Denver Idol offers American Idol shortcut

When I heard about the American Idol auditions set to take place here July 12-14, I began looking into flights out of town, in order to avoid being trampled to death by wannabe superstars who'd actually like to see Paula Abdul in person. (It can't be any worse than the video version. Is there any TV regular who looks more terrifying on HD?) No doubt those lusting for fame will be out in force, and they're also apt to turn up the previous week at tryouts for Denver Idol, Channel 31's homegrown variation on the gaudy talent contest -- and not because it'll raise their chances of a News on the Deuce appearance. According to DI contest page, the Denver Idol winner will receive "a guaranteed audition in front of the American Idol Producers."

That last word -- "producers" -- is key. The victor could still get knocked out before the judges have a chance to see them wail anything from Les Misérables or the Kara DioGuardi songbook. But if there's any chance to stand out from the thousands of other equally desperate contestants, you can bet plenty of people will take it. Get details by clicking here.

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