The Arrival: Part III
After I was done touching up, Norman and I decided to go halves on french fries and an orange juice. At this time in the morning (I'll say 5a.m. ish?) there was only one concession stand open for food. One or two. The lines were long. Maybe about 100 in each line. What seemed like a half hour later we were able to get some expensive food. We then headed towards section 125, to our stadium seats.
The stadium began filling as people began to take their seats. Some, like me, were there for two days, sleeping in the rain and on the hard concrete of the stadium grounds, others had gone to nearby hotels, yet many slept in their cars. And yes, even on audition day, people were still coming in to be registered for an audition.
Instructions were being shouted for all media to leave the stadium. It was now a half stadium full of hopefulls, a good 10, ooo strong, and the American Idol producers come to find their next popstar. The show had begun.
"Singing in the Rain" wasn't particularly a favorite song of the crowd but the producers demanded we sing it over and over again while twirling our umbrellas. What a cliche` song given the events of the past two days. And as karma would have it, the skies began to rain...again. Suddenly the process began.
Beginning with section 125, the rows got up, single filedly walked down the stairs, and handed off their stadium seating ticket along with their release form to an Idol producer. Being in row 16 of section 125 it wasn't too long before I found myself, walking in a line past one of the Patriots ' endzones to get my picture taken and then find a place to stand in one of the rows of four in front one of 16 tables across the other side of the field. Each table had two judges.
Walking past table 2 I saw Angelica doing her thing. She didn't get passed through though. Norman and I stood in the same row of four. He was third, I was fourth. Fourth, just like last year.
I said "I'm gonna start in the middle somewhere." The female judge on my left said "Okay. You can do what you want." I began Christina Aguilera's "The Voice Within" with the words"...now in a world where innocence is quickly claimed, it's so hard to stand your ground when you're so afraid. No one reaches out a hand for you to hold. When you look outside look inside to your soul. When there's no one else, look inside yourself. Like your oldest friend just truuuuu---crack--"Oh NO!!" I gasped. I turned my head away in shame. "No, no," my judge said, "that was good. Just control your nerves. Take a deep breath and start again." But before she finished coaxing me, I began searching for a tone..."I fall without my wings, "I began to crescendo," I feel so small, I guess I need you baby. And everytime I see you in my dreams I see your face, it's haunting me. I guess I need you baby."
"Okay, okay you can stop. What song was that?"
"Britney Spears Everytime," I said. "I knew I heard that song before!" she exclaimed. For the first time I saw life and expression in that judge.
I stepped back with the other 3 people in my row. The two judges at our table held the stack of golden papers in front of their mouths while they convened. Then coming back from thier "meeting" the girl judge thanked everyone for being there, said they were looking for something different. Then she went on to say "You three are going to get your wristbands cut and go that way." Norman said "Three?" She pointed and counted out "one, two, three."
I made it past the first round.
I went to the "winner's lounge" to fill out some paperwork and take a picture. My Golden Ticket was traded for a blue paper. On it were instructions for the next round with Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of American Idol.
I and my blue paper began to walk to the stadium exit. On the way another "winner" met me and we held arms and skipped towards the iron gated arch where we were greeted by journalists, reporters, and other onlookers.
AT 5:35 a.m. the next morning, I once again boarded the train headed to Boston. The location: The Seaport Hotel. One Idol contestant compared this section of Boston to lower Manhattan. The girl of course is from New York. Brooklyn to be exact. That's what I call her. Brooklyn.
Nearly 200 contestants filled the large room designated for us at the Seaport Hotel. We were given lyrics to a song called "Joy to the World." It also played on repeat over and over and over again. I didn't bother to remember anything as Ken Warwick (Assistant Executive) told us it wouldn't affect our audition one bit. Yeah right.
