There will be a time........when no one will be able to tell me........I should go on American Idol.
Why? Because my prayers have been answered and the show is on its final season.
Although there have been rumblings that it may not be the final season after all..........which would royally piss me off. Put it out of its misery already!!!
As I've said before, I really do appreciate everyone who believes in me enough to think that I could make it. You just don't understand how it really works. But that's okay! That means the producers of the show have successfully done their job. Their job is to create the illusion that the competition is based on talent. So it makes sense why you would push people you think are talented to audition. In that sense, it's truly flattering.
Regardless, the show is unfortunately completely fabricated.
In the words of Elf, the creators of American Idol sit on a throne of lies.
Let's break this down, shall we?
There is a screening process before any of the contestants even see the judges. The first part involves small groups of people standing in front of a "scout" together, taking turns singing maybe 8 bars of their song. Maybe. Some of them are chosen because they are "good" and some of them are chosen because they are "bad." No joke.
Be honest..........if they only chose truly good people, you wouldn't watch the show. It'd be boring. "Pants on the Ground" is WAY more entertaining.
The second part of the screening process is for the chosen people to sing in front of a "producer." This is where they see if you "have what it takes to be on TV." Looks and talent play a small part in this, but a VERY small part. They don't want people who have trained for years and studied music in college. They want someone who maybe owns a guitar and sang at their grandma's church once.
It also helps quite a bit if you have a sob story for them to dramatize. For real.
If you are chosen, only THEN do you actually go in front of the celebrity judges.
When Harry Connick Jr. had to explain pentatonics to Jennifer Lopez I about lost my shit. Unfortunately she was not acting. She's just that dumb. You have no business judging music if you don't know basic music terminology.
And no, I don't mean "Pentatonix" the goup. Ick.
I could go on and on, but to be clear..............this is a reality TV show.
(Pssst.........I hate to break it to you, but The Voice isn't much better. Their "cattle calls" are to fill the holes that haven't been pre-cast.)
I'd also like to point out that Nicki Minaj has been a judge on American Idol.
NICKI MINAJ WAS ON A SHOW ABOUT SINGING!!!!
Nothing about that makes sense. That alone makes the show a bunch of hooey.
Hooey I tell you!!!
I digress.............I actually have auditioned for American Idol, just not in the traditional sense. Let me explain................
5+ years ago
My mom had been trying to talk me into auditioning for American Idol for awhile. We went on a family vacation to Disney World in 2011, and at the time there was still an American Idol "simulation," if you will. The deal was that they did one "competition" per day, and the winner would get a "fast pass" ticket to the front of the "real" American Idol audition line. Mom kept pushing the issue and talking about how much fun it would be.
Fun is a strong word................
I really did not want to audition for the show, let alone a fake version of an already fake show.
I'm putting the word real in quotations to emphasize that the "real" show is super fake in itself, on the off chance that my hostility towards the show wasn't glaring enough.
Now, Mom had good intentions. She believed in me and truly thought I had a shot.
A couple fruity drinks later at the hotel pool bar........she somehow talked me into doing it.
She clearly waited until the perfect moment to strike............damn mai tais..............
The deal was that I would do the "simulation" of American Idol, ONLY if she'd stop bugging me about auditioning for the "real" thing. Her caveat was that she'd stop bugging me if I didn't win. But if I won and got that "golden ticket," I had to audition for the "real" thing.
And so it begins........
They only took so many people per day, and the "studio" was a decent hike from the entrance of the park. I've never seen my mom walk so fast -- we were among the first people to get there. The first line of defense, the "scout," listened to me sing a little bit of Bill Withers' "Use Me," and sent me onto the next stage.
Mom was pleased.
They sat me down with a weird looking mp3 player, head phones, and a list of songs --
I was supposed to pick two songs from the list. I was holding what was practically a portable karaoke machine.
I ended up picking "I Feel the Earth Move" and "Midnight Train to Georgia" as my two songs. I sang both of them in front of a "producer," who kept telling me that my interpretation of the songs needed to be more dramatic. I remember staring at him and thinking, "Look dude, this is not Broadway. Calm your sh*t."
Both songs are about being in love with some dude -- one just happens to be more sexually charged than the other. And of course that's the one we decided on. What was I supposed to do? Pelvic thrust while I sing?
Regardless of how he felt about my acting skills, he sent me onto the next stage.
Mom was very pleased.
I can't remember how many people were chosen total, but there were 4 separate preliminary shows with somewhere between 4 and 6 contestants each. The winners of those shows would move on to the finale that night. So if you ended up winning a preliminary show this was an all day event. All. Day.
