The tryouts for the 15th and final season of the FOX singing competition took place at the Waterfront Park outside the County Administration Center.
The show has two audition buses that are traveling to various cities. Both started last week -- one in Seattle and one in Providence, Rhode Island. They'll continue through the end of this month.
More formal auditions are scheduled next month at arenas in Denver; Savannah, Georgia; Philadelphia, Little Rock, Arkansas and San Francisco.
Producers were looking for a “wow factor'' in the 30- to 40-second snippets the hopefuls were allowed.
“We're looking to go really big in Season 15, and there's been a lot of idols before, so it has to reach a really high bar,'' senior producer Brian Robinson said. “We're looking for someone who is ready to compete in the finale.''
Lambert, who attended Mount Carmel High School in Rancho Penasquitos, won Season 8 in 2009 and went on to stardom. Sanchez, who went to Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, was the runner-up three years ago.