We were individually seen by an 'Idol producer for more questioning and interviewing. Then it was audition time. About 10 people sat in a row of chairs outside the audition room. As 5 left 5 more were added. Two people before my time and this (no offense) white, rapper guy was thrust into a seat next to me. He came late. He just arrived and in less than 5 minutes he was to rap for the executive producer of American Idol. He walked in and walked out carrying a Golden Ticket. No one cheered. Everyone looked at him with shock. He rapped for the camera then we all cheered. I got up and walked in.
"You're back," stated Nigel wearing headphones and sitting with a panel of producers all with headphones. I walked towards my T in the middle of the floor. "None of this, this time?" he asked making motions to an imaginary "microphone headset" around his head in reference to what I wore in front of the judges last year.
"No," I smiled.
"Natural?" He asked.
"Yes, " I said.
"Why are you here?" he asked.
"Well, it's been a year," I began. "I'm a year older. A year more mature..."
"Okay," he said. "What are you going to sing?"
"I'm going to sing Cristina Aguilera's The Voice Within"
"OOh, I don't think you can do that." He took his head phones off and asked a lady on the panel "Can we do Christina Aguilera?" She said no.
He said I couldn't do Xtina A. because American Idol doesn't have the rights to any of her music. "Oh, change of plan then." I paused. "How about Britney?"
"Yeah, you can do Britney. What song?"
"I'm gonna have to go with Everytime." I began singing. I don't think I finished the first chorus before Nigel stopped me and asked me if I had another song.
"The A*Teens," I said.
"The A*Teens?!?" Nigel asked with this puzzled look on his face.
"Fools Rush In," I said.
"Oh Fools Rush In. Okay," he said.
I began singing. "Wise man say only fools rush in, but I can't help falling in love with you. Shall I stay? Would it be a scene, if I can't help falling in love with you?"
I was stopped. This time way before the chorus. Was this a good thing?
"Miranda, how much of Joy to the World did you remember?"
"You know what? When I walked in here today and got this paper, it was the first time I've ever seen this song. I don't know it."
"How about a line or something?"
"I don't know any of it. I heard the chorus playing over and over again-"
"I don't know it all."
"Sing what you know"
"Joy to the world...uh Joy to the world...I don't know it."
"None of it?"
"You know what. Jeremiah was a bullfrog!!" I sarcastically growled.
He then leaned over and grabbed a piece of paper. "I happen to have a copy of it right here."
"So you're gonna read it to me?" I hissed.
"Just the chorus," he said. "Joy to the world. (something something) boys and girls. To all the fishes of the deep, blue sea joy to you and me." He looked up.
"Start when I'm ready?" I asked.
"mm hmm," he answered.
"Joy to the world. To all the boys and gir ir ir irls. *pause* And all the fishes of the deep blue sea, joy to you and me! Like that?"
"okay, good." I held my breath
"Miranda how far did you make it last year?"
Uh oh. Why was he asking. "Well, uh-"
"Did you make it to the judges?"
"You made it to the judges."
"You made it here, right?" I thought that question was redundant. If I made it to the judges of course I made it there. Why was he asking?
"Yes," I said through clenched teeth.
"You made it to the judges?"
"Yes." I was beginning to get annoyed.
"You saw them?"
"You're gonna see them again."
I wasn't expected that one. It was like getting a piercing done before inhaling. I let out a scream and ran towards Nigel. "Where's my Golden Ticket?!?" I screamed. He looked up and pointed towards the door, "Down there"
I ran down the panel trying to find who will hand me a ticket. I got to the end and sitting by the door a lady waved a Golden Ticket for me to grab. I grabbed it, squealed a thank you, and bolted out the door.
A camera was there to greet me. I jumped and twirled in front of it then went to the next area for "winners" where we endured more individual interviews and finally another ticket exchange. We had to give up the Golden Ticket for a green paper.
Randy, Paula, and Simon is the next round. On October 26th I will be in front of them again singing "Can't Fight the Moonlight" by Leann Rhymes.
Everyday I visualize those three people standing about 10 feet in front of me. In less than two weeks it's going to happen...