Read Kristen’s detailed re-cap of the Ford Day Luncheon and meet and greet below…
Let me just start by saying it was the best Idol experience of the whole summer for me. Although the Grand Rapids after party comes close since I got to spend so much time with Michael!
Recap photos and videos after the JUMP…
The Night Before
So it started Thursday evening when I picked Kathleen up from the Detroit airport. She just decided to fly in from Atlanta 2 days after getting back from Tulsa because I had an extra ticket. Desi drove in from the other side of the state and we had a good old-fashioned slumber party complete with lots of junk food and frozen strawberry margaritas! We watched the final Mavid Dance compilation and the hour-long video scrapbook I gave to the Idols in Tulsa. Then we made a midnight trip to Kinkos so I could burn a copy of the Mavid video for David since my CD drive wasnt working. We took Flat Jason along for the ride. FJ had a little bit of water damage from the torrential rain in Tulsa so we renamed him Flat Crying Jason. FJ took a picture with another random cutout. I think it a golfer but I dunno. Anyway, we drove back to my place and I tried the CD I had just burned in my desktop computer and it wouldnt work. I also tried it in my laptop and it made this horrible screeching noise and said it was corrupt. So we had to make another trip to Kinko Friday morning on the way to Dearborn!
Ford Day ‘ Prior to Concert
Okay, Ill fast forward to the actual event. It was only about 30 minutes from my house. We got to the Dearborn Conference & Event Center around 11:15. When we gave our tickets at the door before entering the lobby they had a seating chart that showed the first 7 rows in the center and first 2 rows on the left and right were reserved for Ford execs, Fox officials, and the local news and radio people. So we planned to try and get close on either side.
Lunch was already setup in the lobby. I didnt know what half the stuff was so I just went for the sandwich roll ups, fruit, and a delicious cookie. It was pretty good but none of us were very hungry. I was bummed that I never saw the free cocktails they promised. They might have been serving them upstairs in the lounge but we didnt go up there.
So we sat and chatted with a group of ladies mostly from the Chicago area. Then we saw people start to line up around noon so we made our way over there to try and get a good spot. It wasnt so much a line as a mob. I was starting to feel claustrophobic but it wasnt as bad as the Tulsa buses. The crowd kept inching closer and closer up the hallway and the security lady kept yelling at us to move back. I was really missing Security Ray and Hot Dave at this point. They would have had the crowd in much better control!
Ford Day ‘ The Show Starts
They finally let us in around 12:30 and it was a mad rush to get a spot. We ended up with on the left side of the stage in the 5th row. I had the 3rd seat from the aisle. It was a pretty good view. It felt like we were on the set of Idol with the way the stage was set. I was just waiting for Ryan Seacrest to come out and say, …This is ¦ AMERICAN IDOL. I would estimate there were about 400-500 people in the audience. A lot less than I thought there would be. Desi cell-casted for Rickey.
The Adcraft President came out and made some remarks. Then a local DJ gave a news and weather report. That was kind of odd but guess it a tradition at Adcraft events. Everyone cheered that our Detroit Mayor is going to jail for 3 months and a new mayor was announced. A Ford Marketing exec was the main speaker. There were a lot of thank you. Blah, blah, blah.
At some point they gave away an awesome door prize. It was a trip for two to L.A. to attend all of the Idol finale events next season, including the after party. I would have jumped out of my seat if I had won but sadly I did not win.
They showed a montage of the Ford Videos from the show.
They also showed some of the worst auditions featuring Alexis Cohen, the angry chick that told Simon to …Take it, take it, take it. Im going for actressing. James Lewis, the …Let My People Go guy and Renaldo were also featured. Desi, Kathleen, and I sang along annoyingly loud to …I am Your Brother.
Ford Day ‘ The REAL Show
Then they showed the montage of the David from finale night and the Ford guy FINALLY asked us to, …Please give a warm welcome to your American Idol runner up and Ford Escape Hybrid Owner, David Archuleta. Lots of cheers. David waves to the crowd and sits down at the keyboard. He asked how we were all doing tonight. Um it was about 12:45 in the afternoon David. J He says, …Were really happy to be here. It just been a fun day so far.
Then he tells us his first song is going to be Angels on the keyboard. …I hope you guys enjoy it. Here I go then. It sounded great! Really stripped down with just his vocals and the keyboard. I honestly think he could release this as a single on his album and it would sell really well.
