Before daybreak on Friday, an estimated 10,000 people crowded outside Reliant Park in Houston. They were there to audition in front of American Idol producers...and grab their chance to take home the title.
A group of 12 judges were on hand to screen the hopefuls. Host Ryan Seacrest made an appearance shortly after dawn to cheer on the crowd, saying he expected to see "Texas-sized talent" from the Houston auditions. It's the first time the show's made a stop there since 2003.
At the end of the day, 20 people made it to the next round. They'll audition in front of celebrity judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who are in Galveston this week to size up the talent.
Season 11 of American Idol premieres on Fox 33 in January.