Over the past few months, more than 500 applicants have sent in videos to the Idol casting crew with 40 of the state’s best singers being selected to perform live auditions on the fairgrounds in Jackson.
“We had about 500 folks who did digital auditions. They do a digital clip and send it in and out of those 500, 40 got selected and I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing what they have to offer,” said Ag Commissioner Andy Gipson, who oversees the state fair. “I know it’s going to be good. Probably quite a bit of diversity from different genres of music. County music, blues, rock and roll, who knows what will be in there?”
The 40 chosen applicants will perform on Monday night inside the Coliseum. After that, a total of 20 applicants will be invited back on Tuesday with the top five advancing straight to Nashville to perform in front of judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.
Those competing will look to join a long list of people with Mississippi ties who have previously made their mark on the Idol stage. Over the last three years, Colin Stough, Zachariah Smith, Deshawn Goncalves, and Hannah Everhart have finished in the top 24. Amory native Trent Harmon won the entire show in 2016.
“We do it better than anybody else here in Mississippi,” Gipson continued. “I know that we don’t have to brag about our talent, but our people are just naturally gifted and that cuts across every genre and every background so it’s something to be proud of.”
Both nights of American Idol at the Mississippi State Fair are open to the public and will begin at 6 p.m. All you have to do is pay regular fair admission.