The Extravaganza will feature Queen’s greatest hits and tour North America in 2012. Taylor, who says the spectacular, heart-stopping event “will be a rock celebration in the royal tradition,” is serving as the tour’s producer and music director.
The audition process began Sept. 19 and ran through Nov. 7 as vocalists, guitarists, drummers, bassists and keyboard players from the U.S. and Canada sent in videos performing Queen classics such as “Killer Queen,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Another One Bites The Dust.”
Between Nov. 14 and Nov. 28 the public voted for their favorites, narrowing the competition down to 21 finalists: six vocalists, six guitarists, three drummers, three bassists and three keyboard players. Taylor picked five additional musicians as wildcard finalists.
The third and final round of the audition process takes place Dec. 5 when the 26 finalists will perform live at Foo Fighters’ Studio 606 West in Los Angeles in front of a judging panel headed by Taylor. Auditions and interviews with Taylor and the finalists will be posted on Queen Extravaganza’s website throughout the day.
At least one musician will win a spot in the Queen Extravaganza touring band. The group will feature three vocalists and a five-piece band.
“I look forward to the final auditions with these 26 young musicians,” said Taylor. “It’s going to be a long and difficult day, but the end of the first stage of the long and exciting road to the opening of The Queen Extravaganza.”
Ellen DeGeneres loved finalist Marc Martel’s audition so much that she invited him to perform his version of Queen’s “Somebody To Love” on her show. The audition also snagged Martel a MTV O Award for best fan cover.
Check out the all 26 of the finalists’ auditions by clicking here.