EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – About 10,000 people gathered in New Jersey on Tuesday in search of one dream ... to be the next American Idol.
A sea of people lined up all the way around the Izod Center in East Rutherford — the last stop on the "Idol" audition train for his year. Many slept on the pavement overnight to secure a place near the front of the line. Other hardcore "Idol" wannabes had camped out since Sunday.
"Idol" host Ryan Seacrest showed up Tuesday to interact with the hopefuls. People who'd been waiting in line for hours brightened up when they saw the man known for the line, "THIS is 'American Idol.'"
Photo Essay: 'Idol' audition in East Rutherford, N.J.
We saw fewer costumes this year, but did interview one Snow White, one man dressed as a punk rocker and a man with a (temporary?) Paula Abdul tattoo.
The producers of "Idol" are hoping to find something special among the New Jersey crowd, but what exactly are they looking for?
"We're looking for originality, personality and good voices, not necessarily in that order," one producer of the show told FOX News.
One woman is here because of the dreams of her friends.
"I had three women who I know, three different states, who don't know each other, all had dreams that I was on 'American Idol.' I was like, all right, that's enough of a weird coincidence to get me out here," the hopeful told FOX News.
Thousands of others have already auditioned from Jacksonville to Phoenix. Season eight of "Idol" kicks off in January.