We arrived in SF about an hour before the posted start time. I should have known that was not enough time as we drove up the line was ridiculous! There went any hopes of getting on the first floor. We all looked at each other and almost decided to book it to Pier 39 instead, but quickly decided to press on. We parked and got in line, waited about an hour in line before we got in. We sat on the 2nd floor in the “TV Section” but I don’t think I ever saw the camera pan our way. About 45 minutes after we sat down the taping finally started. Just FYI the shots of the Audience Booing/Cheering/Clapping/Throwing up X’s is taped BEFORE the show starts. Yes, we did still react to the performances, but about two hours in we were pretty bored, Ran was nodding off - standing up and clapping was just not an option at that point so I understand why they do that. In the 4 hours we were there we saw maybe 8 acts. We left the taping at the break (which was about 3 hours in) but apparently we only missed maybe 2 additional acts.
There were definitely a lot of Stern fans in the audience. I heard more Ba-ba-booey’s then I would have liked, so many so that I would have probably punched someone in the face if they were in striking distance. Howard as a judge was fantastic! He X’d who should have been X’d and let go those that deserved it. He also had the ability to tell the performer the truth no matter how awful they were, without being mean. He even managed to make them laugh while he was crushing their dreams. My Mom who is not really fan was a convert when we left the show. I think people will be pleasantly surprised by him. Sharon Osbourne also seemed pretty cool. Took her a few minutes to make it to her seat after her introduction because she was giving out so many hugs (To the dismay of Nick Cannon who looked annoyed) Both she and Howard interacted with the audience during breaks which was nice. Here are some of the highlights from the auditions:
Taylor Beckett: She was filming her “Intro” while we were waiting in line so it was no surprise when we saw her walk on stage as the third act. She has this beautiful BIG voice coming from this tiny little thing. She got some flak for singing so “Big” without any build up, which I agreed with, but she sounded amazing in the auditorium. She has a classic “I-can-sing-the-shit-out-of-this-song” voice, which is nice but I tend to like the singing acts that have some kind of interesting inflection to their voice.
Chadwick Johnson (At least that’s what I thought I heard): Another singer with an amazing voice. He was a surprise because he seemed kinda nerdy, a bit introverted which is weird because he’s a bartender. Howie kept mentioning what a “Winning Smile” he had, we couldn’t tell from where we were. He could sing for sure! He had great control of his voice. I think he’ll go far if he can get some personality.
“Turf” (Didn’t catch his real name): He was the “Hard Luck” story of our visit. He is a dance contortionist and I admit I was cringing in my seat - the things he was doing with his arms and legs was pretty cool to watch. He’ll never win, but he had a story that made you want to root for him. Homeless at one point, dancing on the streets of SF to make money he seemed genuine and someone you want to see succeed.
After the taping we made our way to Pier 39. Ran wanted to stop by the Houdini Magic shop to pick up some trinkets for our kiddo. We ate at Louie’s Seafood – Food was “Eh”, but Ran did enjoy his crab. I had pasta which was my bad - ordering pasta at a seafood restaurant :/ We then headed to Ghirardelli Square and we managed to get one cell phone shot before my phone died. The real winner of the day was the SF weather. It was BEA-U-TI-FUL in SF!
|The Golden Gate is behind us, but the sun and my crappy cell camera blocked it out :(|
We got home fairly early and since we were sans kiddo for the night, we walked to a nearby restaurant/bar. This is my Holy-Cow-Long-Beach-Teas-Taste-Like-Pink-Lemonade and now I'm buzzzzzzzzzed face.
All in all a good day was had by all...