The first of my spywitnesses who attended the American Idol Experience VIP Gala checked in, and here’s her report:
The Red Carpet:
- All Idols showed as promised. Most stopped to talk to everyone and sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. For some reason, Justin Guarini was very popular with the fans.
- Did we know Ace Young cut his hair off? I barely recognized him. He had a hot blonde girlfriend with him.
- Mandisa looked MUCH smaller (but still fairly heavy)
- Everyone looked great, all done up to the nines.
- All said they thought Disney and Idol were a great match — Michael Johns called the two companies “very very classy.” Brooke White said they were like “peanut butter and chocolate.”
- Lakisha Jones album is coming out May 26th
- Jason Castro says his brother isn’t bummed out about getting cut…he said his family doesn’t get too upset over things, in general.
- Syesha Mercado working on her album, it’ll be R&B pop. She doesn’t know when it’ll be out.
- David Cook’s new puppy is in obedience school so he won’t have him out on the road quite yet…in about a month.
- David Cook and his band did “Light On” acoustically. Carrie Underwood did “All American Girl” acoustically. Then they did “Go Your Own Way together”.
- When Ryan Seacrest brought out all the other Idols one by one, and then paused, and then said KELLY CLARKSON, the audience went wild. Each Idol was given a custom-designed sculpture that looks like the old fashioned microphone that you see in the Idol opening sequence. From now on, all Idols will receive them.
It about as close to the real thing as you can get. The stage, the lights, the music, the video screens, the contestant interviews ‘ theyre all exactly like the ones you see on TV. Even the …silver stools of doom and the judge Coca Cola cups are onstage. Each day, fans can sign up to audition for the attraction, and if you make it past a couple of producers, you get to perform in a mock …Idol show where an audience of about a thousand people vote for you. The five winners from the day five shows then all compete in a big finale show that night, and the winner gets a …Dream Ticket that lets them jump the line at an actual American Idol audition.
Jordin Sparks said on the carpet that when she stepped on the stage, it felt exactly like being on the real show. Several idols admitted they were having anxiety attacks because it was so real, with the lights, music, etc.
Ryan Seacrest has recorded an open for the show and additional video segments, as have many of the real idols. But the host is a guy named Kim Ryan (yes, a guy named Kim). He’s pretty good, but Ryan, who was there last night, kept popping in and out. He’s the one who ended up announcing the winner — and got lots of mileage out of making fun of his “after the break” torture of contestants. Paula Abdul was there too, but she just gave some generic comments to the contestants about leaving their nerves aside and considering the stage their “happy place.”
At the show performed last night for the media and VIP guests, two women and three men competed, singing …Respect, …Iris, …Sway, …Alone and …Superstition. The winner was Michael Ellis, a lighting designer, whose rock-tinged version of …Superstition was actually really good. He got a Dream Ticket, and a confetti shower.
The only weak point of the show are the judges, their patter is LAME LAME LAME and super corny. There’s a black guy, a vaguely Latina looking woman and a British guy. Their comments were so cringeworthy I couldn’t stand it. The Latina woman was trying to be all “homegirl, ” calling female constestants “sister-friend” and the like. Ugh.