RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - This past week, KOTA Territory News held a front of the line contest, where Hollywood hopefuls could get the chance to audition first for American Idol, and Friday we choose our winners.
They were 16-year-old Rachel Cornelius from Gillette, Wyoming, 15-year-old Christy Broughton from Box Elder, 24-year-old Alex Anderson from New Underwood, 16 year-old-Liv Rogers from Lead-Deadwood, and 20-year-old Sophia Beatty from Rapid City.
Each share a similar goal of becoming a singer, but their journeys are different.
Liv is experiencing progressive hearing loss, but that doesn't stop her from following her dreams.
"Really just listening by ear, I really have to feel it too so I am not just basing it solely on hearing," said Rogers.
She was diagnosed with this condition her freshman year of high school and although she faces this obstacle, her mom says it doesn't hold her back.
"It’s more liberating for her to be able to find a voice and do that after she's got the hearing aids," said her mother, Laurie Rogers.
And while she goes after her goals, Alex Anderson goes after his life-long dream of being a country artist. While he says he didn't start thinking about it until college, his dad says it started way before that, when playing an American Idol sing-along game on Playstation.
But, Alex faced obstacles of his own before being here. At 18, a rattlesnake bite almost killed him.
"I didn’t wake up until the next morning and once I blacked out, I thought for sure I was done.”
That experience made him realize he couldn’t wait to go after his dreams any longer.
Rachel Cornelius is motivated by her love of music, and those who told her she can’t.
"I was told I would never make it anywhere and now I am actually getting the opportunity to do this and it gives me a bit of confidence," said Cornelius.
For Christy Broughton, growing up a military kid, she moved around a lot and music is something that always got her through it.
"I'd always sing and wake up my parents,” said Broughton. Her mother then added, “It's her passion, truly."
Each hopeful went to sing in front of a panel and unfortunately did not move on. But, they each took a positive outlook and are determined to never give up.
“We are going to keep trucking, going to keep auditioning, until we get to the top,” said Broughton.