Thursday, July 22, 2010

My American Idol Experience

Not many people know about what I did this past weekend....soooo I'm going to-feeling a little bummed-share my true American Idol experience and all someone has to go through just to get through. I challenged myself and took my voice to the streets and prejudges of American Idol along with about 16,000 other people. Yep, I was that person, who got there at 5am, waited in line for 3 hours, marched to the Bridgestone Arena and sat and waited for another 9 hours to get the judges to hear my voice for only a 20 second period slot. 12 hours later, I'm walking out!! It was one of the longest days of my life! Truly.

Over the years, I've been told that my voice is good and that I should try to do something with it. So, I gave it a shot. I'm 28 years old and it's my last year to try. Cutting off age is 28. I truly love and enjoy singing! I don't think I'm horrible, however I would never put myself under the category of 'most amazing' singer. I would simply say, I'm good and can carry a tune.

I've done a lot of solos in church, have been backup for the Gaither Homecoming Tour and Avalon, worked on projects for Lifeway's Rickshaw CD-VBS project, winner of some karoke contests, sung at work events and am currently working on my very own never-ending Christian cd. I have enjoyed every experience thus far and everything has helped me grow a lot! So I thought, why not take it a bit further possibly?

I've watched American Idol since the infamous Kelly Clarkson won the first American Idol in History. I've watched them all. From Carrie Underwood to Kris Allen to Lee DeWyze. So I thought...what if...what if I could become something bigger or for that matter make I took myself to the try outs,by myself. Everyone had their boyfriends, girlfriends, moms, dads, husbands, wives, best friends, you name it. I seroiusly talked to no one who came alone. Why didn't Robert go...someone had to keep the girls, my sisters weren't available, parents out of town, etc... everyone had something going on. In some ways, I wanted someone there with me to support me or simply to have someone there to talk to, but in other ways, I would have felt bad for someone to be there with me for that long and waste their day. I was happy I went even though. As you probably already figured, I didn't make it..not even through the first rounds.

So here's how it goes: I decided Wednesday evening to give this a shot. I went to the arena Thursday to register and get a wristband to then go back on Saturday morning. On Saturday, while patiently waiting along with everyone else, I met a group of people (pictured below). Nata wouldn't sing, Lisa sang country and was not good at all. I felt bad for her in some ways because her friend was obviously not being honest with her. Now, the bigger looking napoleon dynamite guy who looks goofy, I honestly didn't think he was going to be able to sing. Well, I was way WRONG! He was amazing-yes in that category!! He tried last year in Atlanta and didn't get through. He came back to try once more. He's only 18 years old young! He's got many years ahead of him to try if he didn't make it again. I couldn't tell you whether he made it or not because we all had assigned seating in the arena. He was in level 3 while I was in level 2.

Here I am with my wrist band, a few hours before leaving the house at 4am! Excited and pumped! I look tired and the day hadn't even started!

At 5am waiting in a huge crowd!!

Here is the 'crowd' behind me. notice how far back the line goes?!

And another.....check how far up it goes...

here are the peeps I met who were trying out as well. From left to right, Nata, Lisa, Wierdo Ben and me! I look like a shrimp next to them. Watch season 10 and you may possibly see one of them.

Once inside the arena

Check out the crowd of auditioners

okay so here is where it gets interesting...they put 24 judges on the floor, they call you by section and you go down to the arena floor in groups of 4 people.
So yes, everyone around you hears you singing. You don't get to the actual tv judges until like round 4. After this first round you sing in front of producers, then you sing to the executives, then you finally sing to the tv judges...what we actually watch on tv! No one really knows how much one has to go through just to get to them.

Here are people auditioning now in groups-once your on floor you go up to judges- sing and you either get to go to another round and go out the left side (winners door) or you go out the losers door on the right side. :)
So honestly by the time I got to the floor at close to 5pm, I had maybe seen 75 tickets given out. Out of thousands who had already volunteered. A friend told me they thought maybe only 100 tickets were given out for Nashville alone. It's hard to get through. REALLY HARD! They pass stupid people like hula hoop dancers, nerds who can't sing, people who act stupid..which maybe I should have done. Great singers are overlooked and it makes me hate the show! In the group I went one got through..not even the groups in front of me. There's was a girl who I honestly thought would make it. She was cute, sang awesome and could hit some high notes! But no..instead the guy next to her who was nerdy and sang stupidly made it. All for entertainment purposes. So the world could make fun of him. That's sad! I do hope that someone in Nashville can sing. I didn't hear everyone's voices so I'm not so sure. They would have had to pick some good people. When I went up, I decided at the last minute to sing, "Eyes on the Sparrow". I thought I could show of my voice qualities good with that one. Even the crowd outside told me I should sing that one. It was that one or either 'Only Hope' by Mandy Moore (why, because everyone has forgotten that song and it's beautiful). Yes, I sang to a group of people outside the doors. So I went up to my two judges, was very personable with them, even told the one lady, that I had seen her on tv and that it was so awesome to be standing before her..well yeah, that didn't work. I sang, she said, very nice, and I moved back. After the 4 of us sang, they called us to their table and said it wasn't season 10 worth! Whatever that means! I sang my little heart out and nothing!
I'm glad however that I tried. Had I not gone, I would have regretted it and would have thought, 'what if..' So I am happy I went, even though it was a 12 hour day. I can at least now say, I've tried for American Idol.
And I am back home holding my only souvenir ticket after NOT making it past those stupid judges..something I can keep to say, yep, been there done that.

That's my true American Idol Experience.


  1. Wow!! I am proud of you for at least trying out...what a neat experience!!

  2. Go Esther! My friend's daughter who is 15 tried out too and had the exact same experience as you did. She has an incredible voice, but had heard that it was really hit or miss, so went in with an open mind. I'm proud of you for going for it!