Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Love Reality Television

Last night I watched my final episode on Idol Season 9. It was a bitter sweet moment reliving the infamous room cuts and being sent home a second season.

Rewind 6 months ago...

I auditioned for my second season of American Idol on my 20th birthday in Dallas, Texas. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. It was the beginning of another wonderful journey in the land of reality tv. Ryan Seacrest was looking extra yummy as I received my second Golden Ticket to Hollywood. (Insert Willy Wonka theme song here!) This season was completely different. I knew what the judges wanted from me and I took their critiques from season 8 and came back READY TO ROCK! My goal for the day was to get four yes's from the judges since last year my votes were split down the middle; Randy and Simon = Yes || Kara and Paula = No. So I sang my own rendition of Love Song by Sara Bareilles and got my YES's and was HOLLYWOOD BOUND!

Hollywood "hell" Week...

HOPPED OFF THE PLANE AT LAX WITH A DREAM AND MY CARDIGAN... Hollywood Week was the most exciting/nerve-wrecking/felt like I was gonna puke/most amazing week of my life. For my first solo round I sang a little diddy by Rihanna-Take a Bow. I countrified it up and received great feedback from the judges. They told me I was most marketable as a country singer and I decided right then and there I would sing country for the rest of the week.

Infamous group nights DUN DUN DUNNNN...

My group consisted of Brian Walker (cop from Atlanta), David Gowryluck (also a season 8 contestant from my audition city last year), and the beautiful Lauren Daigle (from Louisiana). Since we all sang the first day for solo cuts we went to Vernice Beach to relax and work on our group songs. We decided on Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas. Our rehearsal was 3 A.M. and frustration was settting in. Although they didn't show our group perform we struggled all day to get our words right. But we pulled through for the performance and all of us made it through to the next round except for my buddy David ... who will still be a rockstar!

Now comes the last round of Hollywood Week: Solo rounds...

The producers give you a list of cleared songs you can sing for Solo Round. There were about 15 girl songs and I chose Love Story by Taylor Swift, because as most of you know and because I talk about it frequently, Swifty and I are destined to be best friends. I slowed the song down and Michael Orland made a beautiful arrangement out of it. Performing a solo with such wonderful musicians on the Kodak Theater Stage (THIS IS WHERE THEY HAVE THE ACADEMY AWARDS, PEOPLE!) was the most surreal experience of my life. It is going to take alot to top that moment.

Room Cuts:
Stuck in that room was the most emotional 2 hours of my life. I was sitting there thinking "Heck yes, Mary Powers is in my room, of course Idol is keeping her". The door to the room would open and my heart would start pounding thinking it was the judges here to give me my fate and then... oh wait, just another camera guy. 2 hours of Ups and Downs.. an emotional rollercoaster. The judges finally arrive to deliver the news.. and it was a simple "Sorry guys, it's bad news" in a sweet british accent that sent me back to the sweet state of Oklahoma.

I have only positive things to say about the show. Yes, it was frustrating I spent so many months preparing, auditioning, doing interview, etc. to not get featured, or get much air time; but the memories I take from that experience are ones I will never forget. Dancing around the lobby of the Kodak Theater with Lauren after Group Round, rehearsing late nights in my hotel room with Margo May, and having Season 8's Alex Wagner-Trugman being my "family member" for the week were little snipppets my heart will never forget.

To all those who supported me along the journey: My wonderful family, My sweet 70 year old grandmother who stood in line 12 hours with me to audition, Alex Wagner-Trugman who was my biggest support and comfort throughout the week, My friends who cheered me on along the way, and Alese who constantly had my back, THANK YOU THANK YOU and THANK YOU.

To my new American Idol family: It was a wonderful ride and who knows, maybe 3rd times a charm?

Top 71 out of 100,000 aint too shabby..