In May 2006 B.B. (Before Blog), after being lured with a first-class ticket purchased by my sister and brother-in-law's frequent flier miles, I temporarily conquered my fear of flying and jetted out to LA to visit them. As an avid American Idol fan, and specifically Katharine McPhee that season, the timing of the trip couldn't have been better: I arrived in time for the semi-final showdown with Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee, and Elliott Yamin. My sister tried her hardest to obtain tickets to the show, but she could only secure tickets to TV Guide's Idol Tonight show, which tapes right before the taping of American Idol.
So we headed to Hollywood early Tuesday morning to stand in line for the show, leaving our cell phones in the car so that we would not have to check them in prior to the taping. Upon arriving, we received instructions on how things roll in the big world of American Idol. One line was for those who held tickets to the actual show's taping, one line was for those who held tickets to the dress rehearsal, and the third line was for those who held tickets to the TV Guide taping. Once we joined the two others in the TV Guide line, we learned that we held prime positions as #3, #4, #5, and #6 (me, Mom, Erin, and Bryan) because we might be called upon to fill seats during the taping of the semi-final American Idol show. However, we'd have to wait until after the TV Guide taping to know whether any seats would be available. So began our waiting from about 11 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
During that time, we watched as fans made posters to use during the show, listened as people lamented how hard it is to get tickets to The Price Is Right, and talked about each other's favorite performers. As we chatted, an official-looking man came through and asked several people who they were voting for. After chatting with them, he gave out a card that said "Taylor Hicks" or "Elliott Yamin," but he didn't hand out a card with Katharine's name on it. Until he got to me.
He asked me who I was voting for, and I told him. Then he asked me why, and I said, "Because she can sing anything she sets her mind to. She's that good." He asked if I could say that with "a little more enthusiasm" on television, and I said I'd try. He then handed me the "Katharine McPhee" sign and said that I would be motioned to the front when we got to the TV Guide taping.
(A few pics of me with a billboard advertising Idol Tonight and the finale; these pics were taken the following Friday when we returned to Hollywood to go sightseeing)
During the taping, co-host Rosanna Tavarez (the lady on the left on the billboard above) asked me several questions about Katharine McPhee, none of which she had practiced with me during the commercial break. But amazingly, I survived and didn't have to do a second take. The same wasn't true for Carmen Rasmusen, a past Idol contestant who was being interviewed about her new record deal and who kept giving out too many details. (I have searched online for a copy of this show, which was taped on May 16, 2006, but it has been "removed due to lack of inquiries.")
After the taping completed, they moved our initial line to the parking lot outside of the American Idol studio (which is taped at CBS, not Fox, for whatever reason) where we lamented the fact that we couldn't call anyone to tell them about the show and waited some more to find out whether there would be any empty seats that we could fill. Approximately ten minutes before the show started, the mother-daughter duo in front of us were allowed in. With five minutes left, we were pretty sure that we wouldn't get in. But to our amazement, they motioned for one person to go in, and my family let me go in. I sat down on the seventh row next to a lady who looked vaguely familiar (she turned out to be Dorothy Lucey, one of the co-hosts of the red carpet show before the Idol finale and the co-host of Good Day LA). Within minutes, I watched as my sister and brother-in-law were escorted down to the third row to sit in Terri Seymore's (Simon Cowell's ex-girlfriend) seats because she had not yet arrived. Within seconds, the show started.
I couldn't believe I was really there watching the show live. After the first song, Erin and Bryan had to move to seats farther back because Terri had arrived. She is actually friends with Dorothy and came to chat with Dorothy and her son during one of the commercial breaks. As she kneeled down by my feet, I admit, I was starstruck. But that feeling was quickly replaced with a sense of awe as Katharine sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" a capella for the first time. (She sang it a second time at the finale.) A definite chill-bump moment.
On the way home from the show, we called and voted several times for Katharine and tried to call friends and family to see if they had recorded the show. Amazingly, Bryan's dad caught my interview on Idol Tonight as he was flipping channels. But he's one of only a handful of people who saw it.
So why the lengthy recap? Because I must not have previously shared this story with all of my friends since the only person who got my two truths and a lie correct is someone who doesn't know me!
I've recapped the list of concerts I've attended here. As you can see, there's no mention of a Sarah McLachlan concert in New York because I've never been there. Thus, #2 was the lie.
So congratulations to Monica @ Paper Bridges for selecting #2 as my untruth!