The motivation

My forray into the world of "Reality TV auditions" actually started as a publicity scheme for my "Darkwinner Guide to Anatomy" DVDs. (ie my plan to make my fortune in the world). I knew I could produce a useful quality product, but how to advertise it? I didn't have much money, and waiting for word of mouth would take too long. I came up with some novel ideas, and amongst them was to have the Darkwinner audition on American Idol.

If my masked appearance could make the "blooper reel", that would be hundreds of thousands of people in my target audience who might google Darkwinner and come across my webpage, and learn about my great educational DVDs.

And I had an edge: I can actually sing pretty well. People who have a gimmick are a dime a dozen, and people who can sing pretty well a dime a dozen as well, but it would be rare (even unheard of) for someone with a gimmick who could ALSO sing well! I'd probably get in front of Simon, Randy and Paula, and they'd be flabbergasted as to what to do with a novelty who can sing...

Besides, it would be a fun road trip, and it's been a while since I've done one of those.

My plan was to go to the cities and see what the auditions are like, to be a part of pop culture history. Even if I didn't make it on, at least I'd have a great story to tell my kids, and a road trip to enjoy in the present. (It's not the destination, it's the journey.)

Who knows, I might even impress the judges and be the next American Idol!

The plan

I went to the American Idol website and got details for the process. I initially decided to try 3 cities to increase my chances of making it to TV. But then I decided 2 was enough. I'd do Birmingham just as Victor and see how far I could go on my own natural talents. Then I'd do Memphis as "The Darkwinner" and see if I could get farther as a costume who could sing. I'd sing serious at the easier competition in Birmingham (closest entertainers' city: Disnified Orlando), and sing silly at the tougher Memphis (near "country music" Nashville.) Note from the future: Boy was I wrong

The preparation

I decided on my piece, "Roll Into Me" by Del Amitri. I worked on it with my voice teacher. I sang it like a BILLION times. And then I changed my mind. It's a cool song, but I decided that judges would be more impressed with more difficult song. So I arranged "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" as an acapella audition song. I'm quite proud of it. Thus, I had my primary piece and my backup song.

So that was the plan. But what actually happened?

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