The 10,000-plus people are now inside the Dome and being made to sing the “group song,” which is “Oops… I Did it Again” by Britney Spears. The reason? “Idol” has been here five times so they thought this song would be a good theme. (I’ve been here four times.)
I caught a few of the smokers outside one of the entrances who were sick of singing that song over and over again.
“When I came in this morning and they were playing it, I was fine,” said Kate Lovely, 18, of Atlanta. “When they made me sing it 20 times, I was I totes oves it.” (That’s her cute way of saying “totally over it.”) She admitted the smoking (American Spirit) “does nothing but harm me… but I can’t stop.” Lovely is planning to sing “Hot and Cold” by Katy Perry.
Her fellow Georgia State student Cat Brown, 19, of Alpharetta, tried to look on the bright side of the cigarettes (Marlboro Lights). “It helps my voice get raspier, helps my personal style,” she said. “We’re all going to die anyway.” She is torn between singing “At Last” by Etta James and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns ‘n Roses.
Johnnie Bradford, 26, and his bud Artea Chilton, 22, cut out of the Dome for a smoke, too. Marshall Chiles, owner of the Laughing Skull Comedy Club in Midtown, interviewed them for the Regular Guys. They were pretty funny. He asked Bradford to sing but Bradford said the smoking was hindering his ability to do so. And he didn’t know the words to the Britney song. Chiles had him repeat the title of the song over and over to serious comic effect. They then talked about hanging out with T Pain’s mom and L.A. Reid’s son, which again gave Chiles plenty of fodder to tease them about their so-called “connections.”
To get inside, you either needed a white wristband (not singing but accompanying a singer) or a pink one (they were the singers.). I sadly have neither.
Earlier, I spent nearly an hour with my videographer checking out different contestants’ singing abilities. We found a couple of gems and many many so-so singers or singers without the personality. But no trainwrecks. We had planned to do 10 singers but ended up doing 20 fruitlessly looking for that disaster. We didn’t luck out that way.
I spoke briefly with 11th place finisher Alexis Grace, who gave the standard, she’s glad she got as far as she did (though you know deep in her bones she wished she were on the tour, not here in Atlanta doing interviews for the TV Guide Channel). But hey, it’s work. She is also doing auditions in Dallas.
There were a bunch of radio people there, too. Jenn Hobby from Q100, Darik Christopher from Star 94 and Mara Davis from Dave FM (even though Mara is not an “Idol” fan.), along with Corinna Allen from “Better Mornings” on WGCL-TV.
I actually recognized one gal in the crowd because she was on “America’s Got Talent.” Her name is Holly Hardin from Rockmart. She made it to the top 40 of AGT but not the top 20. She reminded me a lot of Kellie Pickler with her bubbly personality, blond hair and heavy Southern drawl.
She apparently is a professional auditioner. She has tried out for “Star Search,” “The Young & The Restless” and even “Real World.” She’s tried out for “Idol” a few times, too, though she couldn’t last year because of AGT. I hope she gets through at least to the judges. She’s got an interesting, gritty voice and that shining personality. As she noted, David Hasselhoff thought she could have her own sitcom. Like “Reba”!
And her rationale for wearing that absurd guitar outfit? “I can’t play the guitar but I can BE the guitar,” she said.