THEN it time for his 2nd song. You could tell he was really nervous. The crowd went wild when he said, …This will be my first time ever performing it. …So I guess it will be pretty interesting but Im sure it will be fun ¦ Let see how it goes. I felt really privileged to see his first performance of Crush. He looked into my camera a couple times (0:57 & 3:18). I thought his vocals were really good. It a really difficult song to sing. His smile was so big at the end. I think he was probably relieved the first performance was over. I asked if he would be singing Crush when I saw him in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago. At that time he wasnt sure. He said it gets pretty high and he would have to get over his cold. He told me he would probably just do songs from the tour because he wouldnt have much time to practice. Im so glad we got 2 non-tour songs out of him!
His introduction to his 3rd song was hilarious. He says, …It one that doesnt take as much energy as Crush. But that what, you know, I tend to be better at I guess ¦ I dont know. Ha ha ha. But not like, you know, not like Im terrible at that stuff. At least I hope Im not anyway ¦ Anyway I should ¦ Enough with that but um this next song Ill be singing is actually one of my favorite songs ever and it actually one that um uh one of my favorite moments on the show ¦ This song is called Imagine. I think I literally gasped when he said that. I was not expecting him to sing it. I seriously got goose bumps it was so beautiful. It was great to hear the entire song. He received a standing ovation after his performance.
The Ford guy came back out and introduced David Cook of course as, …Our American Idol and Ford Escape Hybrid owner. I loved that he comes out with this puzzled look on his face and casually says, …Wha ¦ What are we doing? You guys thought I would come out all guns blazing and be all professional. Im just hanging out. That truly what it felt like in that intimate venue and with the way he interacted with fans after the show. I can hear myself make a loud gasping noise after two chords of The World I Know. I was praying he would either do this one or Always Be My Baby. I even requested it in my Tulsa letter. It was truly an AMAZINGINLY BEAUTIFUL performance. It one of my favorite songs ever and the stripped down version was haunting.
Then David gave us the choice of My Hero or Hello for the 2nd song. I like both songs but I voted for My Hero. Hello won, instead. David made me laugh when he said, …I know. It sucks doesnt it? We suggested he just sing both songs! Hello was good but I prefer the dramatic concert version better. I like it with the rock edge of the electric guitar but it was nice to hear a different version for a change. He hit all the glory notes.
Then his banter about the matador costume had me LMAO. After watching the Ford Video montage earlier I had a feeling he would comment on that ugly green lycra outfit they made him wear. He compared himself to Mr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog. Best line of the day, …There no moral to this story. Just dont make me do that any more! Then he goes on to say he gave his Escape to his father and plans to buy another one for himself but wants to get the …bro deal.
He goes right into Time of My Life. I knew he would sing this song since it still his single but I would have preferred something else that he didnt do on tour. Again it was at least nice to hear the acoustic version. It sounds like a much different song than the version I heard in Tulsa. David got a standing ovation when he finished.
Archie came back out and the applause grew louder. Cook put his fedora hat on Archie head. It was a cute moment. I like this shot. Archie looks good in it, too. Then the Ford exec gave them both his card and told them o call for the …bro deal. They waved goodbye to us and went backstage.
After Show ‘ Meet & Greet
We quickly made our way up to the stage to wait for them to come back out. It was probably about 10 minutes before they came back out. I would say about half the audience stayed for the M&G. I was in the front but near the center of the stage. Cook went to the left side of the stage and Archie took the right side. I was stuck in the middle for what seemed like ages. I was getting worried because I didnt know how long they would be out there for.
Cook started a little ways down from me but the crowd wasnt moving very quickly so I just stood back and waited patiently and took a ton of pictures. I loved that he was wearing converse sneakers rather than the cowboy boots. I just had to take the obligatory ass shot! Their people had given both David a huge stack of photos to sign and hand out. They both went through the entire stack. I wish I had actually brought my own photos in with me. The one they handed out of Cook was not his best. It was an official Idol picture with the old haircut. I didnt know if they would sign things and I didnt want to carry my pictures around so I left them in the car. I have one group photo that still needed Cook signature and a Mavid picture with just Michael autograph. I dumped all the contents of my purse out while eating lunch to search for my David Cook Rocks bracelet because I thought that would be cool to get signed but I couldnt find it and still havent found it. Pictures with him were more important to me than the autographs though.
David was in such a relaxed and happy mood. Here are some of the things I overheard and saw while I was waiting for my turn him.
