Thanks to Jareb, I got a chance to be a part of historical pop culture: The American Idol audition experience.
While media other than Fox News was not allowed to enter Qualcomm Stadium, friends and family were allowed to bring their brains and their cameras, so blog I will.
First some photos:
We got there at the literal crack of dawn to register on Saturday. The San Diego Union Tribune vendors were actually selling Idol signs for fifty cents each. Of course one charming style is drawn to another, so we met cute-boy-Kevin-with-the-Chiclets-teeth-and-20-years-of-life, who was there with his mom and late for rehearsal for West Side Story because of the Idol audition experience.
At first, waiting in the stadium was exciting. Thousands of contestants and friends buzzed with anticipation and listened attentively to the producer's directions. Then, boredom set in--Jareb and I started playing hangman and afterward we took a walk. When we returned, other people in our section were playing hangman too.
On our walk, we found benches that made a perfect cot for me to stretch my back out. Jareb got a text from a friend who had already auditioned and not made it to the next round. Theoretically, the singers performed for a two person panel of judges and then were sent to the executive producers if they sounded good enough. For that trip there was fanfare--a "golden ticket" and a run up the stairs with requisite running and jumping for the cameras and the crowd.
By night fall the scene was less enticing though; people just wanted to have their turn to sing... or eat, or drink, or move from their bleacher seats... It was a fifteen hour day for us and when we left half of the crowd was still waiting to audition.
Jareb finally got his turn and was shuttled through the process. He was on the express lane system--of the four contestants at his table, he was the only one who was sent on to a producer just behind the blue tents while the others were summarily dismissed. He sang his song again for that man (no fanfare Golden Ticket, but I really think they were trying to streamline the process since they had finally realized there were thousands of people to go and they had run out of food hours ago). After listening attentively, the man with the British accent said, "Close, but not close enough."
Jareb will get there one day, I know he will.