SpenserJ’s Tampa Recap

Ill just start at the beginning ¦..   More after the jump!

On Friday, we each arrived at the hotel and there I met: Our Blog Mistress!!!;
A friend of Sarah who Im not sure has a blog name at MJ ‘ and
who first name I dont want to use in an internet recap; PJ & Sarah.   I
also had Spense-friend with me.   Those of you that I met at the Beacon already
know Spense-friend.   We started with a FUN dinner in the sports bar, and then
we were off to the local tourist trap where we spent some time at the dueling
piano bar.   Here, we requested obscure songs that the performers didnt
really know and somehow I drew unwanted attention to myself.   One of the crazy
piano guys kept shining a flashlight on me and scolding me for not singing
along.   Why does this stuff happen to me? I have no idea.  

After that, it was back to the hotel for a nightcap and a little chat outside
on the terrace by the river.   Actually, the chat was rather long and we all
went up to bed kind of late.

The next morning, we all decided to meet in the lobby.   Spense-friend and I
were the first ones down there (I am habitually early ‘ it a curse).   I
noticed a woman who I thought looked just like Melinda.   I asked Spense-friend
if she thought it was her ‘ but she had no idea.   We saw her talk to an older
gentleman with very dark hair and a very white beard (I shall not make fun of
this man and his oddly colored follicles as he would later become a good friend
of ours).   When MJ and PJ arrived ‘ we told them about our maybe/almost
sighting.   As we were all sitting there oblivious to what was going on behind
us ‘ Spense-friend noticed cameras flashing and a small crowd.   MJ & PJ got
up to investigate.   Low and Behold it was the Plaid Wonder himself!     We tried
to stare casually while PJ furiously dialed Sarah upstairs.

After that ‘ black-haired, white-beard security man scurried him away (this
is where I amazingly deduced that I had indeed seen Melinda before ‘ arent
I a genius?).   We went back to our chairs when lo and behold
black-haired/white-beard came through again with someone else.   More flashing
bulbs.   When we went to investigate ‘ imagine my surprise it was my little
cutie patootie Chris Richardson (or RoundHead tm Nevada).   And me there without
any freshly baked cookies for the object of my age-inappropriate boy-crush.   I
let out a little tween giggle, but luckily it was only loud enough for my
fellow MJer to hear.

After stalking the entrance to the sports bar a few times to see the back of
Blake ugly hat, we were joined by Sarah and Sarah-friend.   We debated what
to do and decided to go ahead with our previous lunch plans and not try to
nonchalantly eat right next to the AI contestants.   We waited in the valet line
for about an ice age.   (Note to self ‘ dont try to leave for lunch at check
out time).   The buses were outside and we were trying to ogle who would come in
or out next.   Black-haired/white-beard escorted Jordin right past us.
Seriously ‘ she nearly stepped on MJ.   She much thinner in person by the
way.   Then ‘ while I was getting really annoyed and pacing over to see if my
gas-guzzling, non-ecologically correct SUV was coming out of the parking garage
‘ my boy-crush and Blake came out.   I missed this whole event and their being
chased by fans and paparazzi ‘ so Ill let the others fill you in.

After a lovely lunch (and a couple of pitchers of margaritas) we returned to
the hotel.   While the other MJer walked over to the venue to see if there
were any stalking opportunities, I took my lazy ass upstairs.   We met
downstairs again later for the concert and were on our way!

Let me start by saying that I thought the concert was GREAT and I would highly
recommend that those who can attend do.   The group numbers were a BLAST and
most of the singing was really on point.   Since Sarah & MJ memories for
detail will be much better than mine ‘ Ill just give you the highlights:

