This post is going to be a bit vague as far as contestants because we were at the final taping from the East auditions so we know who is moving on and I don’t want to spoil anything. When the show airs, I’ll post again 🙂
We got the the Gramercy Theater about an hour early, and there were maybe 5 other people waiting in line. People from the earlier taping were leaving and we realized that they had been in there about 4 hours based on the time they were supposed to arrive.
Carnie Wilson is one of the judges and she walked by us and then a few minutes later Joey and one of the other judges walked out. The girl in front of us in line called Joey over and he gave her a hug and talked to her a bit, but I just stared at him rather than saying anything! He had on a TON of makeup for the cameras.
When we were first let in, we asked about ADA seating (the tickets changed their tune and rather than seeming like they were discriminating it said to call for ADA seating – not sure why they had that write up to begin with because the audience just had to sit there and clap/cheer/sing along which is all I would have expected needing to do at a taping) We were first placed off to the side and told they were re-setting the floor. Then we were placed 2 seats in on the last row where the contestants were. Then we were moved over 2 more seats. This was a good view – but kind of weird to be in with the contestants. (Although at this point we were all alone) Finally, they realized they had just enough chairs for contestants and we had to go up the stairs to the stadium seating with the supporters and rest of the crowd. I don’t know if they had a new crew for each city, or never had anyone needing seating anywhere else but it was a bit unorganized. But they did apologize every time we were moved.
The audience just hung around for a while and then the contestants showed up (60 of them) We were the final show, so we would find out the Top 2 boys and Top 2 girls and then they would all sing and the top girl and guy would advance the LA.
Joey came out and was joking around and telling stories. It always seemed like he was about to tell a really good story when one of the crew guys would cut him off so he could record his part. Most of the stories he did end up finishing though. He was making fun of Lance and Backstreet Boys (he said it was ok because he is friends with them), he talked a bit about how on the red carpet it was hard to concentrate because he had 2 people talking in his ear, he was talking to a celeb and trying to come up with questions and pay attention to everything all at once (and that Lisa Rinna, though he likes her, would always talk about how ‘Wait someone is screaming in my ear!” and that he must be stupid to have been able to handle all that going on at once), talked a bit about how he was Tigger and a Country Bear at Disney… And how one of the guys on the red carpet wasn’t nice to him so he kind of insulted him and then the next time he was nice haha
He recorded the opening several different times because they didn’t know if it would be the first show airing or if it would be later on in the season. (ABC says it starts on Mondays, the guy at the taping said it would air on Fridays so I have no idea who to believe at this point)
The judges were introduced and walked through the crowd… They spent FOREVER and a day taking close up shots of the judges on the stage (Did they really need an audience for that? Especially since Carnie kept telling the contestants to stop making her laugh!)
When Joey was announcing the Top 4 – they had to pause for like 5 minutes and get serious shots of everyone. At first, this didn’t bother me since I had no idea who any of the contestants were so I wasn’t invested in them. However, when it came time to announce the top girl and guy there were certain ones that I liked better so that time of the reaction shots was TORTURE! I can only imagine how the contestants felt.
The 4 contestants all sang a full song and then the judges talked about the performance. To be honest I thought one of the performances was pretty blah, but the judges all loved it. The other 3 were really good though, I thought.
And the top guy announcement – they had to do TWICE! So he had to pretend the second time around he was still shocked and excited! (Which he probably was, but still lol the magic of television!)
We got in about 3pm and were let out just before 7. I have to say, it was WAY too long to keep the audience and when people tried to sneak out they were told they couldn’t have any movement in the back. I’m not even sure the back area will EVER be on camera – I think you will just assume the audience was just the contestants, but I guess I’ll see next month when it airs.
Overall it was fun, but it just ended up being a really long day!