Ok ok, so I'm not the next American Idol. But it was fun, so here's the play by play.
Monday July 28 9:30pm-- Eric and I "went to bed."
Monday July 28 9:30pm-- Eric and I "went to bed."
Tuesday July 29 2:30 am-- Eric and I "woke up." I used quotes here because neither of us really slept during that time. If you've ever tried to go to bed about hours earlier than your normal schedule, you can relate. So we got up, got ready and headed up to Salt Lake.
4:15am-- We got a sweet parking place and went to the front of the line to sit around for a few hours. Awesome. It was still dark but we weren't too crowded and it felt pretty nice outside. And luckily, not too many people had started bursting out into song just yet. Some people from Fox were passing out free stuff, so we got a couple decks of cards and some teeny notebooks. That notebook came in handy as I used it to write down whenever we did something different, not that that happened all that often.
6am-- I wrote, "We're still sitting here but at least the sun came up now." The line was so dang long! We couldn't even see the end of it.
Once the sun came up we could tell something was about to get started. This is about when Justin Guarini, runner-up from Idol season 1 showed up. I think he was doing stuff for TV Guide. Eric's eagle eyes spied the mic he was using which said TV Guide. Anyway, we tried to get a sneaky pic with him. *Correction, Eric would like me to say his "elven" eyes, not eagle. Right. Eric wants to be a middle earth elf real bad. Did you all know that?
7 am-- We started the huge group shots for the opening scene for the Salt Lake show. They took about a million shots of all of us saying stuff like "This... is American Idol. WOOO!!!" or "Welcome to Salt Lake City. WOOO!!" or "Simon, Please don't be mean. WOOOO!!!" I've learned that television cameras are a huge motivator of crowds. You want people to cheer their brains out for an hour straight, you put a camera in their face and tell them they could be on national television. Doesn't matter that their face will be on there for less than a second, and they won't look cool... they'll just be screaming. Camera's make people do whatever you want them to. Including Eric and I. We are the ones screaming by the tree in the opening shots. Watch for us in January. :)
8 am--We finally get to go inside! Alright! We were excited to go in until we learned that they were not allowing any outside food or drink. WHAT?? They did NOT notify us of that before! In anticipation of being there alllll day, we had packed PB&J, some pasta salad stuff, trail mix, granola bars, the works. We had to throw it away in order to be let inside. Lame. That's when we started fasting. :)
Once inside, we started practicing our "Crowd Songs." We all had to learn Get Ready by the Temptations and Ain't No Mountain High by Marvin Gaye. We practiced so we could sing these together on camera.
We started taking more group shots for the tv show doing basically the same thing we had done outside. My favorite was "Welcome to Happy Valley! WOOOO!!" Yeah, they really made us yell that.
9:30 am-- They were finally done taking group shots. I was surprised to see that even the camera loses it's motivating power after 2.5 hours of cheering and acting excited to be there.
They finally explain how the audition process will work. They set up tables with a judge or two at each one. We line up in groups of 4 and sing.
11 am-- They paused the auditions, announced a "special guest we all know well" was coming, and Ryan Seacrest showed up. The crowd was spazzy this morning but DANG. Ryan Seacrest sure can motivate a bored crowd of 10,000. I now understand why he is the host of American Idol. He can project really well! and he has fabulous stage presence and energy. I have a new respect for the scrawny host that I used to make fun of. The pictures are all pretty far away, but make them big and you'll see that it really is The Ryan.
He was only there for about half an hour (for which he probably earned half a million dollars, punk) and then after that it was just waiting and watching all the auditions. Most everyone got sent home, with a few getting their golden ticket. A golden ticket in this round means you go to another set of judges for a different elimination audition. If you pass through that round, then you go to Randy, Paula and Simon in September-ish. If they give you a golden ticket, you go to Hollywood in November. So, getting to Hollywood is a bigger deal than I first thought. They allow 100 people in Hollywood I think. They audition 10,000 people usually in each city. Which seems to put the odds of getting to Hollywood at 1 in 1000. It seeeems like decent odds until you actually visualize 1000 other people who want to be that #1.
We took some pictures while we were waiting. They are just normal pics of us, but I can't stop laughing at the girl behind us.
she must have been really really tired.
Here's Eric and I with our cool matchy wristbands and making fun of ourselves for always tilting our chins way up in pictures.
2:30 pm-- The moment we waited 10 hours for!! My turn to sing! Because we hadn't eaten anything in about 12 hours, I wasn't feeling too awesome. My throat was all lumpy, but I was excited. I had practiced a lot and being on the floor of the arena was exhiliarating! The kids in my audition group were mostly all pee-your-pants nervous, but I was ok. We get assigned to booth 10, the one that hadn't really handed out very many golden tickets all day. Oh well, maybe she was saving them for me, right? Nobody got through in the 2 groups that went before me.
Eric had been timing how long people sang at their auditions throughout the day and it was averaging about 30 seconds a piece. Well apparently, my judge was in a massive rush because she cut each one of us off after only 10 seconds each. Wait 10 hours, sing for 10 seconds... fair enough. I happened to audition the same time as some diva at table 9 (separated only by a curtain) was belting out some soul song at the top of her lungs, so I'm pretty sure the judge couldn't really hear me. Oh, I sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I think I could have sung Mary Had a Little Lamb and it would have had the same effect. It was obvious she was not intending to send any of us on from that group. Oh well. So she sent us on out, they cut off our wristbands and ushered us directly to the exit.
So that's that! As soon as Eric and I met up we had 2 missions: 1) Obtain food. Lots and lots of food. 2) Sleeeeep.
Sorry for such a long post. I couldn't possibly sum up 10 hours of waiting into a few sentences! I wanted to make you all feel like you were THERE, bored to tears with us!