This meant going back to Philly by myself after one day back in New York to be at the auditions first thing Wednesday morning. It kind of sucked, because I wasn't allowed to tell anyone what was going on-- technically, I think I'm still not allowed to, but it's not as if they can disqualify me at this point!
I stayed at the hotel where the second round of auditions was being held so I'd be able to make it first thing, bright at early. It was expensive and easily the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in without my parents, save this one really plush place in Wales. But I was by myself, which blew for staying in such a nifty hotel.
I also had to go get dinner by myself, so I went to this little Irish pub that had a great selection of beers on tap. And I realized that the guys at the table across from me were the camera crew for the auditions. I didn't want to interrupt them or make them uncomfortable, because it might have been weird to hang out with one of the contestants, but I did talk to them about the food and stuff.
Then I went to bed, got up in the morning, and got downstairs by about 6:45-- I had to be there at 7. They lined everyone up on this wall outside the hotel, and then they did shots of us waiting and shots of us going in. The guy who did the shots of us going in was one of the people I'd talked to at dinner, so I said hey and he said hey and he did my shots and then I got to go in.
They put us all in this big conference room and assigned us all seats by number. I was with this one guy whose name I don't recall, a girl named Michelle, a girl named Camellia, and this other girl whose name I don't remember but who was dressed entirely in gold lame and a feather boa and who was a compleete crackerjack. There were also these two guys sitting behind me who were really cool-- one, Matt, who was singing Billy Joel and Johnny Cash the whole time I was there.
Anyway, they start by explaining how the day is going to work. They put stickers on all of us, with our numbers, and tell us that we have to each memorize a different section of the verse parts of "I Love Rock N' Roll." They start playing the song so we can learn it-- of course, since they had told us to familiarize ourselves with the song on the first day, I had the whole thing memorized already.
Then they brought in Nigel Lythgoe, who was going to judge the performances that day. He kind of ran us through some dos and don'ts based on previous auditions-- things like "Don't sing the national anthem-- especially if you don't know the words" and other gems of wisdom one would think were common knowledge. Then they kind of let us loose-- but KEPT PLAYING I LOVE ROCK N' ROLL. ALL DAY.
So these auditions go really slowly. They take us in our groups of five to go sit in chairs in the hall, and then we each get to go in one at a time. I was about halfway into the group. There were about 150 people there that day, and another group the next day, though I don't know how big that group was.
They didn't get to me until like 3:45, after taking a lunch break. And I didn't get to see who got in and who didn't from the people before me, except for the people I was sitting with when I came out. From that group, they didn't take very many people-- of the seven people before me whom I saw, I think three of them got golden tickets, and then there was me.
So I go in, Nigel asks me to explain my outfit. He asks if it's 40s clothing. I say that it's all 60s clothing-- which it technically was, according to my mother. He was like, "I lived through the sixties and I don't know anyone who dressed like that." I told him he didn't know my mother, because she owned pretty much all of this stuff. He asked me a couple questions, then asked what I'd sing.
I said Red Right Hand, and he said he'd never heard of it before, so I was like, "well, it'll be a learning experience, then."
I got to the end of the song and he asked if I picked it because it didn't have a tune. Which it does, but it's pretty amelodic, and that wasn't something that had occurred to me when I was picking it. And I said no, I picked it because it was one of my favorite songs or something, and that it did have a tune, but it was amelodic. And he said, okay, that's more accurate, do you have anything melodic for us? And I named a couple songs and he had me do Evil Ways, and then he said, okay, you're too unique for me not to give you a golden ticket, but I don't really know what's going to happen with you, I don't know if the judges will like you or not. And I told him that was cool, and I was happy to get one no matter what and it was further than I thought I'd get.
Then I got to go out and I think I just said "EXCITED" to the camera crew like fifteen times, before I went to my interview. They do a post-audition interview, off-camera, with every person who gets a golden ticket, with two of the other producers, Meg and Ron, and they were just awesome. I really liked them. They asked me a whole bunch of personal questions about different stuff and Ron ended up asking me to bring my pirate clothes to the next audition. I was like, haha, I have them here. Anyway, I really liked them, they were fun, and then they gave me a green ticket telling me where and when to do my next audition, which was on Saturday.
And then I had to get back on another train to go to work on Thursday. I think I'm going to do this in three parts, because this one is quite long enough now!