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The “American Idol” tour came to Sacramento on Saturday, July 21, to Power Balance Pavilion.
The tour consisted of the top ten contestants on season 11. Even hours before the show started, you could see fans in self-made “Idol” T-shirts waiting outside Power Balance Pavilion in anticipation of the show.
The concert started off with a group number that was sung by all the “Idol” artists except for the winner, Phillip Phillips. The whole crew did covers ranging from “Party Rock” by LMFAO, “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, and even classics like “Rolling on the River” by Tina Turner.
This concert was both fun and vibrant. It contained a level of show quality that was enhanced by the projected backgrounds, lights and general enthusiasm of the accompanying band. The contestants also wore bright clothes that contained a lot of glitter and sequins, which made them stand out even from the back seats. The “Idol” artists as a whole also moved well together, creating a harmony between their dance moves and songs.
The best thing about this concert, however, was the varied ages among the concert goers. From young girls screaming when their favorite contestant, usually male, came onto the stage, to the older crowd who really got into the spirit of the classic cover songs the artists were singing, the concert represented the diversity of the “American Idol” fan base.
I got to go behind the scenes before the concert started to interview a few of the contestants. One of the things that struck me the most was that these were normal, everyday people who were just excited to take the stage and do what they love most. I think that is what makes “American Idol” so popular. It represents people’s dreams being fulfilled, and we relate to that since those people could be us.
Erika Van Pelt was the first contestant I interviewed. She was the first top ten contestant to be voted off the show. When I asked her about her experience she talked about the importance of staying true to who you were. “I didn’t get to show the fans my true self, and that is really something I hope to do on this tour,” she said. Erika did a solo performance during the concert of Pink’s “Glitter in the Air” that was both moving and soulful.
Hollie Cavanagh was the second contestant I interviewed. She made it all the way to the fourth “Idol” spot before being eliminated. Hollie has been a huge fan of the show since its first season. “It’s totally different behind the scenes than you could ever imagine when watching the show,” she said. She plans to take the tour one day at a time and enjoy every moment.
Finally I had the privilege of interviewing this season’s winner, Philip Phillips. He was very down-to-earth and wearing what I am told is his customary footwear: flip-flops. Philip hadn’t heard of the show much before auditioning. He just wanted to play his music. While this has been an experience of a lifetime, a lot of things have changed for him. “I was going to a small concert when people started to recognize me. It was surreal.”
Philip has been writing a lot since his season has ended. He draws his inspiration from experiences and all the people he has gotten to meet since the tour started. Even while dealing with an illness, he managed to stay true to himself.
It was an honor meeting all three of them. “American Idol” shows us that anything is possible. Most of these contestants were sitting on their couch last year. All three contestants I interviewed offered this advice to the people on the couches this year, wondering if they have what it takes: The first step towards your dreams is having the courage to pursue them.