Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My American Idol Audition Experience

Registration: Monday
Nothing about this audition was what I expected. I don't know what I expected but it all seemed a little strange and unexpected. 

So you are suppose to show up at registration sometime in the 2 days before the actual audition. In the case of SLC auditions the 2 days before fell on Sunday & Monday. I didn't really want to go up there on Sunday so I just showed up to register around 9:00 am on Monday (thinking I would have to stand in line for hours just to get my ticket & wristband.  So I parked and headed to the E Center (formerly known as the Delta Center).

First thing I noticed or didn't notice is the line--where was this huge line I was forewarned I would be waiting in for hours.  Yeah, are you as surprised as me to know that there was absolutely no line. I just walked up, showed my I.D (to which the lady said, "oh, you just barely made it "-referring to my age), and got my ticket and wrist band.

Day of Audition: Tuesday

I was told at registration to be in line by 5:00 am. I should have listened to my inner self that said to just show up at 8:00 am--that I would be fine showing up at that time, that my body would need those few extra hours of sleep-that it didn't matter what time you showed up or where you stood in line because you would sit wherever your seat on your ticket said!

So there  I was prepared to sit for a few  hours outside and then more hours inside. I had prepared with my ipod, movies on my ipod, a book, my scriptures etc.  Mostly outside I just talked to the people around me.
The line of people wrapped around the entire E center.

If you look closely at this picture you will see John Peter Lewis (mormon from a few seasons ago--I think the 4th season). I recognized him instantly but it seems that no one around did so I started to say--hey look there's JPL  etc. and then some people recognized him. I was a little shocked---being that I can't say I'm the #1 fan of American Idol--that more people didn't know who he was. 

At about 8:00 am they started to send random groups of partitioned off sections from outside into the stadium. By chance my section was one of the first sections of people to get inside. 

This is what it looked like when I first sat down.

Here it is a few minutes later...

And here it is at capacity. I guess that there was about 10,000 people all together. If you think that each person had someone with them that wasn't auditioning then that means only 5, 000 people in the stadium were actually going to sing (more than that actually because I'm sure there were others like me who would never punish someone else by making them come and sit for an entire day just to hear me sing for 30 sec.)

For the first few hours this lovely man (with an excellent voice) directed the crowd to sing, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and some other song I've completely forgotten. I had a little video of us all singing together--but it wouldn't upload (sorry).

Then the MC directed everyone to listen to him whilst he told us all what was about to happen. This is the part of the audition that might ruin the magic of American Idol for some of you so just be aware--I warned you ahead of time.

MC guy told us that we were going to start auditioning soon (it was now about 11:00 am). He said that they were going to set up about 10 different booths with different producers. Then in groups of 4 we would line up and sing one at a time for the producers. Then they would deliberate and let each person know if they would move on or walk away.

They called the exits the loser exit and the winner exit. In the what like 12 hours I was there in the E Center I think I saw about 20 people go through the winner exit and thousands of people in droves go through the loser exit.

It was just my luck that they would start auditioning from the side of the stadium across the way from me. The girl behind me guessed that we wouldn't actually be auditioning until about 5:00 pm! I couldn't believe it.  What were we going to do for the next 8 hours??

There was a lot of filming, a lot of do this, scream this, cheer this. Then Ryan Seacrest came out on the floor ( he's the man in black in front of the crowd) and talked to all of us for a bit.

I made friends with these guys, Dawoo & Seth, whom I played a little bit of Phase 10 with and mostly we just agonized the long wait together.

On one of my many wanderings on the Concourse I ran into an old and dear friend, Todd Michael Thompson. It was great to see him, he came to support one of his good friends.

Speaking of wandering the concourse--it was crazy!  People singing all over every nook and cranny, people sounding great and people sounding awful! What an experience!

Then at about 5:30 pm it finally became my turn to audition. I got cattle herded into a line with 3 other girls who were all very nervous! I am going to be honest at this point--I had heard a gazillion people sing and I had seen a gazillion and one people walk out the loser exit. I had seen only a few people win golden tickets and disappear back somewhere to go to the next level. The strange thing is I couldn't tell what they were looking for at all. They had turned away plenty of AMAZING singers, they had kept some doozies (of course), and so forth. 

So at this point I wasn't nervous at all. I just wanted to sing my best and go home and get some sleep. Since I had been there since the beginning, I had noticed as the day went on the process began to speed up. The producers were also tired of sitting and listening to a gazillion people sing and were cutting faster and more people as the day went on.

As it came my line's turn to audition I was the first one up.  I sang, "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles (the cut I sang starts at 2:00-3:15 ). Then the next 3 girls sang. Then they asked the last girl to sing again-- a different style of song. She was good and since they asked her to sing again that was great. Then the unexpected--they asked me to sing again--I didn't see that coming. So I sang, "Astonishing" from the musical Little Women (the cut I sang was 1:56- to the end but I didn't get to sing the entire thing).

Then they had us all step back while they deliberated. In the end they didn't keep any of us and thanked us for coming out. Then you had to have your wristband cut off and you were ushered out the loser exit (with plenty of company).

All I have to say about the experience is, "Check it off the list, Chalk it up to experience!"


Ryan and Kim said...

Haha! I think it is totally awesome that you auditioned at all. They don't know what they are missing! The whole process seems to be a big pain and you don't even get to see the 3 Musketeers (Simon, Paula and Randy). So, when are we getting together again??!

Jamie Harper said...

good for you Kylee! I am proud of you!

Lili said...

thanks for sharing!

smiliesar said...

That's crazy! I wonder if you would have sung horribly if they would have kept you for the "show". You have guts though. Congrats on trying out.

Kirsti said...

I love that are you are livin' it up. I miss you!

hknight said...

Fun that you got to have that expierence! Even if it took all day!

katy kathryn julia said...

Wow! Sounds like a crazy day. Good for you for trying out--I wouldn't do that in a million years. What a woman. :)

Hayley Anderson Photography said...

OH MY GOSH! You just described my same exact experience! Wasn't that the craziest most TIRING day of your life?! When it was FINALLY my turn to sing I was praying they wouldn't pick me because I just wanted to go home and get in comfy clothes and pass out! If I had to stay any longer I was going to lose my mind. Did you see it when the guy/girl made it through and everyone was either cheering or booing? That's when I was just about to sing. He sat by my friend Matt and I and we knew he/she was going to make it and we weren' sad that we were right.

Anyway, thanks for you're incredibly nice compliments on my blog. I really appreciate that. To answer your question, I haven't made any new albums, but I have been a singer on a few compilation albums. All of them are Jenny Phillips cds so you could keep an eye out for those!

Ali B. said...

At least they ask you to sing again. I am glad we have some talent in the family. I am totally tone-deaf! Love you!

Anonymous said...


Morgan Mulliner said...

wow! i am so jealous of you. you live life the way it should be lived. you go places and help people and you experience and try new things. i wish i would be more like that. haha i love it