Torn Between Two Davids – The American Idol Experience LIVE

24 May

                                    
Watching American Idol from the couch…
                                     
…to the Nokia Theatre LIVE! Wee!

I’ve been an avid fan of American Idol since watching it in the Philippines when I used to have a slight crush on Ryan Seacrest (eek!). However, I’ve never watched any other season more closely than Season 7’s batch of idols because for the first time I wasn’t just rooting for one winner–I was rooting for two! Like the rest of America, and perhaps, the rest of the world I was torn between two Davids.

I tried calling into Seacrest’s morning radio show on KIIS-FM to win tickets but to no avail. Last week when my officemate mentioned that she knew the guitarist in the AI band, I asked her if she could attempt to get tickets from him.  But alas, he said he would only give her tickets if she was going to be there (they used to perform together in church and he had a major crush on her). Too bad she was leaving for a cruise!  Besides even his own family and friends were begging for tickets so a stranger like me didn’t stand a chance against them. My hopes of watching the finale were shattered–temporarily.

Until…fast foward to Thursday night when I got a surprise call from Karl’s sister Angeline telling me she had snagged some vouchers for the show via email and asked if I would be interested to go with her and her hubby. (Click here to read her story of the AI finale.) The news was so unbelievable that for a moment I thought she was playing a prank on me and I had her repeat several times how she actually got her tickets. Haha. After our conversation I released my excitement by jumping up and down around the household like a kid. I don’t think I’ve ever jumped so high in my life.

I took a paid day off from work without having to make excuses as my manager was pretty understanding of this “once in a lifetime” experience. She even joked, “Didn’t you say the same thing with Brian McKnight? Sarah, everything’s once in a lifetime with you.” (laughs)

The four of us arrived at the venue around 9am thinking we would be early enough to get the best seats, but my goodness there were already about 300+ people lined up way ahead of us and camping on the sidewalk by the Nokia Theatre.  There was even leftover cereal on the ground from people having their breakfast by the street. It took us about 2.5 hours to finally get our tickets and we were relieved to be given orchestra seats. Pretty darn good seats for freebies.
At that point we had a lot of time to kill since the show was scheduled to start at 5pm for the east coast audience. Karl’s bestfriend Eric who happened to work a few blocks away joined us for lunch at a nearby foodcourt in downtown L.A. When we got back at the red carpet Geline and I wiggled our way through the growing crowd on the red carpet hoping to catch a glimpse of major celebrities. To our disappointment, only the former idols dropped by to greet us. Where were Randy, Paula and Simon?

 
Early birds get the best tickets.

Me and Karl.

Geline and Jack.

 
Like my sign?  Hey, I worked hard on this!

 
Justin Guarini and Rosanna Tavarez arriving for Idol Tonight
on the
TV Guide channel.

                                 
Kimberly Caldwell also arriving for Idol Tonight.

                                                 
Southern rocker Bo Bice.

                                           
Hailey Scarnato brings sexy back.

                                                      
This one’s for the boys.

                                                   
Picture-perfect smile.

                                                
Cute and cuddly Chris Sligh.

                                       
Constantine Maroulis signs autographs.

                                        
Rocker chick Gina Glocksen goes glam.

                                       
My Season 6 favorite, Melinda Doolittle.

 
I had to take a shot of Melinda’s autograph in case
my poster got lost or ruined!


                    
Among the show’s past contestants she was the one I was most thrilled 
 to meet and I actually made an effort to shake her hand.

                                        
Reporters at work on the red carpet.

 
I couldn’t help taking a snapshot of what Geline and I had to endure–stinky armpits
from a TMZ.com paparazzi.

                          
Me with Paris Bennett. We look so chummy here! Haha.
I remember rooting for her too. She’s got a big voice when 
she sings but a tiny, whispery voice when she talks.
                             
                 
Geline with Jasmine Trias. She ran into her again after 
the show and got her reacquainted with Karl. Karl and Jasmine 
performed in a show together in Canada a couple of years ago.

      
Right before heading inside the theatre. Cameras 
weren’t allowed inside the theatre. Only a few people 
were able to sneak it in.

 
Filipinos make it everywhere!  AI reject and former tricycle 
driver Renaldo Lapuz was invited to be a guest at the finale. 
We met him outside after the show still wearing his flamboyant 
costume. He’s too funny for words.

 
We’re pretty glad we had the right David on the sign.

The energy inside the massive Nokia Theatre was spectacular and I was way in over my head to be part of it. I made sure to contribute by screaming and cheering my heart out for the performers. The artists we got to see perform live other than the idols were:  Seal, George Michael, Bryan Adams, The Jonas Brothers, One Republic, Donna Summer, Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks. Actor-Comedian Mike Myers was also present to promote his new film, “The Love Guru.” I went ballistic when George Michael appeared because his songs are part of the storyline of one of my favorite shows on ABC, Eli Stone. Meanwhile Karl’s mouth dropped open when Seal sang and was thrilled to see that band from the “Back to the Future” movies whose name I can’t remember.

The dish on the Davids? They both sound and look amazing live. I got teary-eyed when they declared Cook the winner. I think he truly deserved it. His was the best victory I’ve ever seen on the show especially since little Archie was such a good sport beside him. I LOVE them both.

This experience has truly been inspirational. I know I’ll be forever grateful to Geline for inviting me to go, but then again I don’t think she’d have had that much fun had I not been around to go crazy with her. Hahaha. JK!!!

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