The four of us got to Hollywood Studios around 10:00 a.m. I believe. I know, I know... we slept in! I went straight to American Idol Experience to audition for the show. None of my family members wanted to come in with me so off I went by myself. The first judge that I sang for was a spunky woman. I chose to sang the same first audition song that I went with last year since it went so well, "Leave the Pieces" by The Wreckers. She really liked it and asked me to sing something from the AIE song list. I asked her if "Love Song" was the one by Sara Bareilles and she told me it was. I ended up singing that for her and she really thought that fit my voice well. I think she also had me sing something else but I don't remember what now. Anyway she moved me on to the next round where I sat in the "Red Room" listening to songs karaoke style on an iPod.
I chose to sing "Love Song" and "The Climb" for the producer in the next round. To my surprise, I walked into the room and not only was the producer watching me but one of the AIE hosts was sitting in on my audition. Gotta admit this guy made my nervous meter go up like 95% because he looked just like Nick Lachey. At least... what I would imagine Nick Lachey would look like in real life.
After singing both songs I could tell that I just wasn't feeling "The Climb." I sang it well. Just as good as "Long Song" but my heart wasn't in it. Maybe because I hate Miley Cyrus... who knows. :) The producer felt that was as well because that's what he said. He just could see me singing "Love Song" and really getting into it. So, that was it! A video came on and Ryan Seacrest told me once again that I was moving onto the show.
As soon as I left the audition room there was a camera crew and a director telling me that they needed to get some shots of me doing random things like practicing with an iPod, running out of the audition room happily, and dancing in front of the American Idol sign outside. They grabbed my family and had them walk down the street outside of the theater with me praising me and fawning over me. It was all really cheeseball but still very fun. I liked doing the filming stuff!
Before I had to arrive back at the theater for hair/make-up at 12:00 (I was in the 1:00 show) we decided to hit up a few attractions and met some characters.
I checked into my show and met my fellow performers. It was really hard to read them. The very pretty gal was fairly quiet and definitely not as outgoing as the gentleman I performed with. He was bubbly and... likeable! While the guy went into vocal coaching and the girl sat out in the waiting room practicing her song to herself, I went into hair and make up. This is hands down my favorite part other than performing on stage. The make-up artist touched up my curls and made my make-up look goooood. While I was sitting there I heard the other girl practicing to herself and she... sounded... amazing. Her tone was gorgeous. I really thought she could take the cake! Then I could hear the guy practicing with the vocal coach and it was pretty... loud. He messed up on some notes but was seemingly enjoying himself.
It was my turn into vocal training and I had the same fella that I'd had the year before. He was really friendly and made me feel at ease right away. I ran through my song once and he didn't really have any pointers. I said I wanted to practice the bridge since that was the part I didn't feel as confident with since it's so different than the original version of the song. After I finished he stopped the track and said, "Wow! There were some moments in there where you did your own thing and it sounded really amazing. What are you doing with music right now?"
I replied, "Nothing? I play my guitar and sing for my husband at home and that's about it. I work at a bank. But I'd really like to pursue music as a profession."
He said, "Well you should be. You need to write. A lot."
He sort of broke "character" when we had this conversation. It was really nice and made me feel sort of special. Like it was something he didn't say to every contestant that he saw every day.
The three of us contestants blocked our places on the stage and then we took a seat and did sound check one by one. The gorgeous woman shocked me. She had terrible stage fright! I wanted to shake her and tell her how great she was and not to be so nervous! Her song was "Last Dance" and she kept trying to add a key change at the end of her song. She was having a hard time staying on key in general. The big guy shocked me as well. He actually had no stage fright at all. He was insanely likeable! Sort of like the life of the party guy that you dared to sing in front of everyone karaoke style while totally drunk.
It was finally show time and the nervous gal went first. During her interview with the host I learned that she had 8 kids! A real life Brady Bunch at like 30 years old. Amazing story. After he performance the judges said that they could tell she had a voice in there but that she was so nervous they couldn't feel her performance. I really felt for her because she seriously had a great voice.
I was second and I thought I performed really well. Thankfully, the judges did too! They were all really into my performance and said that a lot of people don't get song selection right but they felt I nailed it. I had fun with it and I was so glad that I didn't mess up the bridge!
Finally, awesome guy was up to the plate. He sang a "hick" type country song and got really into it. Lots of "Yee haws!" and "Woo hoos!" The judges ate him up! They loved his personality and compared him to a big teddy bear that you can't help but love. One of the judges said that while he really enjoyed my performance he LOVED this guy. I told you he was likeable!
It was no shock to anyone that after the audience voted... the guy won. The audience definitely loved him a lot. I had a great time and didn't care that I didn't move it. American Idol Experience is such a fun attraction to be a part of and it's not at all about winning. Just getting to perform is really exciting. Truly! After the show I left the theater and they had a Photopass photographer taking pictures of contestants greeting their families. He got a few really amazing shots of us!
Last year I participated in American Idol Experience as well and made it onto the finale. Here is the link to my story from that trip!
Matt and the idea of getting us reservations at 50's Prime Time Cafe last minute. It worked out well. I was super hungry and in the mood to be picked on by a funny waiter. We waited about five minutes and then we were seated at the infamous table with a television. Our waiter was seriously the most hilarious person on the planet. He really got into character and played it up with the jokes.
At one point during our meal our waiter raced around the restaurant wearing a trash bag and carrying an egg on a spoon. Hilarious high point. The food was good. No one complained about anything but I wouldn't say that it was the best salmon I'd ever had. For the record that is at Le Cellier. I do recall Diane really enjoying her dish. It looked really good!
We left the Studios and went back to the hotel to take a break. We got back to the Polynesian at 6:00 p.m. Just in time for the torch lighting ceremony! It was really cool to see! Though, the guy that did the fire... dancing... kind of seemed like a tool. I don't know why I thought that but I did. Turns out I was right because a few days later on the beach at the Polynesian I saw him hanging out with his equally toolish friends.
The four of us freshened up in the room and then headed out to Epcot. When we walked through the Great Ceremonial House we followed some firemen going towards Captain Cook's. I wanted the skinny so I walked close and listened in. Apparently there was a lot of smoke coming from the kitchen and that's what set off an alarm. No fire though.
Once at Epcot we hit up Spaceship Earth and had a grand 'ol time. Our pictures always come out hilarious! I finally found out how to get the surfboard picture!! You have to choose "work" of all things! We decided to give Mission: Space a try next. We did the "tame" side since I've done the exhilerating side before and I felt like total crap after. The tame side was totally fine and I'd do it again. Though, I still miss Horizons and Mission: Space will never ever compare to it. Us ladies waited outside of Mission: Space for Matt because he wanted to try the other side. He never gets bothered by motion sickness but he came off saying that it shook him up a little too much. Seriously people... beware.
All we really did for the rest of the evening was walk around the World Showcase a little bit more and then we realized how tired we were so we decided to walk back to the monorail and go "home." Our monorail car was empty so I sprawled out and laid down. It was this night that I realized how far our longhouse was from the TTC. I felt like we were never going to get there and I may just have to camp out on the grass.
The gang all crashed pretty quickly from what felt like the longest WDW day ever!