Eufaula teen named local Idol

Brandon Barker, 17, has been named Columbus Idol and will travel to the Philadelphia round of "American Idol" auditions later this month.

Barker, who lives in Eufaula, was one of 102 contestants who on Saturday sang a cappella for one minute in hopes of auditioning for the seventh season of the popular Fox reality TV show. He arrived at Peachtree Mall, the site of the auditions, shortly before 1 a.m. and stood outside for about nine hours before the competition started.

The second singer to audition, he sang Shania Twain's "From This Moment On."

After he auditioned Saturday, Barker performed at the Phenix City Amphitheatre and opened for the country act Ricochet.

Hosted by WXTX 54, the competition was open to singers ages 16-28 who reside in the station's viewing area.

Barker will now audition for "Idol" judges (not Paula, Randy and Simon) in Philadelphia Aug. 27.

Last season's "American Idol" winner, Jordin Sparks, started her journey by winning a similar Fox affiliate-sponsored competition in Arizona.