So, here's a story of how it all went down. In order to audition for American Idol, you first had to obtain a number. So, on Sunday (July 27) morning, I went with my cousin, Chantel, and her mom, Claudia, to the Energy Solutions arena in Salt Lake City. We got there at 6:30 in the morning, which put us probably the 1000th in line out of 6,000 or so. They gave us a wristband and a ticket for our reserved seat/place in line.
At 8:00 AM, they finally started letting us all into the arena. Upon entrance, the filmed the crowd for about an hour and a half or so. They filmed us doing the same thing over and over again. They'd have someone in the audience say "This is American Idol" or "Welcome to Salt Lake City" or "Welcome to Happy Valley" (which I just about refused to say), and then we'd all have to scream and cheer, destroying our voices.
Ryan Seacrest finally showed up (which was a miracle, since, apparently, he was recently bitten by a shark), and then we had to do the stupid crowd shots over and over again, but this time, he was saying all the lines. All the girls were fainting and trying to give him hugs and stuff. All for a guy who is only like 5'6" and weighs maybe 140.
Then the auditions started. Your initial audition was in front of everyone. They set up 10 judges tables on the arena floor. Four people at a time came down and stood in front of a judges' table. Then, they called you forward one at a time, and they had you sing until they said, "Stop". Sometimes, they would ask people to sing again if they wanted to hear you sing a different style. After you were finished singing, they would tell you either, "Yes" or "No". Those that were told "Yes" walked out the "Winner's Exit" and stayed for the next round. Those that were told "No", had their wristbands cut off and were shown to the "Non-Winner's Exit". From what I could see, it looked like maybe 2 or 3 percent of the people that auditioned were put through to the 2nd round (Randy, Paula, and Simon were at the 3rd round).
We waited for FOREVER. I was starting to get a headache because I was so hungry, so I went out to get a hot dog at the concessions. I waited in line for an hour, and I was two people away from ordering when Claudia called me and told me that it was our turn to line up for the tryout. So, I waited all that time for NOTHING.
Finally, we got on the floor. It was interesting, because once we got down there I wasn't nervous at all. I was just so sick of waiting that I pretty much just wanted to get it over with. So, finally we had our chance to sing. My cousin, Chantel (a.k.a. Channi) did a really good job. She sang, "Can't Help Falling In Love".
Then it was MY turn. I sang, "Now and Forever" by Richard Marx. There were two judges, one British lady, and another Asian-looking lady. The British lady didn't seem too impressed, but the Asian lady liked me a lot, I could tell. After I sang, instead of calling for the next person, they talked with each other behind their clipboards. Then they asked me to sing something else. My mind went totally blank, and they told me I could think about what I'd sing while the next person went. Then, I decided to sing Brian McKnight's "One" (It's funny, because I never practiced it really, but it came to me as something good to sing. A couple weeks previously, my friend, Rhett Richins, and I would sing it as a joke while warming up for the musical, Little Women, mainly to annoy one of the other actors).
Once we were finally all done singing, they told us that they weren't going to put any of us through to the next round. As I was leaving, they told me that they like my voice, but that I needed to work on my stage presence. I'm not sure how I could have shown my stage presence in a matter of 30 seconds, but I did my best. After the auditions, we were all SO HUNGRY, so we went to the Gateway and ate at Biaggi's... one of my new favorite restaurants. Overall it was a fun experience. I know what I'd do differenlty next time, and it gives me a year to work on my "stage presence". If anything, I had fun hanging out with Claudia and Channi. Better luck next year, I guess.