Throwback Blog Series: Disney American Idol Experience

I recently stumbled across old blog post from 2007 – 2010. They show how our past is often more similar to our present than we thought it would be. So I’ve created the “Throwback Blog Series” to unearth these ideas and stories. Hope you enjoy the journey back through time over the coming month. 


April 26, 2010

The Disney American Idol Experience, FL 

Sometimes you have to try something and fail to know that you actually wanted it.  That’s what happen to me this past week at the American Idol Experience in Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

It all started about a month ago when my mom suggested that I participate in the American Idol Experience during our family’s vacation trip to Orlando, FL. I was skeptical at first, but after watching the online explanations, it seemed like a great way to get  a feel for the nature of  “pop performances.”

On Friday morning we got to the park for the first round of auditions, and I did about 15 seconds of the National Anthem for a Disney Producer, and she said “I can tell you have a bigger voice there … so have fun today.”  I was given a number and told to walk back to the next round of auditions.

In the American Idol Experience Studio, I listened to songs on an iPod and choose to sing “Breaking Free” from High School Musical and “Ain’t No Sunshine” for the Executive Producer.  He said that Breaking Free really showed off my voice and that Ain’t No Sunshine was too coffee-shop.  Then he gave me a yellow tag that said “Vote for Me” and passed me onto the next round.

Then it was time to get ready for the show, and to be honest I really botched the run through.  For some reason, the stage, the lights, the lack of an instrument or other performers really made me feel different.  But, when the 500 people where in their seats and I sang the song for real, I won that first round and had to wait till the end of the day (it was about noon at this point) to continue on. As I walked around the park with my family, two little girls came up and ask for my autograph … it was pretty sweet.  They had me sign their little books as “Your American Idol.”

Later, 6 others and myself gathered back at the American Idol green room to “Live the Dream” for about an hour until the Grand Finale show happened.  There were 3 teens there between 14-16 and two people over 30 and myself. When 7pm came around, we all walked out onto the stage and saw that there were about 1200 people there to hear us sing.

I was 4th in line and when I came out on the stage the MC guy asked me a few things about living in Russia, which was fun.  I did my song as best I could and then listened to the judges.  They liked it, but encouraged more connection with the song.  It’s funny … now it is hard to remember what they said to me. I should ask my mom.

In the end, another girl and I were in the top 2, and she walked away with the ticket.  But, I really enjoyed the experience and look forward to trying out again at some point.

Here are a few lessons learned I learned from my day in the American Idol Experience:

    1. Song choice is essential.  The girl who won sang “No One” by Alicia Keys, which was fun and also really hooky.  My song was fun, but not as pop.  So keep in mind the audience, but also, just choose great songs that work for YOU.
    2. Also, I saw what a different experience it is to sing on a big stage without a mic stand and instrument.  I hardly knew what to do with my body, where to walk, ect.  I hope to create a few more opportunities to explore that over the coming months.
    3. I think I was trying to hard.  If I tried out again … I would have more fun with it.