Oklahoma City's growth to shine on "American Idol"

Season 12 of “American Idol” will feature impressive scenic shots of Oklahoma City's downtown and Boathouse District.
by Heather Warlick Published: January 15, 2013

Oklahoma City's thriving downtown and Boathouse District will be featured for an audience of millions on Season 12 of “American Idol.” The show premieres at 7 p.m. Wednesday on Fox.

In July, the show held auditions in the city for the first time, and an estimated 10,000 hopefuls came to audition at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Ryan Seacrest and the production crew of “Idol” narrowed the thousands to hundreds.

Callbacks were held in October and November in Oklahoma City's Boathouse District.

“The boathouse is wonderful isn't it? It's terrific,” said Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of “American Idol” in a media conference call. “Some very, very good talent, which we were pleased with. Oklahoma City was nothing how I imagined it.”

Mike Knopp, executive director of the OKC Boathouse Foundation, said the crew seemed very impressed with what they saw in Oklahoma City.

“They really wanted to have a very unique and iconic facility to showcase Oklahoma City and something that would look good on TV,” Knopp said. He was present during much of the filming in the Boathouse District.

This week's episodes of “Idol” will primarily focus on auditions in New York and Chicago. The show will continue on Wednesdays and Thursdays through Jan. 31 featuring auditions in Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Long Beach, New Orleans, and San Antonio.

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by Heather Warlick
Life & Style Editor
Since graduating from University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, Staff Writer Heather Warlick has written stories for The Oklahoman's Life section. Her beats have included science, health, home and garden, family,...
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Who would have thought 10 years ago when there was no water in the river that we'd have superstars in the boathouses filming one of the top shows in television.”

Mike Knopp,
Executive director of the OKC Boathouse Foundation

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