All Shook Down's Jackie Lopez stopped by Parc 55 this morning to talk to some American Idol aspirants from the Bay Area who were on the hotel's fourth floor for the show's second round of auditions. Security wasn't letting anyone off the listed family and friends in for the taping, so she hung around the lobby and the curb outside, where she met nail-biting, defeat-shrugging, mascara-streaming contestants and family members -- well, not in that order. —Janine Kahn
Notes and photo by Jackie Lopez
Security wasn't budging, so I walked outside, lit up and ran into Joni Faga and Taralyn Satele-Ambrose, cousins of contestant Tatiana Barrios -- they, alongside Tatiana's dad (Naapulu Barrios) and others were smoking as well. We tried calling Tatiana since she was upstairs, but she had her phone off. She was preparing to sing “Stand Up for Love” by Destiny’s Child. (A good pick because it's an original and no one really knows it.) A total of seven family members were in attendance. “I think we’re more nervous than she is,” Mr. Barrios said and kept on smoking. They were camera shy and didn't want their pictures taken.
Minutes later, another contestant, Morgan, exited the hotel, tears streaming down her face. She was tall, blond, beautiful and bright red. She wouldn't talk to me but I heard her mother tell her "It's OK, you have so much else going for you." Morgan just sobbed harder. Three of her friends stood in awkward silence in shirts that said "Team Morgan" on them. Sad.
I waited a little longer and another contestant emerged with stunning red lipstick. Her name was Holidais (pronounced Holiday) Evans-Bunch, a flight attendant from Virgin America who lives in the Twin Peaks area. She bitched about how they don’t give you any information about the process and how there was “no guidance whatsoever.” She told me she didn’t feel bad about not making it because this second round was full of amazing people who didn't get far though they actually had talent.
She sang Leanne Rhymes' “How Do I Live." The judges weren’t in-house as expected, but she did tell me Nigel Lythgoe was there to critique the performances.
Holidais was accompanied by her mother, Cynthia, and friend, Tommy Clements. Tommy had tried out with Holidais on the first round but didn’t make it. He acted as her voice coach and pushed her to do the try outs. Holidais said if it wasn’t for Tommy she wouldn’t have done it. Tommy replied, “If you have cheerleaders, you can do anything.”