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BW talent follow their dreams on American Idol

After clearing early auditions, a music theatre student and graduate are on site for the season premiere of the long-running singing competition.

Ricky Moyer '23

A current student and recent graduate of the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Performing Arts are in Los Angeles as Season 22 of the iconic singing competition American Idol begins.

Current music theatre major Gabi Ilg '26 and grad Ricky Moyer '23 both auditioned for Idol, one of the most successful shows in American television history.

To maintain the suspense, both performers are sworn to secrecy about the results of the taped "Hometown" auditions, so the BW community will have to tune in, starting with the premiere on ABC and Hulu on Sunday, February 18, to see if either or both made it through to Hollywood with a "golden ticket." It's not clear which episode(s) may feature them.

Standout Music Theatre Performers

Gabi Ilg ’26

Ilg, a Medina High School graduate, won Best Actress in Playhouse Square's Dazzle Awards for high school theater students from Northeast Ohio in 2022. Students from 29 high schools performed on the Connor Palace stage for that competition.

BW music theatre audiences will remember Moyer, a native of Levittown, Pennsylvania, as the dark lead character, Burrs, in BW's fall 2022 production of "The Wild Party."

Revolutionary reality television

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According to ABC, "American Idol" is a show that "revolutionized the television landscape by pioneering the music competition genre."

While this is the show's seventh season on ABC/Hulu, Idol has been around since 2002 when Kelly Clarkson was crowned the very first winner.

On his Instagram post revealing that he auditioned, Moyer said he is "channeling mother Kelly Clarkson."

Reaching for the stars

Thousands of people audition for American Idol every season. In addition to Clarkson, past contestants include Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert, Katherine McPhee and Jordin Sparks.

Idol is hosted by Ryan Seacrest and features celebrity judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie, who make decisions on who moves forward in the early auditions and give feedback as America votes on the ultimate winner.

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