I left off when the floodgates of KICC opened. and people poured in. The 'intelligent' ones from the back of the queue walked to the front, and we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of the bunch. I had made a couple of friends by now and formed an alliance (not of evil). One of the girls i became friends with, like I, was not auditioning but had come with her friend for moral support. We decided to cheer everyone up by 'trying to decide' which song to 'audition for'. We sang popular songs, off key and a high pitches. The intention was to make others think that we were actually going to audition hence give them the courage. I mean, if you'd been listening to us, as a judge, you'd have changed your mind on EVER auditioning Pop Idols. I was pretty sure that the other contestants were consoled.
We got as far as the few meters from the main entrance of KICC and asked to stop. The director and some of the cameramen were set on the roof, filming the procession. I'm slow. I just figured out why they wanted the people in groups of 5. To make the crowd look bigger by adding volume. Damn me! I know I shouldn't have dyed my hair blond... it's seeping into my brain. There is one thing that most visitors fail to realize about Kenyans. We have too much pride and rarely get wowed by things like cameras and celebrities and such like hypes brought about by glamour. And this is not only evident in urban areas. I have worked with film crews from overseas who did not understand why the people (esp. rural folks) did not seem dazzled by the camera or clamoring to be in the shot. Only the kids seemed interested. The way i saw it, it was either they were too busy to care about activities that would not place a hot plate of Ugali on their tables or are too proud be the object of Mzungu's entertainment. Either way... Kenyans rarely entertain Cameras, unless they are actually actors / actresses.
The director, sitting high up on the roof was trying hard to make the aspirants 'look excited' and 'on the count of three, scream... we love Idols'. Needless to say, that took them about 20 minutes. Since they could not get the crowd to follow instructions, they played a trick on them. They divided the crowd into two and one crew member asked the first group to follow him. Half way through, the crowd realized what was going on. The group that had just left was being led towards the back! Too late! half an hour later, after being in the sun for over 4 hours, the auditions gave signs of life.
We queued up, and my sister ended up being the 200th - ish person. As luck would have it... Celtel Kenya, who happen to be one of the spponsors went round asking aspirants to to show their cellphone if they had Celtel SIM cards. I gave mine and my sister got a 'jump the queue' pass. What luck!
Long story short, I started typing the first part of this as she auditioned. She says they bloved her outfit... not her singing though as she did not qaulify for second round. She figured she was too nervous and could be felt in her voice. She made to re-try, but could not be let to re-audition.
We went back home around 5pm. My legs were killing me. We got home, i fell on the bed and woke up the following day at noon. Yeah, it was that bad.
She was disappointed, and since I dont know how to handle failure / rejection. This is what I told her.
'Look at it this way, it's better you were eliminated at the beginning stage, instead of going all the way to the the top and getting eliminated with nothing to show for it after all that hard work.'
That is what I call proper bullcrap. We both knew that the reverse is also true. Going past the first round could have given her the exposure. You would not wanna be the one to voice out her thoughts, would you. You leave her with them, and try your best to divert her mind from that - by helping her get into a music school.
And my task begins.