The Daily Beast put out an article about the myths and realities of the American Idol audition process. Here are some interesting ones:
Myth: Every audition city is flooded by a mob.
Reality: The largest audition to date appears to have been in Philadelphia in 2007, where more than 20,000 people showed up. The smallest was last year in Puerto Rico, where bad weather and a local lack of familiarity with the show led to what was a fairly significant debacle, with only a few hundred people appearing. An average crowd runs somewhere in the 6,000 to 8,000 range, which needs to be whittled to a hundred or so that are filmed in front of the judges.
Myth: On television, viewers see the massive lines of tens of thousands of auditioners wrapped around the Rose Bowl or the Dallas Cowboys stadium, who appear to be heading in to see Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, and Randy Jackson.
Reality: These were shot last summer, in some cases a full two months before Idolâs star judges flew to those cities. There are, in fact, two huge lines in which the contestants must wait at these initial cullings. First, they line up to register for their first actual audition that will happen one or two days hence: These lines generally start well before dawn, with aspirants camped out across parking lots.
On the audition day itself, the singers return to stand in line again and await admission to the stadium. This is the lineâabuzz with excitementâthat we see on TV. It, too, starts well before dawn, with singers showing up the night before to camp out. (To demonstrate how illogical many Idol wannabes are, there is no reason whatsoever to show up early: The order in which they will audition is determined by the number on the ticket they received when they registered.)
Myth: Is there a freakish majority? Seeing the crowd on television, one gets the sense that two-thirds of the people who show up are wearing Uncle Sam costumes or pink chicken suits.
Reality: In fact, the visible crazies or desperate-for-attention types only make up a tiny handful of the congregation. Far more evident are those who are merely moderately talented.
Myth: At the end of each audition episode, the throng of contestants is generally shown singing a pop hit, symbolizing camaraderie in the Idol nation.
Reality: Upon registering, the singers are told to download lyrics from the showâs Web site and prepare. Once in their seats, a coach runs them through the song, attempting to bring the stragglers up to speed. (Season 8 semifinalist Jackie Tohn was one such straggler at her Meadowlands audition. She had neglected to download or rehearse Pat Benatarâs âHeartbreaker.â âI had no idea what anybody is doing,â Tohn recalled last week. âAnd all the other people sitting around me were all rude, saying âYou didnât read that it said on the site that youâre supposed to print out these songs and know the words?ââ)
Myth: The judges do the judging.
Reality: In fact, it is a brutal winnowing done first by scoutsâwho vary in background, celebutante DJ Samantha Ronson served this role in this seasonâs L.A. auditions, for instanceâthen by producers, who pull the best and worst from the masses in the stadiums. The contestants, who have been told to prepare two songs, are brought in four at a time to sing for the first time. They usually get through about eight bars before they are stopped. Occasionally, the scouts will ask for a bit of their second song. If the contestant makes it through, a rarity, they go on to the next round: the producers.
Myth: The judges do the judging, part two.
Reality: The producersâ round happens days, sometimes weeks, after the stadium event, often requiring those who traveled from far off to return to their audition city on their own dime. Here, the producers prod, searching for the hidden wellsprings of talent and telling those contestants who make it through which song to sing before the judges. Of course, some of these people are a) crazy b) awful singers c) both.
Myth: The joke auditionersâthe tone deaf, the weird-looking, the angryâhave absolutely no idea they may be moving forward to be filmed precisely because they suck.
Reality: Having gone through the scouts and the producers, and traveled three times to do so, when the contestants ultimately are to appear before the judges on camera, a producer announces to the assembled: âSome of you are here because you are really good. Some of you are here because you are really bad.â (Whether anyone who is terrible realizes that the disclaimer applies to him or her is another question.) Tohn remembers the scene in the waiting room, where jitters had everyone bouncing off the walls. âI found a lot of solace in talking to the lunatics who were more nervous than me,â she said. âMy mom gave Norman Gentle a half-hour talking to, saying âBe true to yourself.ââ
Bear Grylls, star of Discovery Channel's "Man vs. Wild," is known for doing crazy things while trying to survive in the world's wildest places.
In an upcoming episode from the shows new season, Bear has to gives himself and ENEMA to absorb water and avoid dehydration. Watch the video here.
(NOTE: CONTENT MAY BE DISTURBING FOR SOME PEOPLE)
Thoughts? Comments below.
Tim Meadows for Saturday Night Live fame...also The Ladies Man, Mean Girls, Walk Hard, and more...was on the Wake Up Call on August 7, 2009. He and his Improv crew gave us a quick lesson in Improv and then had us do a quick skit. This video is the result! Please leave comments.
This is Jason, and I wanted to let you know that I changed my Twitter account to www.twitter.com/JasonWakeUpCall For those of you who don't understand Twitter, or think it is dumb, you aren't alone! I was one of them. Then I got on Twitter and started to play around with the simple features. Once you figure it out, you will get hooked!
In the past few weeks, Twitter has been a huge part of the protests in Iran. Twitter has also been a great way for fans to pay tribute to their fallen heroes like Michael Jackson.
Don't worry about the dumb jokes about Twitter. Twitter is only what you want it to be based on your personal interests. Here is how Twitter works....
Let's just say that you are a huge fan of (insert celebrity name). You simply sign up for Twitter and click "follow" to see their updates. If it's a movie star, you might get updates from them live from a movie set. If there is a big news story, you might get their personal point of view. If there is hot Hollywood gossip, you might get their inside information.
When Infomercial King Billy Mays died, I found his son on Twitter. It's been heartwarming to read updates from his son in the hours since his father's passing. There are people who might be reading this and thinking "that is so lame to bug a guy when his dad just died."
That's the thing! Billy Mays son didn't have to tell us anything. He has posted "tweets" (Twitter messages) claiming that he has remained strong since his father's death by reading fan comments about his father. He was so moved by his father's fans that he decided to post updates telling us how he was feeling and he even gave us links to personal family photos of his Dad.
Sports stars, movie stars, your favorite websites, and even a guy from your favorite morning radio show (I'm hoping that show is the Wake Up Call) are on Twitter!
Follow who you want and if you need a personal Twitter-Tutor, I would be happy to help you out!
Go to Twitter and sign up! It only takes a minute or two. After you sign up, go to www.twitter.com/JasonWakeUpCall, and follow me! My name on Twitter is @JasonWakeUpCall.
I have been posting info about our show, behind the scenes information about 107.9 the End, and I've even done some prize giveaways for ONLY my Twitter followers. How's that sound? You can play radio contests and compete with over 300,000 listeners, or follow me on Twitter and compete with a few hundred. Cool deal, huh?
Thanks for reading this and I hope to see you guys on Twitter soon. It has a bad rap for being lame, but I've met some cool people and learned some pretty cool things while reading "tweets" Quick quiz...What is a "tweet"? Yup a message you send on Twitter!
I love you guys for listening to the Wake Up Call!!