Photo courtesy of 19 TV Ltd., FremantleMedia North America, Inc. & FOX

Freshman Andrina Brogden passes first round of auditions on “American Idol”

By Meghan Feir

Earlier this month, the 13th season of “American Idol” premiered, and with it, thousands of Americans pursued their dreams of becoming professional performers.

Andrina Brogden, a 19-year-old music industry major at MSUM, was one of those dreamers, traveling from West Fargo to Nebraska last August for the Omaha auditions, which aired last night on FOX.

With her vivacious personality and a sound Brogden describes “as fitting for pop and R&B,” she received her golden ticket to Hollywood.

“The most exciting thing was getting the ticket, just because I was not expecting it,” Brogden said. “A lot of people say that to be modest, but I was honestly expecting them to say, ‘Come back next year. You’re not ready for it this year.’ Then they were like, ‘We want to give you a shot.’ I got the paper in my hand, and I was like, I have to show my mom. That was the most exciting moment of the whole experience.”

Brogden’s favorite judge during the audition was Keith Urban. “I was really nervous and kind of messed up,” Brogden said. “It started off with Jennifer Lopez. She was like, ‘You have a lot of nerves, and you need to just go into a room, scream and show us what you got,’ and Harry Connick, Jr. was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know if this is the right thing for you because your nerves kind of got the best of you.’ But Keith Urban was like, ‘I like your style. I like your tone. I want to give you another shot.’”

From the moment Brogden performed as a singing narrator in “Aladdin” during middle school, she knew a career in the music industry was in her future.

“I wanted to do a music major, and I had been looking at other music schools closer to home, just because I didn’t want to leave right off the bat for money reasons and to be close to my mom and family. I was looking at the cities, but that was really expensive, so I went to MSUM because they had a really good music program. It has all the perks.”

Although the freshman’s time at MSUM has been short, with only one semester under her belt, Dr. Allen Carter and Dr. Jenny Dufault, both faculty of the MSUM Music Department, have made an impact on Brogden’s college experience.

“The faculty has been ridiculously nice. Dr. Carter, my music theory teacher, and Dr. Jenny Dufault were really helpful,” Brogden said. “They were there when I needed to talk. Those two have had the biggest impact on me in this short time.”

Brogden’s family is more than familiar with the music business. Her uncles, Darren and Allan Rust, are two members of the famous, harmonizing group, The Blenders.

“I have sung with them at family gatherings, but I’ve never sung with them on stage. I’ve always been too scared to, and I’d never asked because I was shy. But I actually asked them as a joke in November while they were doing their tour, and they were like, ‘Yeah, sure. We’ll have you in the show and have you do a song,’ and I’m like, are you serious? It was that easy? I could’ve asked, like, 10 years ago.”

For Brogden, the most intense part of the auditioning process occurred prior to meeting the judges. Despite the innumerable voices of other contestants bombarding her thoughts, she came out of the audition with a renewed confidence.

“I was kind of leaning away from performing. That’s always been my first love, but I was going more toward production because that’s something I could actually do. However, now I’m going back toward performing with this competition. Even making it through the audition process, I got that self-confidence because somebody actually wants to hear me perform. Maybe I’m actually good enough to make this my job.”

To follow Brogden and the other contestants’ journeys, watch “American Idol” every Wednesday and Thursday night at 7 p.m. on FOX.