Top 10 Things You Must Know BEFORE Your Reality Singing Competition Audition

I can see the excitement beaming through your eyes, as the email hits your inbox:


The latest installment of your favorite reality singing competition is coming to a “town near you.”

You start moving mountains because you can’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity. (or once every 6 months rather)  But before you throw yourself in a panic, take a chill pill and a deep breath, because I’m here to help you think through your audition prep strategically!

I receive phone calls, audition prep requests and emails often, asking for my advice on reality show competitions.  Although my experience on American Idol hails back to the cattle call days of Season 4, there is some tride and true key info, that will NEVER change.

Enjoy this gift to you, my Top 10 Things You Must Know BEFORE Your Reality Singing Competition Audition:

10. Don't give the producers or judges any confusion on the genre or lane you want to be in.

If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to be put in a box. Perhaps your vocal style is an eclectic blend of sweet goodness.  If that’s the case, be prepared to explain your sound through a micro-niche that perfectly describes your vibe clear as day. This confidence could be what convinces them to cast you on the show!

9. Keep healthy physically and vocally.

Create a vocal regime for yourself PRONTO, in addition to a workout regime if you don’t already have one in place. You might have a terrific voice, but have you built up your vocal stamina enough to be able to handle weeks of competition?

If you’re in it to win it, get ready to handle the extreme pressure and variables that come with a reality tv show competition, all which can impact the voice negatively if you’re not prepared.

8. Have at least 4 songs prepared.

This boils down to simply being prepared for anything! The show will ask for one or two typically, but you never know what the judges are looking for. Consider making one of these four songs an Original, but only if it’s REALLY good.

Should you get put on the spot to sing more, you’ll want to deliver something special from the back pocket.

7. Know what type of accompaniment is best to let you shine!

Whether it’s an instrument or backing track, choose the accompaniment that will highlight your strengths as an Artist, not your weaknesses.

And if a backing track is your flavor, for goodness sake, don’t try to give them a YouTube link to look up!  Show some professionalism and don’t forget to convey emotion in your song, make eye contact and don't sing to the sky or the ground.

6. Choose upbeat songs that are relevant to today's music landscape and to you as an artist.

Seriously…put yourself in the judge's shoes for a two seconds. Would YOU want to sit there all day listening to ballad, after ballad, after ballad? I’m gonna hope you said heck no. The judges, just like America, want to be entertained! It’s a television show afterall!

5. Have a handy reference for audition and performance tips.

Fortune has it, I have an awesome book featuring two chapters on Audition and Performance. Check out Chapters 10 and 12 of Performing Artist Pathway for practical advice on cutting through the competition and delivering a memorable audition.

4. Get with a professional!

Let’s be clear. You may have an awesome voice, but you haven’t made it yet, and having an outside, objective, professional opinion on your audition material will only give you an added edge against the masses.

3. Don’t be your own worst enemy.

Sounds obvious, right? Well, there are plenty of you out there who talk a big game, but at the end of the day, your best friend is self-sabotage. Whether it’s late nights, partying with friends, lack of self discipline, or just sheer laziness, you’re your own worst enemy.

Fight the urge to get in your own way, and give yourself the absolute best shot at delivering a killer audition. Leave it all on the stage with no regrets.

2. Be kind and courteous to everyone.

Rule of thumb: No one wants to work with or hang out with, a pompous jerk. It’s simply not cool and you might be hot stuff in your neck of the woods, but show some humility and recognize there is ALWAYS something to learn.

And Drum Roll Please…. The Number One Thing You MUST Know Before Your Reality Singing Competition:  

1. Your audition is about much more than your fabulous voice.

News Flash! You are auditioning for a television show, where ratings and entertainment are key. Your audition is about much more than the quality of your singing voice. Many factors come into play with casting, including your personality (your charm, your uniqueness, your swagger), your looks, and your sound.

Even more important, in my opinion, than all the above, is your STORY!

Be very clear on your WHO, WHAT & WHY:

WHO are you?  Please be interesting. Please don't tell them how normal or boring your life is.

WHAT sets you apart? Makes you unique, different and what is going to make the producers fall in love with you?

WHY are you here? This is not the obvious, “I want to be the next…” This is the REAL, compelling stuff. The emotional WHY you do what you do, which leaves you no choice, but to be there auditioning for their show.

So there you have it. Take this knowledge, run with it and approach your upcoming audition with some solid ammunition!

Good Luck! Break A Leg! Buenas Suerte!


Brianna Ruelas | Reality Singing Competition

Brianna Ruelas

Brianna Ruelas is a Dallas Based Performing Artist Consultant, Vocal Coach, Singer-Songwriter and Author to Performing Artist Pathway: Navigate the Highs and Lows On Your Music Journey. As a singer and performer for twenty- five years, Brianna has studied internationally and performed all genres, from jazz to rock to pop, received a BA in Theatre Arts from Pepperdine University, and spent years honing her musical theatre chops. After graduating college, Brianna departed from the theatre to pursue music as a solo artist and also worked as a commercial voiceover actor. Brianna has fronted her own rock band and experienced the reality television craze in its early days, as a Top 100 finalist on American Idol, Season 4.

Brianna's expertise and background as a Singer/Songwriter, Vocal & Performance Coach and Business Owner, affords her the opportunity to mentor and consult with indie performing artists and bands, to help them realize their careers in music.  She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey, and taking them from “stuck” to strategic! Seeking solutions is part of Brianna's DNA, in addition to, maximizing her clients talents and abilities.

Brianna is a proud Wife and Mother, Creator of the Female Performing Artist Connection & Every Mom’s Story Blog and works alongside her husband managing the financial operations and marketing for their Dallas family restaurant, Victor Hugo’s.

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