American Idol – the Finale

Night two of the finale was kinda wild. We were originally planning to go to a pre-party hosted by a record label but stuff happened and we ran out of time. We had to haul it quickly over to the Nokia Theatre to get in line to get seated. We arrived a little before 4p and the doors were set to close at 4:30pm. When we walked up we saw this monster line. To give you an idea of what it looked like, here’s a map of the LA Live area:

LA Live campus

So Idol was held in the Nokia Theatre to the left in purple. In Nokia Plaza they had a bunch of crowd control barriers because there was a red carpet entrance from 11th Street and into the building. Us plebians had to line up in the center of LA Live. When we got in line, the line started in front of Wolfgang Puck’s, went down to Figueroa Street, took a right, went down to 11th Street, switched back, and then wrapped the whole way back into the Nokia Theatre. By the way, the Nokia Theatre seats around 7,000 people. The line was moving at a really good pace but a lot of people were freaking out about not making it in on time. When we got up to the front, some guys tried to just walk up and cut in line between us and the ladies in front of us. We were having none of that and got security to bounce them to the end of the line. When we were about to enter the doorway area, the line was past Wolfgang Puck’s. And then they yelled “30 seconds till doors close!” The theatre looked pretty full so I’m guessing they didn’t shut it down at 4:30 but I’m really not sure.

Both nights we were seated in the orchestra section, on the house left side so we were on the opposite side of the judges. We had some of my husband’s co-workers near us both nights so that was kind of fun.

Some random thoughts about the Idol experience:

During commercial breaks there’s a guy named Corey who keeps the audience warmed up. He goes around the house and talks to people and gives out prizes – lots of Samsung phones and iPod Touches. Often talked to kids. The kids were obviously VIP kids because they were all below the minimum age. Oops. 🙂

The Dane Cook “Kanye moment” was really NOT staged. Trust me. There was a bit of a scramble to shut it down. Frankly, I thought they were nicer to him than they needed to be.

Who else thought it was weird that Michael McDonald was on the show?

Crystal and Alanis Morisette was fun. The lyric change was hilarious. (Is she perverted like me?/Would she go down with you to the theatre?) But mostly I thought that it was obvious that the ladies were having a blast – Crystal looked thrilled to be singing with Alanis and Alanis was giving off a big sisterly/mentor vibe and I thought that was cool to see.

David Hasselhoff was in the house. I did not see him. BOOOOOOOOO. I did stand right next to Dr. Drew Pinsky and his lovely family.

The people around me were really excited when the Bee Gees performed. I thought that was weird.

After Bret Michaels I’d have to say that Janet Jackson was the crowd favorite. Girl was fierce. I loved her short hair. HOW DO I NOT OWN NASTY? I will be rectifying this with iTunes shortly.

Anytime Corey asked someone in the house who they voted for the answer was always “Lee.” I wonder how close the vote was?

I’ll admit it, I got a little teary at the reveal. Not because I was a huge Lee fan but because this kid was SO nervous and then when he won he was completely overwhelmed and full of joy. It was hard not to feel his emotion. His version of “Beautiful Day” was much better after he won though.

Anyway, we had a blast. And then we had to stay up almost all night and jump on an early plane back but it was worth it.

If you have any questions about the experience, shout ’em out in the comments!

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