So many of you know that I love to sing and because of my passion for it I have tried out for American Idol since Season 5 (I was 16 years old). For the last 5 years, I’ve been auditioning to try to get on the show but with no avail. Although I will add that I did make it past the first round in Denver for Season 5. Anyways, along with watching Idol, I’ve also been watching The X Factor UK. When I heard it was finally coming to the US I thought maybe I wasn’t meant to be on Idol but I was meant to be on The X Factor. So once again I dragged my mom down to Los Angeles to attend the first audition city for the new show.
I was curious to see what their process would be like compared to an American Idol audition because The X Factor has a minimum age qualification of 12 and no age limit. Also, groups can audition as well so I was bound to see some colorful characters. Like those aren’t easy to find on the street of LA.
Anyway, the audition was held on Sunday, March 27th with registration a day before. During registration day, I ended up being in line with an American Idol Season 9 Top 24 contestant, Joe Munoz. Since he is unable to audition for Idol again, he decided to try out for this out for another opportunity.
During registration day for Idol, I never really had to stand in line for more than 2 hours to get my seat or wristband, so this was a huge shock to me to when I ended up waiting in line for 4 1/2 freaking hours! Let me tell you, it’s no fun standing around for that amount of time when I drove through the night, had nothing to eat, and with no shower was taken. On a more positive note, I did meet several cool people, Joe, Olivia, and KG. After finally receiving our tickets and wristbands we headed to the hotel for some rest.
The next day we got back to the LA Sports Arena at about 8:00AM and waited in line again to get into the Arena. This is where the differences between the audition process of the two shows starts to be seen. In Idol, we kind of just stand around and meet people in line and just wait to go inside before the camera crew starts to film the arena shots. For the X Factor, they already start taping the crowd scenes while people are waiting to get inside. They really pump up the music and get people to dance and sing along with it. It was actually quite fun to watch people especially the older auditioners trying to go along with GaGa, Katy Perry, P!nk, etc songs. Let me tell you, people were having a blast and the day was just beginning.
Notice the woman making the face? Well she went out of the line to dance with some people. She was totally getting her groove on . . . until she fell. In front of hundreds of people who were paying attention. At first, I was like “Oh shoot! Is she okay?” Once I saw she was fine and pretended like nothing happened, I laughed. Ok. I pointed too. I’m such a bad person.
So while we stood in line for hours and hours, this lovely girl graced us with 3 songs. DAMN! 12 year old girl can sang! I wish I was able to sing like her when I was 12. She sang “Rolling in the Deep,” “F****n Perfect” (don’t worry, the clean version), and “Firework.” Everyone around her listened and everyone was impressed. I really would like to see her again on TV.
This is when it looks like inside. Once people got in and were settled, the audition process began straight away. There were 24 booths and inside there would be a producer who would screen the contestants to see if they were good enough to make it to the next round. What I liked about this way of auditioning is that auditioners got to go into the booth alone. Idol created groups of four and each person would have about a minute (or less) to sing. I always felt like I was being compared to the others in my group so I really liked how this time the focus was all on me and only me. When the judges give their verdict, they just say “yes” or “no” without feeling obligated to give you any feedback. And no you can’t argue with them. Their decision is final.
The LA auditions drew in a crowd of 15,000 auditioners and many of them have to be turned away. If the judge likes you, you got a gold ticket and moved on to the next round, bringing you one step closer to fulfilling your dream. If you didn’t, your wristband will be cut off and you go on living life as it was. This was really hard for me to watch because many children showed up to the audition and many of them get turned down for whatever reason. The look on their faces when they get rejected is too hard to look at.
So if you were wondering, no, I did not make it. I’m just not lucky. Really most of it is luck. I sang “Price Tag” by Jessie J because I thought it was fun, not overdone (yet), and was an uptempo song that I could try to show some personality as well. Looking back, I do think I still had a good audition even though I may not have been the judge’s cup of tea. I had fun singing it and achieved most of the goals I set for that song. I didn’t want to blast the judge with a loud voice, I wanted to show dynamics and the joy I get from singing. Since there is a $5,000,000.00 prize for the winner, maybe singing “we don’t need your money money money” was not the best thing I could have said. Anyways, I have no regrets because maybe if I got through, I would not have been able to go to Disneyland. But that’s another post.