Grand Rapids, MI AI Live! Show – Kristen’s Recap

Kristen, creator of the Mavid compilation was able to give a copy of it to Michael Johns in person.   She and her partner in crime, Desi,   met the Idols at the buses beforehand, and at the Idol after party…   Read her self-described “long-ass” recap below.   Don’t miss the links to pictures and video…

I apologize in advance that this recap is so long. I just didnt want to leave anything out (more for my benefit than anything else).

Afternoon Buses

So buses before the show were pretty mellow compared to Detroit. I arrived around 11:30 and met Desi and her mom Kathy at Camp Mavezie. This time we came prepared with lawn chairs, a cooler, and my mp3 player. We jammed out to Idol tunes for a few hours and had fun posing with Flat Jason. The local newspaper interviewed us. You can see the article here.

More recap, photos and videos after the JUMP…

We were confused because 3 buses were already parked at the venue and I only remember 3 pulling in at Detroit. Then we heard the security guy say the other buses should arrive around 2:00 so we waited patiently and had more fun with Flat Jason. We screamed as the buses finally pulled into the gated area around 1:30. Desi freaked out because she saw a poster our friend Kara had made for the guys hanging in the bus window. Kara later got confirmation from Michael that it been in the window ever since she gave it to them (in Philadelphia I believe). It was a collage of drawings. She a fabulous artist.

I wasnt nearly as nervous meeting the idols the 2nd time around and we were much better prepared. Lawn chairs and a cooler are a must if you can bring them! Everyone who came out before the show I had already met in Detroit ‘ Archie, Brooke, Kristy Lee, and Chikezie.

Brooke was first. I told her I was glad I could actually speak to her this time since she was on vocal rest in Detroit. This woman is just gorgeous and so sweet. I cant remember what we talked about though. I did the autograph thing, took a picture with her, thanked her, and she was on her way down the line.

Archie came up to us next. He was taking his sweet ole time as he always does. I got some great pictures. Actually, Ive never seen this kid take a bad picture! I told him I was going to Ford Day in Dearborn. He seemed surprised and asked how. We explained they sold tickets to the public. I asked if he knew what he would be performing there yet. He said he hasnt had much time to think about it since he recording his album on every …day off. I told him we would love to hear Crush. He said he wasnt sure yet and he would need to get over his cold since that song gets pretty high. He said he might just do songs from the tour because he wont have much time to prepare. Please, please, please both David I would love to hear something we havent heard on the tour yet! Here a picture of us talking to him. I thanked him and told him we would see him in Tulsa.

Kristy Lee crossed paths with Archie at our corner. I got her autograph but I honestly dont remember saying anything to her and I forgot to ask for a picture with her. Oh well, we got one in Detroit.

Finally Chikezie came down the line. Desi tells the epic story much better than I ever could so please read her review. Suffice it to say her and Chikezie are tight and he hooked us up with After Party passes! I was ecstatic. Here my picture with him.

We waited around for a little while longer. Everyone else – Carly, Syesha, Ramiele, Michael, and Jason just waved to us as they got off the bus and went into the venue. Jason was the last one off the bus. He must have been enjoying a nap. That boy loves his sleep! Quite a few of them had trouble finding their way into the venue since the door closest to the buses was apparently locked. Of course David was filming Oprah in Chicago that day. We heard he didnt arrive until 4:45, waved to the crowd, and apologized that he was exhausted and needed to take a nap.

I left about 3:45 and went back to the hotel. I got online and talked to my Cook Chatter girls. Before I knew it, it was time to go back to the venue for the show.

The Concert

So I make my way to my seats, which I bought at a ridiculously high price from a ticket broker. Of course Ticketmaster released better seats at face value a few weeks ago. I definitely learned my lesson. I had Floor Center, row Q, which was 8 rows back from the end of the catwalk. I actually thought I would be closer but they were still pretty good seats and I snuck up closer quite a few times.

I took over 50 video clips! I was surprised security didnt bother me at all about video taping since theyve been so strict at other venues. Here are a few highlights from the concert.

