My niece is in town to audition for American Idol. So, of course, I'm thrilled. Tonya is a really cool kid with a great attitude about life. She's just here to have fun and enjoy the experience. I still keep thinking about her *winning!* but I'm trying to just be cool and let her set the stage. I don't want to freak her out or make her feel uncomfortable or unneccessarily excited. But I still offered to camp out with her if that's what she wanted to do.
Lucky for me, she didn't. And the 4am wakeup wasn't so bad either.
First things first, Big Long Line #1: Registration. No lining up will occur before 6am. yeah right. We arrived at the Key Arena in Seattle Center at around 5:30am and were very lucky to find a FREE parking spot within a block. We had brought enough food to feed the Italian Army, if need be, but it didn't fit in her backpack so we'd have to hoof it if we were hungry. When we got there, about 2000 people were already there despite the websites repeated admonitions to any camping or lining up prior to 6 am. Turns out we waited almost exactly as long or less than they did, because the 1am arrivers weren't processed and able to leave until 8:15 am. We got there at 5:30 am and were done at 10 am or so.
Apparently, the order in which you arrive has nothing to do with the order in which you audition. We received tickets to be inside the Key Arena and our assigned seating area will be called randomly for audition. Tonya got a blue band, while I, her only supporter in physical presence, got an orange band. Apparently, we are not to take them off until after she auditions. They even said to "cover it in plastic when you shower." Hmm. Okay. I can't help but wonder how many girls took this line very seriously and just don't shower. Ew.
Tonya's so chill and fun, she makes friends with everyone around her. Here she is with Brittany, 17, from Portland. This is about 5 minutes after they met and they are already rockin' out to Tonya's iPod!
Although we didn't get get photos, I'd love to say hi to our early bird line buddies: Sri and her husband from Berkeley, and Sarah and her friend from Chelain. Hi! Y'all were really nice to hang out with - especially at 5:30 am.
Next step: Audition, we hope. Well, actually, line up. We are to report to Key Arena on Tuesday between 5 and 6 am. We will be let in to the Arena at around 8am, I think. And that is where things get vague. We don't know if everyone will be heard or not. Some say yes, others say no. There are a lot of things that fly around in line and so many different kinds of people are here to try out. It's all very interesing so far.
Rule of Thumb: Comfortable footwear!
I'll let you know how things go!