That's right, I was VIP for the Idols World Tour this past Tuesday night at the base.
Ok, maybe it's not the biggest performer in the world, but I still won VIP tickets and backstage passes, so I am happy about that. Plus, we don't get a lot of entertainment out here, so it is good to know that performers are willing to come out on tour and show their support for the troops abroad and give families a chance to enjoy some entertainment.
First, let me tell you about Idols World Tour. You are probably thinking it has something to do with American Idol, and if you are, then you are correct. The performers on this tour are all former Idols contestants. If you watch the show a lot, you may recognize some of their names.
Performing for us on this tour was (taken from the Armed Forces Entertainment website):
Creighton FrakerThe American Idol Season 11 contestant is well-known for the original song he wrote for his Pittsburgh audition. Fraker's unique personality and amazing voice quickly made him a fan favorite.
Jen HirshJen Hirsh auditioned for Season 9 ofAmerican Idol but didn't make it very far until she returned to audition for Season 11. She’s a Berklee College of Music graduate and has come out with an album titled Myself In Two.
Jovany JavierJovany was a top 16 finalist onAmerican Idol Season 10 and brought his "dual-threat" style of music to the stage by dominating his performances bilingually. He has been on several tours around the world performing for our troops and is currently involved in commercial modeling and soap operas.
Jones has a powerful voice that helped her advance to the semifinals on Season 10 of American Idol. She was raised by a family of singers and got her start singing in the church choir.
Aaron MarcellusMarcellus was a music teacher from New Jersey before he made it as a top 42 finalist on Season 11 of American Idol, which was his second time auditioning for the show.
John Wayne SchulzSchulz was a contestant on Season 10 of American Idol and debuted his first record, Ropin’ Dreams, at the tender age of 14. The Texan is also an authentic cowboy, having grown up on an 800-acre ranch in Karnes City, Texas.
Lauren TurnerTurner made it to Hollywood during Season 4 of American Idol, but it wasn't until Season 10 that she made it to the Top 24. Born in New Orleans, she became the first New Orleans contestant to perform for Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Stephen Tyler. As a blues/soul singer, Turner is in the process of writing and recording her first album.
Zevita auditioned for Season 6 ofAmerican Idol but was not selected as a contestant for the show until Season 10. The young opera singer’s big voice was unique among the other American Idol voices and it took her into the top 12.
Second, I want to tell you how I got the VIP treatment for this show. Tickets for this show were free, but you had to sign up for tickets, which I did. Then the group on base responsible for fun stuff (called FSS, and they actually do a lot more than just the fun activities) was giving away backstage meet and greet passes and VIP seats. They did puzzles and games on their Facebook page. Curious how I won mine? You won't believe how crazy this sounds, but I was the first person to show up in their office with a penny from 1978 when they asked for it. You may think that is an easy task, to find a penny from 1978, but military bases do penny rounding. Did you know that? Yeah, we don't use pennies on base (except at the post office), so pennies are in fact scarce around here. So when I saw the task posted, I decided to scramble around where we store the pennies. I checked my wallet, but only 1977 and 1964 or 2000+. Darn. So I tried my old wallet, which still had pennies because it was the wallet I used when I moved from Las Vegas to the Azores. Nope, nothing there. So I sat and thought, and thought, and thought, and went to where Ryan stashes his US coins. I dumped all the quarters and nickels and dimes out, and with much amazement, out fell one penny. A 1978 penny! I ran back to check the FB page and see if anyone won yet, and since I didn't see anything I made a dash for my car and headed to their office, which is thankfully only 2 minutes from where I live. I ran up the stairs, busted through the door, and asked if anyone else had come with a penny yet. No, no one else came yet, so they congratulated me and gave me my tickets. So, you can see why I was so proud of my win, even if this wasn't the biggest tour of the year.
Once we arrived we were let in first and we could sit where ever we wanted. Then we were escorted backstage to meet with the performers and take pictures with them. They were all really nice and thanked all of us (or our spouses) for their service and we thanked them for coming out to give back to our community. We get a few performances each year and it is nice that they are able to work with the military to provide us with things we would otherwise miss out on because we don't live in the States and we can't just go see any concert we want.
Now that I gave you some of the backstory, here are some pictures from backstage and then from the show. They all did a great job performing. In fact, with very limited AC, they managed to put on a very high energy performance for just over 2 hours. They did most of the current top pop songs and even a few oldies. Something for everyone!
Here I am (yes, I know my eyes are closed) with the performers for this show.
Here I am with Aaron Marcellus.
Here I am with Jovany Javier. He was the host of the show for the evening.
And here I am with John Wayne Schulz.
You may have noticed that I took pictures individually with only the male performers. There is a very good reason for this. They were all ready to go so they hung out with us and chatted. The girls, understandably so, still had to finish up getting ready to go on stage. But everyone was very nice and friendly.
We sat a few rows back. Sorry, some of the pictures are blurry. I tried to pick the best shots.
They called all the kids up on stage and sang with them there.
Last up, some country action!
I would say this was a great treat for a work week night out. I was glad I was able to meet the performers, who were genuinely happy to provide military families with some good entertainment. It was a lot of fun. We sang and danced. We definitely enjoyed ourselves.
QUESTIONS: Do you watch American Idol? Who was your favorite performer on American Idol over the years? What was the last concert or show you went to see?