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Two area singers head to New Orleans auditions


Jan Swoope



Cideania "Sprite" Wilson of Caledonia and Stephanie Thorn of Starkville are doing something about their dreams to sing. Today, the two Golden Triangle residents are on the road to New Orleans for American Idol auditions bright and early Monday morning at the New Orleans Arena. 


The young vocalists, both 22, were friends when they lived in Grenada. Wilson has lived in Lowndes County since October; Thorn moved to Starkville about a year ago, with plans to attend Mississippi State University. 


For Wilson this will be a second Idol try-out. She auditioned in 2006 in Memphis, Tenn., where she advanced through the first of three audition rounds. 


"I was 19 then," said the singer, who will turn 23 in September. "My voice has matured since then; I''ve expanded my range in songs. Back then, I was leaning toward country. Now I lean toward R&B." 


This time around, Wilson has prepared two songs for her moment in the spotlight: "Realize," by Colbie Callait, and "Bleeding Love," by Leona Lewis. 


"They tell a good story; I can really relate to them," she explained of her choices. "They give you three minutes to sing a song, and if they didn''t think the song you picked was really good for your voice, they''ll ask you to sing another one." 


Thorn hopes her picks of Callait''s "I''m Leaving You" and Carrie Underwood''s "What Can I Say?" will impress the producers and staff members she''ll have to sing for before hopefully getting to perform in front of the show''s judges. 


Based on her past experience, Wilson offered insight into what the girls can expect when they join hundreds of other 16- to 28-year-old Idol hopefuls in the Big Easy. 


"When you come in the arena, they give you tickets to your seats. They''ll call that whole section down and line you up in groups of four. All the way back out the doors will be lines of four people (side by side)." 


As the foursomes have their moment before production staff, each individual is called to step forward and sing. 


"They told us right then if they like you, or you''re not what we''re looking for, or maybe next time," said Wilson. "If you advance, they call out your name and have you come up to the table. It''s pretty much the same thing in the second round." 


The young women, both single moms, feel this opportunity is too important to pass up. 


Thorn''s parents, Beth and John Thorn of Columbus, aren''t surprised to see their daughter take this step. 


"It''s something that''s been a dream of Stephanie''s life since I can remember," said her mother.  


Thorn, a former school show and honor choir member in Grenada, stated, "I''m not going to get my hopes up, but I''m extremely excited just to be able to experience this. Whether I make it or not, I just really want to be able to experience it."  


Wilson views it as a positive adventure, too. "I don''t like rejection ... but I don''t like to live my life by if''s, and''s or but''s. If I make it to the third round, I''ll be super excited ... and if I don''t, it was a good experience."


Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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