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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

American Idol II.

As promised, this blog will be about my AI experience. (There are pictures below for those who can't read.)

Here goes...

Joe and I left early Friday morning for Houston. The drive there was pretty uneventful with the exception of a major traffic accident that we somehow managed to by-pass. If we hadn't followed the few other brave souls who exited off of the interstate by driving across a grassy area and onto a service road, we would've been stuck in traffic for hours.

So, once we got to Houston we decided to check out the Galleria. I'm not much of a shopper, but I was game since I'd heard how massively large the place was. You could walk for hours and not even see half of the stores. They had stores that I'd only heard about on celebrity blog sites - Niemen Marcus (did I spell that right?), Nordstroms, Tiffany, Saks - you know, all the stores that sell a pair of socks for $400. Pocket change, my friend.

Ok, I just realized that I'm rambling on about things that have nothing to do with American Idol. Sorry if I bored you.

Skip ahead to Saturday (the day of the concert). We went to the Galleria again because 1) we knew where it was and 2) we didn't know where anything else was. After spending hours there and then hours trying to find invitations for my sister's bridal shower, we decided to try our luck and swing by the Reliant Arena to see if some Idols were hanging out - this was around 3 p.m. The reason we even attempted to stalk the Idols was because my friend Jill had luck at the Birmingham concert when she just kind of stumbled upon their tour bus behind the arena. So, I figured, hey, if they signed autographs in B-ham, surely they'd be signing them in Houston. I was right!

Joe and I had to sneak past security guards to get behind the arena. This was very risky because they had guns and swords and dogs with rabies all ready to go if someone should try to get past them. We managed to get past them with only a few battle wounds - some infected dog bites, partial deafness from the gunshots, and broken limbs from tripping a few times.
(Are you still paying attention?)

I'm kidding. The only security guard present was eating a donut and watching Oprah in his security booth. We were fine.

So, after driving for a bit we stumble upon a small group of people gathered behind some barricades. What do I spot? A bald head. Whose head is it? Chris Daughtry's! Woot! So, I'm yelling at Joe, "Stop the car, it's Chris, it's Chris!". Then I jump out of the car while it's still rolling - this is no joke. I'm not quite sure where my sanity was at that point, but I just had to snag a photo of Chris and didn't care if I had to walk up partially paralyzed or gimped out.

After making it out of the car safely, I ran up to Chris and also spotted Ace. Double woot! As you can see from my profile pic, Chris is in love with me. Yes, he is. Our eyes met and that was it. He held his arms out, pushed his other fans aside, and called my name. We ran towards each other like Dudley Moore and Bo Derek in "10".

Eh, a girl can dream.

Actually, after patiently waiting my turn, I finally got to hug him and get a picture with him. That was it - nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary. In person, Chris looks exactly like he did on television. I think he was even wearing the same jeans/shirt he wore a few times while on AI. He's quite short, though. I'm 5'9" and had to bend down to him to take the picture. Also, someone asked me if I grabbed his butt or if he smelled nice. The answer is no - the man has children and is married, oh, and so am I - and as far as smelling nice, I don't recall. I do know that he didn't smell like ass or anything foul, so that's good. :)

After I used Chris, I moved on to Ace. Ace, Ace, Ace. I can honestly say that I wasn't a big Ace fan during his run on AI. I thought he was cheesy and nothing more than boy-band material. However, after meeting him in person, my views have changed. He's just a genuinely nice guy. When he smiles, it's sincere and from the heart. He had a gaggle of fans who were there specifically for him - these women were probably in their late 40s or 50s. Most of them couldn't even speak when they finally got to him. He was so patient with all of them, and he hugged each of them like they were family members or friends.

Even Joe liked Ace after he met him, and that's saying a lot.

Some of the fans were asking Chris if Taylor was going to come out and sign autographs. His response was, "Taylor is a grown man, if he wants to come out, he will. We're out here because we want to be out here. Everyone makes their own decisions about that."

So, my guess is that Taylor is a snob now and thinks he's above signing autographs for fans. I also thought it was in bad taste for the people there to ask Chris and Ace about the other Idols. Does anyone else think that's rude? I never expected Taylor to come out.

After signing autographs, Ace and Chris took off on their scooters and left us all alone. We waited for another 30 minutes or so and then rushed back to the hotel room to change for the concert. Our hotel was right across the street, so we were only gone for about 15 minutes. I'm glad we came back again because that's when Bucky came out to sign autographs. Ace came back with him, too. Bucky only stayed out for about 3 minutes and then he went back to the arena. He signed Joe's hat (so did Ace), made a few funny comments, and then he was gone. Bucky reminds me of half of the guys I went to high school with, so I instantly felt comfortable around him.

We waited around for another hour or so (in the rain, I might add) and then decided to start lining up for the concert. It was about 5:30 at this time (the concert doors opened at 6).
Once we were inside the arena we went to find our seats. We'd met some great people at the fan area, and they had third row seats as well (three seats down from us). How crazy was that? They were from Baton Rouge, too. Actually, most of the fans hanging out with us were from Louisiana. Who would've thunk it?

We couldn't believe how close our seats were to the stage. I mean, usually there's a pretty substantial gap between the first row and the stage - not at this place, partner.

And then...

That's all for today, my friends. I just realized that this post is super-long, and I really need to get back to work now. I will finish up my AI experience tomorrow and add the remaining pics. In the meantime, enjoy these pics.

Click HERE for my American Idol pics! Make sure you zoom in on the poster or you won't be able to see all of the pictures.


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