Some interesting things I noted:
Breakdown of the day: my friend Michelle drove us to Hollywood. The day started out pretty bad. I was one of the few who received the last minute change to the gate number, so we ended up taking a huge circle around the Grove and the CBS studios to get to the original gate. When we got there, we were basically at the end of a line of about 100 people. Then we realised that I left my ID in the car, so I had to run all the way back and get it. When I got back, Michelle told me that she needed her ID as well. By then everyone had already gone inside, so we were certain we had no chance of getting in. Lucky for us, they underestimated the capacity of the smaller semi-finals studio and they didn't have enough people, so the lady in charge of the studio audience waited for Michelle to get back. It was a very strenuous situation to be in, but luckily we got there in the nick of time and wound up with front row seats in the section where the dawg pound used to sit. After the rehearsal, they asked us if we wanted to stick around for the live taping, which of course we all wanted to do. Unfortunately, since Michelle and I got there pretty late, most of the other people got priority, and we wound up among the 20 or so that didn't get to go back in for the taping :( I know, sad, but it was still worth it.
Here are a few things I noticed during the rehearsal:
- It was the first live show of the season, so everything was chaotic. The dress rehearsal was about 3 hours long. They came up with the idea of showing Ryan talking with the parents and then having the contestant come up the stairs halfway through the show and had to stop everything so they could rehearse it. They literally spent about half an hour rehearsing that part with stand-ins.
- Speaking of the post-performance return to the red room, those contestants standing by the top of the stairs are totally planted. They kept switching them around so they could hug the contestant coming up and give Ryan more time to talk to the parents.
- Ryan was wearing a hoodie and slacks (he called it his Kiss FM outfit), and he was totally relaxed and really funny. He kept joking around with the woman in charge of directing everything and the studio audience.
- It was fucking cold in the studio. All the girls wearing skimpy outfits were wrapped up in robes and blankets up in the red room. The contestants kept passing around this hideous red robe. At one point, while Alexis was waiting to perform, Ann Marie came up behind her wearing the robe and wrapped the robe around her. It was adorable.
- Jackie, Alexis, and Casey are fucking sticks in person. Seriously, I could have smushed Alexis with my thumb. It was ridiculous. Tatiana, on the other hand, was a lot bigger than I expected.
- It seems like Danny, Michael, Stephen, and Brent are all good friends. They kept talking and patting each other on the back.
- Michael is really sweet. He was talking to our section of the audience while the contestants were practising how to act during the ending credits and giving us signals to applaud.
- The studio audience adored Anoop and Danny, yay :D
- Poor Anoop had to sing his song twice (and start/stop four times). They kept messing up his background. Ricky had to perform again at the end of the DR.
- Ricky was really untalkative. When he was practising his talk with Ryan, he didn't have enough to say, so they had to redo it so they could fill the 30 second Coke ad timeslot.
- The most important thing: the contestants sound WAY better live than on TV. I missed the first half of the show (because I was watching Lance Bass speak, yay :D More on that in a bit), but judging from the second half, I can only assume how bad the first half was. During the DR, Alexis, Anoop, Michael, and Danny all got standing ovations. I thought all of the contestants except Stephen and Stevie were very good, with Danny standing out, especially at the beginning of his performance (seriously, his raspy voice in person is like sex).
If anyone's curious, you can see me in the recap clips at the end of the show. I'm in most of them wearing a white hat. (In the first three, my jacket's off, but an hour into the show, I was so cold that I had to put it back on, lol.)
Oh, and like I mentioned above, I got to see Lance Bass after I came back :D He came to our campus to talk about his life and career. He was incredible -- funny, honest, and absolutely adorable. He talked a lot about how he felt about NSYNC, studying to be a cosmonaut, and the process of coming out. During the Q&A he hugged all the fangirls (and one fanboy), took pictures, sang Happy Birthday to one girl, and was basically just awesome all around ♥ ♥ ♥