Thousands of aspiring singers will be in Wichita Sept. 4, vying for a spot on ABC TV’s “American Idol.” Among the many hopefuls, three singers from Wellington will be auditioning.
Local singers, Makayla Brownlee, Ally Wysocki and Markkel Bradley are trying out for the long running talent show.
For Brownlee, who turns 17 at the end of the month, this won’t be her first rodeo. She auditioned last year in Kansas City, Missouri, and while she didn’t make it through to Hollywood, the judges did tell her to come back.
“It was a good experience and I’m a lot more comfortable this year than I was last year,” Brownlee said.
This year in Wichita, Brownlee gets to go to the front of the line as one of the top 10 chosen from audition videos for the KAKE idol on channel 10.
“I did it last year and they did not pick my video so I know I’ve improved,” Brownlee said.
Brownlee made her debut singing on stage when she was 7-years-old and sang the Miranda Lambert song, “The House That Built Me.” From that moment she first stepped on stage, Brownlee knew she wanted to be a performer.
Since then, she has sung on stage with her dad, Mark Brownlee, Sr.’s country band. She has performed at the Kansas Wheat Festival as well as other festivals around Sumner County and at a bar in Haysville. Even if she doesn’t make it to Hollywood, Brownlee will continue to perform.
“The experience is all that matters,” she said.
Ally Wysocki, 24, grew up in Winfield and sang in choir in school. When she was a child, her dad bought her a guitar and told her to look up how to play.
“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to get known for my singing skills,” Wysocki said. “I thought I’d try now while they’re in Wichita.”
Wysocki works for Hallmark, bringing cards to stores like Walmart, Dollar Tree and Target. But in her off hours, she has been seen playing in coffee shops and bars in Winfield and Wellington. She plans to sing Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” in her “American Idol” audition.
“I haven’t watched ‘American Idol’ since before they left Fox,” she said.
Wysocki plans to start putting her own music on YouTube.
Markkel Bradley, 27, first sang on stage in fourth grade in a school talent show. He and a friend sang the song, “You Remind Me.” Bradley has been writing rap songs since he was in seventh grade.
“As a writer, you go through things,” Bradley said. “You write about emotions and start to find yourself. That’s where I’m at.”
Bradley named some of his influences - everything from The Temptations to Michael Jackson to Lil’ Wayne. He said he admires “anyone who can make music from jazz to rock.”
Auditioning for “American Idol” is “a chance to see what I can do, to see if my talents are applicable. It is what it is whether it goes my way or the other way.”