“Thanks so much for your time guys,” the producer said . “Unfortunately we won’t be passing anyone through today though we’d like to chitchat with Keith for a little bit. Remember to keep working on your vocals and we’ll see you next time.”
I knew I wasn’t getting it. My improvisation was just as I had practiced but I had lost control of my notes once I hit the first line of the “Halo” hook. I was able to bounce back at “I’m surrounded by your embrace,” but in this kind of competition, one mistake is just as bad as many.
Though I felt a slight stab of rejection, I was so happy to see my buddy get the callback. He had been in vocal training for over a year and made butter with his version of John Legend’s “Used To Love U.” If anyone out of our posse deserved the next round, it was him. It did floor me that they didn’t pass the spunky woman who brought it home with an Amy Winehouse number but that’s the thing with these reality show situations, you either fit the criteria or don’t.
When my group pushed through the arena’s blue exit doors, we returned to being anonymous faces. Nothing like failure to make strangers out of people so quickly.
I hailed a cab and was scooped up by the overly-friendliest Italian driver who commented too much on my red skirt. Nonetheless, the 49-year-old grandpa (who was working his second 12-hour shift) with Hulk Hogan pythons made me relive my audition from the back seat before serenading me back with some Frank Sinatra.
“It’s a dream worth following,” he said. “Just because you didn’t make it today doesn’t mean you don’t have the talent.”
It was then I realized that I had won after all and who knows? I may just try again.