Happy Wednesday everyone! I had this post almost completely ready to go last night, and Blogger was "down", for I don't know how long. AND it didn't save my final draft, so I have had to laboriously reconstruct the end AGAIN. (sigh) I know, I know, it's hard to believe my level of dedication to the quality of this blog, but that's just the kind of girl I am!
Monday my two oldest children tried out for Season 8 of "American Idol" in Louisville, Kentucky. I don't really watch the show, but I usually know enough about it to know who is in the finals and who Carrie Underwood is. And as I've mentioned here before, Joseph and Rachel both love to sing and have fantastic voices, so I was okay with it. But this story didn't really begin yesterday. It began Saturday morning.
Saturday morning was the Registration Day for A.I. tryouts. It was at the fairgrounds in Louisville, where parking is $6 every single time you drive through the gates. Originally both Joseph and Rachael were going to register, but Joseph had been sick and he said he had changed his mind. So I drove Rachael all the way over there, paid my $6, and we both got our tickets and our wrist bands. I got to be included in all this fun because Rachael is a minor and had to have a parent with her.
We were told the doors opened at 5 AM Monday morning (remember this detail....it will be important later) and were assured that we would get in because we had tickets. Sunday comes and Joseph is having second thoughts: Would I take him over there if he gave me the $6 for parking? Okay(never mind the gas), so Sunday afternoon I take HIM all the way over there. Still haven't seen THAT $6. This picture is Rachael waiting in line outside the building at 5:30 AM.
Monday morning VERY early (oh...say 4 AM) I wake up and get the kids awake and by 4:45 we are headed for the fair grounds. Price to get through the gates: Yep, that's right - another $6. When we arrived there were already many people lined up. The guard at the gate told us they started coming in at 10 the night before. By the time we made it to the end of the line it was all the way down one side and around the corner. So we stood.
And we stood.
And we stood. Very little movement. At 6:30 I asked one of the ever-helpful American Idol people why we still weren't moving. "Oh," she cheerfully replied, "the doors don't open until 8." I told her we had all been told to be there by 5. She explained that American Idol tells everyone 5 so that they get everyone there, including the stragglers, then they take everyone in at once. Hmmf. So I had been standing there in the humid darkness, hungry, desparately needing a cup of coffee, so that the American Idol folks won't be inconvenienced. Grrrrr.....
Finally, the line begins moving and we all load into Freedom Hall, which is huge. Your seat is in fact determined by your ticket which we received at registration so where you were in line or how long you had been standing out there had absolutely nothing to do with where you sat or ultimately how quickly you got to have an audition. But I didn't grouse too much at that point because I was finally in air conditioning and able to sit down.
Then, for about an hour the crowd was entertained by the American Idol producers, who had us singing "Louie, Louie" and taping promo spots. Finally, he explained the process and the order of the auditions. They set up 12 tables in the middle of the auditorium, with screens in between. They would call down a section at a time. They lined the participants up 4 at a time. Groups of 4 would approach the table. Each person would step out and sing, then step back.
After all 4 had sung, the producers would confer, then they would tell them if they went to the "winners room" or just went home. It took from about 9 AM to close to 1 PM for Rachael to get her turn. After she sang, she turned around and flashed me a stellar smile, which means she nailed it, but alas they didn't take her. She looked a little disappointed, but she was really tired, so we went home. Joseph's seat was WAYYYYYY UP in the rafters so he had to stay to wait his turn.
Poor guy. He had to sit there for several more hours. He didn't get his turn until sometime after 6. And in case you're wondering why there is only one picture of him, and it's of his back, it's because he completely refused to let me take his picture. His words exactly were, "I don't mind being on TV, but I'm not going to be material for your blogger buddies to read about." How did he know I was going to blog about this?
This are pictures of Rachael, on the floor of Freedom Hall, waiting for her turn to tryout.
When Rachael and I left, she said, "Mom, I knew I probably didn't have a chance, but I'm glad at least I tried. Now I can say I tried out for American Idol!"
This is what a REAL winner looks like: