In which I got to the top 100 AI contestants in Philly and then COMPLETELY FLUBBED my televised audition.
For those of you who want to comfort me or tell me it's okay, I know it's okay! I honestly am not interested in being a professional singer to begin with. I like to sing, but I was only going to the auditions to see what it was like because it was my last year of eligibility, and I never even imagined I'd get through the first round.
It was a totally freaking awesome experience and the only thing I regret is that I really flubbed my lyrics, so I will look like a complete idiot on TV if they air me. But everyone seemed to really like me-- I'll tell you more about that later.
For those of you who are curious about the whole American Idol process and such, I've got to tell you all, it was so much fun, and if you are the right age to be eligible next year, I would completely encourage any of you who have ever even been curious to go try it out.
So here's how it went. Last Friday, liret and I took a train down to Philly.
When I got there, I realized I hadn't brought any comfy shoes. The front desk attendant at the hotel, Bennett, LOANED ME HIS SNEAKERS because he was awesome.
We slept for maybe two hours before getting up at about 3 in the morning and taking a cab to the Wachovia Center. The rules for the auditions said that you could not line up before 6 am, but at 4 in the morning, there were already about a thousand people ahead of us on line. So we got on line and waited. And waited. We talked to a few people-- one girl who had auditioned last year, a girl who had auditioned for ANTM, and a guy with a Youtube show who filmed us (you can find that earlier in my LJ). It was pretty fun and didn't take nearly as long as we expected. At one part, they herded us through this fenced in area to film everyone cheering and stuff for the local news and shit. Then they sent us in in smaller groups to get our wristbands and a list of rules for what to do at the actual auditions.
There were a lot of people waiting online who were doing "sing offs" and trying to impress or intimidate each other. Some of them had really amazing voices, but the ones who were singing the most-- were the crappiest. In liret's and my case, we kind of just sang things that we thought would be funny. Like the Count Olaf song.
By about 11 am, we had our bracelets, and then we went back to the hotel and completely crashed. We got up, went for waffles, and kind of hung out in Philly doing things like going to see Death at a Funeral, which was hilarious, and going to the market and getting pickles. Then we went to a restaurant called Caribou Cafe for dinner. The girl at the hotel said that it was "typical American" cuisine but it was a French/Belgian bistro with a nice selection of Belgian beers.
Then we tried this awesomely awesome CHOCOLATE CAFE called Naked Chocolates which was one of the most insane places I've ever been in my life. OMG.
Sunday we didn't have anything pressing so we kind of just moseyed about and went to Burlington Coat Factory, where I purchased the most awesome shoes ever and tried on like a zillion hats. We each bought one, and we got all totally Snicketed out, which was fab. Since I was kinda going in Snickety clothes to the audition.
Then we went to a hibachi place and Jess got really good steak hibachi and I got Udon.
Monday we had to be there between 5 and 6. We got up at 4, got dressed, checked out of our hotel, and then went to the Wachovia Center on the subway.
When we got there, there was a huge crowd there again, and they made us get on line, again. But this time we had our bracelets, so once they let people start entering the Wachovia center-- after we talked to a bunch more people, and listened to more people have singoffs-- we got to go to our seats which were based on what time we had come to register, so we had pretty good seats-- we were in about the fourth or fifth section to get to audition, and we actually got seated in a club box, so our section had its own bathroom and things like that. Pretty sweet. They would not let you bring in food, though, so liret had to throw away all her food. That kind of sucked.
We got into our boxes and they started the auditions. Well, they started doing crowd shots. Crowd shots involved making the whole audience sing "I Love Rock n' Roll" over and over and over again. Then they set up the tables to start the auditions. They called people down in stadium sections, and started with a group of people who had all won regional contests and shit like that. So they start auditioning them and they're just steamrolling through them like whoa-- it took a good twenty minutes or so before they even let one person through. Man.
At this point, when they were axing people who clearly were amazingly good, I was like, shit, so I'd better do Red Right Hand, because it's super unique.
So then finally they call up our section, and they arrange us into groups of four people, and send us to one of the judges tables. It was me, Jess, this other very young girl who had been sitting near us, and then this other girl whom I totally don't remember. The judge basically told each of us to stand up and sing our songs in order. She listened to Jess for a while and then told her at the end that it was the first time she'd heard Dolly Parton all day and seemed really happy with it. Then she listened to me and the other two girls. The girl on the other side of me had a very pretty but kind of quiet voice and was obviously nervous. I don't even remember the last girl. Then the judge called all four of us up and was like, "Hey, so, I'm afraid the three of you--" meaning Jess and the other two girls "all have really nice voices, but just don't have a lot of presence, so you need to work on that but you should all come back next year. And you--" meaning me, "--I need you to stay behind for a little while longer because I've never heard that song before and I want to talk to you."
So after figuring out how to meet up with Jess again later, she asked me what the song was and then said, "well, I've never heard of it, and you were really different. And we like different, so I'm giving you a golden ticket."
So I got my golden ticket and got ushered into THE SECRET ROOM O'DOOM. They made me turn off all my phones, etc., and then gave me all this paperwork to fill out. One was a biographical sheet, and one was a confidentiality agreement that said I couldn't tell anyone whether I'd made the show and all this other shit I had to sign that said that basically if I make the show, Fox owns my soul. It also said that if I performed any original work, Fox would own it in perpetuity. Hah. So I fill all that out, and leave and find Jess. We went and got gelato at this place that is seriously like Gelato Wonderland, and then went home to New York, me with a green ticket that says I need to show up at a specific hotel on Wednesday.
And that's part one. I'm going to post up about the rest of it later, because this? Is super insanely long!