Monday, August 4, 2008 American Idol!

I don't know why I was so reluctant to post this
one. It is a little embarassing, as people
probably assume that I think I have a great
voice in order to audition for American
Idol. This is not the case. I think my
voice is okay, but I got some wonderful encouragement
from one particular person (sorry Bill, you are
being mentioned). He had a lot of confidence in
me, more so than I had in myself. But the main
reason I chose to go was for the experience.
How often does such amazing opportunites
come to Salt Lake. Also, I think this will
be a record for the longest post, so please
bear with me.

So the day started off pretty early.
Everyone was told to be at the Energy Solutions
Center at 5:00 am. Which meant I had to be up
at 3:00 am to get ready and drive down there.
I can't remember the last time I was up that early.
They said that people can't camp out, but
by the looks of things when we got there at
5 am on the dot, that rule didn't stick.

The view in front of us

The view behind

Needless to say, there were cameras everywhere.
There was every local morning news show there.
And a ton of official American Idol camera crews
and photographers.

I was kind of amazed and a little sad at how these people
knew how to find some more of the goofy people out there.
Not the people who are out for attention, but
people that think they are great but really are not.
I felt bad for the kid in the pic above, because
he thought it was the coolest thing to be interviewed
by the American Idol crew, but I'm sure he will be made
fun of if he makes it on tv. I encouraged him and told him
he gave a great interview.

I was right by the inside barrier so there was plenty of cameras
wandering. Bill was trying his best to hide from them,
but I think it was really difficult. There was quite
a commotion when Justin Guarini was wandering around
doing interviews. After he was done, the girls around
me were screaming for him, so he walked right in front
of me to get pictures with the fans.

I was literally ducking and dodging flashes left and right,
trying to stay out of everyones pictures. A girl grabbed my
camera and asked if I wanted a picture. Sure, why not.

We were in that line probably until 9:00. We finally started to move.
and just as we were getting close to the entrance, they decided
to have everyone do an about face and move toward a different
entrance. This meant that the end of the line was now the
front, and we were the back. We were probably in the line
for another hour and a half until we made it inside.

The view from my seats

When we walked into our sections, the crowd was
being led by a producer in our groups songs.
When you register, you are given two songs you
need to memorize. A song for the city, and then
there is one song for the entire season that every city will sing.
Our city song was Aint No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye,
and the season song was Get Ready by The Temptations.
If I never hear these songs again, it will be
way too effin soon.

After the songs, Ryan Seacrest came out and did some
promotionional stuff for the show with the audience.

Ryan Seacrest talking to a baby.

They had him do a few different things,
and you know how he starts all the shows.
' American Idol!'

At one point, he decided say something about
Salt Lake City being called Happy Valley.
And everyone was trying to tell them they were
wrong. So we'll see if they use that one.

After all of this is done, it's about 12:00.
They finally get to the actual auditions.
Now, what a lot of people don't realize is
you don't actually audition in front of
Randy, Paula and Simon. This audition is
for a chance to audition in front of them.
What happens is they set up a bunch of
tables in the center of the arena, with a bunch
of producers at each table. Then they line you
up in fours, and you basically get about 15
seconds to impress them. If they don't like you,
they cut off your wristband, and send you straight
outside, where you cannot go back in. If they like
you, they give you a golden ticket and send you to sign
a bunch of release forms, and inform you when you
get to audition for the 3 judges. It's rumored that
will be in September.

Here is a picture of the chaos that ensued.

They started the auditions with the pregnant section
(yes, I was just as surprised to hear there was a whole
section of pregnant women) and it worked it's way around the
arena. I was lucky enough to only be one section away,
so I only had to wait about an hour and a half to audition.

Just a side note here - you could sometimes actually
hear some of the people singing. As I saw about
1500 people auditon before me, I saw only about
25-30 people get golden tickets. This was
extremely discouraging to watch, as I could hear
some of these amazing people singing, and getting
turned down.

So it was my turn, and I was getting a little
anxious. I had decided on a small section of a song.
I was told that they preferred upbeat, which was not
my strength. I'm more of a ballad person, or at least
I think I sound better that way.

Waiting to audition, and freaking out.

As I get closer to the table, I decide to
go with an upbeat song, and just try to have fun.
As I'm watching others auditons up close,
the producers are asking them 'What's your name,
and which song will you be singing?'
So when I get up to the table, I'm the first to
go. I ask her how she's doing, she says good.
And she just stares at me. I ask, 'Should I just
go?' And she kind of scoffs and says yeah.
I sing about 15 seconds, and I will say
my nerves got the best of me, and my voice cracked
the first few notes.

Here I am singing

Already, she isn't even looking at me.
She's just looking around. She tells me to stop, and the
other 3 in my group go. Without a moments thought,
she asks all of us up to the table and says,
'All of you did a great job, but unfortunately this
is the end of the road for you.' So, they cut off
my wristband and sent me packing.

If I could take back the last 30 minutes of the
whole experience, I could say it was a blast.
But it was a bit of a downer to see
how little interest these producers had in what
they were doing. I'm not saying I deserved to make it,
I'm just saying they made it less fun. In the end, I think I
would have had a better shot with Paula, Randy and Simon.
They seemed a lot less brutal compared to those awful


Kelley Rae said...

I've been waiting to hear about this. I can't believe they didn't take you. If that was your voice in the 1st video than I think you sound great adn they don't know what they are talking about! You're still a rockstar in my book.

Jess said...

Teish... way to go. It is hard to put yourself on the line like that!

Teisha said...

Kelly - the voice you heard in the first video is not me, although I would love to claim it. That was the girl next to me, and she was great. I didn't sing while I was recording, cause I wanted to be able to hear the crowd on my camera. If anyone wants to hear me sing, than you will all have to join me for karaoke sometime.

heather said...

What a fun experience. That is crazy that they were so disinterested in everyone singing. A-holes. I am sure you are a fine singer.

Emily said...

That is so fun that you went and tried out. I didn't even know you sang, duh! Thanks for the post too, it was interesting to read about the whole process on how things work with the show. It was fun to see you at Jenny's shower.

Tara said...

Well I know from vast experience that you are a great singer. I mean remember our harmony on that Backstreet Boys song? Those producers sounds like jerks to not even really pay attention.

I think you are awesome for giving it a go!

Maranda said...

Wow Teish...props to you for putting yourself out there. My sister's boyfriend tried out too and he has a beautiful voice(he didn't make it). He said the same thing, they don't care how good you sing...all they care about is what they think they are looking for and if you've got it or rather if you've got the shock factor, then you just might get picked.

You should have showed up in black leather pants, a cone bra, and some funky probably would have made it to Simon, Paula, and Randy with that sort of nonsense.