For the amateur singers just waiting for that one big break, Tuesday could be it. Just follow the warbling emanating from KeyArena, where thousands will amass to try out for "American Idol."

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Auditions begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

They’re open to men and women, ages 16-28 who are eligible to work in the United States.

To register (registration is already open) you’ll need two pieces of identification, such as a driver’s license, passport or birth certificate.

Once you register you’ll receive a wristband that is required for an audition slot. (Sorry, auditions are not open to spectators.)

Expect to sing for an “Idol” staffer or producer. If you make the cut you’ll be asked to return at a later date for a second audition.

The thousands who turn out are winnowed to a few hundred. From there, about 100 get a final call-back to sing for Randy, Paula and Simon, who will then select even fewer for the semi-finals and a plane ticket to Hollywood.

For a complete list of rules and more information about the Seattle auditions, visit

Bag the costumes

Your clothes shouldn’t outshine your voice. If you look like a joke, don’t expect to be taken seriously as an artist.

Ask the Statue of Liberty guy, Blake. He only got two words out from “New York, New York” before Simon cut him off. He’s a good singer — in high school he made all-state jazz choir — but he totally blew it with the costume.

Find your style

Even if you’re not in costume, a quirky outfit, funky hair or gimmick could still work against you. Remember “Scooter Girl” from a couple years back? Exactly.

Keep it simple and keep it real; if you’re a jeans-and-T-shirt person, wear them. If you’re trendy, just don’t wear every season’s trends all at once.

If you want to emulate your favorite pop star, be subtle. It’s fine to get inspiration from Gwen Stefani, but not so good to look like a cheap knockoff. Let the voice and personality, not that rhinestone tube top, shine.

Choose a hit

During the audition, you’ll get just 30 seconds to one minute to sing a capella a song of your choosing.

Performing an original song probably isn’t a good idea; go with a current Top 40 hit, a classic or maybe a soulful number from Aretha Franklin or Marvin Gaye. Motown worked for Taylor Hicks.

Don’t be a mimic

Don’t try to imitate the original vocalist. Just because you sing a Mariah Carey song doesn’t mean you are Mariah Carey.

The best you’ll get will be points as a novelty act. Remember Michael Sandecki, last year’s jittery, bladder-challenged Clay Aiken impersonator? Simon declared him an awful singer and denied him a trip to Hollywood. (But Sandecki did score a consolation prize at the finale: an award for “best impersonation” and a surprise duet with Aiken.)

Good Lord, not again

Three songs that the judges are reportedly sick of. Avoid at all cost:

• “Fallin’ ” by Alicia Keys

• “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain

• “At Last” by Etta James

Also on the doomed song list: rap or hip-hop, hardcore rock and heavy metal.

Practice makes perfect

One sure-fire way of hearing “Next” is to forget the lyrics. Eat, sleep and breathe the song. If you stumble over lyrics during a 30-second snippet, how will you sing a whole song while dancing, working the crowd and oozing personality week after week on TV?

Be anything … but boring

Confidence and a little razzle-dazzle never hurt. Bore the judges and you’ll be shown the door. But caution: While a shtick may get you to the next round (or more likely on the “good, the bad and the ugly” reels), the judges will tire of it quickly.

Know your limitations

Most people remember Keith Beukelaer from the second-season auditions. He came in lacking confidence — and the ability to dance or carry a groove of any kind — but thought he’d wow the judges with his take on “Like A Virgin.” Simon Cowell’s verdict: The Madonna wannabe was “possibly the worst singer in the world.” Enough said.