It's a standard story in show business mythology: the big break, the chance discovery, the Cinderella story that allows an unknown to rise meteorically to stardom.
American Idol taps into those hopes and offers unknowns across the nation a chance to be discovered. A very slim chance.
In Rapid City on Sunday, Sept. 10, 349 competitors signed up to audition, hoping like Willy Wonka's candy-eaters to get a Golden Ticket. Joining them in a long line outside the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center were their supporters: their parents and siblings and friends.
Only two of them ended up with a Golden Ticket.
Some of them had very little singing experience. At least one had none. They were scared, they were excited, they dared to dream.
SDPB's Victoria Wicks followed some of them as they moved forward in line, finding out a little something about them and getting a preview of what they had to offer to the judges.