Monday, May 30, 2011

S10: Top 2 Performance Taping

....And then there were two.
Two teens. Two country artists.
And one more chance....

::: This is American Idol: The Finale :::

There are a lot of differences between going to a regular taping during the season & the season finale tapings. It's actually less stressful but more intense...if that even makes sense. The required check in time is 2pm, but you would never arrive that late. In fact, we arrived at 9am for Tuesday's taping and were already about 50th in line.

The chair guy was back. He had to have made bank over the two day finale. Renting out chairs, and selling snacks & drinks. This guy deserves an award for being a genius. High five for you, chair guy!

The waiting in line this year wasn't too horrid. OCA [On Camera Audience, the ticketing company] came over to check vouchers about 11am, and about noon we finally got our hands on the gold --> Orchestra, HH, Seats 110-112. Not too shabby.

I learned a valuable lesson Tuesday morning. Christy stayed in line and I went to grab Starbucks for ourselves, and some of the girls. While walking over there I thought...It would be so random to see someone like...Katy Allen at Starbucks. Why Katy? I have no idea. So I walk in and hop in the forever long line, turn my head and what do you know? There was Katy Allen! Along with Kris' more than awesome manager, Lizzie. What are the odds right? So I tweet about it, and as I look up from my phone, here walks over Kris Allen (apparently he was coming from the bathroom).

This is my moment of self panic & fan girl moment. Not that I had never met Kris before, because I have a number of times, but it was so random. I panned back and forth from the cashier to Kris...cashier to Kris, glancing back at the long line that had formed behind me. To go say hi or stay in line hoping he would still be around after I made my order? He was getting noticed, so I figured maybe I had time. So I stayed in line. #Fail

But it gets worse. After I ordered, though they had left, they were still outside taking photos with fans. I had Ashley's bagel & Rana's hot chocolate in hand and I began to debate again. To run outside & say hi or wait for the rest of the coffee? Mind you...this Starbucks takes forever to get drinks ready, but I stayed inside and watched thru the window. Grabbed my phone & took a quick (lame) photo of them outside. By the time I had all my drinks in hand & got outside, they were....
"Gone like a freight-train, gone like yesterday. Gone like a soldier in the Civil War, bang bang...."
Lesson learned: Kris Allen > Starbucks. Always.

AT&T had this "big" show planned with a plethora of Idol rejects (jk, jk) alum! Thankfully, I knew who all of them were, even the Brittenum Twins...well except LaKeisha Jones (I'm not season 6 yet!).

I didn't stick around to watch all of it because the boys were hungry. Priorities, boys! But we did get to see Blake Lewis beat box and serenade some random guy (Kim Caldwell wanted to trade places with Blake). We watched some lady win $10,000 by picking out phone that the Idol Alums had in hand. She could have won a million dollars...then Joey pointed out, that her prize was worth more than the next American Idol would win (unless of course, they become a huge success like Kelly or Carrie).

The crowd around was pretty fairly crowded, being so it never gave me a chance to meet any of them but I got plenty of photos. This being said, I felt very paparazzi while doing so (especially when I noticed Lee DeWyze sneaking by with Lizzie, as they headed over to radio row).

Check out all 173 photos from the AT&T Pre-show & Fox Tent Media with the Top 13, after the performance show...HERE!

Walking up to the Nokia, when doors opened, was complete CHAOS! Talk about lack of organization! We kind of just hopped into a random line and shuffled along to the doors...where I successfully snuck in my phone & camera. #winning But they hadn't opened the theatre doors yet so we were like sardines stuck in the lobby with nowhere to go.

I didn't notice anyone famous around us. Though, it was just the performance show so I wasn't expecting too much. As we sat there we learned about the TMZ reports saying that Lauren was dropping out & Haley would be performing. In fact, 20 minutes before the show, the band played a few bars of "Bennie & the Jets" and our eyes widened! #drama #rumors #omg

Lauren's family was the first to take their seats. It's so hard not to notice them with that hair. I mean, all the women in that family have this hair that came straight from "Hairspray." We were sitting 34 rows back and I could see Lauren's mom's hair while sitting!

Cue big screams....The Bottom 11 came out to take their seats in the audience and all my hopes that Haley just might perform were flushed out the door when I saw her walking in.

Corey, the MC, prepped us for Scotty's first song, as the words "Bang, Bang" flashed on the screens above. He were suppose to help sing along. Though he was giving us all the wrong cues for the song. Ha.

