Our SarahW is auditioning for American Idol again this year–she auditioned for Season 5, and she’s going to be sending on-the-spot dispatches of her adventures! She got in line this morning at 6 am to get her wristband for Wednesday’s audition, and there were already around 4, 000 people in line! The “official” songs for the Jacksonville auditions are “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & the Waves and “Get Ready” by The Temptations. She was asked to learn both. Here’s her first report, below.
I left Orlando at about 3:45 am and drove to Jacksonville. After one minor detour trying to find a gas station or McDonald’s for a pit stop, I arrived at the Jacksonville Arena about 6:15, and there was already a pretty long line. I’m really bad at estimating, but I’d guess somewhere between 2000 – 4000 were there. The line spanned at least 2 1/2 blocks and the space between the metal barricades where people were standing was probably about 20 – 25 feet wide at its widest. Anyway, the line started moving at about 7 – thankfully, since during a Florida summer, you never know when it will rain… plus in August, Florida is hot as blazes (I can attest to this, because while I should have known better, I went to the beach yesterday and got a nice little sunburn, and we were only out in the sun for 4 hours AND I wore sunscreen.).
On line, I met some cool people. A guy and a girl from Tampa – the guy came to support the girl (his friend), but may audition too. He says he’s not very good though. Heh. He asked me “do you think it would benefit me if I told them that I went to high school with Jessica Sierra?” LOL. (FTR, he said she was a party girl in high school too (was expelled from their school), so all that has happened in her post-AI career is not such a surprise to him. Heh.) I also met a girl and her mom who live in the Jacksonville area. She is a senior at the University of Florida and they were really sweet. I’ll be sitting either with all these people or close to them in the arena on Wednesday. We all stuck pretty close together as the line kept moving, and registered at the same table. Our section is 109.
More after the Jump…
I also met a guy from Savannah, Georgia, who was interviewed by a crew member and another guy with a camera (although they were also around, this was not the local Fox press; these were AI people). He’s a restaurant manager who is the Savannah Karaoke King. I’m not sure where he ended up in the line because we lost him, but I’ll watch for him on Wednesday to see if he makes it.
One girl who was near me would just randomly break out into song. So much so that at one point, while the same camera crew who interviewed the Karaoke King was getting ready to interview another guy, the crew member heard her start singing, and taped her singing into someone’s phone. They interviewed her quickly, and had her lead the crowd in a “Jacksonville” type chant. She kept singing gospel songs though, and ones I didn’t recognize. She has a great big, booming voice, but I hope that she’s not planning on singing a gospel song for her audition, because TPTB don’t seem to love that so much.
The people at the front of the line got there at around 10:30 last night. A group of people near the front walked by us as they were going back to their cars, pointing at their wrists and saying “10:30”, as in, they got there at that time last night. I think it’s kinda crazy to get there the night before and wait for 9 hours, simply because being at the front of the line does not mean that you’re automatically going to make it. But more power to them.
From our “official” Jacksonville info sheet: our city ‘crowd’ songs are: “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & the Waves (because we’re the Sunshine State, I’m guessing) and “Get Ready” by The Temptations (… I have no idea the significance of this to Jacksonville.). We are supposed to learn both. I know parts of both. So I guess I should listen to these songs some more. Oh, and our wristbands are yellow – I guess the “sunshine” theme again.
I think I’m probably somewhere toward the middle of the line, which is fine with me. I just didn’t want to be at the very front or the very end. I joined the line at about 6:15, and was back in my car by 9:15. So, I’m back in Orlando today, working tomorrow and heading back up either tomorrow night or early Wednesday morning.Now I just have to decide for sure on my song(s) – they tell you to be prepared to sing 1 to 3 songs of your choice, a capella. Should be fun! I’ll do my best to represent MJ’s well. :)