judges. "I'm ready for the criticism," she said. "I'm ready for them."