- He asked a group of kids if they were skipping school that day to come to the event.
- He said he used to practice his autograph in math class rather than pay attention to the teacher.
- He picked up several small children for pictures.
- He took a lot of pictures with the sharpie up his nose.
- He promoted his new David Cook Official website. This is Stacey video.
- Someone gave him a baseball hat and he put it on over his fedora. I couldnt make out what it said.
- Someone asked about the golf tee still in his hat. He said he had gone golfing a few days ago with his producer and forgot to take it out. Someone asked him what he scored. I cant remember the exact # but he said something like, “Hey I said I played the golf, I didn’t say I was good at it!”
- He told us the name of his single would be …Light On and it would come out mid-week. Apparently this was several hours before the official news release on DCO so we were actually the first to hear about it.
- At one point he tried to get organized and do all the autographs first and then pictures. He asked, …Who still needs a picture? About 20 of us raised our hands and he laughed and said, …That was a dumb question!
Finally I got close enough and he looked directly at me. I didnt even call his name. I said, …I have something for you and gave him the CD I h burned with the final Mavid Dance compilation video on it. I didnt say what it was but there was a label with a picture of the Wheelbarrow Mavid and the title of the video. He took it and thanked me. I told him I sent the video to Michael mySpace account, too. He said he talked to Michael that morning but he wouldnt see him for about 3 weeks since Michael was traveling and then going back to Australia. He seemed a little sad when he said it. It must be separation anxiety!Then I asked him if he knew today was International Talk Like a Pirate Day and handed him a print out of the logo with today’s date and some bad pirate jokes written on it. He said “no”, put his head down, covered his mouth with his hand, shook his head, and just laughed. He said, “Thank you Idol Extra for that one”. He read this one out loud…
Q. Where does a pirate shop for clothes?
A: The Salvation Arrrrrrrrrrrmy
Then I asked, …After 3 concerts and an after party can I FINALLY get a hug and picture with you? He said of course but I was in an awkward position so he asked the crowd to make room and let me through to the other side. I sat down on stage next to him. He put his arm around me and we took this picture first. Then I asked for a goofy face one. It not that goofy. I think the person who took it snapped it a little too soon. I thanked him and backed up to let other people have their turn.
I was standing off to the side near a light and the bitchy security lady kept yelling at me that I was going to get burned. It may have been a little warm but it wasnt like my pants were going to burst into flames and give me 3rd degree burns. I think someone must have pissed in her Wheaties that morning! Seriously she was really freaking out. She even said the crowd was scaring her and told everyone to keep backing away from the stage but there was nowhere to go. Before the David came out she said if anyone jumped on stage the guys would leave immediately. It wasnt like we were going to rush the stage lady!
The crowd dispersed a bit and I had my chance to ask for another picture of him holding up the video. I love this one. He totally leaning on me since he was standing on stage and I was on the floor. Damn that bitchy lady is in the background though.
I waited around awhile longer and asked if we could take a self picture and told him he had to do it because Im not good at them. This is my absolute favorite picture. His expression is priceless! He has great aim. Im sure I would have chopped one of us out of it.
He took more pictures and then I motioned for Desi and Kathleen to come over and we got a group picture with him and we thanked him.
After about 45 minutes on Cook side I made my way over to Archie side. I love Archie and all but Ive met him at all the other concerts and already had pictures with him. Cook was about finished on his side so he came over and asked Archie if they were on the same flight. Archie didnt know. Cook leaned down from the stage and hugged him in case he didnt see him later. I was standing right next to them but I had already given my camera to Kathleen to take a picture of Archie & I. Here someone else video of it though. You can see the back of my head in the lower right corner. Ha ha. Then I got my chance to take a pic with Archie but Kathleen didnt realize the camera was super zoomed in! It actually makes me laugh though. Then Dadchuleta came over and said it was time to leave. Archie waved goodbye and it was all over at about 3:00.
Ford Day was such a unique experience. I will never forget what it was like to see the David perform in such an intimate setting. Im so happy they had time to get to everyone requests for autographs and pictures. Ive watched Idol religiously since the first season but Ive never been obsessed like I was this year. I had never even been to an Idol concert before this season. Ford Day was truly a wonderful event and a great bookend to my Idol tour season. It was so much different than the concerts. Ill probably go again next year since it so close to me. I cant wait to hit the solo tour circuit.
Thanks for reading!