Moments before the show...the judges were announced [my thoughts: I guess we could stand for them] & Ryan entered the stage....

Ladies and gentlemen, "This is American Idol!" Oh wait, was this the first time Ryan had said the famous phrase all season long? Or at least in the past couple months? [which reminds that contest they did during the Idols Across America Tour, whatever became of that? Wasn't someone suppose to join Ryan on stage and join him for those famous 4 words? Apparently not.]

Oh Nigel. Should I not be surprised that you insist on dragging on the whole "Lauren blew a vocal cord?" And really, must the doctor come out and chat about it now? #nosurprise Let's move on. If she is really "in it to win it" nothing is going to stop her at this point (please see Kelly Clarkson's "Natural Woman"). Besides, have you met her mother? No way she would let Lauren back down. If need be, I am sure momma Alaina would have been more than willing to be her stand-in.

I should note that nothing too exciting happened during the commercial breaks. It was all business and no play. Corey just did his same old in which I realized I could replicate at gunpoint.

Where is Scotty? The problem with starting in the audience, when you are in the audience, is that you have no idea where the singer is. Scotty was a lost puppy in the crowd till he appeared on the stage behind the judges. It was a dynamite performance and the crowd energy really made it excel. Definitely, Scotty's best performance of the season.

A little odd that there were no judges' comments. I thought maybe they decided not to critique the reprise songs? It was a strange set up & made me wonder what the point of the judges were for this show. Though, I am pretty sure I could have guessed what they would have said anyways...
"It was beautiful." "You are in it to win it." "This was like a Scotty concert."
So maybe not having the judges talk was saving us all from déjà vu moments? Right?

I was as nervous as could be for "Little Lauren." But I have to say she looked stellar, one of her better, more flattering outfits. Despite her vocal issues she held a lot more confidence on that stage. No doubt the girl knew she was in for a fight tonight and she wasn't going to let no vocal issues hold her down.

Again, the energy in the audience was far exceeding what I had expected. I don't think anyone cared that it was an all country finale.

George Strait picks one of his own songs for Scotty to sing. #selfpimpage But to be completely honest, I love this song. It's super adorbs. And if a boy sang this to me I'd vote for him. I sang right along. It was a good performance. It would have been better if Scotty refrained from making all those faces. I mean, every time he did I would cringe.

Anyone notice the boy to girl ratio in the "mosh pit?" I think there was one boy, and I only noticed him while watching the show back. Come on OCA...mix it up a bit, or at least let me stand in the pit. You owe it to me with all those Section X seats.

Oh. Em. Gee. That dress. Hello Toddlers and Tiaras! I don't think I will ever get Lauren's style. I know their stylist is better than that. Come on are better than this! Don't let her outfits tear your rep apart!

Great song choice, Carrie. Lauren really brought it. Though despite it all, she should have brought it weeks ago to give herself a real chance at the title. Let's think reality here, folks...the only reason Lauren got so much pimpage tonight was because they had to make it seem like Lauren had a fighting chance.

Oh, and I bet that fiddler made bank after this one gig. As much as Joey was scared of him. lol. Did he perform in all 6 songs?

Oh look, the judges finally get to speak. Wait...was this necessary? I think it was obvious that Scotty won round one and Lauren won round 2. This just made for a super awkward moment and ruined the flow of the show. And I honestly, near saw them take notes, so why does Randy keep looking down at the desk?

Oh, I love Lauren's glances at Scotty, like "Boy, you know I ain't giving up on this. It's being brought!" No, Jennifer, it is not a tight race. Steven, stop hitting on Lauren. And Randy, shut up...this is not the "In It To Win It" show.

Who is this? Should I know who this is? And why is he performing in the middle of the show? Is it because of you that David Cook was pre-taped and I did not get to enjoy him live? Get off the stage! Props to the high school drumline though, you were great!

My new favorite hashtag: #thisbig. Right? The never ending joke that can go in one to many directions.

I honestly paid more attention to the footage being shown in the background than I did the song. I see you American Idol, trying to make cry. This is where I pretended to wipe tears from my eyes.

But this Joey kept stressing, the winner's song needs a good hook, the key change to cue the confetti & fireworks. It's not a horrid song but it wasn't the most ideal winner song. You know what he needed? To cry. So I yelled... "Cry Scotty, cry!" I was channeling my inner Debra Byrd.

