Greentown teen wins an audition on American Idol

With only 30 seconds each to impress the judges, nearly 60 “American Idol” hopefuls took to the Eagles Theatre stage Saturday in Wabash to win the Silver Ticket.

18-year-old Kassey King of Greentown won first place at Saturday’s “Hoosier Idol” to capture the Silver Ticket, which grants King a one-on-one audition with an “American Idol” executive producer at the next round of auditions in Chicago on Sept. 11.

“Hoosier Idol’s” second- and third-place winners received front-of-the-line passes, which enable them to bypass the line of contestants at the Chicago auditions. Second place went to 24-year-old Jessica Hanna of Wabash and third place went to 22-year-old Dakota Parker of North Manchester.

ABC 21 and Eagles Theatre hosted Saturday’s auditions for the next season of “American Idol.” The audition was open to contestants between 15 to 28 years old.

The preliminary rounds took place until about 5 p.m., with the top 10 contestants singing in the final audition at 5:30 p.m. The event was free and open to the public to watch.

The four judges were Niyoki Chapman, a backup singer for the late Prince; Jack Hammer, Three Rivers Festival executive director; Aaron Barker, Nashville Hall of Famer and singer-songwriter; and Chris Wallin, Nashville singer-songwriter.

Each contestant in the preliminary round had 30 seconds to sing. The judges awarded each singer 1 to 10 points for vocal performance, 1 to 10 points for appearance and 1 to 5 points for the “X” factor.

After the 10 finalists were announced, each had one minute to perform for the judges again, and then a winner was chosen. The contest was scheduled to have only five final finalists, but the judges struggled with narrowing the list so it was increased to 10.