Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Truth About American Idol -- FAQ's

If you haven't read parts 1-9 yet, you may want to do that before you read these FAQs.  It's only in response to people who have sent in questions who have read parts 1-9.
 will add to this as necessary.     The other posts are still here... just click on "older posts"  for them.
If you're going to read any of them though, please read #9.  That's the most important one.   Lots of people have just been reading #1 and #7.  This one is sort of important too, I guess.

1.   Q: Do you answer every e-mail you get?
       A:  So far, yes, I try to answer every question in great detail (surprised? Ha!).   E-mail anything you want to ask to   Would rather you do that than write awful things about me in blogs, but hey, I wrote some pretty harsh things so I guess we're all entitled to our own opinions! :)

2.   Q:  Why did you write this blog?   Aren't you just trying to get a reaction from the Idol people?
      A:   Nope. When I wrote parts 1 and 2 back in July, it was for two reasons - 1) to let contestants in other cities know the process, because I couldn't find anything online when I searched to find what to wear, what time to show up, was it really necessary to camp out overnight, etc.   and 2)  Blogging is a really good way to record your opinions for later on.  I experienced Hurricane Katrina and one of my biggest regrets is I didn't blog more about it at the time... memory fades (I said that in Part 9 even) and people forget.   I learned a lot from this experience and I personally wanted a record of that.   I was very careful not to include too many details about how I felt or what I thought in the beginning... it was factual, scrapbook types of things, "we got there at __ o'clock, and did ___."   As opposed to "We are happy because we met a guy named Carl!"    If you look carefully I was super vigilant at all times about NOT mentioning names or throwing people under the bus.    
           Suddenly, 6 months went by, and I forgot about it, and hoped other people did too- but suddenly January happened and there were 4 commercials a day on reminding people about the premiere.  People started calling, texting, even my 70 year old neighbors let me know they were going to TiVo it.   They all kept asking questions about "can we come watch it with you?  "what was it like?"  "tell us everything"  .  Since a grand total of 5 people read parts 1-3 in the 6 months it was up, I figured it was safe to begin be a little more liberal with disclosing the really good stuff.   130 of my friends viewed my blog the first two days.  I was really honored by all of their support.    I also wanted to prepare them for what they (maybe) were going to see.  It's a lot more believable if someone comes out BEFOREHAND and says "Look.  This is what happened.  I probably won't be portrayed favorably, and that's okay with me, and here's why...".    Had I actually been featured in the footage, people would not have believed me after the fact when I said "it's okay, it's all good!"   I've always been guilty of talking too much, sharing too much information, and being ridiculously honest.  I'm sure you have realized that about me already!
            The blog has had over 2000 hits in 2 days, and I am absolutely shocked by that.  I am finding myself on American Idol sites I never even knew existed (although I'm having lots of fun reading them, some good stuff there).     Thanks to everyone who has commented (both positive and negative)--  I've thoroughly enjoyed this discussion.

3.  Q:  Are you just writing this blog because you didn't get famous on American Idol and now you're trying to get famous / rich / a record contract now?
      A:   No.  If I was trying to become famous I would have used my real name.  If I wanted money I would have set up a Cafepress shop and made "The Truth About American Idol" t-shirts.   Admittely, I did set up an AdSense account, but I make 96 cents a day, and a girl's gotta eat somehow.  I spent a lot of time on this blog!    If I wanted a record contract, I would have posted the video of me singing my audition songs.     Keep in mind I also write 3 other blogs.  They barely have 100 readers between the 3 of them.  If I wanted promotion you would see links to my other writing here.   I've actually lost a little sleep over how big this has gotten because I still don't want to get in any kind of trouble, but if I do, I guess we'll just deal with that when it comes.

4.  Q:  Do you hate the American Idol people?  Aren't they just awful?
      A:  No.  They are decent people, they make a great show that I've enjoyed for many years.  I think their ratings have fallen though in recent years and I think they need to strongly consider why.  Although all this "bad audition" hoopla in the beginning is fun for most, it doesn't change the fact that some of the top 20 / top 10 episodes have come pretty boring over the last couple of years.  Most people seem to watch the auditions and watch the top 5, nothing in between.   They are obviously trying to fix this with the addition of the judges and some other rule changes (15 years olds, for example)... but maybe the actual concept needs to slightly change with the way the viewers are changing.  American Idol's not a novelty anymore.

5:  Q:  Do you carefully plot and plan each post?
      A:  Nope.  I actually sit down at my computer, blare either Muse or Taylor Swift (depending on mood) and type.  I rarely ever go back and edit.  I rarely ever stop my train of thought.  It just comes out... it was only supposed to be for me and friends!  I type it as if I type an e-mail.     I went to a really great college, I CAN edit.  I just don't here.  That's probably painfully obvious, right?

6.  Q:   Why did you audition if you knew you weren't going to make it?
     A:  I didn't think there was zero chance that I would make it... after all, I do get at least a dozen paid singing gigs a year.  It's not my career and it's not a lot of money but I must be at least sort of decent if I can get a couple of hundred bucks for a gig here and there and qualify for a professional union.  I didn't think I was what likely they were looking for, but every year "what they are looking for" changes.  One year it's a rocker girl, one year an underprivileged mom, or an older looking dorky gentleman, or a rocker guy, or a country girl, you get the point... it's always changing.  The only people who know who they are looking for is them.   That's kind of the point of auditions.  If I didn't audition for every show or role I wasn't 100% sure I was a shoe-in for, I wouldn't ever audition for anything.   Each audition is an experience, and it teaches you something different.  I also was really interested in how the process worked. Most importantly, a dear friend of mine wanted to go and didn't want to go alone. That was the biggest motivator.  I didn't plan on writing the blog from the beginning (why I took such crappy notes)  but everything just sort of happened.  Even writing this blog has been a huge learning experience, so I am pretty positive auditioning is what I was supposed to do!

7.  Q:  Alexis was killed in a car accident, you dumbass.   I e-mailed you the link to the article.
     A:  Thanks!  I knew she died recently, I knew I was sad by it.  Sorry I got that part wrong!   I know there have been people that committed suicide though after auditions that made press, right?   Feel free to comment here and tell me about it.  Not that I like hearing about that type of thing, but they deserve to be mentioned.    Either way, it really doesn't affect this story or the blog in anyway.  But thanks for the edit, reader!


  1. I just finished reading all your AI blogs. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Fascinating and entertaining.

  2. Can you post the link to the article on Alexis? I didn't know.

  3. Thanks everyone! Shattah, here's the link you asked for:,,20293869,00.html

  4. I'm not really postitive but didnt a former contestant park in front of Paula Abdul's house and kill herself? I think so.

  5. I can't believe that reader called you a "dumbass". If anything, you are the complete opposite. How can you stand such comments? I do remember the girl who was obsessed with Paula Abdul and killed herself outside Paula's house. Heartbreaking.

    Thanks to RealityBlurred for putting up links to your blog. This was illuminating reading. Really enjoyed it.

  6. Great writing! Thanks for all the detailed information. I've never watched AI much in the past, but have been watching this season to see the new judges. It pains me to see the shattered dreams of kids being stomped on by the show for ratings, but I guess that's the nature of the beast. Good luck to you in your future endeavors.

  7. The thing with the Paula Abdul girl... she was a stalker. The producers knew that. Paula begged them to not let the girl audition, but they did anyway, and when she got turned down she did kill herself. Tragic.