Friday, September 29, 2006

Idol Pursuits, Part 3: Finale

Catching up now? Check out Part 1 here.

All things Idol took a turn for the stressy over the remainder of the summer. I won’t go into details, but K's job got a lot harder. I’m guessing that’s all a part of showbiz.

In the meantime, things between K and I continued to grow stronger. We spent weekends together whenever we could and I was always there for her when she needed some backup, whenever the work-side of her life went bananas. Although it didn’t happen in the most romantic way or with the best timing (for some reason, I’m bloody lousy at that), we exchanged the “L” word and haven’t looked back since.

I still had one more chance to see K in action, working for the show. Somehow, K managed to sweet-talk someone in the production office into getting me a ticket for the season finale. And it was quite the spectacle.

As I sat, waiting for the show to begin, tucked away in the back corner of the theatre, I suddenly felt very privileged and almost smug about it. As I looked around at the minor celebrities, friends and family of CTV execs, and the odd teenaged girl (formerly a staple of the live audience) who managed to snap up one of the few remaining tickets for the show, I felt like I had a secret.

What they didn’t know is that I probably knew more than they did. I’d heard anecdotes about the people involved with the show all summer long. I’d been backstage, hanging out with K and helping her to prepare for the show. I knew that the stage was built mostly from plywood and the same kinds materials you might find at your local craft store. I was on the inside track and I’d seen behind The Great and Powerful Oz’s curtain. And in a weird way, that made me feel kind of powerful. Or privileged; we can stick with privileged.

As I was waiting for K to finish her work so we could head to the wrap party, I kept seeing the competitors from the show, the Idols, walking around backstage. And as I was looking at them and made eye contact, I found myself raising my eyebrows and smiling. You know – that look of happy surprise and recognition, as if to say hello to an old friend you haven’t seen in a while when you bump into them on the street. And yet, I absolutely didn’t know these people.

To them, I was a complete and utter blank, random stranger #349 out of the hundreds that they had encountered that night. And yet to me, they were familiar. I knew all kinds of things about them through the miracle of TV. I wasn’t star-struck, I was comfortable, like I’d known them for years. It was kind of eerie, actually. And when I didn’t get that look of recognition returned back to me, I got that momentary jab of rebuke before I reminded myself that I was being completely irrational. But that was my reflex, nonetheless.

The wrap party, for me, was the big payoff, the soft gooey centre, the victory lap at the end of the marathon. K and I had a fantastic time. We schmoozed and made small talk with current and former Idols. I got to meet all of the people who were in all of K’s work stories over the summer. I saw one of the judges, Zack Warner, jamming with one of the former Idols (Aaron) and a few other guys pulled out of the crowd. I caught an impromptu concert featuring Ashley Coulter and her band from back home, the guys she was jamming with before anyone knew her name. And above all else, I got to spend an unforgettable evening with K on a rooftop patio.

In TV, where shows go through several months of solid production followed by long breaks, most people are hired on contract. Canadian Idol is no different. As it worked out, K found out shortly before the finale that the production couldn’t hire any new permanent employees and that she would be leaving Idol at the end of the season. It was a disappointing day, but it wasn’t entirely unexpected.

Although it was hard for her to see at the time, K felt that it was both a good thing and a bad thing. Months earlier, she realized that she’d learned all she could from her job at Idol and was ready for a new challenge. One, perhaps, that was better suited to her strengths and interests.

More than anything else, I think K missed that part of her job that had her on the front lines during the audition process in the spring. She hasn’t done anything comparable to that since then. That was the part of her job that I saw firsthand, where she was happy and in her element, all those months before. And if she could get a job with Idol in the first place, I know she can also find something even better, if she puts her mind to it.

And I’m incredibly proud of her. I love her now more than ever: for who she was, for who she is today, and for the potential I see in her for tomorrow.

It’s hard to say if we’d have ever gotten together in the first place if it wasn’t for Canadian Idol. The world works in funny ways sometimes – maybe we were meant to be together eventually, and it was fate? I prefer to think of it that way. But either way, I still owe an awful lot to the show. And for that, I will always be grateful.


Epilogue: Just in case you’re interested in my views on how the show itself all turned out, I think the right person won in the end. Early on, I had predicted an Eva/Craig final two, although it looked like it wasn’t going that way at several points over the season. But hey, if you ask me, the best two singers were eliminated before they even made it to the Top-10. Hopefully, they’ll be back again next season….


At 4:11 PM, Blogger Not An Artist said...

You said 'Lesbian' to each other? That's just odd.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Henly said...

If 'K' is who I think it is, it was pleasure meeting her and catching up with you, Andrew!

Think this round of posting will stick or are ya going to disappear into obscurity again? ;)

Keep in touch!

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Yippee! Glad you're blog is back...and thanks for the fantastic long story to read. Even if I did know the ending already, it made good reading! :)

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

You know, I was just waiting for someone to suggest "L" word meant Lesbian. ;) Touche!

Henly, it was great catching up with you, too. K's looking forward to another opportunity to hang out with you. Hopefully this round'll stick. At the very least, there's another big story in the works, coming up real soon. There's some suspense, for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about...

Thanks for reading, Sara! It really does help when you've got a story *to* tell! This one's been in the works for a while now.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Sara said...

D'oh....just realized hideous grammatical error - "you're" instead of "your". And it's there for posterity now. Grrrr. I have annoyed the grammar gods.


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