I won't lie. I loved the first season of American Idol with the fire of a thousand flaming R.J. Heltons. I loved everything about the show: Ryan Starr's shred-wear, EJay's demonic jaw, Jim's deaf parents, and of course the loveableness of Kelleeeeeeeeeee. When the first season ended, I was sad. There was a little hole in my heart, not to mention my TV viewing schedule, that had to be filled. So of course I was overjoyed when I found out that the show would be coming back for a second season. I'd get to see more Randy, Pau....er...and Simon!
But I couldn't understand who would put themselves through the humiliation of auditioning for a show that had made its name by demeaning people horribly and offensively, week after week. Millions of people had watched the first season of American Idol. Thanks to that, I'm sure Anakin Boogie and Levi Blue could no longer go out in public without being gawked at. What was life like for Stephanie Sugarman at her cheese job? I'm sure she already got weird looks before the whole AI process, but after everyone saw her on AI, did she have to be institutionalized? And what about Ta-MEE-Ka -- do people overenunciate her name wherever she goes just to make sure they're not told to kiss her "natural-born black ass"? Taking all of this into consideration, who in their right mind would actually audition for the slim chance that they might be degraded on national television by Simon Cowell?
Did I mention that I've never been in my right mind? It's true: I wanted the glory, I envied the easy fame, I wanted to be worshipped on the forums like Amnesia Sparkles and Stoned Silent Night Guy. The only thing that was keeping me from the auditions was the fact that I had just moved down to Miami. I'd also promised my friend Sarah that I would go visit her in Nashville, and that trip was going to go right over the Miami auditions...but it happened to be at the same time as the Nashville auditions. Did I actually want to throw away time I could be spending with one of my closest friends in the whole wide world? Of course not! That's why I had to talk her into auditioning too! Instant quality time!
With this in mind, I arrived in Nashville two days before the auditions. Sar and I had been spending our time getting ready for them as if it were a life-or-death situation. On the day we were going to go camp out for the auditions, we went to Opry Mills Mall to shop for any extra audition accessories we might need, like leather chokers. No gay boy on a music-based reality TV show is complete without one. As we walked through the mall that day, we spotted one of those big record-it-yourself karaoke booths. Since we have absolutely no shame...I mean, "since we had plenty of time to kill before leaving," Sar and went up and started browsing through the song selections, and were horribly disappointed when they didn't have "Something Stupid." While standing there, we overheard two girls talking about the upcoming auditions. We were longing to feel special and make AI buddies, so we struck up a conversation.
They were from Virginia. One of them was named April, and she was engaged. Even though she had a gorgeous voice, my eyes kept focusing on the big-ass engagement rock she had on her finger. April had driven there for the auditions with her friend Rachael, who also had a gorgeous voice but no big rock to speak of. They were friendly and cool, so we chatted for a couple of minutes before another boy, who was also auditioning, with funny hair and big bug eyes came up and started talking to us, too. It turns out his name was Matt "I Desperately Need A Stage Name" Yoder. He was there with his friend Leonda, a poor creature that looked like a twelve-year-old boy from a Third World nation with added rows of teeth. The six of us sat around chatting until we decided that Matt, Leonda, Sar, and I would go to the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, where the first round of auditions was being held, and meet April and Rachel there. It was around eight o'clock, and we figured that if we got to the auditorium around midnight, we'd be good. We left the mall and headed over to Matt and Leonda's hotel so they could pick up their much-needed fixer-uppers. Then we all headed to my hotel room, where we all proceeded to shower and change into our audition gear.