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Medford's 'Idol' hopeful doesn't make cut

Medford's 'Idol' hopeful doesn't make cut

Medford's "American Idol" hopeful Bryan Elbe, 29, returned home from his audition Thursday in San Francisco with bad news.

Elbe was not put through to the second round of auditions, when he would have appeared in front of "Idol" judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

About 8,000 people auditioned for the show in San Francisco, Elbe said.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, after waiting five and a half hours in line, he and three other aspiring idols were called to a judging table manned by two production assistants, including one who had approved last season's top-seven finisher Kristy Lee Cook of Selma.

Elbe sang "Believe" by Brooks and Dunn. The others in his group sang one song each, and the production assistants asked Elbe if he had another song. He sang "She Must Be So Happy" by Jeffrey Steele.

"Then one of the assistants got up and ran over to another producer," Elbe said. "I'm like, 'Oh my God, this is finally happening.' Then he came back and said, 'I'm sorry, we're not putting any of you through.' It was a big tease."

Though his audition wasn't a success, Elbe was optimistic about national attention he received at the audition.

When leaving the Cow Palace, Elbe was interviewed by reporters from Access Hollywood and former "Idol" star Justin Guarini, who co-hosts an "Idol" audition special on the TV Guide channel.

"I gave him a CD that strategically had a business card with contact information on the inside," Elbe said.

Elbe raised $650 to pay for the trip by selling CDs, collecting pop cans and singing door-to-door. This was his third try at "American Idol" auditions. He was allowed to try again even though "Idol" registration rules state contestants must be age 16 to 28 as of July 15.

Elbe, who works at Chadwick's Pub as a karaoke disc jockey, was optimistic despite the result of his audition. He qualified for the local round of the Colgate Country Showdown on July 26, and he and his girlfriend, Kamee Hall, were engaged Sunday.

"It's back to life and karaoke," Elbe said. "I'm looking for a day job. I'm not giving up on my dreams, but now I have a wedding to pay for."

Reach intern Stacey Barchenger at 776-4464 or e-mail her at intern1@mailtribune.com.

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