Top 10 ‘Idols’ polish up act to take it on the road

In two weeks, the Top 10 contestants of Season 8 of “American Idol” will climb aboard buses for the final rite of an Idol’s passage: the 50-city concert tour set to kick off in Portland on July 5.

On July 7, they perform in Tacoma. The only other Pacific Northwest stop is Vancouver, B.C., on July 9.

For the Idols, the tour represents not only a chance to play rock star in packed arenas, but also the biggest paydays of their careers, with checks of reportedly $100,000-plus coming their way for the four months of labor.

But before the road, there are songs to arrange, dance moves to choreograph, wardrobes to fit, and a few last moments of peace.

Last week, a giddy first-day-of-school feeling reigned over lunch at the Idols’ Burbank rehearsal space, where the 10 convened for their first rehearsal. Over beef kebabs and chocolate cake, the mood was hyper as this year’s winner, Kris Allen, along with Megan Joy, Matt Giraud, Michael Sarver, Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds chatted, breaking sporadically into Journey’s ubiquitous “Don’t Stop Believing.”