That’s exactly how Ryan Seacrest says it.  And how would I know?  Because I got to go to the live tapping this evening!

Quick backstory:  my friend Stephen is in town from Alabama and had planned on visiting me, but because of my stupendous work schedule (I haven’t had a day off in 11 days and I’ve been getting off work no earlier than 11pm) I haven’t been able to hang out with him save for a few night’s when I’ve met up with him at the bars.  Luckily he’s resourceful and was still able to have a good time sans me.  So today, I end up getting off work fairly early and we have a chance to hang out, and this is where our story begins…

Since we both are kind of tourists in LA (I’ve only been here a month and he’s only been here a few times before) we decide to go to The Grove – outdoor shopping mall – to kill some time and walk around in the sun.  Stephen asks me what makes The Grove so special and I tell him that it’s just a different take on a mall and that if anything there’s a good chance we’ll run into a celeb.  Not 10 minutes later we’re in front of the Avatar Maker (a camera/computer set up that takes your pic and turns you into an Avatar – it was awesome) and Tyce Diorio from SYTYCD walks up and takes interest in the Avatar maker.  Since Stephen has no shame, he asks Tyce if a quick pic is cool and Tyce obliges, same for me.  After we get our Avatar pics taken and are all giddy with excitement a lady comes up to us and says “do you like American Idol?”  Stephen and I both tell her yes and she says “cool, well we have extra VIP tickets to tonight’s tapping, want to go?”  We almost sucked the air out of LA with the gay gasp we both did.  Once we regained composure and finished gushing, we got the directions and headed over to CBS studios to watch the live tapping of American Idol: Idol Gives Back.  It was AH-MAZ-ING.


We get to the stage and end up getting the best seats, 4 rows back (about 20ft) from the judges.  I mean, they were RIGHT THERE.  Randy, Ellen, Kara and Simon and host Ryan Seacrest.  It was so surreal to see them in person.  Aside from the thrill of seeing the judges, we couldn’t have been at Idol on a better night, (aside from the finale) because the Idol Gives Back show is 2hrs and packed with celebrities.  For those of you who didn’t catch the show, here are the people we saw live: Victoria Beckham (gorgeous), Alicia Keys (junk in the trunk and amazing singer), George Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Elliot Yamin, David Hernandez (former contestant with a few racy pics out there), MORGAN FREEMAN (!), Travis Barker, Orianthi, Randy (played guitar during MJB’s performance) and Mary J. Blige.  MJB’s performance was off the hook amazing.  So much power in that woman’s voice.  Oh and Carrie Underwood hopped on a helicopter and flew from her performance in Pasadena to Hollywood to film a :30 introduction for next week’s show.  She is gorgeous.

What I found really interesting about Idol was how well oiled of a machine it is.  From the seat fillers to commercial breaks, everything ran smoothly and all the behind-the-scenes stuff almost felt like it’s own TV show – everything was perfect.  Speaking of commercials, the judges don’t stay in their seats during the breaks.  As soon as they’re off air, they all get up and go outside.  Apparently Simon has a cigarette each break.  There were at least 8 breaks in the 2hr period – that’s almost a whole pack Simon, be careful.

All-in-All, the night was a total and complete blast, I’m still processing it.  Now if only the contestants were good…