The first episode of the final season of American Idol airs this week so I thought, just for fun, I would write about my experience with auditioning. Don’t get too excited now; I didn’t make it past the first round but I thought readers might find it interesting to get an idea of what auditions are like at the beginning stages.
- I auditioned in Kansas City, MO the year after the two Davids battled it out and David Cook won. My boss at the time gave me some extra vacation time and paid for my plane ticket which was pretty amazing of him!
- Try-outs were held in a HUGE convention center and yep, people waited for hours upon hours to be the first in line. Inside the building, picture about a dozen long tables and at each of those tables sits 2 or 3 judges. Three people go before one table at a time and have a few seconds each to make an impression. Take note that there could be 12 people singing all at once across the convention center and add to that the buzz of a room that size being filled with people. You had to sing well and loud if you wanted to even be heard.
- For this particular occasion, I bought a new shirt and a pair of peep-toe red heels that I still own. By the time I got around to auditioning, though, I had switched to flats because I thought they were more “me” and my feet hurt. : ) For my audition, I sang “It Had to Be You.”
- My mom came with me for the auditions. I was a nervous wreck for the several hours of waiting even though I didn’t want to admit that to her.
- People whom the judges allowed to move on to the next round received a “Golden Ticket.” You could always tell when someone received a golden ticket because you could kind of see it in their hand and they would usually react with excitement.
- I didn’t see Paula or Simon. I don’t think they played a part until further along in audition rounds. There were some very important-looking people walking around though. I particularly remember a guy wearing a fedora who looked like he was starting the judging process before people even approached the tables. Though I didn’t see Paula or Simon, I did see Ryan (see the photo below). He came to do a short filming of him saying a few words and the cameras tried to get a good crowd shot. I got to be a part of the crowd shot so I did lots of cheering and singing along with the group but I’m pretty sure my face didn’t make it on the show.
- Everyone had to learn a couple catchy songs prior to auditions. These were used for crowd shots or possibly for second auditions if the judges wanted.
Overall, it was a neat experience and I am glad I did it. Over the course of the day, as I nervously waited for my turn, I came to a realization that I wasn’t sure if I wanted it that bad. I mentally prepared to be okay with whatever outcome even though I was still disappointed to not get the “Golden Ticket.”
You can begin to watch the farewell season on Wednesday night on Fox.