When 17-year-old Kristi Krause was given the infamous words “You’re going to Hollywood” from the American Idol judges, the doors of opportunity began to open. A year later, she is back at it and the results for season 11 according to Krause were “positive”. Since then the 18 year old singer song writer from 4S-ranch has spent the last 12 months doing what she loves most, writing music, recording in the studio and performing to live crowds in venues all across Southern California.

Having been through the Idol making machine for a second time, she was able to show off her vocal talent to the Idol judges in her own hometown of San Diego in the fall of 2011. “It was much easier the second time” says Krause. “It was so cool to be on the USS Midway, but when you actually get in front of the judges, your heart starts pounding and you just pray that you don’t blow it.” It’s understandable when you look at AI’s judging roster, which includes former Journey bass player and music producer Randy Jackson, movie and music icon Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith crazy lead man and rock legend Steven Tyler.

Krause, the tall blonde surfer and freshman at Palomar College states that she loves the challenge of running the American Idol gauntlet. “It’s funny because it’s much different than what they show on TV, the way it’s all edited makes it look like the main auditions are held all in one day and that’s just not the case, it’s a lot longer and harder than that” said Krause. “In 2010 my first audition was in the middle of the Giant Stadium field in San Francisco with over 15,000 people all watching you sing in a tiny white tent to a couple of field producers.”

“The best part was when she came out of the tent with the Infamous Golden Ticket in her hand, which she was able to proudly hold in front of thousands of screaming spectators.” Said Kristi’s father Bob. However, the singing did not stop there, said Krause, the contestants then have a second audition with new producers later that day and those that make round two then appear several days later for a third audition with the shows producer who decides their fate to appear in front of the three judges four months later.

Out of 132,000 contestants only 325 made it to Hollywood for season 10. It was a dream come true for Krause although her time in the spotlight was cut short after being eliminated in the second round of auditions. “It was really hard when I was told I would not be advancing, I was heartbroken and could barley control my emotions, which didn’t help with cameras all around catching it on tape, but this year was totally different”

Krause, who plays guitar and piano, has a CD featuring her original songs and has spent the last year recording a new EP that she has great hopes for. All of her original music can be heard on her web site for free at Kristikrause.net. The site also includes several highly produced music videos showing off her powerful vocals and incredible finesse behind the camera. She also performs at upscale venues around San Diego such as the Rancho Bernardo Inn, The Crosby Estates and the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla.

The San Diego Idol auditions will be shown on FOX this Sunday January 22nd and continue on Monday the 23rd. Although contestants are not able to legally disclose their final results of their quest to Hollywood, Krause was only able to say “It was even better than last year”.