They came in droves and left in equal numbers. Only a few really good, and lucky ones, will return. They are the hopeful Idols who auditioned at the Standard Bank Arena on Saturday.
Some came alone, others with family to give moral support.
Those who progressed to the next round came out of the Results Room wearing happy faces. The faces of those who had not made it were swollen with anger and they were not prepared to talk about their experience to anyone.
But that has always been the nature of Idols. Controversial, sometimes harsh, judges do not care about telling would-be Beyonces that they cannot sing.
You might ask why people would endure such pain and humiliation when they know full well that, in the end, only one person, voted for by the public, gets to walk away with the big prize.
And not by the general public but those who can afford DStv, watch M-Net and are generous with their airtime.
But before they get to that stage, they have to convince judges Mara Louw, Randall Abrahams, Gareth Cliff and Dave Thompson that they can sing, hence these preliminary rounds of auditions.
But for those determined to become Idols this year, as well as their parents , this daunting task is no deterrent.
Annikie Maswanganye, the leader of all-female group Ladies in Jazz in Tshwane, said: "I brought my daughter early at 6am. She is performing at Morula Sun, but I wanted her to give Idols a shot. I wish they would increase the winners to say the Top 5, instead of making only one person the winner."
Kayleigh Chinnamunian of Lenasia South, who with her parents accompanied her sister, Navina , 16, said: "It is worth the effort, this Idols thing, because it promotes South African talent."
Resego Chigazama, who travelled from Potchefstroom, North West, said: "The talent search gives some of us an opportunity in the music industry."
It is a view also held by William Nhlapo from Pimville.
"I am a dancer with Arthur Mafokate, but I came here because I have a vision of making it big in the music industry. Idols gives us that platform," he said.
Auditions take place in Observatory, Cape Town, on Friday;Margate, KwaZulu-Natal, on Thursday, July 5; Knysna, on Tuesday, July 10, and in Gauteng at Centurion, on Tuesday, July 17.