Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Time I Auditioned for American Idol

The new season of American Idol is starting soon. Get excited!

I like American Idol because it feels like the American Bandstand of our generation. Everyone watches it. Even if you don't watch it, it's kind of difficult to not know what's going on in Idol world. It's everywhere.

When I was in high school, my family would watch American Idol all the time. We would even vote for the people we liked. But when I came out to college, I stopped watching it. I was too busy with my scholarly pursuits...

The trouble is this: when I would call my mom to chat about life, she always wanted to chat about American Idol. I never knew what was going on. So I started watching it again. After I was back in the loop of Idol-mania, my conversations with my mom were so much better :).

The other thing is this... I've auditioned for American Idol. I did it a few summers ago after facing peer pressure from two super precious, super Idol-addicted little girls who really wanted me to.

If they told you to audition for American Idol... you would do it too.

They told me I would totally win, so I decided to embrace my super diva stardom and show my talent to the world. After all, I'm ridiculously talented. I bring Mariah Carey to her knees with pure vocal aptitude. Just ask my young friends.

My little brother and I went to the veteran's memorial arena and got wristbands telling us our place in line. I had to sign a contract saying that I didn't work for Coca Cola and I'd never had a record deal. I also had to sign a contract saying that American Idol could make me look like a total shmuck on national television. No joke, the contract mentioned "public defamation" and other really specific, really awful sounding repercussions. The contract said that Fox could make up lies about me to make me more interesting and broadcast whatever they want about me and my personal life. This made me feel less bad for the people who look like morons on American Idol. They signed a paper saying that Fox could do just that.

Zac and I arrived on the day of the audition at 6am. We were in the longest line ever.


We sat outside for 4 hours (in the rain).

Then they let us in the building.

Then we sat there for about 8 more hours.

Zac, bless his dear, supportive heart, left me after about 6 hours.

While sitting and waiting, I read a book and listened to the thousands of people around me practicing their songs. The camera men got shots of the crowd yelling "I'm the next American Idol!" and we even got to see Ryan Seacrest for a little bit. I kinda love Ryan Seacrest.

Then it was time for the actual auditioning. I watched as people were ushered down to the floor in droves and told to sing for a small group of producers. These producers either said yes -- and you were off to meet to famous judges -- or no -- and you were going home.

Eventually I was ushered down to the floor, stood in a line of 5 people and told to sing my heart out for 2 random producers. I stepped forward, sang about 15 seconds of "New Soul" by Yael Naim (why? dunno. odd choice, but whatev) and was told that I wasn't what the network was looking for. Everyone in my little group was told that. Basically everyone at the audition was told that.

So it turns out that I'm NOT a super diva filled to the brim with sparkly talent.

But it also turns out that only about 200 people get through to see the famous judges. And only like 20 of those get to go to Hollywood. But like 15,000 people showed up in Jacksonville alone. That's .013% of people who even get to see Paula and Randy. Only the really good and the really bad people.

Which means! They can't let even close to all the talented people through. There's just not enough room. So basically my vocal self-esteem is still in tact. They wanted to let me through, of course! They just didn't have the numbers to do so.

The saddest part was when I had to call the super precious girls and tell them that I didn't make the cut. They cried.

Dang it.

So I opened Garage Band and recorded a Taylor Swift song for them to listen to. It seemed to tide them over.

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