And no Randy, it is not game time. Scotty did not bring it. He's only in it to win it, because he knows he is winning it. So to repeat for the hundredth time this season, "Shut up, Randy!"

How much do you love us, Scotty? #thisbig

Oh, I get it, this is her mother's moment. Really? As if her mother hasn't been the center of most of Lauren's moments, now she takes her coronation song. But the song is a better "winning moment" than Scotty's and she is pulling out all the strings to win this. Tears. Tears. Tears.

You would think after 10 seasons they would come up with better coronation songs? #noboundaries #insideyourheaven #momentlikethis #thisismynow

What you may not have noticed is that half the footage in her "idol journey" video had he mother in it. #shocker

What is Ryan doing walking on the stage? Where is Lauren going? Oh, but of course. I think I may have slapped my head in this moment. Looking to the boys, this girl knows how to work for those votes. You know moms will be splitting them votes tonight!

"Lauren Aliana has arrived, America." Really, Randy? Don't you say that every week? I mean, she can only arrive once, right? And you are right Jennifer, she could have won with that song...had she brought it since Day 1, but "bringing it" the last 3 weeks of the show won't cut it.

Umm...all I heard was "Blah, blah, blah." Lauren won the night but Scotty will still win it all. Jennifer, suck it up and pick someone next time. Actually, perhaps if you had all been a bit more constructive throughout the season, it would have been a much stronger Top 2 show. Too late for that....

Sigh...Oh DC, why did you have to pre-tape? And why didn't I get the wristbands to see it? I thought it was just a rehearsal, not the actual taping. Boo. A lot of people started walking out before they even started the video. I actually almost forget he was "performing." \o/ Sorry, DC. But I did enjoy your pre-tape. I just wish I could have seen the "slideshow" in the background. My favorite part. #memories

After the show the Top 13 head over to the Fox Media Tent outside, to well, get interviews by a plethora of Fox Media outlets from across the country. A huge crowd of fans swarms the barricade in hopes of meeting all the idols.

Scotty & Lauren were the first out but they only stayed out for about 10 minutes and stayed to the right where the bulk of the media waited. Lauren had a sign that said she could not talk. So I assume she was brief. lol.

Actually, while the press was anxiously interviewing the Top 2, there was a car accident right in front of Nokia. I think it was a hit & run. The sad thing is that all the press just stood there & went on with their interviews, and a handful of people ran over to make sure everyone was okay. [Yes, everyone was fine as far as I understood.]

Haley was actually the only one of the Top 13 who never made her way out to the Fox Tent. And of course, we all wonder why? Hmmm.

I didn't get to meet, talk to, or get any autographs because I was busy snapping photos. All photos you can find HERE! So check them because I sacrificed for you! Me & Paul could be BFF's by now....but no.

They were all quite gracious and enjoyed all the attention. Casey definitely got the loudest cheers when he came out. Though the crowd never stopped yelling "Casey!" or "James!" No doubt the most popular.

Pia was wanted most by the media. She had the hardest time finding time to sign autographs. Though while she was signing in front of me, a little girl commented on the fact that she was dating Mark Ballas. Pia chuckled, looked at the little girl and said, "You know what. I am dating Mark. I haven't told anyone that, so get the exclusive." Cue the "aws."

Poor Ashthon would just wonder around aimlessly. Not sure anyone remembered who she was...oops. She tried making eye contact with people, hoping they'd want her autograph. Thia often mistook "Pia" shouts for "Thia" shouts... #awkward

James had on a Thor helmet. It was actually quite adorable. I know I am often hard on him, but he was so sweet & kind to the fans. Loves the limelight, but it so gracious to the fans. Same with Casey. He was trying to shush everyone so he could do an interview. Then he would start posing for everyone.

Stefano was here and then gone...then back again. He was hard to see because he was so short, but he always had a smile on his face. Speaking of smiles...Paul's teeth were as white as ever. And he was as handsome as could be.

The media wrapped up after a couple hours, and the people dispersed. It was off to dinner with my KA girls (& Mark), where we saw Michael Sarver & Andrew Cook. Then a long night editing photos, while having a Steven Tyler painting stare at me all night.

Photos in which you can see HERE! :D

Tomorrow is the BIG day! The finale episode and taping on American Idol Season 10! We all know Scotty is going to win, so the most exciting part will be to see who all performs! Eep!

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