Fajitas.

So I think I may have mentioned here a time or two that I stan unapologetically for one Miss Kelly Clarkson. Well her record label partnered w/ Apple to create this game/app for the IPhone/iPod called Open Mic. It was a karaoke style game in which people competed to win an awesome prize. What is this prize you may be asking? Welp, the launch of the app coincided with the launch of her fall tour. So the winner of the contest in each city would win a chance to do soundcheck with her band, tickets to the show, & meet and greet passes. Several people I knew entered and won the contest and it was an awesome experience per their accounts. I don’t own any Apple products, so I never had a shot at entering the contest. But oh how I wanted to enter!

Well fast forward to a few months into the tour when my friend Jenny Rae decides to enter the contest. We knew a bunch of people who were going to the last show of the tour, so she decided to play for that one. She decided that if she won, I was going to be the “winner” and sing at the soundcheck. Since I have NO shame, I was totally on board with the idea. Plus, I didn’t think we had a snowball’s chance in hell, so I wasn’t worried about having to actually sing. Did I mention this show was in New Orleans? Yeah, now would also probably be a great time to mention that I’d never been to NO, right? So I was hoping we’d win so I’d have an excuse to go to New Orleans all randomly, but I wasn’t so convinced that we’d really do it.

We’re playing the game and are in first place. Yippee skippee! Then all of a sudden, people started using this cheat and were posting these outrageously high scores. It wasn’t long before Jenny Rae was no longer in first place. Boo. I’d given up on New Orleans and was pretty bummed to tell the truth. So one Friday my Wisconsin gals came down to go to a show and spent the night. A few hours after they left, Jenny Rae calls me like “OMFG WE WONNNNNN!” Cue my jigga whaaaaaa?? face. I was flummoxed! Apparently, RCA had chosen us as the winner on that Friday, but since Jenny Rae hadn’t checked her email she had no idea.

I was in shock from the time she received that email until I stepped foot in the French Quarter last Saturday. It still didn’t really sink in until I was in the arena. Other folks that I knew who had won were able to sing a different song than the current single “Already Gone”, so I was hoping to be able to do the same. I had it all planned out from the ridiculous head gear to the band intros to dance moves. It was going to be EPIC. Unfortunately for me, a mere three shows before I was to sing RCA put the kibosh on changing the song. I asked her security guard to put in a word for me just in case, but I figured it was a long shot.

Whatever, I still got to sing, so I couldn’t be too bummed. I didn’t really know the words to “Already Gone” nor did I care to learn them (wasn’t really a big fan of the song), so I toyed with the idea of singing Beyonce’s “Halo” (same melody, different words) instead. I was all set to go through with that plan, but changed my mind at the last minute. Anyway, so show day comes and Jenny Rae & I travel to the venue hours before the rest of our caravan. After struggling to get in contact with her bodyguard & tour manager, Blackberry issues, and crazy stalker fans, we finally get inside.

Once we’re inside, they run down the rules and say Kel may actually be in soundcheck. Nothing is certain because they had their end of tour/holiday party the night before and she was recovering, haha. Tim, the tour manager, told me he’d get a signal from Jason when they were ready for me. Meanwhile we were just hanging out, watching the band do their thing. Even if I didn’t get to sing, that alone made the experience worth it. She has some REALLY talented musicians working with her. Her musical director, Jason Halbert? Is. The. MAN! They added a couple new songs into the set and watching him set up the melodies so effortlessly made me a convert. Also made me wish I could play an instrument.

So at one point the band is joking around and someone from the back yells at them to stop teasing. Jenny Rae nudges me and tells me to look behind us and see who’s here. Eeeeeyyyuuuuuuupppp, you guessed it Kelly Gatdamn Clarkson. Awesome. So she was going to be sitting there when I went onstage. Tim comes over and says, “Oh yeah…by the way, she’ll be watching you.” Wonderful. I wasn’t nervous until he said those words. Then like two minutes later, Jason gave the signal and it was time for me to go onstage.

Walk up to the band and am immediately hugged by her background singers Jill and Kate. I met them at a show of theirs in Chicago (I was so drunk) and was kinda jazzed that they remembered me. So I’m up there getting prepped and I look out into the crowd where she was sitting. No KC! Whoop! Jason explains that we’ll run through the song twice. The first time just a verse & a chorus. The second time, the full thing. There was a teleprompter with lyrics (HOLLER!), so I’d be fine. I ended up getting three chances instead of the normal two. Something happened on the second run and we had to stop. I sorta fake bitched out the band and it was kinda hilarical. Get through the last run and I’m done. More hugs from J&K and then I’m off stage. 🙂

Then I hear “Kelly, did you want to run through blah blah blah…” Are you shitting me?! I thought she went backstage or something and wasn’t out there. Nope. She was there the whole time. Just moved seats. So she gets on stage and is like “OMG! That was GREAT! What’s you name? I didn’t catch your name.” I’m thinking I didn’t throw it, but respond with my name. She says, “Jeanette, that was AWESOME!” I thank her for lying and then they continue with soundcheck. Holy friggin moly. She did “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “I Never Loved a Man” by Aretha. Both were amazing. She was doing a lot of riffing to give the band a feel for how she wanted things to sound. Sounded amazing. There was also a lot of laughing & joking between her and the band. You could see that it wasn’t a boss/worker relationship, but one of friendship.

KC left after getting those songs together, but band was still working out stuff. Soon though, they were done and Jenny Rae & I were just sitting there. We were supposed to be lead back out by her security, but Brian must’ve gotten lost or something because he never reappeared. So we wandered back out and found our friends. Then I told this above story like 4 times. After a bit it was time for the meet and greet. It was super brief, but highlights include KC telling me my SC was awesome again, offering to flash me for some of my beads, and taking a pic with the fansion sign. Good times!

HOLY COW THIS WAS LONG. Sry folks. Haha.

One Response to “Fajitas.”

  • MJW says:

    This is so awesome! I'm so jealous! That's awesome that she thought you were awesome. What a great high I'm sure! Thanks for sharing!


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