Of the more than a million people across the country who have auditioned for American Idol, only a few dozen know what it’s truly like to live the Idol life. And that’s why OKmagazine.com brings you Idol Roundtable, where former finalists Mikalah Gordon, Anoop Desai and Diana DeGarmo — and some special guests — will share their insider insights on the new season.
This week, we asked our experts what they thought of the last week of auditions, before Hollywood Week begins on tonight's episode.
We wanted to find out how they felt about Victoria Beckham's return as guest judge, whether they're anticipating Ellen DeGeneres's big judging debut, the memories that stuck out to them the most from when they were auditioning, and how they feel the judges are doing so far.
"Victoria Beckham really cracks me up! I like her style of judging and I think she is a nice Simon Cowell buffer," jokes Diana. "He does seem to be nicer and funnier when she's around!"
Mikalah also loved seeing Posh return, adding, "I love Victoria Beckham so I was very excited to see her again. My very first concert when I was younger was the Spice Girls," she recalls. "She knows what this business is all about so her input is huge."
Whether they're appearing in front of a guest judge or not, potential contestants are under a lot of pressure, something Anoop knows all about.
"I remember the judges tearing the girl who went before me apart. I guess I thought that the bad auditions weren't real, but I was proved wrong," Anoop remembers. "The judges laughed and tormented this girl, and I had to go in there right after."
Diana can totally relate to Anoop on the stress of the audition process, telling OK!, " I remember feeling a huge rush of relief when I finally made it out of that audition room! So many emotions happen in that room and when you finally get that golden ticket, it's almost like you can't believe it!"
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As for the newest member of the judging panel, replacing Paula Abdul, everyone seems excited to see what Ellen can do!
"I'm really excited to see what Ellen is like as a judge. She was always so supportive to me while I was on the show, and I hope she keeps supporting the talent of the contestants this year," explains Anoop.
"I am PUMPED to see Ellen!" Diana told OK! after last week's episode. "I really hope great things for Ellen, but it is going to be strange not seeing Paula anymore."
All three of our Idolers also agreed that the montages and profiles of singers are a little much, and that the show should focus more on the singing.
"I do enjoy the backstories and the packages on the contestants, but at the end of the day, it is a singing show," Anoop admits. "I see nothing wrong with focusing on a contestant's journey now, but as it gets deeper in the competition, that will matter less and less."
Diana and Mikalah also chimed in on their favorites from last week's hopefuls:
Diana: I really like Lacey Brown. She has a gorgeous, sweet voice and is cute as a button! The one who I cannot get out of my head, and wish I could, is Adrian Chandtchi. He is like a gentle giant, but when that soft voice comes out of that body it throws you for a loop!
Mikalah: I loved Todrick Hall's audition. I'm being slightly biased because I've known him for a while but he was great.
Be sure to log on to OKmagazine.com tonight at 8 p.m. ET for our American Idol live blog!