Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I'm probably not the next American Idol

So... American Idol auditions have arrived in Minneapolis. And, well... My job is right across the street from the Target Center... So... Yeah... I'm kinda auditioning... So if I'm gonna go through all this, I've got to blog about it, yes? Here's a play by play of registration day.

Tuesday - Sept. 5

10:30 pm: I am signing the release form, a 2 page, single-spaced, 8-size font little number by which I am consenting to "potential exploitation and humiliation". Isn't that part and parcel of the audition experience, neigh the reason people watch the show?

10:35 pm: Weirdest clause in the release "Clay Aiken may, at his discretion, elect to rub the belly of any male contestant. Moisturizer will be provided at the contestant's request. Mr. Aiken, again at his own discretion, gently coo a whisper-soft version of 'somewhere out there', gently, like a young mother."

Midnight: Time for bed!

5:00 am: Am I really waking up at 5 am to register for an American Idol audition?

5:15 am: It appears that I am, in fact, doing precisely that.

5:30 am: I'm on 94, heading toward downtown. The much ballyhooed Idol gridlock has yet to materialize. The website said that lining up would begin at 6am, and no earlier. Given the general inability of our police force to, say, prevent homeless people from shooting restaurant-goers, I am somewhat skeptical as to their level of diligence in preventing eager tiniboppers from lining up.

5:52 am: My suspicions are confirmed by a line, 7 people wide, wrapping around the stadium. I take my spot behind an effeminate black fellow, who is wearing Jean Capris.

5:54 am: The smell of body spray looms large. I don't know what the Axe effect is, exactly, but right now it's inducing nausea.

5:58 am: At least one-third of the auditioners are wearing Aeropostale sweatshirts. They are like normal sweatshirts, but with one key feature... They say "Aeropostale" on them.

6:05 am: You can tell who doesn't follow instructions well by the people who are dressed to the nines just to pick up their wristband. A number of guys have cowboy hats and form-fitting, ironic t-shirts. This is the Kenny Chesney generation.

6:15 am: Some over-eager Mall of America employees are handing out free ride passes. They are attached to popsicle sticks, for no apparent reason.

6:26 am: A birth certificate is a valid second form of ID, isn't it? I'm suddenly unsure. Now, I have something to be nervous about.

6:31 am: There are a lot of parents here. Are you really the next American Idol if you can't go to the city without your mom?

6:40 am: Real conversation between a father and his daughter

Father: Did you know there is a band called Supernova
Daughter: What? No.
Father: That's pretty funny. Do you know what a Supernova is.
Daughter: Yes. It's a car isn't it?
Father: No. It's a sun that explodes far away in the galaxy.
Daughter: Yeah, but it's a car, right?

6:55 am: There are cameras everywhere. People are dodging the cameras, which is ironic.

7:02 am: Some girls are holding up a sign that says "we are the singing sisters". That's straightforward enough.

7:06 am: Uh-oh, the TV camera has spotted them. Oh, great, Fox 9 news is doing their stand up right in front of me. Watch fox this evening for a guy in a yellow shirt pretending to look disinterested.

7:09 am: One of the singing sisters is clearly better than the other two. One is prettier. Can't tell if the pretty one is also the one who sings the best, but that's gonna be be some good TV.

7:14 am: I actually recognize one of the auditioners from last year. He was one of those who are stultifyingly bad.

7:17 am: A side note on the process here. There are 12,000-15,000 auditioners. Everyone gets about 20 seconds to sing in front of one of a dozen sub-producers. Those who tickle the subproducers fancy are sent onward to sing for the real producers. This goes on for several rounds until the field is whittled to 200 people, who will perform for the big three. In other words, those really bad singers you see on TV have just been told by 10 or 15 producers that they are phenomenal. Their egos are at their absolute peak when the judges lower the axe.

7:22 am: Some guy has a black t-shirt with pink letters advertising for J.R.'s batting cages, and he clearly isn't doing it ironically. He's reading a book titled "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing". His choice of attire clearly violates at least a good handful.

7:31 am: Upcoming show at the Target Center "Elmo Makes Music". That doesn't sound like it would be very much fun.

7:48 am: There is now a Hooters in Block E. This represents the first time a Hooters has increased the overall class of the surrounding area. I'd give even money that they share a kitchen with Bellanotte.

8:02 am: I'm getting close. What's all this jazz I'm always seeing with people in sleeping bags? Are they just props. I'm bringing a sleeping bag to my audition, just to show my dedication.

8:10 am: I receive my wristband and my ticket. I have to wear the wristband until Friday, and I am forbidden to get it wet, for some reason. For some reason, I am reminded of the scene in Garden State where the Zach Braff character wakes up with "Balls" scrawled across his forehead. I am not going to avoid mockery for this one.

8:30 am: I'm already taking heat at work. Incidentally, the general information sheet includes among its list of prohibited items "Weapons of any kind (including pocket knives and all swords)". Not some swords, mind you, all swords. So much for my Braveheart motif.

Well, that wasn't so bad. Now all I have to do is sing better than, oh, 14,872 people, and I'll have my ticket stamped to Hollywood.


Anonymous Thom said...

You know...I was shocked. I was watching channel 4 news this morning. Their live reports were right in front of some kid who had a blanket over his head while he slept. The news guy, rahter unexpectedly starts beating the kid to death, spewing obscenities. He was dragged off the kid, kicking and screaming and foaming at the mouth. It was bizarre...but good television. Did you get to see that?

2:10 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

Yeah, I think we all knew this was coming when WCCO picked up Dan Rather.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous b-nut said...

I wanna see the wristband...the can't-get-it-wet wristband.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

What songs do you have prepared to sing? Wicked Game?

2:47 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

I plan to sing the song from that 15 year old commerical Subway inexplicably resurrected.

"I don't want no greasy chicken
Don't want my dinner from a big machine"

Complete with a sassy finger-wag.

But no, not Wicked Game, though I'll certainly sing it if they tell me to.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous b-nut said...

I saw the three girls and tried to see if I could see you but then I realized that I have no idea what you look like. There was a guy with chinstrap facial hair...

7:37 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

I had a yellow shirt, and I have a goatee. Also, I am extraordinarily attractive. Just ask Ochuk.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Funny you should mention that Subway song Kev. Perhaps it's the full moon but inexplicably that song has been running thru my head all week!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Thom said...

I got my fingers crossed. If you do make it, I will try and watch-unless it's up against know how that "list of importance" goes for me....


12:38 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

I don't care if you watch, so long as you vote.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

To clarify, you mean vote for you right? Not against you?

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Thom said...

I'll have the cell phone on speed dial.

7:56 AM  

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