  1. Chikezie expressing his love for Michigan and his shout out to Desi. Woo hoo! You are so famous girl. He loves you!
  2. Ramiele ¦ I liked I Want You Back. Cute dance moves.
  3. Then it was Mr. Michael GD Hot-ass Australian John turn. I snuck up to the front for Dream On and got this amazing video and photo. You can even see Michael belly for a moment at the 5 second mark!
  4. Kristy Lee set was very much her style ¦ patriotic cowgirl.
  5. Carly blew me away again. She got a set of unbelievable pipes on her. I got video of Bring Me to Life and Crazy On You from the front row.
  6. Brooke set was great. I have a great video of 1 2 3 4 that Im attempting to upload but it just failed for the 5th time. YouTube ¦ Why do you hate me so much?
  7. Pride (In the Name of Love) was fantastic. We all laughed when the announcer said, …Give it up for the 2nd biggest Pop Tart I know, Mr. Michael Johns! I love me some Marly dueting.
  8. Then intermission. I spent most of this time writing a letter to David Cook to go with my …Dance Mavid Dance video compilation. With him filming Oprah I wasnt expecting to meet him so I didnt write the letter before the show. However, since we had After Party passes I thought maybe I would have a chance to give it to him there (sadly I didnt).
  9. Jason set was quick but fun. I got video of Over the Rainbow and Daydream.
  10. Syesha killed with Listen. She got a standing ovation from most of the crowd. I dont like her personality but she really does put her heart and soul into that song.
  11. Archie sounded amazing and the crowd went wild for him. I recorded the beginning of Angels and the Beautiful Girls part of Stand By Me. Lil Bro dancing is too cute!
  12. David Cook set was incredible as always. I recorded all the banter. He talked about Oprah, Stand Up To Cancer, a funny sign that read …David Cook Will You Be My Son-in-Law? His wardrobe malfunction was hilarious! Im waiting for someone to send me pictures. They said they took 3 real quick photos’ with belt, belt hanging off, and no more belt. He sure has had a lot of belt issues lately. Maybe in Tulsa the magic ass pants will just fall off! A girl can hope, cant she? I got a great video of My Hero by filming the jumbotron behind the stage. I could not believe I was lucky enough to see the return of the Billie Jean backbend. I was not expecting it and had my camera on picture mode. Once I realized what he was doing I switched to video as quickly as possible and at least I caught the end of it and David jumping into the crowd. Unfortunately I didnt take time to focus or it would have been much better.
  13. Please Dont Stop the Music was a laugh riot. The way they all personalized their Pop Tarts shirts was really cute. We saw the return of Chikezie tomato jacket. I squealed in delight when I saw what Michael had done to his! I wish he would wear that every night. I swear if he had been wearing it during the after party I would have ripped the rest of it off! I love that Cook rebelled (somewhat) and wore a Fruit Loops shirt. I say somewhat since it still a Kellogg brand. I focused mainly on Michael dance moves because we all know he hysterical. I nearly died when I saw the Mavid wheelbarrow with the way Michael got down on his hands and knees and presented his legs to Cook. OMG that sounded dirty, didnt it?

So then the show was over but the fun was just beginning because we had After Party passes baby!

After Party

I made my way over to one corner of the arena and met up with Desi and her mom again. There were a ton of Kellogg employees and their families since Battle Creek is where theyre headquartered. They took the people from the afternoon M&G to get David Cook autograph first since he wasnt there earlier. They finally took the rest of us into the banquet room about 10:30.

We scanned the room quickly. Desi was looking for Chikezie but we didnt see him. So we went up to Jason first since he was close and only had a few kids by him. I got 3 autographs (since I missed him in Detroit). He drew a dreadhead cartoon on one of them. We got this picture of us and Flat Jason! He laughed a little at FJ. I thanked him and we moved on. I meant to tell him how much I enjoy Date Night but it all happened so quickly.

Carly was next. She is gorgeous and her eyes look so dramatic with all the stage makeup. I also missed her in Detroit so I had her sign 3 things. I think this picture is absolutely hilarious of Carly’s WTH expression with Flat Jason. She told us how Jason mom got everyone in the audience these after Bob Marley week. She commented on our Mavid shirts and asked if we designed them ourselves. We told her one of our friends did. I thanked her and we moved on.

We went up to Michael next (well actually this is just the first time I went over to him). I told him I was the one doing the …Dance Mavid Dance video compilation and I gave him the most current version (including Green Bay… which isn’t even on YouTube yet). He thanked me for all my hard work and said it was fantastic. He even said to another girl, “Do you know who this is? She’s the one doing the Mavid Dance video.” Or something like that. We talked about the Cheesehead dance and he demonstrated the Laverne & Shirley moves. Desi recalls that he sang a little Laverne & Shirley but I dont remember. I told him I have a funny Cheesehead song to go along with the video.

Then I had him sign the e-mail he wrote me that said “You Rock” and he wrote, “I did say this” on it. I also had him sign the back of my Mavid shirt where I had ironed on, …Michael Johns Says I Rock. I had him sign 4 things (the e-mail, my shirt, a picture of him & Dave, and the group photo). Desi called me a demanding bitch or something like that and we laughed. We got a lot of pictures. I suck at goofy poses. Oh, and I felt bad because I stepped on his foot and he had sandals on. Doh! I apologized.

