The last time "American Idol" came to Charleston looking for the next singing sensation, Grayson Little couldn't audition.

Then just 17, he didn't meet the minimum age requirement, which has since been lowered to 16.

Little, now 20, plans to try out this time.

"American Idol" announced this week that Season 11 auditions will include a stop in Charleston on July 22. Other cities announced so far are St. Louis (June 28) and Portland, Oregon, (July 2). More cities will be announced next week.

"I just really love music and I want people to enjoy it as much as I do," said Little, who is currently in Colorado Springs on an internship with a production of "The Thorn." "God's given me a talent and it's my responsibility to use it for His glory."

Little competed in "The American Idol Experience" at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park last summer. The show offers budding singers the chance to perform in an Idol-like atmosphere, with the winner receiving a "dream ticket" that allows them to go to the front of the line at an Idol audition.

"I wish now I had won that, but I came in second," he said.

Instead, Little will stand in line with thousands of other Idol-wannabes.

In 2007, throngs turned out for Season 7 auditions at the North Charleston Coliseum, although no local singers got their big breaks that year.

"We are very, very excited to have 'American Idol' returning to Charleston and the North Charleston Coliseum," said Alan Coker, marketing manager of the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center. "We don't know the specifics yet, but my guess is that it will be similar to last time."

In 2007, potential contestants had to register a couple of days ahead of time to secure an audition.

The popular Fox show, which debuted in 2002, had declined in the ratings over the years until this season, which saw the departure of acid-tongued judge Simon Cowell and the addition of singer/actress/producer Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. The third judge, Randy Jackson, and host Ryan Seacrest have been with the show from the beginning.

According to preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, "American Idol" led the ratings in the 8 p.m. hour Thursday with 20.81 million viewers ages 18 to 49.

For the week of April 25, the show ranked second (Wednesday show) and fourth (Thursday show) in the Nielsen ratings.

"American Idol" has spawn the careers of stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks and Jordin Sparks.

Season 10 currently has four contestants left: Lauren Alaina of Rossville, Georgia; Scotty McCreery, of Garner, North Carolina; James Durbin of Santa Cruz, California; and Haley Reinhart of Wheeling, Illinios.

It airs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox.