Thousands of singers have converged on Newark, hoping to score a spot in the upcoming season of "American Idol."

Officials say more than 5,000 hopefuls took part in the first round of regional auditions for the Fox network show, which were held Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark.

"American Idol" judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson were not present for the auditions, which were handled by the show's producers. But the show's host, Ryan Seacrest, was on hand to do some filming and chat with contestants.



It's the second straight year that Newark is hosting auditions for a national singing competition. Last April, thousands turned out to audition for "X Factor."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)