Sorry for the delay in finishing my New Orleans story. I wanted Carrie to have the opportunity to post first because, after all, she was the American Idol hopeful. This will be the story from the perspective of an observer, sort of. Technically, I was a contestant. Each contestant can only bring one guest into the stadium. While in line, I tried to find someone who didn’t have a guest, but you have to find someone cool because you could be stuck sitting by this person for hours! So, I ended up entering the building as an American Idol contestant. I did not audition, more on that later.
We got up at around 3:30 a.m., barely. I must have turned off the alarm when it went off and I woke up about a half an hour later than we had planned. I woke up with a jolt and pestered Carrie and Anne Marie to wake up. We got into the stadium no problem and set up camp in our seats. Carrie slept for a little while but there were too many people around for me to sleep, so I knit. I got a lot of work in that day on one of my Christmas presents and Anne Marie basically completed a Bucket O Chic.
Most of the people around us were pretty nice, but that was not the case for everyone. There were two people at the end of our row who were so put out that we had to get up every once in a while and go to the bathroom or get food. They didn’t even have the common courtesy to stand up or move their legs enough so we didn’t have to crawl over them in order to get out of the row!
Can I just tell you that they started filming at 7 a.m.? I don’t even speak to my husband at 7 a.m., but here I was dancing around, smiling and singing all for the sake of television. I just want you to remember that when you’re watching the crazy crowd shots and the city songs, it was taped at the crack o dawn! If you look closely at this pic, you can see a “Welcome to American Idol Auditions” sign, one of the cameras, and the field where the auditions took place (I had to alter the light on this one so you could see everything)
Speaking of the city songs, ours was “Dancin’ in the Streets” because it says “down in New Orleans”. So here we stand, at 7:15 a.m., singing our little hearts out. The entire row in front of us refused to stand up and sing, including a large female contestant and her much smaller guest who had her arm around her, who I affectionately called “little mama” (please note, I don’t care if you’re big or little, but this will be relevant to the story). This is television, work with me here! Well, they didn’t turn the music up loud enough and there were thousands of people singing, so needless to say, the music and the singers weren’t exactly together. They refused to turn up the music because “they wanted to hear us and not the music”. So, we sang. Well, about the fifth time we were singing the song the contestant at the end of the row in front of us starts screaming “you’re off, you sound awful” and screams the lyrics as they should be with the music. Allow me to remind you that it’s early, all the people around them have sucked it up and are singing, and that one of my biggest pet peeves is when people criticize about something when they are unwilling to participate. I muster up all of the niceness I have in my inventory and tell her “you could help us, you know?” Instantly, I know this is a mistake. This chic could probably take me out in one blow. That’s when little mama steps in and says “you need to mind your own business, she is sick” and just keeps yelling things at me. Oh no, now little mama is going to take me out. I decide to take the high road and apologize but little mama won’t stop yelling, with people singing dancing in the streets in the background. Finally she stops long enough to hear me. Man, was my adrenaline pumping.
In spite of a few rude people and it being early, the filming portion of this was a really cool experience, even if we don’t make it on television. It was neat to have that “behind the scenes” feeling and to know that you are a part of a crazy pop cultural phenomenon. Oh, and Anne Marie and Carrie couldn’t be more fun to hang out with, even at 4 in the morning, and that’s saying something!
I snuck out when we thought the people beside us were getting taken down to the field. The auditioners had orange wristbands and I didn’t want anyone to see my wristband and force me down on the field. I went out to where the contestants come after they don’t make it and waited. What a show! I got to watch the stage parents talk about how the judges “don’t know talent” and hear the contestants blame the loss on the fact that they couldn’t wear the shirt with a logo on it that they originally planned. I felt bad for some people who just walked out sobbing and laughed at the girl who was yelling explitives and running back and forth across the street flipping the world the bird. Many people felt the need to sing in some sort of display that they do have talent, dang it, no matter what the judges say. It was quite entertaining! I just sat there with my knitting, hoping to blend in so I could continue to watch the show.
Well, as you probably know, Carrie didn’t make it. It took major guts just to try out and she didn’t get cut for lack of talent. In spite of that, we sure did enjoy the rest of the afternoon. We went to Le Madeline and ordered way too much food (some more than others) and followed it up with beignets! Oh, were they yummy! At the end of the afternoon, I had to go home and very tiredly drove off into the sunset (okay the picture was really taken in my rearview on my way there, but it works better to say I drove into the sunset rather than away from the sunset) :-).