Sparkles Goes To The Big Show
a/k/a Team Indifference Takes A Stand
I decided to change my ID to Sparkles as that is my professional clown name. Actually I just made that up. I am not a professional clown, although I wear shoes about 10 sizes too big & I have a really red nose. But what this has to do about American Idol I have no idea.
Anyway, I was an unofficial member of Team Indifference & I vowed no Pop Tarts this year. But my 11 year old triplets Trixie, Dixie & Pixie had begged me to take them to see …that cute buy who makes the little girls cry. Once again Im sorry for making stuff up. I dont actually have any kids. But the day before the concert I was watching the auctions on eBay & saw 2 tix for $40. For the mathematically challenged that comes to $20 each. James, who I had forced to attend two Idol concerts last year mentioned that that comes to $2 per Idol. Now I wouldnt normally pay a cent over $1.98 to see Haley but I was willing to make an exception. Life is short & it was time for me to carpe some diem. That means …seize the day to those of you who dont speak Spanish.
More from Sparkles recap after the jump…
The concert was at The Bradley Center, home of Milwaukee Bucks basketball, Admirals hockey and where a lot of big acts come for concerts (Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Sesame Street Characters Live On Ice Skating In Fuzzy Costumes While Lip Syncing To Songs That Remain In Your Head For Days No Matter How Many Times You Bang It On The Wall Or No Matter How Many Bottles Of Alcoholic Beverages You Consume While Sniffing Glue And Smoking Crack And Shooting Up H, etc). We saw the Idol concert here last year & James mentioned that it was the loudest crowd he had ever heard at this venue. I remember him laughing through most of Ace set because the young girls around us were all screaming their heads off. We had never been to an Idol concert before so it was quite the eye opener. Cheesy fun at its tin foil finest.
Our seats were pretty good. Center section on the floor and about 12 rows back. The little girl next to me asked me who my favorite was & I said Justin Guarini. She said …no, I meant this season & I said …there was more than one? while looking confused. I can be such a jerk sometimes.
The crowd was pretty lively & the anticipation in the air was palpable. Text messages were being sent to the big screens, Pop Tarts were running around aimlessly and the smell of nachos and cotton candy held heavy in the air. Someone started The Wave. I tried to get the crowd to chant …Dunkleman Dunkleman Dunkleman but no one joined in. Awkward to say the least.
To me, it seems that the fan wars last year were …my idol is better than your idol. This year it seems to be …this season sucked versus …oh no it didnt. As I said, I wasnt really a fan of this season so you already know where I stand. But the Idol to dollar ratio could not be ignored. This could possibly be the bargain of the year. Perhaps even the century. So here how I rate them on the $2 scale (that would be $2.11 Canadian to our friendly neighbors to the North or $1.45 in Euros for those in them funny talking countries).
Blake – worth $2 for the beat boxing alone. I havent heard someone make that helicopter sound since I watched …Police Academy on cable the other day (by the way, whatever did happen to Michael Winslow)?
Chris Richardson – who knew eye candy could come so cheap. It almost feels wrong. Almost.
Chris Sligh – Sorry big guy, but I think Im going to need some change back.
Gina – That duet with Sligh is going to cost you.
Phil – you cant put a price on patriotism.
LaKisha – I gave you 200 cents, you gave me 200 goose bumps.
Melinda – I think I owe you some cash.
Haley – I think you owe me some cash.
Sanjaya – can I put that $2 towards a soda? Some popcorn? A licorice rope? Please, anything?
Jordin – This is my now. My time to now deduct $1.99 for …This Is My Now that is.
WORST MOMENT: It would be easy to mention a Haley song but Im going to go for something a little less obvious. The worst for me was what was billed as the first Idol band doing The Beatles song …Hey Jude. I havent experienced butchering like that since I was doing research for my book …Sparkles Visits the Farm. Yikes, it still makes me shiver.
BEST MOMENT: My fave moment (besides sitting next to people who had spent $81.25 for their ticket while mine was only $20) was seeing the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile parked out front. Ha, I kid. My fave parts were whenever anyone came on stage through a trap door in the floor. I will now use a word that I feel is totally overused in our culture & I made a vow to myself that I would only use it once a year. Yes, my friends, it was Awesome! And now the countdown begins, only 364 days until I can use the …A word again. I especially liked it when Sanjaya entered through the floor to the …Thriller music. He the Idol that keeps on giving.