–             Gina rocked it out all night long.   Spense-friend became a huge Gina fan.
–             Phil Blaze of Glory was fantastic and nearly as good as his America the
Beautiful, which was f**king awesome.
–             Melinda and Lakisha were pitch-perfect each time they appeared and
Lakisha solo got a long and loud standing ovation, which was highly
deserved.   I had goose bumps and teary eyes.
–             Chris R. sounded great (still a little nasal here and there but overall very
good).   He is a very engaging performer and has a lot of stage charisma.   Plus,
the big smile and sparkly eyes look even better up close and in person.   He
works the stage from end to end and really gets the crowd going.
–             Chris S. sounded fantastic all night and really does play a mean guitar.   I
was much more impressed with him live than on TV.
–             Blake sounded fantastic and did team plaid proud.   His beat boxing was in
fine form and the crowd loved him.   The …Cake performance was a huge crowd
pleaser as well.
–             I went to the bathroom and got a bottle of water during most of Jordin
set.   She does nothing for me.
–             Sanjaya is not the greatest singer in the world but he a hell of a lot of
fun to watch.   He loves the crowd and goes out of his way to show it.   He
developed an odd little bond with Spense-friend, and each time he came out he
looked right at her.   I think he sensed some maternal-type moral support from
her.   At the end, he went out of his way to reach over the stage and shake her
hand.
–             Phil is a sucker for the little girls who love him.   And by little, I mean
children not skanks so get your minds out of the gutter.   He has this very
paternal reaction when he sees them and gives them a huge smile and sings right
to them.   Not in an icky pedophile way at all.   It very sweet.

Now the good part ‘ the after show!   Yes we all got backstage, which Im
sure you all know by now.   My backstage reactions:

–             Sarah is the most thorough and polite autograph seeker Ive ever seen.
–             Gina is an incredibly cool chick that Id like to hang out with over a few
beers.
–             Sarah did make me get my pic taken with Chris R ‘ but I was kind of
speechless so I have no idea if I said anything to him or vice versa.
–             I got VERY fan-girly on Lakisha and hugged her like 5 times.   She a
sweetheart with absolutely flawless skin.   She and Melinda both looked gorgeous
in person.   She mentioned that shell get to be with her little girl about
every two weeks.   She said it was very hard, but the sacrifice was important
because of the better life she hoped to create for her.   Im paraphrasing,
but that was the general idea.
–             Chris Sligh might just be the nicest man on the planet.   He freaking
adorable and funny as heck.   He very friendly and he spoke with each of us
for extended periods of time.   I cannot say enough good stuff about him.
–             Ill let Sarah tell you about Gina dragging her across the room and the
subsequent result (A pic of Sarah with my boy-crush that looks like their prom
picture ‘ Im way jealous and bitter).
–             Sanjaya is sweet and somewhat shy.   Gina appears to sort of take care of him
in a big sister kind of way.
–             Blake, Phil and of course Sligh all read MJ.   Phil is a HUGE MJ fan.
Ill let MJ give you guys all of the details on those encounters.
–             Phil was VERY excited to be on his way to Jacksonville to see his wife and
kids.   He said he hadnt seen his wife in two weeks.   And, he said it in such
a way that made you think they were the longest two weeks of his life.   For a
navy man who has probably been away for a lot longer than that, you just got
the feeling this was a guy who really needed to be with his family right now.
–             Black-haired/white-beard:   There were six of us, but we only had five passes.
 It was he who came out and gave us the extra.   He was also quite nice and I
chatted with him a little backstage.   He was a super-nice guy, hence the reason
I am refraining from any comments about the photo-negative look of his
contrasting hair.

Im sure I left stuff out, but this is already so long.   All in all, I had a
blast.   There was a ton of talent on that stage and those kids were working
their asses off.   For the inevitable question ‘ How does it compare to last
year?   Ill say this:   For me, last year was all about the end of the show.
I was and still am a huge Taylor fan and he did not disappoint.   I also loved a
lot of last year moments with the guys ‘ Chris, Elliott, Ace and Bucky.
But, I was very meh on all the girls.   So in total this year concert was
very entertaining for me (except the end as I am not a Jordin fan).   I cant
really say one was better than the other as I really enjoyed both.   Having said
that, the production values and group numbers this year were much better.   Im
just really glad I got to go and meeting MJ and the gang made it all the more
wonderful.

About mj santilli 32217 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, 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!