As promised, the American Idol story:

It all started last Tuesday when Phillip, Hazel, Casey (my good friend and our former house-mate), and I, headed to Kansas City.  Firsat, we stopped in the Quad Cities to drop the dogs off at my parents, so that broke the trip up a bit. We arrived at our destination around 8pm.  We stayed just outside of the city with some long time friends of my parents.  The next morning we were up at 4:45 am becuase we thought we needed to be the first in line to get in.  We were so wrong.  We waited with about 3 thousand other people. Some had been there since 2am! They opened the doors at 7:30 and by 9:30 there was no line.  People who arrived at 10am had virtually no wait time.  It was crazy.  

Side story: Phillip really wanted to audition as well, but the rules clearly stated no children under the age of 5 were allowed.  He dropped us off Wednesday morning and headed to a coffee shop with Hazel.  After Casey and I had been in line all but two mintues a lady rolled up behind us with a stroller.  The American Idol staff immediately came up and escorted her to the front of the line!!!!  No way!  I got on the phone immediately with Phillip and told him he might be able to audition after all.  The American Idol dream was not dead!!! He came with Hazel and we stood in line for about two hours when they finally noticed us and escorted us into the arena, registered, wrist-banded us and gave us VIP passes so we wouldn’t have to wait in line on audtion day!!

I was very impressed.  They do not encourage bringing children of course, but if you are the only care-taker for the child they make acceptions, and in our case, since we were both auditioning, technically, we were the only care takers available.

Wednesday afternoon and Thursday we had free to tour the city.  We had such a fun time!  We went to IHOP, the International House of Prayer.  24 hours of praise and worship, it’s been going non-stop for 9 years now! We then headed to some other KC hot spots.  We saw the “Bodies Revealed” exhibit at Union Station, which was amazing.  I will post some pictures of our “fun days” below as well.

Fast forward to auditon day.  Most were told to be there by 5am, but we were told we didn’t have to arrive till 7am, another bonus.  We were seated on the arena floor and let in immediately.  Again the staff was so kind.  They escorted us to the bathroom, for security more than anything I am sure, but nontheless, it was nice and so were they.  I had to make several trips, to change Hazel and feed her and wash my hands and so on.  Every time they were very accommodating and friendly.  

As everyone was filing in one of the shows producers was teaching the songs we were all supposed to have memorized for the “group sing.”  Hazel had been quite boisterous and seemed to have a lot to say, so he came over and handed her the mic.  She must have had stage fright, and didn’t make a peep….until he left

Finally, everyone was seated in the arena and we had to do some group singing.  Pretty lame, but it is a singing reality show.  Once that was finished they got right down to it.  They set up 12 tiny black tables with black curtain dividers between each one.  There were two judges at each table and four auditionees line up side by side on pre-set tape lines.  Then four behind them and so on and so forth.  We got to jump in line whenever we were ready so we both went early on in the auditions.  We were alloweed to introduce ourselves and then sing.  The judges allowed me to sing my entire prepared section of my song and then kindly said “there were some nice voices in this group, but you just aren’t what we are looking for.”  Then they snipped the wrist band (so one can’t try to go to another booth) and that was that.  

Shortly after we had both been rejected we were packing up and getting ready to leave when they said someone special had arrived. They made all of the audotioners sit down and the tables were picked up immediately.  Ryan Seacrest came in about a half an hour later and gave ‘us’ a ‘pep-talk’ and then did some more promotional stuff.  We all had to say “Kansas City Rocks” and other goups chants over and over and over agin.  

After this was finished we were ready to leave.  Hazel had been so well behaved and we felt like terrible parents for putting her through all of the nonsense.  This child was deprived of some serious nap-time and she behaved beautifully.  As we were standing up ready to make our escape a lady behind us complained that we were leaving she said “your little girl is way more entertaining than Ryan Seacrest.” We just laughed, of course we knew it was true…



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