The Preliminary Show
We each had a 15-minute rehearsal with some dude, in a small room, with a karaoke machine and a keyboard. I'm still not sure why there was a keyboard. It's not like anyone was playing an actual instrument for this thing, and it wasn't a freaking voice lesson. We just rehearsed with the damn karaoke track.
I sang through "I Feel the Earth Move" twice, mostly so he could teach me the weird ending that cut the song short. Every song choice had a really awkward ending. You could tell that they cared more about how long the song was as opposed to it making sense. Whoever got paid to edit the songs seemed to just arbitrarily cut and paste.
Hopefully they did it for free, because woof.
We were done "rehearsing" in about 5 minutes. Since we had 10 minutes left we started talking, and before I knew it he had me playing and singing one of my original tunes on the keyboard. I was also transcribing for Tony Monaco at the time, and he apparently was a big fan, so he geeked out about it hard core. Not gonna lie, it was pretty cool.
We went to "makeup," and were sent out on stage to practice entrances, where we were supposed to stand, the order we were in, etc. Shortly after, the preliminary rounds started, and I was in the first round. They had 3 actors pretending to be some semblance of the original American Idol judges (so you had a Simon, of course). I ended up winning, which was kind of cool, but it also meant the rest of my day was shot. The finale wasn't going to start for another...........oh...........5 hours or so?
Mom was VERY pleased. She had such a smug look on her face...............she knew what she had done. Not cool, Mom. Not cool.
You know how the contestants of the "real" show come running out to meet their families............hugging them and jumping up and down like a crazy person because they made it onto the show? Well they made me fake that. They even rounded up my family while I was still back stage and told them where to stand when I came out.
Then they dragged me into a nearby coffee shop and made me sing in front of all these poor people, who really just wanted to enjoy their coffee, not listen to some random girl from Ohio sing Carole King acapella. This was all so they could put together a video promo for the finale. SUPER cheezy.
Trust me coffee shop people..........it was WAY weirder for me than it was for you.
I walked around all day with a dumb lanyard around my neck saying, "Vote for me!," and I kept getting yelled at by people who had either sat in the audience or watched my preliminary round on the big screen outside.
"Hey, you're that girl that won!!!"
Congratulations, you were able to spot my crazy, curly red hair. It's SO hard to do.
Or, "I voted for you!!!" Or "You have such a cool voice!!!"
Okay............thanks.............that's actually very nice of you.
I'd be lying if I said that parts of it weren't kind of fun, but the whole thing was so manufactured that it was difficult to truly enjoy it. But I guess that's how the "real" thing is.
It came down to 4 of us: some girl I can't remember, a school teacher that sang "I'm Proud to be an American," a guy that sang "Pretty Young Thing" (and could dance like Michael Jackson), and me. The place was packed, and the people in the audience were so enthusiastic you would've thought we were on the "real" show. I sang my song, and the judges started gushing about my "sultry voice," and how I sound like a jazz singer (duh), yaddah, yaddah...........
The one judge who was playing the role of Simon, however, got a little frisky. He got REALLY excited. Beyond talking about my voice, he said I looked like a "pixie amazon." Uh............what did you call me?
He then said, and I quote, "Knock me out and drag me back to your cave!"
My response was, "My parents are out in the audience you know.,,,,,,,,"
The Michael Jackson guy and I were the last ones standing. They had told us not to look up when the winner was announced, because these giant pieces of confetti would be falling right onto our faces. Part of me wanted to win, because I'm competitive. But the other part of me thought, "Oh hell, if I win, I have to go do the 'real' thing. I promised Mom. Dammit.............this isn't good."
They announced that I was second, and I felt a HUGE wave of relief wash over me. I hugged the guy and started thanking him profusely. Then at the same moment we both said to each other, "Don't look up! Confetti!!!!!" They were not playing around with that stuff.................There was SO much of it.
As we were leaving the building, people attacked both of us, wanting pictures and autographs. It's amazing how nutty people can get if they think you "might be famous someday." I just kept laughing as I was signing random pieces of paper (even those character autograph books), thinking, "This is one of the dumbest things that has ever happened to me."
So I got second, which was the best thing that could've happened, in my opinion anyway.
I did as well as I possibly could have, without actually winning and having to truly audition. I think Mom was a little disappointed, but she can't say that I didn't try. It's not like I threw the competition. Boy had charisma and could dance like Michael Jackson!
I can't compete with that sh*t!!!
All in all I'm glad I can say that I had the experience. It was goofy and "fake," and essentially glorified karaoke, but it was fun and actually kind of a confidence booster.
Especially since I was the favorite with high school and college boys in the audience. ;)
And apparently that one judge.........................ew.
If nothing else, it's a story, and one that includes my loving family -- my biggest fans.
Love you, Mom. Even though now you've "not so jokingly" moved on to wanting me to do The Voice.
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm 30, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."