Nashville sees huge turnout for 'Idol' auditions

July 15, 2010 11:28:57 AM PDT
Auditions for the 10th season of "American Idol" are kicking off in Nashville as wannabe contestants prepare for a show without judge Simon Cowell. People began lining up for wristbands outside early Thursday morning. By 9 a.m., "American Idol" supervising producer Patrick Lynn estimated there were upward of 10,000 people waiting in the nearly 90-degree heat.

Contestants are mixed on Cowell's departure. Some are relieved they won't have to face him; others wish they could get his critique.

Wristbands will be handed out Thursday and Friday, with auditions beginning Saturday.

There's another difference this year -- the minimum age for contestants has been lowered to 15 from 16. Lynn says the success of tween sensation Justin Bieber is part of the reason.