Before I left for Los Angeles, Daron had packed her own iPod for me (I didn't have one of my own), in part as a comfort and in part as a necessity - contestants had been chosen to perform a couple songs for the production executives upon our arrival to California. My girl's library of music, although not overall my choice flavor, played many that accompanied me during this time. Among them, "Family Affair," by Blidge was especially relevant and motivating to my experience - a constant reminder of the drama-free, forward-moving mentality I wanted to embrace. This song would by my anthem, even moments before my filmed Blind Audition, in LA.
For my audition I was did the song Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart"!!!! Are you kidding me?!?! I was so excited to sing such a soulful and iconic song. I love it! And what a challenge of a song to undertake! The night before the Blind rounds, there I was sitting in the stairwell smoking a ciggy 'Ninja-style' (because you can't freely smoke many places in LA!); seriously up until 3 AM, 6 AM at home. I was crazy-nervous! The day of, I was comforted and fortunate to have my girl in my arms and Haney by my side. It was crazy meeting Carson Daly
. He seemed so cool - a very real dude. Also, Mark Burnett took the time to speak with all contestants prior to our performances. His kind words lit a fire in my soul! What a blessing to see so much encouragement in this experience from people outside of my every day, Fort Lauderdale life.
When I arrived at the same Miami studio for the second appointment, I saw it was a smaller, but more intense crowd. It seemed like some pretty important folks I was about to sing for... I did some Akon/Mary J. Blidge for them and put my own spin on it. Also, a little Gnarls Barkley and Eric Clapton. They responded to my performance and said I was in and to soon expect confirmation of the upcoming details! We (my girl, Daron; my best friend, Haney; my LouLou and I) waited patiently for the much anticipated e-mail to support this excitement! I remained in a state of elation and disbelief from that day forward. It would be weeks before I heard from production - I received a telephone call to further remind me that they were still interested in me! The e-mails soon after began to trickle in. The anticipation and inkling of fear for the unknown enlivened me. I embraced myself for a sort-of transition, adapting to a different state of mind. Daring to dream, if you will: I was on a mission to change my stars. All I knew for certain was that this was going to be a wildly mind-opening experience that I couldn't deny, nor could I wait to begin, despite all hesitant fears! Who wanted want to go to LA?!?