I took a genuine break from the blog world the past few days. I hope you all enjoyed your break, too.
So here are my six most notable personal interactions with “Idol” this past year:
- Running into Anoop Desai at the Amos Lee concert. This was the most random “Idol” moment of the year for me. It was just two weeks after Anoop was elmiminated from the show on May 7. I was walking down the concert aisle and a friend of mine said, “Isn’t that the guy from ‘Idol’?” We followed him to the concession stand and yes, it was Anoop. He was in town to see some friends and was a big fan of Lee. We talked briefly and got our pictures taken with him. But surprisingly, he got to sing “Crazy Love” with Lee during the encore, a song he was familiar with from his college singing group.
- Paula Abdul at “Drop Dead Diva” set. I had spoken to Paula Abdul just once before, during season three auditions in 2004. So it was a treat to catch up in Peachtree City right before she taped her fantasy judge sequence on the hit Lifetime dramedy “Drop Dead Diva.” She sounded pretty confident back in early July that she’d sign back with “Idol,” but in the end, she did not. Too bad.
Here’s her second cameo on the show, taped the day after she announced her departure (and a day I was not allowed to be on set.):
- The Ryan Seacrest interview. In October, Ryan Seacrest came into town to host a benefit for Ronald McDonald House. He also did a tour of the local Ronald McDonald House near Emory University. I got to walk the tour with him and sit down with the man for a few minutes to talk about “Idol.” He and I have crossed paths a few times over the years given his local connections. You can say what you will about the guy but he is still pretty darn down to earth and asked plenty of polite questions to me and my wife during the tour. And as you can see, he had fun with my hat:
- Getting booted from “Idol” auditions. I was welcome to the Georgia Dome portion of the auditions but when Simon, Randy, Kara and Mary J. Blige were at the Colony Square W Hotel in Midtown, I was told not to show up. So I did. I wanted to see how long it would take for someone to notice me and boot me out. I sat around in the lobby for about 10 minutes and nobody said a word. So I took out my camera and started taking pictures. It took about two minutes more before a guard came by and tattled on me. Publicist Alex Gillespie came by a minute later and escorted me out. I never saw the judges. I could hear the cheers and groans from the contestants on another floor and saw a couple of contestants get escorted to the room where they can vent one on one to the cameras. Outside, I realized I could take pictures of outdoor shots the Fox crew was taking of excited contestants who had just gotten their pass to Hollywood. Alex texted me to tell me to stop but since I was on public property across the street, she couldn’t do anything. Not that the photos were of any real use per se though if you recognize anybody, good for you. Here is one:
- The “Idols” live concert was one of the better ones I’ve seen (and I’ve seen all eight.). The depth of talent was there. Even the weakest talent wasn’t half bad. My batteries — including my backup — were virtually dead near the end of the concert. I had to charge one near one of the exits but had just enough power to catch most of the finale song, “Don’t Stop Believing.”:
-I saw a few “Idols” live this year and they all had their good points: Kelly Clarkson, David Cook, Taylor Hicks on “Grease” and Jason Castro. But the best performance was Fantasia at the Fox Theatre playing Celie in “The Color Purple.”