Somewhere in the course of talking with Michael I managed to scribble all over the front of my Mavid shirt with the silver sharpie! I didn’t realize the cap was off. I think you can actually see me doing it in this picture. Oh well. Hopefully black sharpie will cover it up because I’m planning to wear it again in Tulsa!

We asked Michael about the highly fashionable t-shirt he wore that night. He replied, “That was disgusting, right? If they’re going to make us wear Pop Tarts stuff, I might as well rip the sleeves off the shirt and become an idiot.” I know that exactly what he said because I have it on video. I love this man and his sense of humor! Okay, that was just round 1 of 3 with Michael.

Then Desi spotted Chikezie across the room and we ran over to him. This was all about Desi so I just video taped and watched her pure joy as he squeezed her tight and whispered in her ear. I did get one more picture with him. I thanked him again for the after party passes and told him we would see him in Tulsa.

Then we went over to Brooke who was looking as beautiful as ever. She just so easy to talk to. I told her how I loved her version of Dream On and she said she was actually planning to perform that on tour until she found out Michael was doing it. I told her how I loved both versions even though theyre so different. She told us she working on a new album. We got this picture, I thanked her, and we moved on.

Then we made our way over the Archie. His line had gotten shorter by this time. I dont remember what we talked about but it was quick. We got this cute picture. You can see the stupid silver sharpie marks all over my shirt in this one! I told him we would see him again in Tulsa and at Ford Day and he said, …okay and laughed.

Then we spotted Jeff Archuleta so we went over and talked to him for awhile about our tour experiences and how we just missed getting a picture with him in Detroit. I told him how Desi will have traveled 3, 000 miles by the time we finish Tulsa. He told us one person has gone to 12 shows so far. That made me feel like a little bit better about my tour expenditures! Ha ha. We got this picture with Dadchuleta.

Finally we went over to Syesha. I honestly dont remember saying anything to her besides can I get a picture with you? She seemed tired.

I guess we must have missed Kristy Lee. I think she took off early. That was okay because I have a picture with her in Detroit.

Ramiele is the only one I have not met. That girl better come out in Tulsa or my group pictures are going to be one autograph short.

David Cook never showed up which I was totally bummed about but understood he must have been exhausted with all his traveling. I think I would have been more disappointed if I wasnt going to Tulsa and Ford Day. Hopefully Ill get some face time with him there.

I dont remember the order but I went back to Michael 2 more times. The 2nd time was to give him the copy of the Mavid compilation CD for David I had forgotten to give him earlier. At some point I also told him I was making a video scrapbook of the tour to give them all in Tulsa which he laughed a little about and I think he said, …Really? I think I told Brooke about it, too.

The last time I went up to Michael I was just hanging out watching him open a bunch of gifts from a MJO fan. She got him a crapload of stuff ‘ hats, t-shirts, and Mavid props. It was seriously like Christmas! This is when he got the Phantom masks that they used in Cleveland. I had someone take another picture of us. It turned out blurry ¦ Damn it! Then I took this funny picture of him re-creating the wheelbarrow with one lucky fan. She wanted to be the one to lift his legs up but he didnt think she was strong enough to hold him up so they reversed it.

That was it. It was 10:55 when we left. Wow, a lot happened in 25 minutes!

I forgot to bring my digital card reader and camera cord, which meant I had no way to get the pictures and videos onto my laptop. That just wasnt going to work so I decided to drive about 10 miles back to Meijer and get a new card reader and some Rock Star to keep my energy up. I didnt realize it was that far back in the opposite direction as my hotel. Also, I realized later there was a 24-hour Walgreens a block away from my hotel where I probably could have gotten the same things. Oh well. I got back to the hotel about 12:15. Desi had made her way home by that time and we got on Cook Chatter to fill everyone in. I stayed up until 6:00 trying to upload the videos to YouTube. I think it took about 4 hours for the Mavid video to upload since the hotel Internet connection was terrible but I still managed to be the first one to post it! LOL.

After I caught a few hours of sleep the next morning I spent about 3.5 hours in a Panera trying to upload more video before eventually driving back to the Detroit area. I was still in Grand Rapids when my dad told me to get home right away because my parents had a flood in their basement and needed my help. That was a nice welcome back present. Ugh ¦ yuck!

Thanks for reading this long-ass review!

Videos are HERE

Pictures are here:

Afternoon Buses


After Party

About mj santilli 34981 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!