The place was definitely not sold out. The upper level was more empty than full. The format this year was more creative than I expected. Although the many costume changes often made me feel like I was watching a high school talent show, albeit one on steroids. I think Blake won the applause-o-meter although any mention of Milwaukee was a close second. But Blake was definitely the crowd favorite. The place was electric when he was onstage. The exact opposite from when Chris S. was onstage who always seemed to suck the energy out of the room. He sounded nasally to me on …Typical even though it was the other Chris who claimed that nasally was a form of singing. Honestly, if I didnt know better I would have thought the song was called …Nipikol.
Chris R., on the other hand, always got the crowd going and really showed his versatility throughout the night. I liked Phil performances because he always put a lot of energy into them. I can appreciate a guy who wants the crowd to have a good time. He has a strong voice & I think he will have a successful career. Although when he entered in his long, black leather jacket it looked like he was performing in the Broadway show …Nosferatu: The Musical. Gina also looked like she was having a great time. She seemed to be smiling through the entire show.
What can I say about Sanjaya? I actually think he could be the biggest star of the bunch. Like Madonna & Cher he a one namer. Im not sure if he will be a musical superstar but I do think he can parlay his name recognition into a nice little career. Stranger things have happened in Idol land. Just ask William Hung. Lakisha got a lot of love from the crowd. When she belted it out, I swear I could hear her voice over & not through the microphone. Melinda is a real pro & was just like she was on the show. She a genuine talent. I could barely hear Haley in the group numbers. The guy in front of me always took the binoculars away from his daughter when she was onstage so he could get a real good look at her though.
Jordin had a lot of fans too. A nice moment was when she was talking to some fans & a young boy named Sammy said it was his birthday & Jordin had us all sing …Happy Birthday to him. I liked it when she rocked it out to Pat Benatar & Bon Jovi because I could sing along. Loudly. Very loudly. Overall, I did think the concert went on a little too long. At the end when Phil came back out & started singing …Blaze Of Glory my eyes widened and I wailed …oh no, it starting all over again. I must have died and been banished to the depths of hell where the worst 2 ½ hours of my life will be repeated over & over. But no, thankfully it was just the encore with short snippets from each Idol.
James said he was surprised at how good the concert was. He didnt really follow the season too closely but he had heard the negative reviews. When I asked him who he thought was the best he said Blake and Chris R. Yes, James was once a pudding man but now it all about the Cake Cake Cake. And no, James is not gay. He then proceeded to try to convince me that this season was as good as last year. He made comparisons like Chris R. is like Ace, LaKisha like Mandisa & Blake like Taylor. But I put him to the test by asking him if he now a Fanjaya. His response: …once a Claymate, always a Claymate. And no, James is not gay.
For you number crunchers out there, here are the stats in all their numerical glory.
Outside temperature at show time: 83
Miles between my house and the venue: 33.1
Number of hours that surpassed between buying my ticket and sitting in my seat: 26 ½
Dollars I spent per Idol: 2
Dollars I spent on my Diet Pepsi: 3
Number of times I thought about eating cake while watching Cake: 2
Number of Idol seasons Ive watched: 6
Number of my favorite Idol season: 5
Number of CDs Ill buy from this year Idols: youre kidding, right?
Number of TV shows I recorded on my DVR while I was at the concert: 3
Number of fingers my Uncle Leon had pre blizzard of 1997: 10
Number of fingers my Uncle Leon had post blizzard of 1997: 9 ½ (snow blower mishap)
Number of people who read this entire recap: 3
Number of people who quit reading this after the first paragraph: 174
Memories made: too many to count
Overall, I have to say that we had 20 dollars worth of a good time. What the heck, Ill make it $26.49 We laughed, we cried, we sat, we stood, we sang, we danced, we got a free Pop Tart. We came, we saw, we conquered. We carped that diem good. Damn good. Yes, Team Indifference had made its stand. A stand that, alas, remained indifferent to the end (cue dramatic music to detract from the fact that this concert was anything but. Maybe no one will notice).
Postscript: ignore that whole conversation about Justin Guarini as it never occurred. Neither did that …Dunkleman thing. And I dont have an Uncle Leon, although I did go to high school with someone who was missing half a finger (circumstances unknown). I think that about covers it. Long live Team Indifference (though hopefully only until next season) ¦Sparkles out!
Some of my photos from the show: