The Life Of A Writer – X Factor Auditions Chicago 2011
We have an unusual tradition in our family that started when I was just a little girl. It was actually a tradition that I started unknowingly. I was about twelve years old when I saw a commercial for the Oprah Winfrey Show and decided that I had to be in the audience. You can read about that taping and others by clicking the links. Since that taping I’ve sat in the audience of the Oprah Show several times along with Jenny Jones, Jerry Springer, Jeopardy, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, and now the X Factor auditions.
When I got the email that X Factor auditions was coming to Chicago, I thought it would be a great family outing. Because I’ve been to several of these television tapings, I forewarned my mom and sisters to be prepared for a long four hour taping. Thankfully the venue wasn’t as cold as others I’ve been to, and they allowed food and drink and some great music between filming. The time went by fairly quickly and overall we had a great time. We had a brief scare when my sister left her purse under the seat after the taping. But all was well once we discovered some nice teenage girl returned it with all of its contents to lost and found.
Admittedly I haven’t been a big fan of talent competitions since the season of American Idol when Ruben Studdard won because I feel that a lot of the comments made by the judges (Simon in particular) are harsh. I also feel like most of what the judges say are for ratings and when I feel something is scripted (when its supposed to be reality) I don’t tune in.
With that being said, one thing I will mention is Simon Cowell was really nice. He shook hands with the audience and took pictures, but once you see him live it quickly gets confirmed that some of that brash exterior is for “show.” Paula Abdul was so short it was hard for me to catch her on camera (well that and the fact that I was sneaking), but she was really pretty in person. L.A. Reid and Cheryl Cole are also judges and Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones are the hosts of the show. The funny thing is when Nicole (former Pussycat Doll) and Steve walked out on stage, it was pretty much crickets. I don’t think anyone recognized who she was and unless they step up their chemistry and stage presence it will probably be the same experience once the show airs in the fall.
Another interesting thing is how they seated the audience. They had hundreds of high schoolers who’d come with their principals and they seated them in the areas where they’d be constantly on camera. This gives you an idea of the demographic they are trying to reach. All of us old fogies were seated on the sides of the stage or up in the higher level seats. My family was seated in the third row on the left of the stage.
Believe me, a lot of thought goes into the aesthetics of a show and as a freelance entertainment writer who’s been backstage at many events, you’d be surprised how much thought they give to what we the viewer would think of as a minor detail.
Now keep in mind all of what you are watching in this video is damn near hidden camera. There were no cameras allowed in the studio audience, but if you know me you know that I’m a bit of a rebel. LOL. I can’t say that my mom was too happy with my breaking the rules, but hey she raised me and she knows how I roll. Anyway, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel and share with friends. To make it easier there are buttons on this post to help you share on both Facebook and Twitter. I plan to vlog my summer with family and friends (as this will possibly be my last in Chicago) and continue to provide tips to all of you aspiring writers and entrepreneurs.
Have you attended a taping of a television show? What was your experience like? Please share in the comment section below.
Update: Cheryl Cole was replaced by Nicole Sherzinger as a judge.