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.