Being that this is the last year that I could audition for American Idol given the age limit, I decided I would give it a try. Mike and I had previously discussed my auditioning for this season- He would get a lot of awesome photos and I would get people ceasing to pester me about auditioning... and a chance at being a superstar, of course!
When we realized that the auditions were extra early this year and Mike had to work, I asked my friend and fellow singer Joy to audition with me, not thinking she would be able to, and resigning myself to the fact that oh well it wasn't happening. But then she was super into it, so I was down for it too. This is my behind-the-scenes look at what it is like to audition...
We went to the auditions in Chicago, where our friends Ryan and Meredith live. That was totally awesome because we got to hang out with them in the city AND get a free place to stay.
When we rolled into town late Saturday night, we went to the United Center (home of the Bulls and Blackhawks) to register. No line at all since it was 2 am. They gave us a wrist band that we were not allowed to remove until we were all done in a few days. All photos via my Blackberry since Mike and his rad gear were at home.
At registration they told us to show up at the United Center at 5am Monday morning and learn the song "Hot N Cold" by Katy Perry for the crowd singing shots. We spent Sunday sleeping late and playing Rock Band. Then we went to some shops in Wicker Park where I acquired some very Karen-y kneesocks and pair #2 of heart-shaped sunglasses. Then we had some wonderful steak for dinner and went for a walk around downtown and the beach! Fun times!
Monday at 5am we were ready to go... us and 12,000 other people, which they said was the second largest crowd to show up ever. The odds just keep getting better and better.
We settled in outside for almost three hours. It rained lightly almost the whole time, but we got cozy under our umbrellas, sitting on the ground on a blanket.
They let us into the center just before 8am. Everyone had received a ticket at registration which led to your seat for the day... and I do mean all day. First thing we did inside was shoot the crowd scenes cheering and yelling "I'm the next American Idol" and singing "Hot N Cold". They changed the lyrics to "you PMS like a chick, I would know", instead of using the original lyrics. It's a family show, people.
Here is what we got to look at for several hours. What they did is lead people down by section to the floor where 12 booths waited. Groups of 4 would line up in front of each one and after they each stepped forward and sang individually, two producers in each booth would discuss and then tell you your fate. Golden ticket meant you went on... and if not, an intern with scissors cut off your wristband and sent you on your way.
Twelve hours after we arrived at 5am, it was time to audition at 5pm. Of course a lot happened inbetween, but I am trying to be concise here. Ask me later about ridiculously clueless people, extremely talented people, and weirdly costumed people. I have stories.
We are emerging from the tunnel to the floor finally. Blue plaid girl and blue scarf girl were in my group of 4, along with a guy wearing a cowboy hat. Joy and I ended up in separate groups at tables next to each other.
While making the slow trek to the stage, we had "fun" listening to this orange dress girl with a 'tude go on about how awesome she is. She was in a group with Joy, who reported that there were more runs than melody in her song. Say bye bye to your wristband, diva girl.
Gossip Girl here. Spotted: Michael Orland, AI pianist and song arranger, aka "guy Seacrest sometimes thanks at the end of the performance shows when he is trying to fill time". Apparently he is one of the judges!
I don't have a photo of my actual audition of course, but it would have looked awesome I am sure. I was actually really pleased with my performance of "For The Longest Time" considering that I have a propensity to choke in high pressure audition situations! I got cut though, along with everyone else in my and Joy's groups. Let's face it, when they only pick about 150 out of 12,000 you gotta be something super special in their eyes.
So I was left with nothing to live for in life, and subsequently jumped off this bridge. This is actually Mike typing as Karen. Sorry people, she's gone.
Not really of course! I mean come on, there was so little of a chance that it was hard to even muster up much disappointment. And it was just fun to experience the whole thing, not to mention have some fun times in the city with the Laverteam!
When I arrived at home, Mike had a "Top 3 Homecoming episode"-type situation prepared. This included flowers, a parade (or one exuberant flag-balloon waver, as the case may be), and the key to the city... which looks strangely similar to the key to our apartment storage space.
So alert the media: The next American Idol will not be me. Apparently, I will have to find other Americans to idolize me.